Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Cambodia: Siem Reap beyond the temples

While the temples were the highlight of Siem Reap, the people were a close second.

The Cambodians we met had a great sense of humor and were kind to our fumbling attempts at speaking Khmer.
So this was our ride for three days.
We hired a driver through our guesthouse and he waited for us at each site, gave us water, made us laugh.
Pretty much, he was the whole package.
Plus, he was the fastest, yet safest tuk-tuk driver around.

He worked at Prohm Roth Guesthouse which we found using Airbnb.
It was basic, but sufficient.
At $14/night, it was a steal.
Amok: a traditional Khmer dish served in a banana leaf.

Coconut milk for all! (Yes, that is a coconut.)
Cambodia BBQ was one of my most favorite eating memories of this trip.

We had heard about Cambodian BBQ and asked our driver if he knew a place.
He said he wasn't sure if we would like it, but knew of one popular with the locals.

He dropped us off and then shouted from the tuk-tuk, "Help yourselves!"

It starts with a buffet. Once you sit down, your table is given this cauldron of sorts with a flame underneath. Oil is put in in the donut-shaped dish and you cook/grill your food.

How it all worked was not obvious to us. We spent half the time watching (gawking at) everyone else and copying.

I cannot tell you what we ate. I can only give you vague ideas (meat of some sort, noodle-ish stuff).
We believe the white thing on the top of the grill plate is a piece of fat. The only English our waitress spoke was "No eat" as she pointed to that.

It was fantastic, so it must be true that ignorance is bliss. :)

Indulging in cheap "spa" treatments was the highlight of Cambodia.
After walking for hours all day, my poor swollen feet (the heat and humidity ballooned them right up!) needed some TLC.

We enjoyed a fish pedicure (pictured above).
Technically, the fish are supposed to eat off your dead skin.
In reality, it just tickled like no other.
Since we didn't drink beer, we got the pleasure of feeding the fish for only $2. :)

We were also spoiled with amazing $3 foot massages.
I mean, seriously.
We really loved our driver.

He tried to teach us Khmer, but we failed miserably.
I am so grateful for his patience and forgiving smile every time we botched our pronunciation.

Aside from shopping (night and wet market) and eating, we kept our evenings pretty low key.
Low key = jet-lag drunk and passed out by 8:30.
The 14 hour time difference was a beast.

We were sad to leave to adventure awaits in Thailand!

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