48 Hours in Siem Reap
The last post was Time magazine’s ideas for “One Night in Phnom Penh” and the other day I came across an article with almost hour-by-hour recommendations from ‘Reuters journalists with local knowledge’ for “48 Hours in Siem Reap” on a weekend.
Here are a few things that caught my fancy:
- 6 PM, Friday: relax at Singing Tree Cafe which is a really cool place. Free wi-fi, fair-trade shop, yoga, eats and drinks, information about eco-tourism and volunteer opportunities and more
- 8 PM, Friday: check out a night viewing of Angkor Wat. I didn’t know this was possible but it sounds really cool.
- 11 AM, Saturday: After an early morning visit to a couple of temples, return to Siem Reap to beat the noon day heat and visit the National Center for Khmer Ceramics Revival. This institute has brought long lost Khmer ceramics skill back to life while providing rural vocational training.
- 3:30 PM, Saturday: In need of an unusual high-protein snack then try some fried crickets sold on the bridge spanning the Siem Reap river (they don’t say which bridge but the locals will know).
- 7 PM, Saturday: Feel like hob-nobbing with some modern-day Indian Jones types? The largest contingent of archaeologists are the French and they hang out at the Laundry Bar in the town center. The second largest contingent is the Japanese and you can catch them at Cafe Moi Moi on the road back from the temples where some of the traditional Amok food is apparently served with a a Japanese touch.
- 7:30 AM, Sunday: From dawn, the Old Market is a hectic place as local housewives come to stock up on fresh veggies, meat and fish.
- 2:30 PM, Sunday: If you’re interested in the indigenous silk trade and crafts then check out the Institute for Khmer Traditional Textiles. There you can see weaving, spinning and dyeing. If you head out to their farm you can see silkworms being raised and the process of dye creation from leaves, treebark and other natural sources.
- 7 PM, Sunday: If you want to fantasize some old-world journalistic glory enjoy a gin and tonic at the Foreign Correspondent’s Club (FCC). The setting is quite modern and comfortable but use your imagination.
My own tip: Next to the FCC is a wonderful art gallery – McDermott Gallery – specializing in photography with some spectacular work from all of Asia at reasonable prices.
(If you are planning a trip to Angkor Wat please check out Savuth’s tuk tuk transportation services at Angkortuktuk.org)