Seeing Siem Reap, Cambodia

Woman chopping raw fish - right in the center of the Siem Reap market

Woman chopping raw fish – Siem Reap market

A Traveler’s Preamble

It’s been too long since I’ve posted on my blog, but there are good reasons for it (well, I think they’re good reasons.) Back in August, I took my trip to Bangkok, Thailand … and in the midst of that trip I took a side trip to Siem Reap, Cambodia.

After 2 days I left Cambodia and returned to Thailand … and then flew from Thailand to Manila.

Eventually I left the Philippines and headed home, to the east coast. I had barely unpacked my suitcase before I had to fly off to Europe: Zurich and Prague.

While I bounced around the world like a ping pong ball, I didn’t post to the blog. I saw that people were looking at my postings and photos, which was nice. Thanks for reading, even while I was “away.”

And now, a glimpse into my travels in Cambodia.

Siem Reap

If you’ve never heard of Siem Reap, Cambodia, then perhaps you have heard of Angkor Wat? Siem Reap is the town located adjacent to the Angkor Wat temple complex.

Angkor Wat was a life changing experience for me; I am not yet prepared to cover it in this blog post, or probably even one blog post. It’s monumental.

One incredible carved rock face five stories tall, at the Buddhist temple within Angkor Wat.

One incredible carved rock face, five stories tall, at the Buddhist temple within Angkor Wat.

Today, I wanted to share some photos from the Siem Reap market, which is in the center of the town. It’s an authentic market, with plenty of fresh food that the locals want to buy. Just on the edge of the center-most food section of the market are the many tourist stalls selling t-shirts, dried herbal tea, sterling silver wares.

Siem Reap has its own airport. There are hundreds of tourists who arrive from around Asia, Europe and North/South America everyday. It’s not surprising that Siem Reap is geared towards catering to tourists. In fact, the economy of Siem Reap runs on U.S. dollars. That’s right – when you go to change your money in Cambodia, you’ll be changing whatever money you have (Euro’s, for example) into USD. Surprise!

A woman lights a candle to prevent insects from landing on the food. Siem Reap, Cambodia

A woman lights a candle to prevent insects from landing on the food. Siem Reap, Cambodia

And I would venture to comment that “seeing” Siem Reap is not like seeing what the rest of Cambodia is like. Being shuttled around in one of several hundred tuk-tuk’s from a comfortable hotel to a restaurant probably isn’t the normal course of events for Cambodian’s who live there.

Getting around town in a Tuk Tuk

Getting around town in a Tuk Tuk

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Chickens - Siem Reap Market

Chickens – Siem Reap Market

Still, I don’t regret one second I spent in the country, seeing Angkor Wat and spending a little time in the town center.

Fruit - Siem Reap Market

Fruit on display – Siem Reap Market

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Cambodian Street Food - check out the teeth on those fish in the lower right part of the photo!

Cambodian Street Food – check out the teeth on those fish in the lower right part of the photo!

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The inviting entrance to a local restaurant where I had lunch...

The inviting entrance to a local restaurant where I had lunch…

 

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