CAMBODIA – PUB STREET

Cambodia – Pub Street

Of all the cities I visited in South East Asia, Siem Reap in Cambodia was my favourite. We spent our days exploring ruined temples of the Khmer empire, some hidden in jungles and others restored to their former glory. At night, we wandered around Pub Street, munching on street food, souvenir shopping at Old Market and getting foot massages.

Siem Reap was a small and compact town. Our hotel was located halfway between “downtown” and the Angkor Archaeological Park. To get around, our primary mode of transportation was hiring Tuk-Tuks. Most of the drivers were friendly and understood some English. We always ended up where we wanted to go and only ran into one pushy driver who inflated his price. There shouldn’t be any surcharges based on time of day.

Pub Street, was a lively area filled with spas, restaurants and bars, and clearly meant for tourists. I liked visiting before sunset to snack on street food and wander around before settling at a restaurant for dinner. Two street food stalls I really enjoyed was one selling fried glutinous rice patties filled with chives and another making fried pearl noodles.

For dinner, I was drawn to the table top BBQ at Easy Speaking Restaurant, right along Pub Street next to bars and clubs. We sat at a table outside to people watch and met a very friendly street (hopefully clean) cat. To be honest, the restaurant was kind of a tourist trap, but that’s the atmosphere we were looking for that night. English menus were available, beers were cheap, ($0.50 – $1.00/glass) and the nightclub next door provided a lively background. Service and food though ranged from meh to not good. We had to be aggressive in getting a server’s attention. An older couple next to us sat for a solid 30 minutes before anyone even came by to take their order.

We tried the set bbq that included vegetables and 5 meats. At this point in our trip, I was trying to get as many vegetables into my diet as possible. The meats included chicken, frog, crocodile, snake and kangaroo. I’d tried all the animals except Kangaroo before, which was lean and mild in flavour. Our server set up the grill and we were left to cook the rest ourselves, similar to Korean BBQs.

Dinner was interesting, fun and included cats (by the end of our meal, our table had attracted 3 cats who napped under our table, patiently waiting for scraps). Not amazing in terms of taste but perfect for a touristy night out in Siem Reap.

On our way home, The Hubby and I were also fascinated by the colony of bats that lived in tall trees, basically in the middle of town. Our tour guide explained the bats have always lived there and were a part of the scenery. He seemed quite perplexed by how long we spent taking photos of them and staring.

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