All my Southeast Asia travel tips, now all in one easy post. The following contain where I went, how I got there, and where I stayed, plus some other helpful, relevant information. Enjoy!Read More
While Southeast Asia can be a laidback adventurer's paradise, it's also home to some pretty chaotic cities (Bangkok, Saigon, Kuala Lumpur). Escape the crazy and be sure to add these six charming towns to your next SE Asia itinerary for a little calm and a whole lotta charm.Read More
During my second stint in Otres, I had the good fortune to be invited to a Khmer New Year get together thrown by the contractor/construction worker who's been building the new bungalows for the guesthouse where I stayed, Mama Clare's. Hung (ethnically Vietnamese but living in Cambodia) invited Clare and her guests to come round for some afternoon food and drinks, so I hopped on Clare's motorbike and off the small group of us went.
Hung's house lay just down the road behind the few stalls that comprise Otres Village, located in a cluster of makeshift dwellings made up mostly of wood and corrugated metal. There was an awning hanging over a concrete rectangle, where Hung and his wife and friends had unfurled a bamboo mat and had laid out dishes of a river fish smoked in fish sauce, fried eggs, and spring onions sautéed with dried shrimp and peppers. We sat around cross-legged and picked at the food with chopsticks, cheers'ing every few minutes with freshly cracked cans of Angor beer -- the Cambodian custom seems to be to open a new can and say cheers and drink about half the can before opening a new one (or polishing off the can immediately and opening a new one, perhaps I'm just a slow drinker).
All around us the children played in the dirt, threw talcum powder on each other and squirted each other with water guns, while chickens waddled by and water buffalo lazily slept in a field just beyond Hung's home. Clare had mentioned that Hung might have children with more than one woman -- it was unclear. But there were maybe 30 some children running around, and a handful of adults, the women mostly shyly out of sight, minus Hung's wife who joined us for beers and food and a bowl of her own noodles after spending most of her time in the wooden hut where the cooking is done over hot coals.Read More