Morning & Evening Dancing

e2Exercise is one of the best ways for people to have a good health. Of course, everyone wishes to have a healthy life. Cambodians, like elder people and adults try hard to do exercise daily, we see them a lot with dancing exercises in the early morning around 5 AM to 7 AM and in evening from 5 PM to 7 PM.

You can find it everywhere in ex3Phnom Penh wherever it has a garden, parks around the city (like by the Vietnam Friendship monument), at the riverside, and Olympic Stadium. Dancing is very good for losing weight, muscle strength and reduce stress, when we are dancing we also have fun moving with the music and meeting a lot of new people. It is very great workout and very social and fun. Everyone can join in the dancing by paying the trainer 1,000 riel each person and you can dance freely.   If you are newcomer, if you just tell the guide, they will come over and train you how to dance. I hope you will enjoy dancing and having fun with people.

Cambodians & Their Immediate Response Times

Different nations come with different cultures and ways of life, likewise for Cambodians. When it comes to immediate responses, I personally think that Cambodian people are very rushed and keen to get back the response from others via text or email or Facebook message. For example, the response from email, Cambodian people really expect to receive a reply as soon as possible. When it comes to the delay of a response, they usually think that the receiver has a lack of responsiveness and are being irresponsible. In some situations, the sender might also think of themselves as less valued in that time of the situation.

I have to admit that the people of Cambodia are those who see things at the first glance. Their judgments are decided immediately by the approach. Though their response and reaction are very immediate, Cambodians also are likely to welcome a rational explanation to the situation.

Although, Cambodia people are likely to receive quick response upon their situations, they somehow establish low attention to respond to others. We can say that they expect good, but are not willing to do well. However, this does not apply to all groups of Cambodian people…  It depends on their attitudes.

Thoughts on Foreigners

f1I have been living in Cambodia 19 years – all my life. My country is located in mainland South-east Asia, having a border with Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and the gulf of Thailand. 181,035 kilometers square for me is so small. However, the land is not large like it used to be, I still feel happy to live in my enchanted country. My country is well-known as a country with many beautiful natural and historical places. Those things attract so many foreigners from various continents. Most of them are from Vietnam, China, Korea, Laos, Thailand, U.S.A, Japan, U.K, France, and Australia.

 Although I have been living in this country since I was born, I have never seen number of foreigners that come to Cambodia as many as these past few years. The first time that I met with foreigner was the time that I visited Kompong Som Province which is now named Sihanouk Ville. She was from France. At that time, she saw me and my sisters were learning how to swim, and she came over to us and offered to help teach us how to swim. At first, I didn’t feel comfortable with her since she was a foreigner, but later I started feeling more comfortable after seeing her friendly and kind behaviors.

IMG_3051I think foreigners are kind and friendly. They are willing to help in everything that they think they can. They don’t care much about being judged by the others. They like doing whatever they like. They are not only kind and friendly but also interested in learning everything around them like people, cultures, food and many other things when they are in foreign countries.

How They Dress?2

I love the way they dress. To be honest, T-shirt, scarf, hat, bracelets, jeans/short skirt, sandals or high top look really good on them. From what I think, those things are really comfortable for them as a tourist who likes exploring. Differ from Cambodian people who like wearing elegant clothes with expensive jewelry.

4What they Do?

I find that they like buying souvenirs. Those little things that are sold at the markets like Toul Tom Poung, Phsar Thmey and of course night market at Siem Reap, are so beautiful. Foreigners seem so interested in those tiny little things, even me as a Cambodian also like those kind of things. What is more, I notice that most of them now know a lot about the price in Cambodia. IMG_2882For example, most of tuk tuk drivers likes to gain more profits from foreigners since they think that foreigners don’t know much about the real price for riding a tuk tuk. Let say the price for the riding is only about 2$ for Cambodian but almost $4 to $5 dollar for foreigners. Luckily, most of foreigners now know about this, so I find it’s hard for those drivers to get the money like they used to get from foreigners.


