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The Road to Siem Reap

Photos and description of our overland journey from the capital Phnom Penh to Siem Reap in western Cambodia

Another excellent and interesting Cambodian overland trip yesterday – the road to Siem Reap in western Cambodia from the cpaital Phnom Penh. First stop was Skuon for the always popular deep-fried ‘tarantulas’. Popular photo subject that is – not always such a popular snack and this time the fried crickets won out over the spiders hands down.

Skuon, monks
Skuon, distracted monks begging for alms

Problem with the over-sized arachnids is in the cooking. They’re not in theory that different from eating say prawns but being dunked in what worryingly seems (and smells) like semi-rancid motor oil is the off-putting part. Now if they were lightly sauteed in butter, garlic and parsley………! The crickets were more attractively presented – mixed with some chilli flakes and spring onions.

Skuon, fried spiders
Skuon, fried spiders

Anyway, insects not being to everybody’s taste we moved on up the road to the 11th-century temple, Prasart Kuhananokor, in Kompong Thom Province’s Baray district. No inscriptions were ever found here so exact dating is impossible but the style of the scant sandstone decorations seem to indicate the Suryavarman I period.

The Road to Siem Reap. Prasart Kuhananokor
Prasart Kuhananokor

Next stop was just over the track from the temple at Meas Kong school for a meet with some of the teachers since some of our group had generously stocked up with note books and pens in the Russian Market for the cash-strapped school. Left some very happy teachers and headed up to the lakeside eatery at Prei Pros for some excellent noodles in a  picturesque setting.

View at Prei Pross
View at Prei Pross


The Road to Siem Reap. Some typical roadside scenery
Some typical roadside scenery

The final stop was the spectacular ancient bridge at Kompong Kdei – the current version of which is thought to date to the reign of Jayavarman VII.

Kompong Kdei
Kompong Kdei

Certainly built to last and it was still part of the main highway until a new bridge was finished only a few years ago. Rolled into Siem Reap mid-afternoon for some relaxation time by the pool before a dusk visit to Banteay Kdei Temple. Good day all round and the group seemed like happy campers!

You can find full details and schedules of all our Cambodia tours at this link. Cheers!