Travel recommendations, hotel reviews and more!


Sihanoukville is a four hour drive away from the hustle and bustle of Phnom Penh. It is a beautiful coastal province and port city on the Gulf of Thailand.

Sokha, Sihanoukville

We went down for the weekend, and stayed at the most incredible hotel, the Sokha Beach Resort.

Sokha Beach Resort

SihanoukvilleThe hotel is right on Sokha beach, and has an amazing pool (with a pool bar). They did the most incredible lychee martinis.


We spent most of the weekend down by the beach, or lounging by the pool, but we woke up early on Saturday and managed to hire a boat to ferry us to the islands just off the coast. We had a brilliant time being ferried around the islands by Mr. Yeats, snorkeling off of the boat and exploring the little islands. My favourite was Ko Ta Kiev.

Sihanoukville 2011-02-06 04.03.51 Mr Yeats, Sihanoukville Sihanoukville

Mr. A and I explored some of the bars on Serendipity beach at night, which was a lot of fun. It was such a perfect weekend and I don’t think you can get much closer to heaven than sitting on a beach in Cambodia! The islands are quiet and it’s worth bringing a packed lunch as there aren’t many shops or restaurants near by.

For food in Sihanoukville, I can’t recommend Chhne Meas enough! Recommended by a local friend, it’s a seafood restaurant looking over the water, and has some of the most delicious seafood I’ve ever had in my life. It’s unbelievably reasonable, too – we paid $48 for a table of six, with a bottle of rose, crab, prawns, lobster, little fried fish and a giant snapper – with personalised service! My favourite part of the meal (besides the lobster, of course) was the Khmer dipping sauce for the seafood. Made with salt, lime juice and kampot pepper, it complemented the seafood perfectly and will definitely be recreated at home!

Restaurant Review: Public House, Phnom Penh

Last Thursday we went to the season 3 premiere of Loy9, a mass media campaign funded by the UNDP and Sweden and produced by BBC Media Action. The show aims at empowering the youth of Cambodia (under 30) – who make up 68% of the population. The premiere was a great success, and the quality of the cinematography and writing of the show was excellent – I really enjoyed the episode, even if some of the references were lost in translation!

After the premiere a few of us trotted on down to street 240, and down an unassuming alley where we came across Public House.

Public House, Phnom Penh

This dark alley is full of hidden treasures, including the Artillery Cafe which is a must if you are into organic, healthy food and green juices. From the outside Public House doesn’t look like much but the interior is decked out nicely with a nautical feel.

Public House, PPPublic House, PPPublic House, PP2014-03-20 20.51.05

I absolutely love the design and attention to detail seen at the Public House. The cocktail menu was extensive (always a good sign) and the menu full of eccentric twists on classic dishes. They even had scotch eggs on the menu, which Mr. A couldn’t resist. They serve afternoon tea, which is something I will definitely be returning for soon! After a day of running around in the heat, I skipped the cocktail menu and settled on a pot of Japanese sencha.

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Each dish was presented beautifully – just look at this duck on this bed of cous cous!

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I couldn’t resist the burger, especially as the menu said it would be served with ‘tom tom’ sauce which piqued my interest. I was slightly disappointed to discover that ‘tom tom’ sauce is, in fact, ketchup, but that didn’t take away too much from the delicious burger in front of me.

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We finished the meal by sharing a Bailey’s ice cream which was absolutely divine.

Public House, PPDefinitely one to check out when you’re in Phnom Penh!

The Killing Fields

No trip to Cambodia would be complete without confronting its dark and complicated past. We rose early and left Phnom Penh to make our way to Choeung Ek, also known as the Killing Fields. Choeung Ek was once an orchard, but became an execution ground for the Khmer Rouge regime under Pol Pot. After the fall of the regime mass graves containing 8,895 bodies were found at the site, many being those of prisoners who were formerly held at the Tuol Seng detention centre.

The Killing Fields

By arriving early we had the place to ourselves for a while, and opted for the audio tour. This allowed each of us to go to each stop at our own pace, and reflect upon the horrors that had taken place there between 1975 – 1979. An hour or so into our trip massive foreign tour groups arrived at the centre, guided to each site by a tour guide. I personally found the big, loud tour groups to be disruptive and distracting from the whole experience. One of the group I arrived with felt the behaviour of one of these groups to be so disrespectful that she had to leave.

Choeung Ek

It wasn’t an easy experience to go to the killing fields. The surrounding countryside is beautiful and the memorial stupa, or Buddhist memorial is really moving: inside the memorial stupa is a tower of human skulls taken from the graves. But knowing that each rainy season brings even more bone fragments to the surface, and that children were also killed at the site by those pursuing a deranged political vision is chilling. Having said that, I believe that the trip should be mandatory to those visiting the country as I feel that we can learn a lot from the events that occurred at Choeung Ek.

