Saturday, December 12, 2015

Phnom Penh

Who knew, in a strange city like Phnom Penh, I found myself again, a new family, friends, and the answers. 
I found love.
Isn't it pretty amazing how travel can change your life ? 

I was in Ho Chi Minh City thinking about where should I go next. I have spent the whole month exploring Vietnam from Hanoi all the way down South and I wanted to see some more. The only option was Cambodia. I visited Phnom Penh and Siem Reap for the first time back in 2012 for a week, the country had stolen my heart so I thought it must be nice to return and explore some more places. I went to the travel agent and booked my bus ticket to Phnom Penh. Something told me that going to Phnom Penh was a great decision. Obviously I had no idea what's going to happen next, things seems blurry, uncertain, but sometimes you just have to listen to your heart, your intuition and let them guide you. That's totally OK to walk the unknown path, enjoy the journey and see how life once again surprises you.

Funny, while so many people going to Phnom Penh because they want to see the Killing Field or museums, one thing that got me super excited like a kid was the fact there's one Indonesian restaurant in Phnom Penh. I haven't eaten any Indonesian food since I got back to Asia so my original plan was having Indonesian cuisine day and night. But of course the universe had more than just rice and beef stew or chicken satay for me, in fact I met bunch of very special people at Warung Bali restaurant. We all became really close like family. Firdaos and Kasmin, the owners treated me just like their daughters while the rest of Indonesian people who work in Phnom Penh were so friendly and it was really wonderful to feel their unconditional love. People out there might busy to chase few things in life that sometimes they forgot to enjoy the present, but we were just simply happy to walk along the riverfront, enjoying the clear blue skies and heat ( and I personally think Phnom Penh has pretty sunsets ) while watching the kids playing or the local exercising.

I heard many travelers thought there's nothing much to do in Phnom Penh, but I actually fell in love with the people I met and eventually decided to stay longer only to see things start to fall into place. From getting my articles published in more magazines and websites, to landed myself a bigger opportunity, I also met some very inspiring travelers, from a girl who traveled for months in Indonesia, a couple who shared their journey in India, a funny Cambodian bartender at Lovely Jubbly Hostel,  to bunch of crazy guys like Erik, Oscar, James, Tim and Ryan that I took to Warung Bali  just because I wanted them to try Indonesian food and of course they loved it. It doesn't have to take so much to appreciate the beauty of life, in Phnom Penh we were all quite happy sharing happiness and life through good food, beers and laughs. The difficult roads did lead me to beautiful destinations.

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