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Reaksmey Wat Phnom Guesthouse

Reaksmey Wat Phnom Guesthouse is located in center of Phnom Penh, close to interesting place where you wish such as Royal palace, National Museum, Wat Phnom … There are shower, television LCD/plasma screen, internet access – LAN (complimentary) in each of the hotel’s well-equipped rooms. For the comfort and convenience of guests, you’ll also find room service, laundry service/dry cleaning, airport transfer on-site. Facilities for recreation and leisure available include massage. Everything the hotel does is centered around the guest’ experience, ensuring comfort and relaxation.

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Wat Phnom

Wat Phnom is the oldest and the tallest religious structure in Phnom Penh, it was built 1373 and it stands 27 meters. Wat Phnom means “Temple of the Mountains” or “Mountain Pagoda” and it is a Buddhist Temple.

Legend says that a wealthy widow, Daun Penh, found a large koki tree in the river. Inside the tree she found four bronze statues of the Buddha. Lady Penh constructed a small shrine on an artificial hill to protect the sacred statues. Eventually this became a sacred site and sanctuary where people would make blessings and pray.

Today, many people come here to pray for success and good luck. It is also one of Phnom Penh’s many tourist attractions so you will find a lot of beggars and women and children selling drinks, souvenirs and birds in cages. You buy the birds to let them free but the birds are trained to return to the cage afterwards.



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Phnom Penh Water Park

Phnom Penh Water Park  is located at  Confederation de la Russie. They have three large water slides, jungle gym, and lots of shallow areas for smaller kids to enjoy. Water park offers fun for the whole family.

Weekends are best, as the largest slides are typically turned off during the week.

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Microbrewery in Phnom Penh

Craft beer in Phnom Penh, Obama and Stuffed Frogs – interview with Neo Say Wee, Brewmaster at Himawaris Microbrewery

Ten years ago, when Singaporean Neo Say Wee studied Computer Science he developed a great interest that was shared by many of his peers, namely Beer. Neo interest went further than most, he had a hunger to discover the skills and craft man ship behind a great tasting beer.

…Not only to enjoy it as the final product but how all the ingredients builds up to the final taste, the importance of clean environment and tools, knowing how the micro-organisms works and are affected and of course the challenge in making good beer

Today Neo works at the award winning Brewerkz Restaurant & Microbrewery in Singapore as a professional brewer. In 2011 he got an invitation from a friend, Andrew Tay at Himawari Hotel, who asked him if he would like to setup a microbrewery here in Phnom Penh.

Microbrewery can be defined as a brewery that usually produces beer, also called Craft Beer, and is small, independent and traditional with limited production size.

Cambodia has many good local Lager beers but only a few microbreweries. When Neo accepted Andrews invitation he decided that he wanted to create a high quality ale microbrewery. He saw it as a big but exciting challenge.

Himawari Hotel
Himawari Hotel


Machines from China, Malt from Germany, Hops from New Zealand, Yeast from US and Belgium and uv-filtered Cambodian water with extra minerals


In November last year, Himawari Microbrewery opened it’s doors as Cambodia’s first and only microbrewery in a 5 star hotel.

Himawaris Microbrewery
Himawaris Microbrewery

The brewery is currently producing three craft beers; Honey Sap, Nelson Blonde, Gem & Jade.


Nelson Blonde, Honey Sap and Gem & Jade

Nelson Blonde

A light tasting and low bitterness Blonde Ale with 4.5% alcohol. The Hops is important from New Zealand with the distinctive flavor and aromas of Nelson Sauvin hops… spicy food would work well with this beer.


Gem & Jade
A more robust and more bitter Ale with 5% alcohol. Pacific Gem & Pacific Jade “Alpha” hops are used and together with the malt to create stronger more complex mouthful beer, slightly toasty taste… that goes well with Burgers and BBQs


Honey SAP
Himawaris Honey Ale – the Honey SAP is a light tasting and low bitterness Ale with up to 6% alcohol. Honey from the Tonle Sap and Mondulkiri is added and gives the beer a sweet taste…


…Honey Ales are globally having an upswing maybe somewhat thanks to The White House, as The White House is producing its own Honey Ale by the request of the President Obama

Obama Honey Ales
The White House is producing its own Honey Ale by the request of the President Obama who purchased a home brewing kit using his personal funds.

