A Graceful Way to Start the Day

How Civilised: iced caffè latte with a chocolate brownie (note the tiny “tree fork”).

Followed by an almond croissant. The temptation was overpowering.

Soft French jazz music in the background.

A graceful way to start the day …

(Lagrace Cafe, Street 178 Riverside Phnom Penh, Cambodia)

SE Asian Street Juice Vendors Feeling the Squeeze

It’s surprisingly difficult to find street vendors selling fresh fruit/vegetable juices, in Phnom Penh Riverside, Cambodia.

Five years ago, they were seemingly on every street.

Perhaps they can longer compete with convenience stores on price and variety? These little cans – this “winter melon” is delicious – cost USD60c.

Cafes/bars/restaurants (having costly rent and expenses) sell freshly squeezed orange, watermelon (a personal fav!) and coconut juice for USD3.50-USD4.

Lok Lak Lunch

Lok lak lunch. An essential joy of visiting Cambodia.

The side dish of Kampot pepper, garlic, chilli and salt – I like to lift that egg and blend the pepper mix through the steamed rice.

Heaven on a plate. At Bgari Restaurant, Sisowath Riverside Street No.1, Phnom Penh.

Lunch: The Phnom Penh Street Buffet

Lunch is a selection from a Phnom Penh “Street Buffet”.

I’m opting for the “lemon grass chicken” take-away.

Bits of chicken off-cuts (plus bone), the lemon grass as edible tiny ringlets, and some “demonic” red chilli.

With steamed rice.

Verdict: full of flavour.

(Back in my guest house and within a minute of “tucking in”, Miss Brindle, the neighborhood cat, appears on my balcony to “serenade” me. She is rewarded with the bone bits but – no surprise – she leaves the leftover chilli untouched.😊)

Lemon grass chicken is one option at a typical but popular street vendor in the Doun Penh Riverside district of Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Our Hunger for Plastic

South-East Asia & Plastic: this is from one very simple lunch.

Pork, vege and rice USD2.50, from a popular street vendor in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

(Tasted good, too!)

This visit I have seriously reduced my plastic consumption:

● I’ve washed & reused a plastic bowl/spoon/fork/knife;

● go out always with a used plastic bag in my pocket for incidental purchases (those little cold cans of beer);

● given my empty plastic water bottles to housekeeping to recycle.

But still …

Pasta in Phnom Penh – Delizioso!

A taste of something different for lunch today: Italiano classico on the riverfront in Phnom Penh.

Khmer food is on “hold” and opting for pasta spaghetti with olive oil, herbs, extra Parmesan and clams.

They nail it. The pasta is “to the tooth”.

A good choice, for under USD10. Bgari Italian restaurant, on Street 1. I will be back.

PS: they also do a good breakfast cappuccino here and we Melburnians are very picky about coffee

Alas, The Piquant Mini Sausage Piques My Interest No More

The piquant, mini sausages of South-East Asia.

At every breakfast buffet, cafe, street cart vendor.

A staple of any Asian traveller’s diet; the acme of manufactured meat.

I used to enjoy a small – very small – portion of these zestful mystery bags.

That is, until my recent flight from Vietnam to Cambodia, when a fellow passenger seated to my immediate rear, and obviously a “mini sausage” gastronomist, had an excess of wind.

The flight suffered severe flatulence, not turbulence.

It was 90 minutes of non-stop, emanating mini sausage, sickly sweet piquancy.

For the first time, I had wished that face masks were still mandatory on flights.

Sadly, I now find these sapid snags to be beyond the boundaries of my otherwise wide and adventurous palate.

So, I shall conceal in a serviette these two items left over on my breakfast plate (you’ll notice everything else has been scoffed with satisfying alacrity), and spirit them away to my guest house room where, hopefully, they will be welcomed by my balcony’s nightly visitor, a neighboring cat I’ve nicknamed Miss Brindle …

Travel’s Belly Rebellion

Phnom Penh, Cambodia: Travel’s “Rebellyon”.

Bouncing back after 2 days of “belly rebellion” – and a diet of only electrolytes in water – I’m putting my inner production line to the ultimate stress test: The Big Breakfast!

And keeping the immodium handy. Just in case.

Vietjet Spices Up Aussie-Vietnam Airfares Market

Travel Good News: Vietjet has spiced up the Vietnam-Australian airfares market.

If the Qantas/Jetstar tale of woe is getting you down, perhaps try a different option: Vietjet, Vietnam Airlines and Bamboo Airways, have direct flights between Sydney/Melbourne and Hanoi/HCMC.

Vietjet says that from today (March 6) “any passengers who fly on Vietjet from Sydney and/or Melbourne to Ho Chi Minh City will be eligible for free connecting flights departing from Ho Chi Minh City to other destinations within Vietnam, such as Hanoi, Da Nang, Nha Trang, Phu Quoc, and many others”.

Vietjet also has $200 AUD economy promotional fares until October 25, and discounts on business-class fares.

Check out the website and app – and safe travels!