It had been on our bucket list for a long time. We gazed at yachts in marinas and planned which one we’d buy to sail the world. It didn’t matter that we had no sailing experience, had never even spent a night on a yacht, and that I got seasick. We knew deep down that it was something we’d do one day. Last month we finally took the first step towards our dream and signed up for a sailing course with Langkawi Sailing School in Malaysia.
We were surprised by how vegetarian friendly Cambodia is. We ate many delicious meals and never struggled to find meat-free options. That said, we weren’t very adventurous. We didn’t eat street food—except for a few small snacks—or in local restaurants without English menus, as traditional Khmer food usually involves some kind of meat, fish, or at least fish broth or paste.
Cambodia was more expensive than we expected. As it’s less developed than neighbouring Thailand we expected prices to be lower, similar to Laos where we travelled on £12.50 each a day. That was back in 2008 though and not only have prices risen since then but we’ve changed too. This time we weren’t travelling as rock bottom budget travellers but as flashpackers who didn’t watch our budget too much, stayed in comfortable rooms, and indulged in good food.
There’s more to Siem Reap than the Angkor temples. We were surprised by just how much there is to do in this vibrant city as well as some wonderful restaurants and cafes. Mixing up alternative activities with visits to Angkor helps avoid the temple burnout that’s so common at this huge complex. As hotels are affordable there’s no reason not to extend your stay.
When we travel we love observing the quirky details of daily life that make a country unique. During our month in Cambodia we noticed the similarities with its neighbour Thailand, many due to the shared Buddhist religion, but this less developed but beautiful country with a traumatic history also had many differences.