The Local Travel Movement is a not for profit platform started by people from companies founded on a passion for Local Travel and commitment to Local Travel values.
Travel as a local in Siem Reap!
Angkor Wat and the surrounding ruins are the major attraction in Siem Reap. But there’s something more to the place that makes people stay longer and return for a second, third and even fourth visit….
By doing a little bit of background reading, it can enhance your stay. But remember that a guidebook is just a guide. By listening to advice from local people, you are sure to have an enriched experience. Things might be very different from what you are used to, but that’s half the fun, isn’t it?
Why not use a bicycle to get around for a day. Or walk. It’s good for the environment, but also for you. It enables you to feel the air, hear all the sounds, and smell all the all the scents. And you’ll meet people, who will be eager to practice their English with you.
Khmers are genuine. They don’t expect much. And it does not take a lot to make them smile. Try to learn a few words in Khmer language. How about starting with “Soesday” and “Soksabai” – “Hello” and “How are you?” You are sure to receive a big smile, and perhaps a long sentence in a language you don’t understand. It’s the start of a conversation, and perhaps a friendship that will last long after you leave the country..
For longer distances Tuk-Tuks are great fun – and the drivers can be very helpful and friendly. If the season is right you might be asked to join in on a local wedding or another celebration going on. You should use this opportunity – its will be completely different experience.
The Khmer cuisine is very tasty. It’s not spicy like Thai food, but full of flavors. Garlic, chili, coriander, ginger, lemongrass are all common ingredients. And fish-sauce. Fish Amok, Beef Lok Lak, Fried Rice, Lime Sour Soup are some of the local favorites.. And if you are into sweets, Lapow Song Kja is a Khemr desert of baked pumpkin filled with coconut custard, well worth a try.
If you like to try some unusual stuff, Crickets, deep friend with different flavors (you may choose between garlic, chili or maybe lemongrass), is a popular snack for the locals. It may look scary, but if you dare to try one – you might want another one!!! If eating cricket is a bit over your comfort zone, why not try Kow Lang Phnom. It literally translates to “cow climbs mountain”. The food is served fresh at the table, and you cook it on grill/soup in front of you as you eat. A very social way of eating and enjoying each other’s company. In peoples home this dish is often served on a bamboo mat on the floor.
When traveling, remember that:
- If you are mindful of the local people, you put yourself in the locals’ shoes and discover what they really think.
- If you are mindful of the local environment, you put yourself in the heart of it, feel its beauty and power, and do what you can to preserve it for the future.
- If you are mindful of the local culture, you put yourself in the local mindset and share in activities and experiences as locals do.
- If you are mindful of the local economy, you put your money into local business and ensure that your tourism benefits the right people.
Challenge yourself to travel as a local for a day. You won’t regret it! Happy travels!
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