The Killing Fields The Killing Fields 2014-03-17 23.14.18 2014-03-17 23.09.07 The Killing Fields

Restaurant Review: Dine in the Dark, Phnom Penh

In February I took Mr. A to Dans Le Noir in London as part of his birthday present. For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, at Dans Le Noir you dine in complete darkness. I mean, you can’t see the hand in front of your face, and for most people it’s probably the first time you’ve been somewhere without a single source of light. It was a great experience – dulling the sense of sight seemed to heighten the other senses of sound, touch and smell, making a really unique culinary experience.

As great as Dans Le Noir was, I preferred Dine in the Dark, located on Street 19 opposite the Lovely Jubbly hostel in the heart of Phnom Penh.

Dine in the DarkDine in the Dark

Perhaps it was the fact that I opted for the Khmer menu (the other choices were International and vegetarian), and that it was my first time having Cambodian cuisine. Or, perhaps, the fact that the restaurant was set up with the help of a local NGO (Krousar Thmey – School for the Deaf and Blind), who employ visually impaired guides to help you to your seats promoting equal opportunities. Either way, Mr A, my friend Sophie and I had a great time.

The lovely Fredo, our guide, encouraged us to use our hands to eat our meal, which was such a relief. At Dans Le Noir there were several moments where I put my fork up to my mouth to find there was nothing on it! Using my hands allowed me to feel the texture of the food, all of which was delicious. I also liked the fact that I wasn’t limited to ‘surprise’ cocktails like its London counterpart, and as a result had a few too many cosmopolitans with my meal.

We ended up having a gorgeous salad with beef, spinach, cashew nuts and prawn crackers as a starter, followed by a fish amok curry in an aubergine case served with sticky rice. After this came a trio of soups in shot glasses, a lovely touch, and an incredible rice pudding. And I mean that – I am so not a fan usually but the addition of the exotic fruits and condensed milk was absolutely divine. After we finished our meal (two hours later – time just flew by!) Fredo led us back into the light, and we were shown gorgeous photos of what we’d just eaten on an iPad. I did sneakily take some photos of my own which I’ve decided against sharing – you’ll just have to go and experience it for yourself!

We retrieved our phones and cameras from the locked box (so you aren’t tempted to whip your phone out and ruin the experience for everyone else) and jumped into a tuk-tuk to go bar hopping. After months of £11 cocktails, can you blame me if I was a tad overenthusiastic at the prospect of $2.50 cocktails?


The aptly named Amnesia, from Jaan.

Blue Mekong

Followed by several Blue Mekongs, sipped as I looked out over where its namesake meets the Tonle Sap.

Restaurant Review: The Sushi Bar, Phnom Penh

On our second day in Phnom Penh we headed down to The Sushi Bar.

We went to the Boeung Keng Kang, or ‘BKK’ location, surrounded by some of the best spas, bars and shopping in Phnom Penh. The area has a cosmopolitan feel, probably due to the concentration of international schools in the neighbourhood. The South-East Asian chain has several dotted around Ho Chi Minh, but only opened in Phnom Penh in 2012.

Sushi Bar Phnom Penh

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I’m usually fairly picky about my sushi – despite my limited budget. Which is why, on first sight, the front cover of the menu didn’t fill me with confidence – sushi ain’t something to joke about! A big red flag for me when I go into a sushi place is mayonnaise anywhere near the rolls – it is just unnatural,  and same goes for cream cheese in my opinion. I’m open minded and up for fusion cuisine but there are just some things you don’t mess with.

Sushi Bar PP

Luckily this wasn’t a problem at the Sushi Bar. I was really impressed with the selection – particularly with the negi tuna handrolls and the aburi, or broiled tuna sushi which I have yet to find in London.

Sushi Bar Phnom PenhI went for the sushi set A – my personal favourites were the eel and ikura (roe) as well as the salmon. I really loved my meal, but the others weren’t so keen on the scallops or the squid – they found theirs chewy to the point of inedible.

Aburi tuna

I greedily ordered the aburi tuna (centre) while the others ordered a negi handroll (left) and salmon avocado handroll (right). I  loved the aoshiso addition but again, the others weren’t a fan! All down to personal taste.

Negi TunaAnd being on holiday and all, I just had to order the negi handroll – I was getting bad food envy!


Washing it down with a few sips of the local draft beer – (Angkor), my experience at The Sushi Bar made me a very happy girl. I definitely recommend it!

Sushi Bar Phnom Penh