Phnom Penh: Pottery lesson with my son at The Art Bar

My pre-teen son loves bonding, and I love it! My husband and I try to find unique ways to bond with him to have fun and to create memories that he would remember forever. We found out that the best way to connect with him at this age is to get on what he is interested in doing. For example, he loves bonding with his dad over watching a movie at the theatre or playing Ipad games together or swimming. And he loves bonding with me over cooking a simple dish like meatballs or baking a cookie or walking in the park.

Pottery lesson at The Art Bar, Phnom Penh

Pete loves art. He loves to draw, he loves crafting, and he loves to create something new from scratch. So one weekend afternoon, while my husband was swamped with work, Pete and I indulged ourselves in a pottery lesson at The Art Bar in Phnom Penh.

Pottery lesson at The Art Bar, Phnom Penh

Pottery lesson at The Art Bar, Phnom Penh

The Art Bar is a tidy, cozy place with experienced staff. Pete and I went there before for a “Sip and Paint” session. For both activities, our instructor was Mr Danny, he was competent and patient and nice.

Pete with our instructor, Mr Danny

When Pete heard about the idea – pottery lesson, he was ecstatic. And I couldn’t forget the enthusiastic look on his face from getting out a bag of clay and getting his hands dirty – preparing the clay, centering the clay on the wheel (pounding, palming, coiling, etc), shaping, and tearing (using a string to cut piece off the hump).

Pottery lesson at The Art Bar, Phnom Penh

Pottery lesson at The Art Bar, Phnom Penh

It was our first time to use the pottery wheel, and we both had so much fun. It felt kind of relaxing especially when your hand was on the swirling clay and your feet were on the ground. We enjoyed every part of the process, it was so magically creative.

Pottery lesson at The Art Bar, Phnom Penh

Absolutely, our pottery lesson at The Art Bar was a beautiful and exciting experience. And, I believe that shared times like this with my son provides him with marvelous memories, helps him express himself, and helps him develop out-of-the-box thinking.

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Cambodia: Full moon walk with my son at a park in Phnom Penh

When my siblings and I were still little, our parents number one priority was our education. They did not spend a truckload of money on entertainment in order for us to have fun. They taught us that the most fun things are free. In fact, my childhood best growing-up memories were right in our backyard, in our neighborhood. And one of those I have enjoyed since I was a child was walking or playing at night at the beach with our neighbors, by the moonlight. It was very fun and it offered me a new and different perspective on how the world was mutating from an ordinary landscape during the day into a wilderness at nighttime.

Full moon walk at a park in Phnom Penh

When I learned that the moon was full on the night of 17th April 2019, I took my son for a full moon walk at the park near the Independence Monument in Phnom Penh as we are living in the capital city (far from the beach and the mountain) . We strolled for 6 rounds in the park making it about 7km under the moonshine.

Full moon walk at a park in Phnom Penh

Wandering as slow as a snail pace, we talked about the moon. I explained to Pete that the moon makes no light of its own instead it reflects the sun’s light back to us. The moon is full when the orbit that carries it brings it close to the earth but not behind the earth so that it can very nearly fully lit by the sun. When the moon is behind the earth, it is a dark moon (it means that there is moon but we can’t see it). When the moon is between the sun and the earth, it is a total eclipse. Furthermore, we also talked about nature, about family in the Philippines, and the Lent season. It was marvelous – leisurely and educational.

Full moon walk at a park in Phnom Penh

The moon is indeed mysterious and alluring. This winsome white and shapeless mass gleams with radiance, bringing light on the darkest of nights. It dances through the twilight sky, and hides in daytime. Even though the huge pale ball seemed to be quite dull to other people, it always beamed a smile at me.

Certainly, it was a special night and great opportunity for me and my son to bond. Plus, the moon that was wandering companionless followed us home as we sauntered through the night and kept watching us from the distance.

