Cambodia: Tonle Chaktomuk

Yay!  I'm finally on my last leg of my SEA trip.  Hopefully I'll be caught up soon...by the end of next year?

Sigh.

Anyway, we left our hotel in Kuala Lumpur for the airport butt early in the morning.  Our flight to Siem Reap was at 6:50am and we arrived just one hour later.  

AG's (CK's fiance, remember him?) uncle's friend was kind enough to get his subordinate in Cambodia's secretary to help us book a tour of Angkor Wat.  Whew.  That was a mouthful.  She booked us a private tour guide and a driver for 3 days.  Our guide (I think his name was spelled Vhet, but pronounced "wit") picked us up at the airport and before we could give him our rehearsed speech to take it easy on the first day, he whisked us off to Angkor Wat, luggage and all.  His logic?  Get as much done as possible before the afternoon rains.  Made sense.

Walking around Angkor Wat was a dream come true for me, but it was also very, very tiring.  Especially on a couple hours of sleep, an empty stomach, and in the unbearable heat.

We finally stopped for lunch at Tonle Chaktomuk:


All our meals during the three day tour were planned out by our tour agency.  Which meant...buffets.

Tonle Chaktomuk was pretty much empty besides other tourists on tour packages such as ourselves:


What really threw us off was Vhet telling us that he couldn't eat with us because they don't let native Cambodians in.  The tour guides and drivers have to stay outside and...wait.  Something about maintaining the ambiance for the tourists.

Our appetite was already kind of shot by the lack of sleep, but hearing him say that killed what was left of it. Though there was a lot of food, nothing looked really appealing:


I ended up with a small plate of steamed goodies:


None of them tasted good.

The meal was included in our tour package, but we had to pay for our drinks.  The price of my pineapple juice was pretty much the same as what we would find in the States:


I went straight to dessert for my second plate:


I tried some Cambodian desserts, but none of them were any good.  The fruit, on the other hand, was awesome.

Pineapples in Southeast Asia are super sweet, which is why I went back for more:


Vhet had warned us that Cambodian ice cream sends foreigners to the hospital.  We were advised to avoid ice cream on the streets and to eat it in the restaurants if we really wanted to try it.  So I did.  Even though the ice cream pops looked like they were supposed to be different flavors, but they all tasted like durian.  I guess the one durian pop infected all the other ones in the freezer.

As expected of tour chow, Tonle Chaktomuk was nothing to write home about.  CK and I quickly realized that the sights in Cambodia would be much more memorable than the food.  It's a shame, really.


Tonle Chaktomuk
No. 0064 Angkor Wat (Road)
Khom Slar Kram, Siem Reap 855, Cambodia
063 965 052

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