Friday, 30 July 2010

Siem Reap

Tuesday 27 July: The bustling dormitory hub and gateway to the extensive Khmer ruins of ancient Angkor. I'm staying at Red Lodge where an en-suite room with breakfast, free tea and coffee and a free bicycle (but not to keep!) is just $6 a night.
Siem Reap has two cosmopolitan bubbles at its heart
- 'Pub Street' and 'The Alley' - with a staggering range if international cuisine: from Italian pizza or pasta to Indian thali and from Japanese tempura to Australian kangaroo BBQ or local Khmer fare, to name but a few. Restaurants and bars are wall-to-wall and face-to-face, keeping prices keen - draft Angkor beer, served in a frozen glass, is just 50 cents (32p). My favourite dish is Samlar Ktiss, a traditional fruit soup made with fish or tender chicken simmered in coconut milk with pineapple, tomatoes, lime juice, lemongrass and subtle spices - served with steamed rice it's delicious.
Wednesday 28: The modern Buddhist temples in town, like many in Cambodia, reflect a more recent past - nameless human skulls are piled high, a memorial to those exterminated by the Khmer Rouge, a trauma from which the Cambodian people are still recovering.
Pictures of Siem Reap .

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