Exploring Siem Riep on Foot

Being from Nova Scotia, jay walking was something we were trained not to do, moving to Dublin I was taught it was just done. Crossing roads in Siem Riep, well that takes jay walking to a totally different level. So take everything you have ever learned about traffic and take 99% of it away then you have driving and walking in Cambodia. You kind of just walk, no hesitation, and they will go around you or slightly slow down. A tad bit scary but weirdly satisfying when you manage.

My hostel, the European Guesthouse, is only a 15min walk into the city centre and the majority of the walk can be taken walking down the river so I was happy to explore the centre on foot.

For a city that thrives on the tourism from Angkor Watt it doesn’t seem corny. It is bustling with locals doing what they do best. Being locals. Tuk tuks and moto’s line the roads and sidewalk, bikes squeeze past the hoards of crowds. There is of course Pub Street and the Night Markets which definitely cater to tourists but go down side roads and you see ladies driving the road balancing piles of sticks on bicycles or baskets filled to the brim with groceries, children playing, attending school and guys playing hackney sack with empty little bottles.

The old market holds the food market, personal favourite, and going first thing in the morning, you are jostled down pathways with people having their breakfast while being yelled over about the best veg or fruit. Scaling fish, cutting meat, dried fruit, spices, rice in every form. Some of the smells could knock you off your feet but it is a foodies heaven! I just wish I could speak the language so I could find out what everything is or have a kitchen so I could cook with the fresh ingredients.

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