This is week two of Cambodia pictures at A Traveler’s Library. Cambodia was one of my favorite destinations ever. Partly because I had waited so long to go there. Partly because during the 1970′s I thought it would be impossible to ever get there. So when I had a chance in 1999, I was thrilled. We only went to Siem Riep and to several of the temples nearby, plus a drive to the floating village of Tonle Sap, but it was an amazing experience. If you have the chance, GO. And although you’ll think you are going for Angkor Wat, remember that is only one of dozens and dozens of temples. Take my word for it, don’t miss Banteay Srei, the Woman’s Temple–a glowing golden delight (but we’ll see some of that next week.)
This week we are in and around Siem Riep. First the downtown market, which was right next to our hotel, The Ta Phrom. I got up before breakfast and wandered through the market. Other than the gag-inducing meat section, it was a delight. But how much can you identify?
Not all markets are on dry land.
When people ask me where I ate the best food in my travels, I always immediately think of an army base in Taiwan where as part of a visiting governmental group I feasted on so many courses that I lost track after the 12th or so. But I loved the food in Cambodia because it was so fresh, so centered on things that grew just outside the door, and so subtly seasoned. We were being cautious about not eating fresh fruit and I was devastated when the hotel dining room brought us a complimentary plate of fruit–a heaping platter of tropical fruits, all beautifully sliced. There was no way to adequately explain to them why I was not eating their terrific gift. But the fish dishes and the fantastic cominations of vegetables. And our guide told us one night at a restaurant that we should try the elephant feet. Hmmm, we said dubiously. But we believed in eating what the locals ate, so elephant feet it was. Turns out that was a name for a vegetable dish. Glad we took the chance.
These photos are part of my contribution to Travel Photo Thursday. To see more from other travelers, go to Budget Traveler’s Sandbox. Come back next week for a look at Khmer art.
All of these photos are scans of prints from 1999, so they are not as pristine as later digital shots. But nevertheless, they are mine, and you should not copy them. Thanks.