Day 3 in Cambodia - Food, Coconuts and Culture Compared to Thailand

Everyone knows how much I love Thailand, and honestly, I didn't know if Cambodia would stack up.  It's still be a bit too early to tell as I've only been in Cambodia for a few days but already there are some cultural differences I've seen right away.

Cambodian Food -

One of the nice things about restaurants in Cambodia is the fact that they don't just serve Cambodian food.  Every restaurant also has a full Thai food menu as well as their version of western food.  A lot of their food is influenced by the French as you quickly see with baguettes served everywhere.  The local food turns out to be quite good as well.  Here is their most famous dish, Amok Fish which is a steamed fish in curry and banana leaves.

Coconuts Coconuts -

I have a rule.  Anytime I come across a fresh coconut, I drink it.  In Thailand, it happens usually once a day.  But in Cambodia it seems like they are everywhere and I love it.  One of the best things for your body, refreshing, and fun to drink, an ice cold coconut served fresh in it's shell is natures perfect cocktail.  Prices range from 75 cents on the street to $2 at restaurants, and either way they are perfect if you're eating Paleo or just want to do something good for your body.  Because they are fresh, not every coconut has enough meat in it to justify cracking open and eating with a spoon.  I've had 10 coconuts here in Cambodia since i've landed and only 3 were "old" enough to have meat.  And yes, you've heard my math correct...that's an average of 4 coconuts a day I've had since I landed.  

Taxis and Tuk Tuks - 

The Tuk Tuk in Cambodia is a scooter with a carriage attached to the back of it, and I like it a lot more than the Thailand version which is converted.  First the Cambodian version is more efficient and simple, which I like, but also it fits four comfortably versus the Thailand two.   It's quieter and does not pollute the air like the modified Thai Tuk Tuks that constantly spit out smoke.  

The driver's in Cambodia are also friendly, speak good english and never try to rip you off.  They do drive a bit crazier than even Thailand and use the horn constantly, which is a sound surprisingly never heard in Thailand.  A 6 hour day trip is a set price of $15 and was well worth it.  

The Official Travel Like a Boss Podcast Cambodian Tuk Tuk

Cost and Money

Cambodia takes U.S. Dollars which makes it extremely easy to travel and calculate exactly how much something is whether you are American, Canadian, Australian or use Pounds or Euros.  It's a bit strange to use American Dollar bills especially after traveling through Thailand and getting used to the Baht, but it's welcome.  The funny thing is the first time I've ever even seen a new $100 bill, it was here in Cambodia.  

It's hard for me to judge prices if things are cheap or expensive as compared to the U.S. everything is ultra cheap here.  50 cent beers, $3 meals, and $6 massages.  But if I were to convert things into Thai Baht, I would say that food in Thailand is cheaper but drinks are definitely cheaper in Cambodia.  Most of my day trip tours have been $25-$35 with the most expensive part of it being the $20 day pass to visit the ruins.  A shared dorm here is $7 per night and my private room is $30.  There are cheaper places as well, but this hostel has a good atmosphere and a pool.  

Angkor Wat Big Circuit -

Originally I thought all the temples were called Angkor Wat, but turns out it's really just one out of twenty something.  But it's just easier to refer to them all that way as it's the most famous.  Today was day 3 in Cambodia and the second day of seeing the temples/ruins.  $15 for a taxi ride, $5 tip, split by two of us and the $20 day pass meant that the entire day was $30 per person, plus coconuts.  

I wasn't going to do the big circuit at first, as I just wanted to see the main temples, but I am really glad I did.  If youre going to come all the way to Cambodia, stay an extra day and see both the big and small circuits.  I don't plan on seeing anymore, as I've had my fill, but two days was perfect.  

Tips and Tricks:

Day Passes at Angkor Wat - At $20 a day, or $40 for three days.  It may seem like a better deal to do three days, but most likely you won't use the 3rd day anyways.  Don't feel like you have to do the 3rd day just for the value.  Go ahead and buy the 3 day pass and just go as much as you are happy.  

Pub Street - You'll be tempted to stay out late at Angkor What, the most famous of the local bars and drink cheap beers, but don't be one of those hangover fools at the hostel that spent three days laying around and sleeping in till the afternoon because of it.  You can drink anywhere, spend your time wisely and see Cambodia while you're here. 

Have fun and enjoy your trip,


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