Monday, September 18, 2006

 

Cambodian Zoo

So anywayz, after eating some dried frogs, we continued our journey to Phnom Tamao Zoo, 40km South of Phnom Penh. I wont type too much about the zoo, coz most of the info can be found at the following link.

http://www.leisurecambodia.com/Leisure_Cambodia/No.16/places_interest.html


However, I will say that this zoo was a very unique experience, and one of the coolest Zoos Ive ever been to.

Before we even got there, we had to turn onto this shitty little dirt road full of potholes. We could barely move on the tuktuk, so we had to ditch the tuktuk part (ie the trailer) and I got on the back of the bike (and the front! he let me drive for about 5 minutes. It was rather hairy, as the steering was totally shot, and the front break lever wasnt even connected...but I survived!).

We were greeted by about 30 monkeys upon arrival (behind a fence). So I bought a few bunches of bananas from a local entrepreneur, and within 2s, all 30 monkeys had pretty much jumped the fence and started attacking me. Well they would have, had I not thrown or dropped all the bananas in my surprise (it never occured to me that the fence meant nothing to a monkey, stupid me!).

We then entered the zoo proper, and had similar problems with some deer.

There were a couple of young (local) dudes as well, who kept following us and pretty much being our tour guides. They carried giant coconuts, and kept encouraging me to throw em over the fence to feed the animals...rather smart, coz they then charge u a small fortune for the pleasure. (you should see the bears rip into em though!).

The coolest part was probably the crocodiles (or are they alligators?). Unlike most places in Oz, there is only a single sire fence keeping em at bay. I waz lucky enough to have 1 right up against the fence, so I could literally have patted it if I had wanted. I was satisfied with taking closeup photos, and keeping a nice "safe" 15cm distance from it.

Other cool animals included wild boars, lots of monkeys and various monkey like creatures. One of em allows u to shake its hand, except its "partner" (ie its boyfriend, lover, husband, and all round protector) always tries to keep people away....so in the photo below, I was smacked in the head about 1/2 a second later!! Serves me right I spose.

(Pics coming soon)

Thursday, September 14, 2006

 

Tasty Food

After saying goodbye to Gunnar & Justin (who were heading down south to the beach, despite the fact there was alot of rain and little sun - just as well, as it has flooded bigtime as u can see from Gunnars blog! http://www.ballofdirt.com/entries/11109/181620.html), I spent the next 2 days hangin out with my tuktuk driver Joe, who became a bit of a friend. This may or may not have anything to do with the fact he enjoyed laying back in his tuktuk and smoking (very low quality) reefer, which I hadnt done all holiday). Anyway, he took me to a cool local restaurant (ie no foreigners) where the menu is written in proper Khmer (so u cant even read the numbers!! As they use weird characters for everything but 0). The highlight though were the street hawkers though - the restaurant seemed to have no problem with us buying various bits of food from em, so in no time we had a nice little pile of odd looking food.

Unfortunately, I didnt have my camera with me. But I can tell u, that in the space of 5 minutes, I tried

- Fried Ants (both flying and walking ones)
- Fried Spiders (big, fat juicy black ones!)
- Fried grasshopers (probably the tastiest of the 3)
- Fried teenyweeny shrimps, that are so small u have to eat em shell and all (and surprisingly, they didnt really taste any better than the grasshoppers)

The restaurant lady was so impressed, she even gave me some BBQd snake to nibble on.


The next day, we went down south, on a rather long journey (it probably wasnt that far, but his bike is an incredibly shit "Hongda" that requires him to pour water on the engine every 2 kay or so to keep it cool) to the Animal sanctuary (ie the Zoo).
On the way, we stopped off for a quick snack. I was kinda hoping for some hot noodles, but none of that was to be seen (we were out of the city and in the middle of nowhere it seemed). Instead, it appears that the locals like nibbling on dried frog and snake jerky, so thats what we did!



Yes folkes, thats Ge-Nu-Ine frog jerky there, sauce and all.

So did I give it a try?



And what was the verdict?


Bloody tasty as u can see!!!!

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