Stories from the Road: Month September


Anticipating what the weather would be like for this month is tricky. Sometimes the weather report tells us that it’s sunny in the morning and right before we step out of the door to work, it starts to pour. I’ve invested in a 25cents plastic raincoat, which can only be used twice (and then it gets torn) for the rainy days, as it’s a challenge to hold an umbrella while you’re on a motorbike.

We’ve also returned to places we’ve been to and discovered things that we didn’t see before. Following our instincts we went to the Russian Market and explored many corners of it since the weather is quite cooling. If it was any other days, we wouldn’t be able to last 2 hours in the market with the heat seeping through the zinc roofs. Here’s a summary of what went on in September which consists of mostly food exploration!

Where we went.

  • Stayed put in Phnom Penh

Major Highlights.

# Having steamed Pau for lunch. During one of our lunch hours, we saw the owners steaming one of the steamed pau to a group of customers. So we asked her for non-meat options and she recommended the egg as well as the taro flavors. The steamed egg pau was mixed with kaya making it strangely familiar in taste while the taro was sticky and thick.

# Having Indian food for dinner. This is Septembers food theme, go Indian! We miss banana leaf rice a lot and this was the closest outlet to home. We looked for restaurants with good reviews and visited Tastebudz, which has good dosa selection. This was the first time I tried dosa which is similar to tose, light and fluffy. We paired this with curry and dhal, which was so good!

# Located the Best Iced Coffee in Phnom Penh. I’ve read so much about Mr. Bounnareth and his local brew from the local and international travel guidebooks. We took our time in locating him in the food area of the Russian Market and through another lane where drinks and desserts were sold. There was Mr. Bounnareth himself at the stall, preparing iced coffee for his customers. The $1 per glass coffee was quite strong that it gave us the shakes (of our hands)! Otherwise it’s slightly bitter aftertaste is what people love.

Iced coffee at Mr Bunnareths stall in Russian Market.

Iced coffee at Mr Bounnareths stall in Russian Market.


# Getting a doughnut fix near Wat Botum Park. Sudden cravings for something sweet on a weekend brought us to Pauls Brewhouse. The recently renovated café is now a 2-storey building at the corner of Sothearos Boulevard with a new name. Peapbol’s BrewHouse still serves American doughnuts but have added more Khmer flavors into their menu. I guess this brings more people into the café as we kept seeing youths enter and head on upstairs.

# Something Malaysian for the soul. What would September be without a visit to the Halal Mamak Malaysia restaurant, for some nasi lemak with fried chicken? The rice with sliced cucumbers, fried peanuts with anchovies, and a dollop of sambal perked our weekend morning outing. To tell you the truth, we were searching for bundled shoes and decided to stop here for a bite.

I really miss nasi lemak and this is the best there is at the moment.

I really miss nasi lemak and this is the best there is at the moment.


What a bummer and lessons.

# Taking an open air shower. This is not what you think, although visually it could mean that. With the downpour of rain comes the flood, reaching our knees (or my waist even) if we were to wade in the water. I’ve had to ditch the handbags and go for a backpack instead which is easier (waterproof too). During one evening after work, I took a ride with my colleague and we ended up soaking wet until we got home. Note to self, get a raincoat because it’s only $.025. Seriously.

On working abroad.

# Meeting regional colleagues. Once a month, we get visitors from our Vietnam office and it’s nice to get to know how things work on their side. We learned a lot from each other especially when it comes to digital implementation and I’m always up for absorbing new things.

# Cambodia Dream Contest with dbk Community. I joined my colleagues in a weekend drawing contest with the dbk Community in Boeng Kak Lake. The theme was “Cambodian Dreams” and the children were encouraged to draw what they feel would be the future of the Kingdom of Wonder. A few participants were really serious about this contest as they came with their own coloring tools and equipment. Others were there to enjoy the day by expressing their creativity through drawing. It would be cool to have more initiatives like this for the kids in Cambodia as it inspires them to be creative.

With the organizers of the Cambodian Dream contest.

With the organizers of the Cambodian Dream contest.


What’s next.

Skipping town during the public holiday here for a taste of Bangkok, Thailand.


About Yafieda Jamil

A Malaysian girl currently working abroad in Phnom Penh city. I love a good road trip, hot cappuccinos, spicy food and staring at old buildings. My mission is to inspire people to see the world differently before we all get any older. Oh and giraffes are the most beautiful creatures on earth.

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