Out on the Tourist Town: Siem Reap
After we checked in, had a snack, and took a swim, we obviously couldn’t resist exploring Siem Reap a bit. On the way to the Night Market, we stopped at a street vendor to try a local dish: “Mi-Chaa,” a.k.a. noodles cooked Cambodia-style. Not sure what that means, but they were yummy. We chatted with some locals while sitting on our tiny stools slurping the noodles. We made our way over to the Market, where there were endless shops selling all kinds of cool handicrafts (hammocks, carvings, leatherwork, weavings, other textiles, paintings, and more). After we wandered through the market, we hopped over towards the biggest collection of restaurants and bars in town – Pub Street. On the way, we met a couple Cambodian girls who we asked for directions, but ended up spending quite a bit of time with. They loved our skin (I’m sure I’ve mentioned it, but asians love pale skin). We told them we loved their skin, which they didn’t understand, and then we chatted about random things – how often they work (they were working at a vendor stand, 10 hours a day, 7 days a week), if they like Cambodian boys or foreigners, and other random bits. We sampled one of the girl’s cake she was eating (it may or may not have been forced into our mouths) and then the other girl insisted on doing our hair. She had serious braiding skills!
With our newfound fabulous locks, we headed to Pub Street to a place called Amok, recommended by our hostel concierge. The food was gorgeous and delicious. When we sat down, they immediately gave us two shot glasses filled with creamy pumpkin soup. I ordered the Amok, which turns out is basically Cambodian curry. It was delicious, but not spicy – a major difference from Thai food. Jill ordered a sampler which included different types of Amok (meaning the same curry, but different meats) and a banana blossom salad. The salad was our favorite – it was kind of like Thai Som Tam (green papaya salad), but much more lime-y. For beverages, I ordered a coconut (which was gigantic) and Jill got a margarita. As part of her sampler, she also got three kinds of sorbet as dessert – lime, mango, and coconut – which I, of course, helped her to devour.