Foreigners love freedom. They are curious. They seem to like doing things that Cambodian people rarely do like hiking, diving, and cycling around Phnom Penh city or in Siem Reap. For tIMG_3665hose who enjoy watching the street scene love to ride a cyclo rather than tuk tuk. In fact, I notice that few of them allow a cyclo driver to sit, and they themselves drive the cyclo instead. It is one of the reason why I think foreigners like to experience new things. For Cambodian people, hiking and diving sounds dangerous but for foreigners, it sounds exciting. Foreigners love exploring natural places rather than man-made places. Unlike Cambodian people, they really like going to man-made places like super market and amusement park. About two weeks ago, I went to Siem Reap with my family. I saw many foreigners visited Angkor Wat temple. Most of them are around 20s to 30s. Most of foreigner who pay a visit in Siem Reap, try as much as they can to wake up before the dawn in order to see a beautiful sunrise behind Angkor Wat temple. Watching the sunrise is not the only thing that foreigners love to. I find that they are really in love watching the sunset also. IMG_3173Not only at Bakheng Mountain which is the famous place to enjoy the beautiful view of the sunset in the land of Angkor, but at Sihanouk Ville also. The big difference between them and Cambodian people is that foreigners love to spend every moment in their life doing things that they love to do. IMG_2747For them, exploring new places, tasting local food from various countries, hiking mountains, diving to see many colorful corals and the living things under the sea, cycling along the street, and watching the sunset are the worth experiences for them to do at least once in their lives.

Best Places to Watch Sunset in Phnom Penh

Eclipse Sky Bar
s4People can experience the best view of the beautiful sunset from the lovely rooftop bar, which is located on the rooftop of Phnom Penh Centre. It is known as the most popular and highest sky bar in Phnom Penh. Fresh drink, food, music, the atmosphere up there, and the great view of sunset will relieve our stress from school and work. It is really the great place for those who like experiencing the great evening and night time.

Le Moon Terrace Bar
s5On the rooftop of Amanjaya Pancam Hotel riverside, Le Moon Terrace Bar is also known as the famous one for watching the sunset. This place is not only for those who like watching the sunset, but also for those who like watching the night view of the riverside. People will find themself relaxed with the great atmosphere and a fresh cocktail right next to them.

s1Another famous rooftop for watching the sunset is Chow. After the sun has set, you can turn around to find another stunning night view of the riverside and the beautiful street along it. Moreover, people can enjoy the view in a tiny pool with a cocktail. On some occasions, this place can get really crowed for sunset. For people who like to see the sunset and the night view of the river, they should try this one.

The Fifth Element
This restaurant and bar is located on the rooftop at La Maison D’Ambre’s Hotel. People won’t only see a beautiful red sun that is set at the west of Phnom Penh city, but they also can see a whole view of the city too. It is the right place for those who like to spend their evening and night time watching the sunset, eating European and Khmer cuisine, and listening to music.s2

To Go Coffee – Bags or Cups

UntitledThere are many ways of packing coffee nowadays. For a long time people only could take their coffee in a glass or cup. Now, there is a new modern way of packing coffee ‘to go’ that many young people, especially teens and young adults, prefer. They like the new style of packing coffee – which uses a paper bag and plastic bag because it is easy for them to keep it/ hold onto it longer and drink it. This new style of packing coffee was designed for them, as they tend to be moving around more. Older people, still like drinking coffee by using a cup or glass rather than using a bag because they are more used to it.

The coffee is made the same way for bag or glassc1 by putting condensed milk, then fresh milk and coffee into a glass and stirring ingredients. Packing a coffee bag uses a plastic bag that has a drinking tube, then put that into a paper bag that is carried by a plastic bag on the outside.

What’s The Late Night Noise? Dry Rice Noodle Cart

ca4People are not allow to shout at night because it’s rude and disrespectful to people who are sleeping. So people call out to customers by hitting sticks together and the echo sound is used for selling their noodles. People start selling the noodles at around 9:00 pm to midnight or sometimes later. At night you can notice them because there are two people, one is making noodles at the cart while the other one is finding customers by using the sound of their sticks. People who work at night or eat a late dinner can buy the dry rice noodles that are sold on the street.

Dry Rice Noodles is made into a noodle soup that consists of energy. It’s known in Khmer as “Kouy Teav”. Noodles are made of rice that have been crushed into powder and then remade into noodles. They can be served at breakfast, lunch, dinner and desert. They are several ways the noodles can be prepared: dry noodles, noodles soup with pork, beef, chicken…etc.

Mostly people sell the dry rice noodles on a moving cart or a standing cart along the street. The soup’s ingredients are specific to the owner’s cart – noodle, bowls, chopsticks or spoon, and sauce such as soy sauce, sugar, salt, pepper, ketchup and others.

car4Customers can order small, medium or a large bowls. Small bowls cost about 3500 riel while large bowls about 6000 riel. The sellers usually shout out loud for customer’s attention to their business during morning or afternoon. People like to eat this noodle soup because it is really delicious. I would recommend to try it if you can.