Neo reveals:

My own favorite is the Gem & Jade, as I like more bitter Ales”

but he also enjoys commercial beers when he can:

I often drink commercial beer for taste calibration, as it must be a reason why commercial beers do well.. Understanding the local beer culture and preference is important factor in creating a good local crafts beer

Special brew for Chinese New Year

Special brew for Chinese New Year, a Cider made of Apples Juice, Fresh Dragon Fruit, fermented with Champagne yeast

The microbrewery will be ready to start serving the Red Dragon Cider from 10th of February.

Red Dragon Cider
Red Dragon Cider

Neo also told us about a Cambodian specialty that he found very tasteful

Korng Kaib Bouk is something special, I have not seen it anywhere else, very delicious and I enjoy eating once and a while when I’m in Phnom Penh. It is charcoal cooked frog stuffed with minced pork, spices, garlic, chili, fish sauce and lemongrass. Very tasty.

The Chef Gordon Ramsey featured this specialty on one of his visits to Cambodia.

It might not be found on the menu but they do have a full bar menu suited for the craft beers and for those who prefer a good cigar to a good beer there are Davidoff cigars too.

Himawari Micro Brewery is open daily, 12pm – 10.30pm.

Now in February there is a 30% happy hour discount between 5pm-7pm.

See address and more information here.

Neo Say Wee - Himawaris Brewmaster
Neo Say Wee – Himawaris Brewmaster

Hope to see you and let me know what you think about the beer! Cheers!

Your Phnom Penh interview with Neo Say Wee,
Phnom Penh
January 2013.

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Markets in Phnom Penh – Where to go for what!

Phnom Penh is a city filled with markets and sometimes it can be hard to know what market you should visit and where to find what. The eight most popular and central markets are Russian Market, Central Market, Olympic Market, Orussey Market, Boueng Keng Kang Market, Kandal Market, Old Market and Night Market.

Most markets have a wide selection ranging from fresh food to clothes to households supplies to motor parts, but the markets still differ a lot and they are specialize in different areas.

The most popular market among expats and tourist is definitely Russian Market, where you can find; souvenirs, handicraft, western sized clothes, handmade silk, fake bags and English DVDs. This is also the market where you will need to bargain the most.

Central Market, which is housed in a beautiful Art-Deco building, is the most spacious and cleanest market in Phnom Penh. Central market has the biggest supply of jewelry and gemstones of all markets and probably the freshest food section.  You can also find a lot of shops selling electronics and household electronics around the market.

The biggest and most crowded market is Orussey Market, which is the commercial center for Cambodians in Phnom Penh, here you can find almost everything except souvenirs. There is also a lot of stalls and shops on the streets around the market.

Olympic market and Boueng Keng Kang Market are the two most popular markets among young Cambodians when they go shopping for fashion, such as clothes, accessories and shoes. Olympic Market offers imported products from other Asian countries and has a good selection of fabrics. Boueng Keng Kang Market on the other hand does also offer imported products but mostly second hand products, a good place if you are looking for vintage stuff.

Kandal Market and Old Market are two genuine local markets and are the best places to go to if you want to get a glimpse of the local culture or if you want to get some local food.

Phnom Penh’s Night Market is relatively small and is only open Friday to Sunday from 6pm until midnight, but it is a nice and airy market located on riverside close to the restaurants and the nightlife. The night market is aimed towards tourist and offers mostly touristic stuff.

When you are shopping at the markets there is a few things you should keep in mind; none of the markets is indoor with air-conditioning so drink a lot of water and bring a small wet towel that you can keep around your neck to cool off and dry off your sweat with.

If you want to buy fresh food you should try to go to the market as early as possible, preferably before 9 am, before the food has been out in the heat for too long.

