Day 5 – Travelling to Phnom Penh

Shawn’s Birthday!

Today we made our way to the capital city of Phnom Penh. We spent the first few hours driving before taking a boat down the lake through the floating village. People here live on the river half the year before moving to the lake when the water begins to dry up. Some of them live in floating houses on rafts and the rest in houses on stilts!

The are little floating shops selling amenities and the toilet is exactly what we were floating along. I can’t imagine living there. It was literally the middle of nowhere!however, I did see a few satellite dishes so I guess at least we could still catch Game of Thrones 😉

After this we continues our journey to Phnom Penh. We stopped for lunch on the lake in a beautiful restaurant overlooking the lake. I ate fish from the lake, was just like English fish and chips, like being home again! I also had sugarcane juice and my first coconut shake which was super yummy!

On the way to our hotel we made a stop off at Spider village. Now I’m terrified of spiders but due to all my travelling I’ve managed to amend this fear somehow by getting used to a lot of bugs, insects, creepy crawlies and even certain spiders. So it’s like now I have a selective spider fear. I’m absolutely terrified of the common English house spider, looks like the huntsman. Absolutely hate these and the Australian outback didn’t cure this fear for me. So obviously I was a little scared heading to this stop on the trip.

Lady’s came out with all kinds of dead bugs that the locals enjoy to eat. Crickets, ants, scorpions, spiders and even whole birds cooked with beak and all!

They brought out a bucket of spiders and I instantly stepped back and didn’t go near this. Once everything had calmed down and people had stopped taking selfies with the giant black tarantula I decided to face my fear and hold it. It felt just like my cats paws! Rough but furry at the same time, really bizarre! I’d still avoid going near these spiders in the wild as they do have fangs and will bite but luckily these had been removed prior to cooking.

We had the chance to try some of these insects and of course I’m going to do that! Had scorpion in Thailand a few years back and that was incredibly chewy, not that appetising. Spider wasn’t like that. Whilst it was grossly hairy, it was actually quite tasty like crisps!

Cricket was nice but left an awful aftertaste. As for mealworm.. I tried this only to be able to relate to the contestants on I’m a celebrity get me out of here! This mealworm squashed in my fingers and I saw all its insides come out like a sort of paste. When I started chewing the taste was absolutely grim. Never again. Even gipped as I thought I was going to be sick!

Bet Shawn never thought he’d be heading to spider village for his birthday!

When we reached Phnom Penh the city was very different to Siem Reap. Very run down and dirty looking. We were warned several times about bag snatchers. It didn’t look as appealing as others we had stayed in. This night we headed to a local restaurant that our guide took us to. We had a table upstairs where we joined by an extra guest.. A rat! Lovely.

After we enjoyed our dinner the staff then turned out the lights and brought out a cake whilst we sang Happy Birthday to Shawn, it was very cute!

Not a bad birthday if I may say so myself! Although most birthdays would top mine this year that I spent stranded in Houston airport sheltering from the hurricane. Oops.

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