By Abigail Roberts
Cambodia: a lively, colourful, relaxed and un-explainable atmosphere… perhaps the most enjoyable travelling experience I have had. Never-ending strips of markets and endless stores, temples, jungles hotels, and unfamiliar, cheap eats are what makes this country fascinating and unique.
Things to do:
1. Try Bamboo Sticky Rice
One amazing dish I still remember trying was Bamboo Sticky Rice and it is still one of the best meals I have tried to this day: it consists of rice, black beans, coconut milk and sugar, cooked in bamboo – a famous dish in Cambodia that is simple and sounds rather average yet … only when trying this do you understand why it is so famous!
2. Visit the temples
The 50 world-famous temples near Siem Reap are one big part of Cambodia’s tourist attraction… and the largest and most well temple is the temple of Angkor Wat. The history of the ancient city of Angkor is that during it’s peak, the city was at least as large as Berlin! In 1181-1218, it was the largest empire of the time, and there were around 750,000 people occupying it. After the city and its temples were abandoned for reasons unclear and became swallowed alive by the jungle, many explorers came across it, one wrote when describing it that: “It is grander than anything left to us by Greece or Rome, and presents a sad contrast to the state of barbarism in which the nation is now plunged.” To explore endless temples with trees growing inside them, you can spend hours or days walking through their remnants, after taking a short ride on a Tuk-Tuks or in a taxi and admire the landscape and jungle on the way.
3. Visit the markets
When visiting urbanised areas of cities, there are endless markets which sell endless aisles of colourful fruit, clothing, souvenirs, bowls… and other items such as faux bags that one doesn’t need yet feels it necessary to purchase due to such low prices.
4. Ride in Tuk-Tuks
In Cambodia and many countries nearby such as Vietnam, Tuk-Tuks are used as a road-dominating form of transport, you can find them everywhere you look. They are especially used by tourists – as you get an immersive view of the city’s atmosphere whilst riding through it. However, if you prefer a safer and more comfortable, less rocky mode of transport, it is a rather low price to ride in a taxi as well.
5. Try hundreds of cheap delicious meals from endless cafes and restaurants
Khmer Cuisine is much lighter, interesting and tastier than many other cuisines I have tried!
6. Explore Siem Reap, especially at night!
Siem Reap is a busy, crowded city yet feels very safe and atmospheric
7. Project Futures July Cycle Challenge
We must not forget the detrimental and devastating exploitation of Cambodian people that occurs throughout the country. If you would like to cycle for Project Futures through Cambodia to support the victims of human trafficking, slavery and sexual exploitation, just sign up for the 2019 July School Cycle Challenge… a program recommended for students’ years 9-11. This cycle challenge has raised $350,000 for the victims of such extreme hardship.