Cambodia is possibly one of the few countries that Si and I both haven’t been to since Si has been living in Southeast Asia so much longer than me. Our first impressions of Cambodia were positive due to the very short 45 minute flight from HCMC to Siem Reap, tourist friendly logistics, very friendly people, and beautiful sights. 3 nights and 4 days was the perfect amount of time for us to explore Siem Reap and get some R&R. Of course Siem Reap is a major tourist destination to see the expansive UNESCO World Heritage site Angkor Wat. During our trip during Tet holiday, there were many tourists from Australia, China, Japan, and Korea enjoying their holidays alongside us. On the first full day, we hired a tour guide and a tuk tuk driver from our hotel. We purchased a two day pass to access all the different temples.
The second day, we woke up at 4:30AM and watched the sunrise at Angkor Wat near the reflecting pool. We continued on to other temples that were off the beaten track, which also included a 45 minute hike where an intricately carved riverbed of 1000s of Lingas and reclining Buddha’s was depicted.
My take on Khmer food: It is a mix of Thai and Chinese. We tried some Khmer specialties like Amok Curry, where the curry is somewhat of a toned down version of Thai curry. We went to Khmer Kitchen and also had upscale 8 course Khmer cuisine at Meric, a restaurant located in Hotel de la Paix. The food de résistance however, was not a regional cuisine dish. It was the up market café called The Blue Pumpkin. Sometimes you can’t help crave for familiarity because that familiarity feels reminiscent to home. The Blue Pumpkin houses ice cream, baked goodies, and café style plates. Their salads, veggie ciabatta sandwich, and burgers are an absolute must. Wash it down with a Coconut Berry Shake and you will be automatically revitalized from the hot heat outside. The Blue Pumpkin became the daily lunch location of choice and the dessert place to satiate our sweet tooth.
The Blue Pumpkin
365 Mondol 1
Svay Dang Kum