Friday, September 3, 2010

Eating funky meats in Cambodia...

My South East Asia tours continues with a visit to Cambodia!
Alligator, Kangaroo, Ostrich, Tarantulas and Red Ants...those were some of the meats I tried for the first time in Cambodia...

Warning... wide load :)
Roadside Tire Repair
Known for the beauty of Angkor Wat, the atrocities of the Khmer Rouge and lately as a favorite spot for foreign NGOs, these NGOs while having the best of intentions ruined some of what made Cambodia unique, almost all prices are in USD reflecting the fact these workers have plenty to spend, at the same time the country is one of the poorest in the regions and this can be seen all around the capital and the country. So I sometimes wonder just how the local residents can survive, I went to some very nice nightclubs frequented by the Cambodian elite, and I can say the cars parked out side, the women inside and the exclusivity were at level usually seen only in the States. Of course, as a gringo, somewhat well dressed, you can usually access these clubs, since they like foreigners...

We headed back to Phnom Penh and went to a local restaurant run by a NGO that employs homeless youths... We found some interesting items on the menu.. Fried tarantulas and a chili sauce made with red ants... Of course we ordered them as appetizers... :) Tarantula meat tastes like chicken... Really!
The following day I was walking around the city, and after a lovely 1 hour foot/leg massage (a great deal at less than $5 with a huge tip) I found this little restaurant that offered a grill deal.. 3 meats for $6... You could pick a wide range of meats, I picked ostrich,  kangaroo and alligator!  3 new meats and they sure were tasty! They brought a small grill to your table and cooked it to order!

What can I say, Cambodia was a foodies paradise... They also have a great rooftop bar at the Foreign Correspondents Club, FCC a historical institution and building that is mentioned in almost all of the books written about Cambodia and the Khmer Rouge...  Enjoying pints of tasty cold beer for a dollar while overlooking the city and rivers was great.
Wanna Buy a pet bird? I guess this would count as the local version of PETCO :)

But Cambodia is not known for the food, its known for some of the worst atrocities  and just like Rwanda these part post European holocaust events, the chants of never again were never heard in those countries, the west simply shrugs it off and ignores tragedies that have killed thousands and they focus on one off deaths. Enough of my rambling... Google s-21 and the killing fields, bizarre feeling,  I was walking next to human bones in the killing fields, saw pieces of cloth that belonged to victims killed over 30 years ago... Really a chilling place and situation...

Google Khmer Rouge...
They enclosed the balconies in barbed wire so no one could jump and try to commit suicide

Then it was time to head up to siem reap once we got there we took a side-trip to see thee floating villages, these settlements house ethnic Vietnamese who live in limbo in cambodia, they cannot own land and are fored to build huts that "float" more like stand on pillars... It's a weird feeling, 2 year olds floating around in pans, and the funny part was that are boat was targeted by mini-pirates, a small boat would come up to our boat and a little kid would jump on board and try to sell us drinks.


Funky Meats:

Fried Tarantulas!
Tarantulas taste like Chicken!

Ostrich, Alligator and Kangaroo!

Grilled Ostrich, Alligator and Kangaroo! :)

Now it was off to explore Angkor Wat but that will be covered in another post...

1 comment:

  1. Loved all your photos! sounds like a great trip, I will use it as a travel guide!