Things to do in Siem Reap: The Khmer wayHad enough of Pub Street and its hoards of tourists? There’s more to the city of Siem Reap than just its touristic hub. How about getting out of the old town and enjoy Siem Reap as the locals do? Here are 3 suggestions for alternative things to do around Siem Reap that’ll get you to blend in with the locals.
Road 60 -Picnic Lane-
Head over to Road 60 until you start seeing people sitting on mats along the side of the road…Welcome, my friend, to Picnic Road. Now here’s a fun place to get an informal dinner and to spend your early evening, especially on weekends. Prepare or buy food before you go, or just get it from one of the many food stalls or restaurants. If you feel like getting to know the locals, many of the groups sitting by will be more than happy to spend some time with you, chatting and sharing some dishes. The reason for which so many people decide to hang out in this precise area is the beautiful sunset sky it offers, as there is no building around to block the view. Oh, and there’s also a fun fair where you’ll find all the classic attractions, from the shooting gallery to the bumping cars. It is hard, to be honest, to hang out on Pic Nic lane without having fun. So forget about the fancy fusion food restaurant next to Pub Street (at least for today), get your checkered picnic blanket, jump on a tuk tuk and head to Road 60 for a few dollars! If he does not know where that is, ask “near Smile of Angkor” and he’ll take you there!
Phsar Leu Market
The old market is definitely nice to visit. However, a lot of visitors ignore that it isn’t the main market in town. The market where most Khmer people go is 10 minutes away (east), on Road 6. While we don’t know the exact dimension of the market, we can say with confidence that it is at least 4 times bigger than the old market. Will you be one of the only foreigner around? Definitely. Will you get lost? Obviously. Will you get better bargains than at the old market? Depends on your haggling skills really, but probably. Phsar Leu Market is also an excellent place to try local food. Just head over to the food area, look around to see what seems appetizing to you, sit by the closest stand and point at what you want. In most cases, it will be great, and cheap.
Khmer Pub Street
The heart of the party for a lot of Khmer people. You thought that 1$ pints on Pub street were cheap? On Khmer pub street, the same dollar will get you a jug. From Sivatha road, head to road 6 (airport direction), then go right after the first set of traffic lights you run into. You’ll soon see plenty of karaoke and live music venues on both sides of the street. This is definitely the spot you want to be at if you want to party with locals. In most cases, you’ll have to wait by the entrance for someone to sit you. Get ready to use some of your sign language skills, as a lot of the staff won’t speak English. If you want to do it Khmer-style all the way, then get yourselves a jug of beer and a bucket of ice on the side. Now all you have to do is drop a few ice cubes in your glass and pour yourselves some beer. Despite your initial reaction, you’ll end up enjoying it! Often, you’ll get free food as well if you order more than one jug.
Other favorite Khmer-spots in Siem Reap? Share the tips!