Battambang by Liesl Pfeffer


Battambang, Cambodia
April 2018

Apparently the second biggest city in Cambodia, but Battambang feels a world away from Phnom Penh. It has beautiful domestic architecture and shop houses, quite a few contemporary art galleries and a lovely market to explore. We ate incredible noodles with kaffir lime leaves at the market, and a delicious corn kernel dish with teeny tiny dried shrimp and coconut milk from a street vendor. We swam in the pool at our hostel, and walked for an hour through the fields to visit a school with an incredible traditional dance program.

Siem Reap by Liesl Pfeffer


Siem Reap, Cambodia
April 2018

I cannot say a great deal about Siem Reap, because even though we stayed there for 5 nights, we only spent our evenings there after Angkor Wat closed for the day. There were some nice sides to the town, but for me, the tourists have ruined huge sections of it with their nonsense such as fish foot massages and ridiculous happy hours.

Angkor Wat by Liesl Pfeffer


Angkor Wat, Cambodia
April 2018

There’s already more than enough pictures of Angkor Wat in the world, so I won’t share many. Our three days visiting Angkor Wat were really lovely and surprisingly calm in my memory despite there being a lot of tourists there. The place is unfathomable and amazing. We got caught in a storm and spent an hour sitting inside an ancient temple watching the rain. We ate mangoes, bananas, and other fruits we don’t know the names of. We watched the sunrise and the sunset over the ruined temples, several times.

Phnom Penh by Liesl Pfeffer


Phnom Penh, Cambodia
April 2018

We spent four nights in Phnom Penh, most of them with mild food poisoning, but it wasn’t Phnom Penh’s fault. Rather our tendency to eat anything that looked delicious. I regret nothing.

Outside Kampot by Liesl Pfeffer


Kampot region, Cambodia
April 2018

We hired a motorbike and Nico drove us through dirt roads surrounded by rice fields. The drive was a bit wild after it rained all night; there was mud everywhere and we had to go slowly. A truck overtook us and splashed us head to toe with mud down our left sides. We bought a few bottles of water and washed some of the mud off ourselves, and some friendly guys on the other side of the road washed our motorbike for 2,000 riel ($0.50). We stopped for lunch at a roadside stand next to Secret Lake and ate the spiciest green papaya salad that I have ever eaten. We ate with tears pouring down our faces, constantly sipping sugar cane juice and breathing heavily. We visited a cave with green moss-covered walls and stalactites hanging from the ceiling that surrounded a 1,300 year old temple. Our guides were two local kids (literally kids) who pointed out shapes in the cave that looked like a turtle, an elephant, an alligator and a pig. We drove home at dusk, the highway full of trucks and rickshaws.

Kampot by Liesl Pfeffer


Kampot, Cambodia
April 2018

I loved our days in Kampot. It’s a smallish town with beautiful old houses, a wide river and tea plantations all around. We found a lovely small cinema that was screening films and documentaries, many of which were about Cambodia.

Kep beach by Liesl Pfeffer


Kep Beach, Cambodia
April 2018

We arrived in Kep on the last day of New Year celebrations. People had come from all around to spend the holiday at the beach, and we jumped in the ocean and swam fully and modestly dressed like everyone else, and ate intensely spicy papaya salad dotted with chopped blue crabs.

Kep by Liesl Pfeffer


Kep, Cambodia
April 2018

After a quiet day reading and staying out of the sun, we rode bikes up to this temple just before dusk. It was still extremely hot, and the roads were steep. I had to stop and crouch on the side of the road and put my head between my knees because I had a wave of lightheadedness from the combination of heat and exertion. We rolled our bikes to this temple and I lay on a park bench watching the leaves in the trees overhead, pouring water from my bottle onto my hair to cool down. Eventually I got up and walked around this amazing place of pinks and greens.