Cambodia: Discovering Street Art in Boeung Kak in Phnom Penh

Boeung Kak Lake, also known as Lakeside in Phnom Penh, was a backpacker’s haven. We went there once in July 2010, spent a couple of minutes – chillin’ in one of the bars in front of the lake while enjoying the lake breeze. At that time we hadn’t heard about the street art there until very recently.

Street art in Phnom Penh

Street art in Phnom Penh

Since our son loves visual art, we decided to explore Street 93 in Boeung Kak so that he could see and experience how street art looks like.

Street art in Phnom Penh

Street art in Phnom Penh

The Street 93 in Boeung Kak is a small, colorful alley. As we walked through it, we saw murals and paintings on the walls. A lot of the street art were in front of people’s home – some were even hiding behind the parked tuktuk or clothesline. I heard that some locals and tourists alike come and paint there to bring life back into the area.

Street art in Phnom Penh

Street art in Phnom Penh

Street art in Phnom Penh

Once there, I noticed that Boeung Kak Lake’s vibe was different when compared in 2010 – it’s quite calmer and quieter now. After the lake was completely drained and filled in, some homes have been cleared out and hordes of gypsy travelers are no longer there. Likewise, while wandering around the area, we spotted small children playing in the streets, some locals cooking their food, etc.

Street art in Phnom Penh

Street art in Phnom Penh

It was nice to see the street art, although it rained while we were there. I enjoyed the street art but not the place – it’s still kind of dodgy.

Street art in Phnom Penh

Street art in Phnom Penh

Street art in Phnom Penh

I realized that street art is interesting, creative, unlimited, vibrant, eye-catching and diverse. I think the murals and the paintings in the street remind people to feel alive and make them happy. It also inspires, motivates, allows people think, and makes peoples’ ordinary day a lot more interesting.

Street art in Phnom Penh

Street art in Phnom Penh

Little Lilly travel tips:

  • How to get there: Take Monivong Blvd. Turn left when you reach the traffic light near Phnom Penh Hotel. Keep going until you reach the mosque. Then turn left as soon as you see the bright murals on the walls it means you’re on the right street.
  • It’s free. There is no entrance fee to walk through the art district.

Cambodia: A visit to the chapel in Areyksat Village in Phnom Penh with friends

One of the things I enjoy doing very early in the morning at weekends while my two handsome boys are still enjoying their sleep is to visit the Chapel in Areyksat Village in Phnom Penh with friends. The village is about 15 minutes by ferry boat ride from the city.

While waiting the ferry boat to Areyksat Village

A cousin’s friend introduced me to this place very recently, and since then we have visited it several times – about 7 times. We took a ferry boat at 6AM. Once there, we stayed for about an hour before we headed back home.

Here are 4 reasons why I love to visit the chapel in Areyksat Village in the morning:

1.The chapel in Areyksat Village is small and beautiful. It is unique as it houses 2 statues of Mother Mary – the statue of Virgin Mary was found by a Cambodian Buddhist in the Mekong River on November 19, 2012 and the statue of Mary, Mother of Mekong River was found by a Khmer Muslim and 8 Vietnamese fishermen in the Mekong River on April 16, 2008. I love visiting this chapel early in the morning because it’s very quiet – a perfect place for praying and for meditation.

before heading back home

The main door of the chapel

The Statue of the Virgin Mary

The Statue of the Virgin Mary

with the Statue of the Virgin Mary

2. The ferry boat ride is fascinating especially since it crosses where the Tonle Sap River and Mekong River meet. The water is very calm and peaceful. As the morning breeze touches my face and the warm sun shines on me, it brings a feeling of excitement, joy, smile and a wonderful sense of expectation.

aboard the ferry boat

aboard the ferry boat

the ferry boats

The ferry boat

…to the village

on our way to the village

3. I like going there early in the morning because it’s fresh, not too hot and not too crowded. Plus, I could see the sun creeping over the horizon – magical.

