Asia, Cambodia, Travel, Wander

Beyond Temples: Seeing Another Side of Cambodia

DSC_0112

I was in Siem Reap a few weeks ago, for the first time, with my hubby. I thought it would be interesting to share our non-temple experience first to show you guys that there’s more to the place than their ancient temples. Hopefully, it can give you a different picture of the place, its people, and its culture.

Here are some of the things I enjoyed and things that made me raise my eye brows:

1. Street Markets
If you want to get a good sense of how the locals live, check out their street markets.

The numerous food and fruit stands, silk stores and bronze shops, and the roving caravans can only tell you how hardworking the Cambodians are. And mind you, this I saw on a hot hot sunny day.

DSC_0020DSC_0036

DSC_0028

I would have been more amused if I saw carabao powered version of this

DSC_0060

does anyone know what fruit this is?

DSC_0068

I’m not used to seeing cooked baby crabs being sold on the streets like this except on night markets

DSC_0035DSC_0059

2. Tuktuk Kerosene Station

Their creativity was entertaining, too. Just look at the self made kerosine refilling stations. In the rural Philippines, our approach was more straight forward— pour all the bottle content directly to the kerosine tank. No pumps and tubes required.

DSC_0034

seems like an extremely busy day for our friend

3. Hand-Made Silk
I love natural fibers and my skin does, too. In Cambodia, you’ll find a lot of stores selling silk from machine to hand made ones. As I looked around the store, the prices made me cringe. It reminded me that silk remains up until now a luxury product.

DSC_0024DSC_0025

4. Croc Bags
It’s disconcerting how rampant croc leather stores are in Siem Reap. It’s almost like McDonalds: you see it on every block (which in its own way is also disconcerting).

DSC_0120DSC_0057DSC_0091

 

5. Peace Cafe: Cooking Classes, Dining, and Yoga
I’ve always found eating healthily difficult, especially while I’m traveling. When I find places like Peace Cafe, I can’t help but wonder why there aren’t more many like it all over the world.

I super love this place. I could just hang out here the entire day. Start with an invigorating yoga session, followed by a meal from nature’s harvest. They even teach you Khmer language and you can give back by teaching English to the local kids.

You should definitely drop by the Peace cafe. I mean just look at how it made my restless hubby really relaxed.

Stay curious and travel more,
Chris

DSC_0079 DSC_0077

DSC_0080IMG_2932