Getting a Meal – Siem Reap, Cambodia

Getting a Meal – Siem Reap, Cambodia
Siem Reap, Cambodia

Cambodian food is similar to Thai cuisine but saves your tongue from catching flame on the heat of too many chiles. Look for a guesthouse with good food so you can come back from the temples for lunch and can relax before heading back out into the sun. Instead of sticking with Singha, try the local favorite – Angkor beer.

Jasmine Guest House: We ate almost every meal at our guesthouse. They have a large menu with European, Cambodian and Thai food. Enjoy the yummy fruit shakes and amazing fried rice. The garlic chicken (or pork or beef) is to die AND kill for (fortunately, there’s enough to go around so no one got hurt). Avoid the noodles, though – it’s basically Top Ramen with extra vegetables. The kitchen is open until late, and the owner helped us get breakfast on days we were leaving before sunrise (well, he let us take the loaves of bread that the baker would hang on the gate). They use an honor system where you write everything into a log book and pay when you check out – they’re very trusting, so DON’T EVEN THINK of ruining it for the rest of us!

Here are other recommendations from Let’s Go: Thailand. I didn’t get a chance to try them out, but from the descriptions they sound pretty good.

Chivit Thai: This restaurant, across the Siem Reap River and on Wat Bo, features an open-air terrace and close proximity to guesthouses. Yummy pad thai is just $2.50 U.S. Open daily 7 a.m.-10 p.m.

Arun Restaurant: This Cambodian and Chinese restaurant is 50 m north of the Route 6 intersection with East Bank River Road. It serves up lots of vegetarian options but also features hearty meat dishes. Open 10 a.m.-10 p.m.

IMPORTANT NOTE: New cuisine can make anyone’s stomach a bit queasy, but the last thing you want is full-blown food poisoning. On our last morning in Siem Reap we asked our tuk-tuk driver to show us his favorite local eatery. It was a Japanese training restaurant, where they teach young kids everything about the restaurant business. We ordered noodle soup at his suggestion, and either the meat or the broth (most likely made with local water) became our downfall. If you do get sick, make sure to get help quickly. Drugstores in Thailand and Cambodia can give you antimicrobial pills to kill stomach bugs, but make sure to go in soon after getting sick to get better results.