During the Tet holiday, everyone is off work for about a week total. The expats tend to leave the city because it gets very quiet as locals are visiting with family. Our little family flew to Cambodia for the week, spending the first half in Phnom Penh and the second half in Siem Reap. It was hot and humid the night we arrived and we had just enough time to eat at Mideast Feast down the street before the kids lost it.
Our first full day was a busy one. We started at the National Museum of Cambodia, looking at different stone carvings and statues, as well as feeding the fish and enjoying the shade. We then made our way to the Foreign Correspondents Club (FCC) for lunch near the Tonle Sap river. Lunch was good but getting out of the hot sun was better. After lunch we did a little walking and shopping along the river before joining some friends on a sunset river cruise. Our evening ended with a yummy Thai dinner at Chiang Mai Riverside.
Because we did so much sight seeing the first day, we spent most of the second day shopping. We took a tuk-tuk to the Russian Market, which was the best market we went to all day. The market had lots of beautiful paintings, carvings, silver statues, and souvenirs to choose from. We found the Cambodian people to be more passive bargainers than Vietnamese, so we had to tone down our bargaining a little bit.
For lunch we went to Romdeng, a TREE restaurant that trains students to help them build a better future for themselves. They specialize in local cuisine and we tried some delicious food, including crispy tarantulas and crickets. They were crispy, salty, and yummy. The whole family ate the tarantulas and crickets and enjoyed them. The kids won’t eat broccoli but they’ll eat crickets… go figure. After shopping around the Central market, we took the kids back to the hotel for a refreshing swim. We finished off the day with a delicious dinner at Malis, ordering way too much food. No regrets!
The next day was our travel day to Siem Reap. We didn’t get picked up until 11:30, giving us plenty of time to walk around with the babies and enjoy the book stores and clothing stores nearby. After we were dropped off at the bus terminal, we boarded our Giant Ibis bus. It is about a 6 hour bus ride in between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. We had initially planned on taking an overnight bus, but we waited to book our trip until the last minute, so we did a day trip. The bus was comfortable with good air conditioning, and made three stops along the way including lunch. The kids did great and kept it together for the ride up until the very end.
Watch for my next post detailing our time in Siem Reap!