…and every sunrise is always a marvel

…and every sunrise is always a marvel

…and every sunrise is always a marvel

…and every sunrise is always a marvel

…and every sunrise is always a marvel

…and every sunrise is always a marvel

…and every sunrise is always a marvel

4. The village seems interesting. It seems that it is popular for bicycling, as I noticed many cyclists while aboard the ferry boat. In addition, as the ferry approaches the wharf, I saw several small boat houses where some poor families live. Likewise, inside the chapel compound, I’ve noticed a wee school (with 2 or 3 classrooms) where they teach mostly small Vietnamese children since most of the families living nearby are Vietnamese.

can you see the boat houses?

The boat houses

A boat house

Certainly, the early morning trip to the chapel in Aryeksat is a beautiful start to the day – happy for the breath of fresh air, and grateful for all the goodness that surrounds me and for the beautiful family and friends I have. I love it! And next time I go there, I would bring my family and explore the other part of the village.

Little Lilly travel tips:

  • The ferry boat ride is very cheap – almost nothing as it only costs 500 Riels ($0.125) each way person.
  • The ferry boat is available from 5.30AM to 8.00PM daily.

 

Phnom Penh: Sip and Paint with my tween son at The Art Bar

Being a mom of a pre-teen boy is a rewarding part of my life. Even though he is our only child, we don’t spoil him with many toys but we want him to experience things and stuff for his own benefit and at the same time to strengthen the bond between us

@ The Art Bar

Fortunately, our pre-teen boy is the most fun to hang out with because he is always up for some new adventure. So, one beautiful Saturday afternoon, I found some spare time on my work schedule, and I wanted to make the most of my time, and since my son loves art, I took him to The Art Bar for a sip and paint course.

@ The Art Bar

@ The Art Bar

The Art Bar is a new art entertainment in town where you can fuel your imagination. It offers activities like painting and pottery.

@ The Art Bar

Before we started, we were only given 6 colors – white, black, blue, green, yellow, and orange, and our drink was also served. Then, our instructor started with a sweet welcome speech and followed by a lovely explanation about each type of brush we were going to use, how to combine colors to create a totally new one, and how to clean our brushes.

@ The Art Bar

The art instructor @ The Art Bar

@ The Art Bar

@ The Art Bar

Then we started to paint. Throughout the course, our instructor taught us different techniques such as how to make dark, medium and light shades and how to create the desired effect we wanted. He also walked around us and since we were only 4 on that session he had enough time to help each one of us.

@ The Art Bar

@ The Art Bar

Personally, I’m no artist – I never held a brush before. Although my son loves art, yet it was only his 2nd time to paint on a canvass. However, it was not a problem at all because the art instructor guided us step by step along the way. At first I was quite skeptical since I had never painted in my life, but I’m proud and I love how my painting turned out. Since then, I fell in love with painting, and I can’t believe how habit-forming it is.

Proud of my first painting, 2/16/18 @ The Art Bar, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Here are 3 reasons why we like The Art Bar:

  1. The experience. It was fun and even though we are amateur with painting, we were not intimidated. I also love the idea of bridging the gap between a non-artist person and the art world. My son and I learned basic painting techniques and I was able to unleash my inner artist.
  2. The place. I liked the vibe of the place – it’s cozy, spacious and studio type.
  3. The staff. They’re friendly and helpful. They also didn’t mind taking some photos of us while we were painting.

@ The Art Bar

Overall, my son and I enjoyed the 2-hour painting course, and our faced was flushed with pride that we were able to create our own masterpiece! Certainly, it was an absolutely amazing mother-and-son bonding moment, and we’ll definitely coming back for a pottery course!

@ The Art Bar

If you are looking for something artsy, something creative, something new to do in the Penh with family or friends, The Art Bar is a perfect place for you!

@ The Art Bar

Little Lilly travel tips:

  • It is located at #225, Street 45, right below the Chroy Changvar Bridge. There’s not enough signs on the road though, so if you’re driver has a difficulty in finding the place, the best way is to call the Art Bar and let your driver talk to the receptionist.
  • It is open every day from 10AM to 9PM.
  • We paid $25 per person for a 2-hour session of Sip & Paint which includes painting materials, a drink/beverage of your choice and a whole pack of amazing fun!
  • You can make reservation online at www.theartbarkh.com or by phone +885-299-188.