When negotiating the price remember that Cambodia has almost no domestic production and most of the commercial products are imported, that is why it is sometimes more expensive in Cambodia than in neighboring countries.

Read more about the markets here!


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Four health aspects to keep in mind when living in Phnom Penh

Being an expat in Phnom Penh is both a pleasure and a challenge. Expats need to adjust to cultural and climatic change when arriving in Cambodia. From a health and nutritional viewpoint there are some clear areas that can affect an expats waistline and health when migrating to the lifestyle in Phnom Penh. Here is the four main aspects you should keep in mind when living in Phnom Penh.

The first, stay hydrated. Our bodies are 75% water so staying hydrated is essential for all bodily processes and functions. The human brain is made up of 95% water, blood is 82% and lungs 90%. A mere 2% drop in our body’s water supply can trigger signs of dehydration: fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic math, and difficulty focusing on smaller print.

In addition, dehydration is often mistaken as a feeling of hunger, prompting individuals to eat more when really all they need is to hydrate, resulting in overeating. In hot climates it is essential that expats increase their water consumption. There is no one answer to the question of how much water is sufficient. We each need a different amount depending on age, sex, size, composition, etc. The best rule to follow is that of clarity: your urine should be ‘clearish’ or have a slightly yellowy tinge in colour.

The second, try to avoid Monosodium Glutamate (MSG). MSG is widely used in cooking in Cambodia as a flavour enhancer. The risks associated with ingesting MSG are simple and straightforward: brain damage, endocrine disorders (obesity and reproductive disorders), behaviour disorders, adverse reactions, and neurodegenerative disease. Try to avoid MSG wherever possible. MSG in Khmer is “bijeang” (also known as “ma sao soup”). So simply ask for NO BIJEANG  (in khmer you say “ot york bee-jeng”) when ordering any food and at best it will not be used and at worst the quantity used will be reduced.

The third, limit your alcohol consumption. Alcohol is the second highest energy-providing nutrient (7kcal per gram) behind fat (9kcal per gram). Phnom Penh has a very active nightlife and social environment with eating and drinking out being so affordable. People generally increase their alcohol consumption with moving to Phnom Penh due to the lower cost of living, great evening weather and social opportunity. Alcohol has an adverse effect on weight gain in a number of ways; 1) increased energy consumption, 2) causes dehydration, 3) affects liver function (one of the main roles of the liver is to metabolize/’burn’ fat within the body), 4) weakens & poisons the immune system, to name just a few. Try to moderate your alcohol consumption in line with recommended limits.

The last thing you should try to avoid over consuming is sugar and refined grains. White rice is the foundation of the local cuisine. Our bodies’ process refined grains and sugar into energy very quickly and if there is no energy requirement this energy is then quickly converted into fat and stored. Through evolution Europeans are not ‘made’ to metabolize large quantities of grain, being more likely to be protein or mixed metabolic types. Furthermore, if you eat out (especially at Khmer restaurants) you can guarantee sugar has been added to your curry, sauce, peanuts, juice, smoothie, etc. The sugar and refined carbohydrate situation is the reason diabetes is a wide spread problem in Cambodia. To keep a check on your blood sugar levels I recommend when ordering drinks ask for no sugar, ask to substitute rice for a side salad or vegetables and limit consuming curries or heavily sauces meals.

If you can control and moderate these four aspects of Phnom Penh lifestyle you will acclimatise easier, help maintain your weight and decrease your risk of falling prey to sickness or poor performance.

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Riverside Suites Phnom Penh

Riverside Suites Phnom Penh is situated on the corner of Street 144 and Sisowath Quay, front of riverside. It is just minutes from Royal Palace,  National Museum,  Central Market and night clubs, close to tourist sites, restaurants and the city’s nightlife. All rooms have television LCD/plasma screen, ironing board, internet access – wireless as well as other amenities. Guests will enjoy the hotel’s excellent facilities and services including bar/pub, room service, safety deposit boxes. Massage are on-site for guests’ enjoyment. Guests will find this service-oriented hotel with superb facilities and amenities provides excellent value.