Exploring Cambodia, Differently

Exploring Cambodia, Differently

As someone born in 1989, I confess I had a fairly superficial understanding of Cambodia until this year, when I decided to travel across south-east Asia. Of course, many who remember the 1970s will associate the place with its dark past (more on that later), but for many in my generation, Cambodia is seen as a warm, beautiful place, and I was enticed by my friends’ recommendations.

I booked my holiday with Intrepid Travel, which runs a ‘Real Food Tour’, designed to give visitors a taste of the country. Much of Cambodia’s tourism appeal is based on its cuisine, which is light, refreshing and astonishingly cheap, too. Adventurous eaters will especially enjoy the frogs legs, crickets and rats on many menus. Vegetarians might struggle a little, though.

Cambodian street foods | Pinterest
Cambodian street foods | Pinterest

Our tour ventured through numerous areas, including Phnom Penh, where the Romdeng restaurant is certainly worth a visit. Among the specialities are tarantulas with black pepper sauce, red tree ants with beef fillet and spicy basil stir fry, as well as a less daring prawn, mango, snow pea and cashew nut stir fry. Travellers looking for a good cocktail should head to the nearby Foreign Correspondents Club.

Cambodian grub's up (iStock)
Cambodian grub's up (iStock)


During my trip, I had the chance to give Cambodian cooking a try, in a class at the Feel Good Cooking School in Phnom Penh. My group learnt to make fish amok (Cambodian steamed curry) complete with a decorative banana leaf, which I confess I was hopeless at folding. For pudding, we had Sankhya Lapov, an egg custard made with coconut milk, which you steam inside a hollowed-out pumpkin. Cambodian food is good if you like delicate flavours; it uses lots of lemongrass, coconut and lime in recipes, as well as palm sugar, which helps to make a surprisingly tasty salad dressing.

This Cambodian dessert is called Sankya Lapov.  | Pinterest
This Cambodian dessert is called Sankya Lapov. | Pinterest

What was impressive about my visit was that we were shown the great strengths of Cambodia today, while also being taught about its past. As many will know, in the 1970s, the Khmer Rouge, a communist group, seized power and killed approximately three million people, before being stopped by the Vietnamese in 1979. I spent a day visiting the Killing Fields and the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum. I don’t think I will ever forget this; these events were some of the worst to happen in the 20th century.

The rest of the tour took my group through the beautiful area of Kampot, where our group stayed at Natural Bungalows, which provided my best night’s sleep. The hotel has wooden rooms, nestled among pretty shrubbery, and the restaurant overlooks the Preaek Teuk Chhu river. The (appropriately named) Classy Hotel in Battambang was provided a relaxed stay, complete with a pool, stunning rooftop views, and a cheap range of spa treatments .

Written by 

Seeing Cambodia with a group tour was a wonderful way to discover the country, travelling with friendly companions of different ages and backgrounds and with knowledgable local experts to guide us. Cambodians themselves are incredibly friendly, especially the children, who excitedly shouted ‘hello’ at our group on our cycle tour through Battambang. 

Source :

Akhyari Hananto

I began my career in the banking industry in 1997, and stayed approx 6 years in it. This industry boost his knowledge about the economic condition in Indonesia, both macro and micro, and how to More understand it. My banking career continued in Yogyakarta when I joined in a program funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB),as the coordinator for a program aimed to help improve the quality of learning and teaching process in private universities in Yogyakarta. When the earthquake stroke Yogyakarta, I chose to join an international NGO working in the area of ?disaster response and management, which allows me to help rebuild the city, as well as other disaster-stricken area in Indonesia. I went on to become the coordinator for emergency response in the Asia Pacific region. Then I was assigned for 1 year in Cambodia, as a country coordinator mostly to deliver developmental programs (water and sanitation, education, livelihood). In 2009, he continued his career as a protocol and HR officer at the U.S. Consulate General in Surabaya, and two years later I joined the Political and Economic Section until now, where i have to deal with extensive range of people and government officials, as well as private and government institution troughout eastern Indonesia. I am the founder and Editor-in-Chief in Good News From Indonesia (GNFI), a growing and influential social media movement, and was selected as one of The Most Influential Netizen 2011 by The Marketeers magazine. I also wrote a book on "Fundamentals of Disaster Management in 2007"?, "Good News From Indonesia : Beragam Prestasi Anak Bangsa di dunia"? which was luanched in August 2013, and "Indonesia Bersyukur"? which is launched in Sept 2013. In 2014, 3 books were released in which i was one of the writer; "Indonesia Pelangi Dunia"?, "Indonesia The Untold Stories"? and "Growing! Meretas Jalan Kejayaan" I give lectures to students in lectures nationwide, sharing on full range of issues, from economy, to diplomacy Less
View all posts

Terima kasih telah membaca sampai di sini