All posts tagged: Light

Love Letter to Cambodia

  I loved Cambodia from the first rain soaked evening I arrived in its rambling French colonial-era capital Phnom Penh. Coming from the craziness of Vietnam, where crossing the street means taking your life in your hands, I appreciated its laid back, easy going charm. People are different and so are travel experiences. I’ve heard some negative reports about Cambodia, but I can honestly say it was one of the best countries I’ve ever visited and somewhere I’d love to return to. The month I spent there can be summed up as: temples, yoga, beach, food, coffee, wine. AKA heaven. A word on the food; Cambodian food is often lessened when compared to the cuisine of its neighbours, Thailand and Vietnam. But I though Khmer food to be delicious! Their way of making curries reminded me of Malaysian cooking, delicately layered spice that’s tastier than just firing in chillies! Also, the French influence means there are some fantastic French restaurants. Try Le Cyclo in Phnom Penh for Bouef Bourginon followed by chocolate mousse! This is …

Tea & Silence: Hoi An, Vietnam

Hoi An is a beautiful city in Central Vietnam, full of artfully crumbling French colonial buildings and a lantern strung Old City where the lights are turned off at night. It’s the kind of city you plan to visit for a weekend and end up moving to. In Hoi An is a tea house called Reaching Out. In the Old City, it’s a comfortable cafe with lots of polished dark wood and a lovely sun trap area out the back. The carefully presented tea and coffee trays would be reason enough to visit. But there’s another reason to visit Reaching Out; it is almost completely silent. The staff are all deaf or hearing impaired. You order using a printed form and pencil. You ask questions using carefully labelled blocks provided at your table. You are encouraged to communicate using gestures, sign language and smiles. The silence is refreshing. Coffee shops are usually loud; milk steaming, coffee beans grinding, people chattering, baristas shouting, mugs banging, glasses clinking. There’s none of that here. It’s a wonderful place …