Phnom Penh: An afternoon stroll at Wat Phnom

Do you know how Phnom Penh, the capital city of Cambodia got its name?

Take a break from the bustle of Phnom Penh and take a serene walk through the park of this exquisitely built Wat Phnom roundabout situated up on a hillock, where the city got its name.

Wat Phnom

Wat Phnom

According to the legend, when a wealthy widowed Khmer woman named Daun Penh was dawdling by the riverbank, she found a Koki tree and she noticed four bronze statues of the Buddha inside it. She took the statues out and constructed a small shrine on a manmade hill. Then in 1437 King Ponhea Yat named the new city as Krong Chaktomok Mongkol or Phnom Penh. Through the years, it became a sacred site and sanctuary where people pray for more blessings, to make wishes for good luck and success in business or school.

Wat Phnom

Wat Phnom was built in the north of the city center in 1372, and stands 27 meters high above the sea level. To the north, you will see a busy market. To the west, you could choose to drop into a café. To the southeast, you can see the Post Office Square, which gives you a glimpse into Phnom Penh’s colonial past, the Chinese House and The Exchange, both offering a contemporary take on beautiful historical buildings and great food.

Wat Phnom

Wat Phnom is a very calm area in the middle of a beautiful garden. It has a great park for people to relax. It has many old Buddha statues of different types as well as wall paintings. At the west of the sanctuary there is a prominent stupa that contains the ashes of the king and his royal family. There are stunning views of the grounds and the buildings. This is a good place to witness real religious habits and tradition from Cambodian people.

Wat Phnom

Wat Phnom

I think the temple’s most striking element is the giant flower clock that has 20 meter circumference. I have learned that the original clock was a gift from France which was installed in 1960s and in 2000 it was re-installed with a newer version which was a gift from China.

Wat Phnom

We have been there quite a few times, and we’ve always had a nice walk. The temple at the top is really impressive, the vegetation is magnificent and the structures are fascinating, but most importantly the historical background makes it more worthwhile to check out.

Wat Phnom

Wat Phnom is a beautiful temple, and it’s certainly a zen place in the middle of the bust city.

Little Lilly travel tips:

  • The best time to visit the place is from 4PM to 6PM – at this time it’s not too crowded and not too hot.
  • The entrance fee is $1 for foreigners.
  • You can buy a songbird at the entrance and release it.
  • There are always quite a few mischievous monkeys around Wat Phnom, so keep an eye on your soda, your snack, your wallet and your smartphone (a monkey stole my Coca-Cola once and would just not give it back).

Beat the heat at DIB Club

What’s the perfect way to cool off under the kiss of the summer Cambodian sun? Under the open sky, we took a dip in the soothing warm water, with stunning views of the tropical surrounding while relaxing with my family.

DIB Club

DIB Club

DIB Club

DIB Club is a brand new place in Phnom Penh blessed with a refreshing breeze from the Mekong River. When we arrived at the place, we were pretty impressed with the swimming pool – a huge, clean outdoor pool to lounge at!

DIB Club

DIB Club

DIB Club

Each poolside is cozy, perfect for lounging, dining and conversing.

DIB Club

DIB Club

Also, the kids can enjoy the paddling pool and the bouncy castle.

DIB Club

DIB Club

The entire place is tidy and nice. The food was good even though it was quite pricey for what it was. Plus, there was only a limited choices of drinks, and the music was too loud.

DIB Club

DIB Club

Overall, it’s one of the good places in Phnom Penh where to relax and beat the heat with family or friends away from the bustling city.

DIB Club

DIB Club

Little Lilly travel tip:

  • It is located on Kock Pich Street, near Golf Driving Range in Diamond Island, Phnom Penh.
  • The pool charge is $5 per person. However, if you order food and drinks there, you can use the pool for free.
  • You can make a reservation at (+353) 099-997-740.
  • No happy hour.