Cambodian Street Kids

Cambodia is a developing country and there are so many people who suffer poverty at the same time. Cambodia suffered a great damage after Pol Pot Regime, which caused most of Cambodian people live a miserable life and in poverty. Still most of Cambodian families have a hard time raising their kids because they have a financial crisis within their family. In Phnom Penh and in the countryside, we can see there are a lot of homeless people who mostly are kids and older people. In fact, each year, Cambodia receives a lot of aids from other countries. Moreover, there are many NGOs who try to help Cambodian children by providing free school, food, and place to stay.

Nowadays, the biggest problem in the Cambodian society is about lack of human resources. Because there are so many kids who decide to drop school and some of them do not have enough money to study. As Cambodia is a poor country, there are a lot of children who do not have a chance to go to school. Most of them end up selling some flowers or bracelets along the road, especially in Phnom Penh; while the others end up working at the restaurants like washing dishes or serving food. There are several factors that lead them to do this.

First, they do not have enough money to pay for the tuition fee. Even in the public schools, kids must pay money to study every day. They are afraid that they do not have enough money to pay for that therefore they decide not to go to school at all. Secondly, their parents do not allow them to study. There are many Cambodian families (mostly poor with low education) that prefer their children to find money to support the family. As a mother and father, why do they do like this to their kids? Why do they prefer to stay at home and let their kids go out and find money to buy food while they are doing nothing at all? In my opinion, I think the reason is that those parents might think that people mostly feel pity when they see a kid sell something along the road and they will end up helping those kids like by buying the flowers or sometime they give more money. I am so shocked to see that those parents just sit under the tree and watch their kids who are 4 or 5 years old stand on the road begging people for money or selling flowers under the hot weather. However, most people want to help those kids by deciding not to buy those flowers or give them money. Therefore, their parents might change their thoughts and stop their kids from doing that. In short, I hope the Cambodian government will come up with a solution to deal with this major problem soon.

Khmer Weddings

In Khmer culture, there are a lot of traditions and rules from one generation to another generation to celebrate the wedding party. In the past, people celebrate it in 3 days and 3 nights. However, nowadays people might think that it would be wasteful to spend too much time and money on it, so they cut it a little shorter, for only 2 days now, but they still have to follow the important rules in the believe of bringing them luck and happiness. Here is how people celebrate their wedding party nowadays. rings On the first day of the celebration, we start at two o’clock in the afternoon to begin ‘Krong Pea Li’, this ceremony is made to pray and call for the spirit of both families to bless the new couple. The groom, parents of both families and guest are all joining in with the blessing from a monastery, except the bride. After, there is another ceremony ‘Sot Mun’ – this one is includes both groom and bride as they are both Buddhists. Three or five monks are invited. People have to be silent, with their heads bowed and their hands in prayer while the monks bless the couple and the guests. Another ceremony starts right after that, ‘Jeav Khan Sla’ which is the traditional ceremony for the newly weds. It is about not forgetting the good acts and love that their parents have given their children from the time they were born to now, when they are getting married and to remind them of how hard it is for parents raise the children. During this ceremony, the bride and groom sit behind their parents and hold an umbrella for them in the meaning of re-paying all the things they owe to their parents. At the end of the first day, after all the ceremonies are done, they enjoy their meals together and go back to their own house. hae jom nunIn the early morning of the second day, the bride and bridesmaids (often 3 maids) have to wake up at about 3 o’clock, do their make up and dress in traditional clothes and jewelry. The groom and groom-maids usually arrive at 6 o’clock since they just have to wear the traditional clothes and the ceremony will start at 7. ‘Hae Jom Nun’ is the ceremony that the groom, parents and relatives attend with a lot of fruits and desserts in the silver and gold trays brought to the bride house. The bride’s parents would come out and invite the groom’s family to their house in order to see the bride. Exchanging the ring is also done at this time. ‘Pi Thi Kat Sok’ the hair cutting starts after that, hair cutin the meaning of cleansing the past of the couple and get them ready to start their new life together. The bride and groom have to sit in the middle and are followed by their maids. One man and woman singers will dance and teasing the couples as they are doing the role of representing the gods who pretending to cut the hairs and spraying the perfume to cleanse their past. The family and guests then take turns cutting and spraying to bring the luck to the couple’s new life. Then we celebrate two ceremonies at the same time sompeas ptem‘Sompeas Ptem’ and ‘Bongvil Popil’. The bride will come out from behind the curtain and kneel down with the groom who has already waiting for her in the middle of the guests who sit in circle. The couple has to hold the sword in their clasped hands. Three lit candles are passed around three times and the guest will use their hands to wave above it to make the smoke fly to the new couple to act as a symbol of luck will be always stay around the couple. The guests and family then come up and tie red strings around the bride and groom wrists as the money or jewelry are given as gifts at this time. At last, the flower that we called ‘Pka Sla’ is thrown to the couple to represent that the couple has successfully been married. groupIn the evening, guests are all invited to the wedding hall, with usually the bride and groom and their parents all standing at the entrance to welcome the guests. Gifts of money are given to the bride and groom as to give them a good start their great new life together. Small souvenir gifts are handed back to the guests as in exchanging of gifts. The guests are served multiple meals (usually 8 kinds of food) and photographers taking pictures of them. At around 8 pm, the couple has to walk through the red rug that is put from the entrance to the stage with all the guests standing along the rug and throwing flowers to them. The couple giflowersves thanks to everyone while on stage, then the bride throws her flowers to the guests who are single and then they cut the wedding cake. Afterward, the bride and groom have to dance and are followed by all the guests in the traditional songs and modern music all night long. In conclusion, traditional Khmer wedding is a very joyful ceremony for the bride, groom, family and guests, all gathering and feel the happiness together.

