Bangkok | Cambodia | Vietnam | Laos
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Where To? Cambodia
How long? 7 days
Status: Temples, Tarantulas and Treks
13WoW – In Cambodia
Getting to Know the Cambodian People
To summarise Cambodia in 3 words, it would be temples, tarantulas and treks.
Cambodians are beautiful people, kind, warm and friendly. And all this is despite the horrific genocide that took place by the Khmer rouge nearly halving their population not even 40 years ago. This genocide affected everybody and most will have at least one family member who was killed by the regime. I highly recommend you educating yourself on this if you choose to visit Vietnam by visiting the interrogation camps and the killing fields in Phnom Peng.
And make sure to book a tour guide to get the not-so-official full story that you will not get by listening to the government approved audio guides (I recommend a tour guide called Nay – just ask if you want his details).
I was also lucky enough to have been able to have met 2 of the 5 survivors of the interrogation camps. I bought one of their books for $10, the proceeds go to a charity to help those affected by this genocide.
Tasty Little Creatures
Actually, the one of the first things I came across when entering Cambodia was Tarantulas.
Believe it or not, deep fried tarantula is a delicacy in this part of the world, as well as many other insects.
A couple of my tour group were brave enough to try some insects. I was not!
There was a fiasco where a member of the group was holding a bigger tarantula than the one above and then it started to quickly crawl up their arm. In that moment we all screamed like little girls and dropped the poor thing in a puddle. The seller was not amused as taranulas can die in water.
I was glad when we stopped at this restaurant to get a real lunch. Needless to say, Beef with Fire Ants was just one of the wonderful options on the menu.
And later that day visiting the New Hope restaurant (see my previous post) deep fried crickets were brought to the table alongside other (more delicious) Cambodian dishes; coconut curry with pumpkin, beef lok lok, crispy vegetable parcels and more!
With Asia being predominantly Buddhist, you don’t have to look far to find a beautifully designed temple. But some of the oldest and best temples are located in Cambodia.
Here are some of the temples I visited:
Aside from the many temples that you could lose yourself in for days on end, Cambodia has lots to offer.
We visited the circus which is produced and performed by the locals and tells a story about the Cambodian people. You will be pleased to know there were no animals involved.
If you were feeling like interacting with some animals, you can pay a visit to Wat Leu temple where monkeys freely roam and like to hang out with man (especially with a food incentive).
Cambodia also has a number of trekking spots, some great beaches and even waterfalls!
And if you’re thirsty, they are not short of good bars!
Overall, Cambodia has a bit of everything! You have a lot of choice and a lot of variety – just watch out for the street food as it’s slightly less reliable than some other parts of Asia and be prepared to pay more if you stick to dollars rather than convert to Riel.
Next stop, Vietnam! X