We spent a lovely week in Siem Reap over Christmas. The little bit of Cambodia that I got to enjoy was touristy but somehow still laid back, full of gracious hospitality and cool little tuk-tuks that looked like wooden chariots hooked to the back of motorcycles. We ate well and breathed in the sweet tropical breeze. So sweet, in fact, that when the Babe stepped onto the Siem Reap tarmac she looked at me with concerned eyes and asked, “What’s that smell, mommy?” I can’t tell you how much it pained me to tell her it was CLEAN AIR.
Other than reveling in the ability to inhale freely, we spent a good amount of time trekking through some incedible temples, eating wacky street foods (spiders, anyone?) and cruising on the Tonle Sap lake. But my favorite experience (other than when a giant toad jumped from the roof of our moving tuk tuk and hit my sister-in-law in the face – hilarious but traumatizing) had to be waiting in line for an elephant ride and overhearing an exchange between a gray-haired dad and his grown, twenty-something son.
Dad, in baseball cap and fanny pack: So I posted a shot of Angkor on my Facebook with the headline “WAT’S HAPPENING, SIEM REAP!” Get it? But it only got 10 likes. The photo I posted yesterday got 15.
Son, in Ray Bans and Nikes: Hmmm. (supressing eyeroll with all of his power, making mental note to never check FB again)
I giggled to myself for a few minutes over that one. But then I realized: I’m probably closer to the old fart demographic than the young twenty-something one, mostly because I considered that exact same caption the day before. Someone please teach me SnapChat so I can be cool again.
– While our hotel was beautiful, I’m not sure I would recommend it. Super close to the airport, but farther from town and temples. It was a bit disorganized. And there was a saw mill right next door, so we got to hear buzz saws all day and got treated to a huge trash fire one morning – the smoke made it feel just like Delhi! Better options in town, off the airport road. This place looks amazing for people without kids. This is where I wanted to stay, but it was already full when we tried to book.
– Siem Reap was actually very kid friendly. Restaurants were accomodating and the kids loved climbing all over the temples. When that got boring, we appeased them with coconut water or ice cream from the Blue Pumpkin.
– We are idiots and lugged both car seats along. Be warned: seat belts aren’t really a thing in Cambodia.
– Kids will love the Banteay Srei Butterfly Center, which is on the way to the Banteay Srei Temple.