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Dining Experiences in Laos and Cambodia?


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I was last in Cambodia about five years ago, so I don't have anything recent for you, but a few generalities: the food was excellent. You can eat incredibly well for incredibly cheap, and it's one of the few places I've traveled for an extended period without getting sick. Fish amok is the national dish, and is fantastic; the French food is generally quite good; and a few holes-in-the-wall will also kill and fry fresh snake to order (it's supposed to be good luck for the diner if the snake bites the chef during the process, though I don't think the chef feels the same way).

In Phnom Penh, stop by the Foreign Correspondants' Club for a drink; it is not cheap, and the food is so-so, but the view is excellent, the seating is comfortable, and it just occupies a pretty darn cool place in history (I always like it when I can combine sight-seeing with happy hour). Just down the river from the FCC there are a few good bars for whiling away the hours, and California II, which serves great fish tacos (I was there for a month and needed a few-non-curry-based meals). If you feel like late-night clubbing, Heart of Darkness ranks up there with the best of them. If you visit Toul Sleng, there is a hostel across from the entrace with a very good, and very peaceful, restaurant, which is precisely the kind of place you need after being at that site. That and a shower. (I'm sorry I can't remember the name.)

Around Angkor, you can't do much better for lunch than a $1 bowl of fresh noodle soup from the temporary stands scattered throughout the ruins.

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