A taste of Khmer life

I haven’t posted in a while here but my recent trip to Cambodia made me fall in love with the place and its history, the food, the culture – I actually can’t wait to go back. Maybe in 10 years’ time. 😉 For now, I’ll just share a little something to overcome this sudden Angkor obsession.

Sunrise at Angkor Wat

Sunrise at Angkor Wat

The Siem Reap trip wasn’t something I planned. I usually have something up my sleeve in time for my birthday but this year, I just wanted to take a rest. And rest I did. However, J decided to surprise me with tickets – so I guess I didn’t have a choice. (Haha!)

Prior to the trip, I asked several friends over Facebook for travel tips and I found their pieces of advice helpful. I also consulted Trip Advisor, of course. This time around, I can share my own observation based from my personal experience.

Beyond the temples which Siem Reap is most known for (they even have Angkor Wat on Cambodia’s flag!), there’s good food, great culture and tourist-friendly locals everywhere you go.

First things first, get a good hotel accommodation. Since traveling around Siem Reap requires a lot of walking, you’d be pushed to take lots of showers. Best get a hotel where there’s a pool so you can have a refreshing swim after a long day of exploring temples. Also, wear comfortable clothes and footwear. Going at this time of the year, expect to sweat profusely so bring a small towel and a water bottle too so you won’t keep on making stops just to buy drinks. Luckily for us, our hotel (who set our travel itinerary) packed several bottles of water which lasted throughout the day.

Trying out Khmer dishes at Angkor Thom

Trying out Khmer dishes at Angkor Thom

When going around temples, pace yourself – no need to hurry unless you’re there for the sunrise or the sunset. Also, some temples have a strict dresscode. If you prefer to go around wearing sleeveless tops and shorts for most of the time, bring an extra shirt you can put on and a sarong to cover up when going inside temples.

At Temple Bar along Pub Street

At night, you have to check out Pub Street and its many restaurants and clubs. Have a taste of Angkor Beer. Watch apsara dancers perform various traditional dances – they even have their own version of panggalatok. LOL.

During our stay, we ate at Blue Pumpkin, Touich, Temple Bar and Golden Mango Inn – where we stayed. Our tuktuk driver, Lion, also took us to carinderia-style restaurants near the temples for lunch. Don’t forget to order famous local dishes: amok, lok lak and Khmer curry.

Pass by the night market for pasalubong. Here’s a list of some of our expenses:

$40 3-day temple pass
$5 Beng Mealea pass
$2 tuktuk ride
$4 khmer pants
$3 scarf
$1.5-2 drinks
$5-7 regular meal

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