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Postcards Home – Week 54

To my dearest friends, family and fellow culture cravers,

This week we’ve been exploring Siem Reap in Cambodia.

As I’d already bullied my best friend, Fiona into getting an overnight bus from Koh Samui to Bangkok, Lizzie, Spence and I thought we’d be great friends and stay in Siem Reap for a week and a bit so that she didn’t have to endure another lengthy journey – aren’t we kind.

We had a fab week balancing relaxing by the pool, culture, nightlife and activities.

This was my second visit to Siem Reap so, I was excited to mix it up, get a bit off the beaten track and see a different side to the city.

We ended up staying in three different places meaning, we were able to experience three completely different areas of the city, which was great.

On our first quest to get out of the city centre, we decided to rent bicycles and cycle our way out into the Cambodian countryside.

Throughout the day we managed to cover 20km, an achievement which also came with some severely bruised bums and sunburn…

However, despite the sweltering heat we were treated to some incredible views along the way.

We glided past vibrant rice fields with buffalos lulling in mud pools, local villages suspended by stilts over glistening ponds and colourful lily pads, children cycling with their siblings to and from school waving frantically at us and tranquil lotus farms with cute thatched huts draped in hammocks peppered throughout the water.

It was peaceful, beautiful and just what I needed after a touristy month in Thailand – to get a glimpse of how the locals live.

A couple of days later it was time to set our 4am alarms in preparation for our sunrise visit to Angkor Wat – a temple complex on the outskirts of Siem Reap, which is commonly considered the eighth Wonder of the World.

I recently published a photo diary on our visit to the Ancient Kingdom so be sure to check it out here.

After one last BNO (big night out) on Pub Street, we sadly had to wave goodbye to Spence, a friend from home who we’d been travelling with since Christmas on Koh Lanta.

Once the man of the group had left, we decided to give into Fiona’s nagging to go to the Butterfly Sanctuary and set off in a tuk tuk to learn a bit more about these intriguing creatures.

Much to my surprise, the sanctuary was an oasis filled with beautiful butterflies of different colours and species and the ride there was so scenic it made the journey worthwhile just on its own.

It also made for some great, cringe photo opportunities…

On Fiona’s final day we decided to get our hands dirty and sign up to Lily’s Secret Garden cooking class. We started the day by visiting a local food market where we sourced the ingredients we were going to be cooking with…

Before heading back to Lily’s house to start prepping…

We made zesty fresh spring rolls to start…

Aromatic, spiced noodles for main…

And pumpkin in coconut milk for desert…

We had a wonderful morning learning about the Cambodian cuisine and Lily and her husband, Chris were so helpful and welcoming.

The past couple of days we’ve been living the dream in the North of Cambodia swimming in fresh water lakes and isolated waterfalls!

Until next week…

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