Our driver Vanny already waits for us in front of the hotel. Today, he brings us to a local family where we will have dinner. On our way we see the beautiful sunset view over the famous Angkor Wat. Then we take a path away from the busy Siem Reap center. Here, the peaceful country life takes place.

It getting dark soon while we pass the many street food stands. The man and women who clean our hotel rooms, prepare our food, drive cabs, and guide us through temples are sitting down, bend over their plates with rice and pork.

Let’s get cooking

A large gate is the sign for Vanny to pull on the steering wheel. We drive towards the house of our Cambodian host family. Mother Loeng waits for us. With her hands fold and a bow, she states that we are welcome.

The house of this family is humble. Like many Cambodian houses, it’s build of wood and bamboo, and it rests on pillars. On the porch, there’s a small stage with a carpet. A weak light shines over two metal pots that are placed on a fire. Loeng takes me towards this plain outdoor kitchen. Without any hesitation, she gives me a large spoon. So, I am set to work immediately.

About bicycles and growing rice

Loeng throws the vegetables in the large pot. She signs I have to stir. The vegetables are cut already, yet it’s nice to help with the actual cooking. Meanwhile, the men are sitting together. Patrick, Vanny, and father Thien are chatting. I hear them talking about snow and bicycles in The Netherlands, and about rain and rice in Cambodia.

Loeng puts some extra wood on the stove. I keep stirring, noticing I am surrounded by chickens now. Speaking of which: they are not on the menu today. We are vegetarians, which is no problem at all to this family.

Eating Cambodian food: Nham tov!

The vegetables are done and the so is the rice. The men are serving the food. Loeng and I put the food on metal plates, the men place it on the carpet. Patrick and the Cambodian men are sitting on their plastic stools. Yet the women and children gather to sit down on the carpet. Of course, I join them.

“Nham tov!” Enjoy! I try to eat like the locals, but when Loeng sees how the rice keeps falling from my chopsticks she laughs and hands me a spoon. With this spoon, I scoop the delicious meal till my plate is totally empty.

Go local too!

We can connect you with locals too! Eat Cambodian food like Daisy & Patrick, or go local somewhere else around the world. ResiRest provides you with a reliable network of local families globally. Have a great time together, learn about true local culture & taste the best local food.

ResiRest = sustainable travel. By joining a family for lunch or dinner, you directly support them. In this way, local people are able to earn their fair share of tourism. Book your meal at one of our travel partners. See you soon!

New travel partners are welcome to help us in supporting local families. Check our partner page to get connected.

About the author

Daisy and her boyfriend Patrick travel the world. Daisy supports sustainable travel, on which she writes for her travel blog: All Day Every Daisy.