Posted by: Simon & Becci | September 25, 2012

The iceman cometh

A quick cultural blog today. As in several Asian counties, many of the houses in Phnom Penh double-up as small businesses, with families selling products and services from their front room that opens out onto the street. Every day we travel past rooms converted into photocopying shops, mobile phone retailers, mini markets, cafes, hairdressers and everything else imaginable.

Most of those selling drinks and food do not have the finances to afford to buy and run a fridge freezer, so the question is: how do they keep things cold? Meet the iceman…..

Everyday, a large number of these businessmen travel across the city with flatbed trucks packed with large blocks of ice. In true Postman Pat, just as day is dawning, they travel from house to house delivering the day’s supply.

However that is not the end of their service. Each iceman comes armed with a cross between a sword and giant bread knife, which they use to cut the ice into the required size and shape for the vendor’s cool box. Think ice cubes on a whole new scale.

Quite how the ice remains intact on the truck after several hours in 30+ degree heat is somewhat of a mystery….




  1. Amazing! It Stung Treng it is a larger industry!

  2. This is most interesting, dear Simon & Becci. Thank you for being so observant. 🙂

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