Khmer Food: Samlor Korko – the King’s Food

Samlor korko is one of the most popular traditional Khmer food dishes. It means stirring soup, but it is special vegetable soup with many greenness and leaves. Local legend has it that Samlor korko has been the king’s food for a longtime and there used to be nearly hundreds of vegetables and fruits were used for cooking the King’s special soup. However, Samlor karko has been changed from the sooriginal recipe to be served in public. Typically, to make Samlor karko, you can choose any meat for cooking like fish, pork, chicken or dove. For fish the great taste is Chlang Fish & Andeang fish. Samlor karko has a great flavor if it is served hot. Cooking Samlor karko takes time because it takes a while to prepare all the vegetables as well as the Kroeung. Khmer people cook it very often though because it has a wonderful flavor. Traditionally, sppeople can create different recipes cooking this dish with adding of different vegetables or fruits such as the young palm fruit Kandieng Leaf or Kampinring Leaf which are great.

Sihanouk Ville – Cambodian Students Vacation

In every country in the world, it always has some beautiful sights to see. Those sights might be a statue, monument, square, temple, or cathedral. Every country is proud of them, and everyone is interested in talking about them. In my country, Cambodia has a most beautiful beach, which captures a great number of tourists all year. Sihanouk Ville is the best place where all the tourists may see some of the most interesting sights they will ever see as it is a port to some of the best beaches around.

Many magazines write articles about how great Sihanouk Ville is and the islands. Years ago CNN did a travel story on Cambodia’s 5 best beaches. This is a little of what was written “Koh Rong is easily one of the Gulf of Thailand’s most gorgeous islands… untouched white sand fringed with palm trees and dazzling turquoise waters. At the southernmost end of this beach are rocks where snorkelers can watch schools of colorful fish. The southernmost cove of Koh Rong…with nearly empty white sand beaches and placid aquamarine waters…is an ideal place for sunning, collecting shells and crabbing….” (CNN)


Well last year, my classmates and I, around 25 people, planned to go and visit Sihanouk Ville for two days. At that time, visiting Sihanouk Ville was a really new experience for us, and we hadn’t really heard much about the beaches or how beautiful and relaxing they are. It took over 5 hours by bus, driving from Phnom Penh to Sihanouk Ville. Along the way, we all felt annoyed about the paved and dirt road because it was under construction, and that caused a lot of shaking to our bodies, especially the head. But finally we arrived the hotel and had a late lunch. Everyone looked very tired, but they had time to check in and relax in the hotel for a few hours.


After that, some of us decided to take a tuk tuk to go to Otres Beach and you know what? We had a problem with negotiating the price (just like a tourist, right), so we ended up walking 20 minutes from our hotel to the beach… long enough to make us exhausted. Everyone was spending the first evening at dinner, viewing the sunset, and most of us enjoyed it with drinking beer and eating some barbecue seafood, chicken, beef and pork too.

KRbThe next morning, we got up with a beautiful sunrise and arranged a boat to visit Koh Rong. It took about 2 hours to get to the island. While riding the boat, everyone was so amazed by the views on the water. During the trip we also had some people play guitar while we sang together. After lunch on Koh Rong, people played some volleyball, others went fishing, and some others rented canoes to race. We spent the entire day doing fun activities and playing in the water. It was relaxing and wonderful.

With all of the amazing memories made there, it is no wonder many tourists choose Sihanouk Ville as the place to spend their holiday and explore the great beaches and have an adventure. More tourists should consider going, it would be a wise decision to visit there!