Ahhh after being in 90 degree weather most of the day
Raiding temples, pretending to search for ancient treasures, and jumping around in the air to get a suitable action shot and the like sure works up an appetite. I had no idea what Cambodian food would be like, but I quickly fell for it. It had all my favorite things including a combination of sweet and sour tastes, spices, and fresh herbs like cilantro, basil, and mint.
Some of our favorites while we were there included:
Heavenly fresh banana shakes that I devoured every day
I know you're thinking, it's just a banana shake, but let me tell you, it was divine. Did you know that there are about 1,000 varieties of bananas in the world? The Southeast Asian variety is definitely different than the average American supermarket ones. They're small for one thing, about half the size of their larger American cousin, and they are super sweet.
Spicy chicken and peanut dishes
Stir-fry with licorice tasting basil
Khmer deep-fried egg salad (yes, they deep-fat fried the egg!)
Shrimp spring rolls
After this particular lunch at the Butterfly Garden restaurant, we spent a lazy while dozing a little on the chaise lounge under the shade trees. You can't see the butterflies in the photograph, but they are everywhere. The restaurant is actually inside a butterfly enclosure housing more than 1,000 butterflies.
Cambodia Travel Tip #5: Decades of war and the harsh rule of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia left a devastating impact on the livelihood of the local population. All sorts of restaurants like the Butterfly Garden Restaurant and other businesses have joined a social contract to provide training and funds for disadvantaged youth. If you're looking for a great fresh meal, why not put your money towards a program like this?
There's more food pictures to come, as we enrolled in a Cambodian cooking class one day...