Like 99% of the tourists who come to Siem Reap, we came to see the temples of Angkor and became cogs in the Angkor tourist processing machine – arranging transport, buying a 3-day pass, and temple hopping.
We had heard beforehand of the spiritual nature of the temples and the beauty of their engravings. We had no idea of the scale of the complex and did not fully fathom the number of tourists we’d share it with. Continue Reading »
After the rich, chocolaty coffee in Vietnam, we were hurting for a good cup of coffee in Cambodia.
One afternoon, we followed the scent of coffee on a dirt road near the market in Siem Reap and found ourselves in the home of a coffee roaster. Bags of freshly roasted beans were piled high, but not a drop of drinkable coffee was to be had.
Disappointed, we slunked back to the main street. Sensing our disappointment, the tuk-tuk drivers hanging out nearby asked what we were looking for. We explained our search for strong coffee. They pointed us in the direction of Saigon Café. Continue Reading »
Much of what the visitor to Siem Reap sees are streets filled with restaurants, hotels, spas and other services geared towards foreign tourists. There is another side to life here, however, one that is neither shiny nor prosperous. Continue Reading »
Our bus from Phnom Penh was met by a driver proudly holding a sign saying “Ganiel.” From the moment we got into the car, the driver started his selling pitch as the perfect guide and driver to the Angkor temples. Maps circulated like popcorn inside the car as the excitement level in his voice rose audibly. Continue Reading »
During out first night in Phnom Penh, two bank guards shared their dinner with us after we showed curiosity in what they were eating. They invited us to take a few bites, told us the name of the dish in Khmer, and indicated how much we should pay for the dish to avoid being ripped off. Not quite what we were expected from a city from which we heard reports of “dark and dangerous.” Continue Reading »