Is Siem Reap our final destination?

So we finally made it to Siem Reap, we got the very generous business visa allowing us to extend for up to a year, with multiple entires; we rented an apartment, then a bigger apartment; bought a scooter and Caryl even got a job (and a bank account complete with old school paying in book).

We’ve been on the road for well over a year, slowly travelling from one place to the next, exploring South East Asia and everything it has to offer (which as you know has involved a lot of awesome vegan food).

We were looking for somewhere to have a rest from travelling (it does get a bit exhausting after a while) and we very quickly seemed to put down roots as we had no leaving date.

Somewhere to call home.

We rented a lovely apartment

We are members at our local pool

We joined our local pool

We've opened a bank account.

We opened a bank account

We're making friends with the locals.

We made friends with the locals

We get our hair cut in the local 'salon' for $1 (well, one of us does anyway...)

We got our hair cut in the local ‘salon’ for $1 (well, one of us did anyway…)

We're running training courses for local hotels about how they can cater for vegan guests.

We offer training courses for local hotels about how they can cater for vegan guests

One of us even has a 'proper' job teaching customer service skills to hotel management.

One of us even has a ‘proper’ job teaching customer service skills to hotel staff

All of a sudden we found ourselves asking ‘is Siem Reap our final destination’ on the Vegan Food Quest?

We’re technically expats, living in one place, learning to drive a moto like the locals, being covered in dust and sweating in the 40 degree heat. There are loads of things that make Siem Reap a great destination for a couple of digital nomads like us; there’s decent wifi, a well established expat scene meaning you can buy anything you want, the visa is generous and the cost of living is cheap. Plus there are lots of opportunities to work which offers a whole new perspective.

The downside however, is that it’s stupidly hot, the roads are crazy (makes India look well organised and sane), the roads (if not being dug up) are sometimes non-existant (more akin to dusty, rocky dirt tracks) and there seem to be regular power cuts (sometimes lasting for days).

Exploring the countryside.

We’ve loved exploring the countryside around Siem Reap

Filling up with petrol in the jungle.

Run out of petrol in the jungle? no problem…

Dusty roads on Siem Reap.

Long and dusty roads in Siem Reap

Roadworks Siem Reap style.

Roadworks Siem Reap style

Trying to visit our bike repair man was a challenge to say the least.

Trying to visit our bike repair man was a challenge to say the least

Even going to the market can be an adventure...

Going to the market can also be a challenge…

...especially if you need a new pair of sandals!

…especially if you need a new pair of sandals!

So the answer is ‘no’ – Siem Reap won’t be our final destination on the Vegan Food Quest; it’s our home for now, until we set off again to find, eat and write about the best vegan food in the world.

There’s just too much great vegan food out there to be found, too many places we want to travel to and if we’re honest, we’ve come to quite like being nomads.

Check out a selection of other Cambodia vegan travel blog posts…

2019-03-05T06:49:39+00:00

13 Comments

  1. Jess Meddows June 2, 2015 at 11:51 am - Reply

    Do I see…. real lanes in that pool?! hehehe!

    Fantastic update guys. And Caryl, I bet you are going to be a fantastic trainer for the hospitality staff over there 😀 Looking forward to hearing more updates on how it all goes!

    I am in Aus at the moment for a legal conference. Had my faith in lawyers resorted a little, but also was confronted by some insufferable sods that reminded me why I tend to hang out with “normal” people more. 😉

    • Vegan Food Quest June 2, 2015 at 11:58 am - Reply

      You many see real lanes in that pool but we all know this means nothing in SE Asia – best to swim widths in the shallow end or just float around there! But mainly there is no one there and we have it all to ourselves!! Thanks for the lovely comments about my training abilities, I think i’m doing OK and also try to sneak in a few other things like ‘equality for all women’ and ’empathy’… seems to go down well too!

      Insufferable sods are so… er well… insufferable! come hang out with us in Cambodia, we can’t guarantee that we’ll behave like normal folk but we can guarantee that you’ll eat well 😉

  2. Amelie June 3, 2015 at 7:56 am - Reply

    I really liked Siem Reap! In fact, I’m planning to cycle there from Malaysia in the Summer / Fall to attend a yoga retreat. Hopefully you guys are still there and we can hang out!

    • Vegan Food Quest June 3, 2015 at 9:30 am - Reply

      keep us posted on your [lans it would be cool to meet up!

      cycling from Malaysia – wow….

      it has been a fun place to live for a few months and the longer we stay the more we like it, found a lovely apartment which feels like home:)

      paul

    • Vegan Food Quest June 3, 2015 at 11:18 am - Reply

      that would be lovely Amelie! Where are you doing your yoga retreat? I go to yoga at the Peace Cafe (it’s moved since you were last here probably) but there are so many cool places to get on your mat here!

  3. Sam June 3, 2015 at 9:10 pm - Reply

    Stopping for a while is an absolute necessity, I’ve discovered. I thought I could just keep going living nomadically, till Zab suggested we set up a home base in Berlin. I resisted at first, but now I’m so grateful. Sitting on my own sofa as I write this, looking out the window and realising I have plans to meet friends later fills me with such joy. Certainly travel does that too, but it’s a different kind of joy. At the moment, I’m basking in it, and so I can totally understand why you’ve chosen this. Enjoy Siem Reap!

    • Vegan Food Quest June 5, 2015 at 12:15 pm - Reply

      Thanks Sam! I guess when you travel indefinitely then it can feel overwhelming to always be on the road and a little rest every now and then, where you don’t have to plan onward travel and adjust to all the new things you are faced with, can be just the right kind of medicine. I certainly was filled with joy when I felt like I had my own kitchen again and could do my own laundry (the latter has worn off now!) but you also see a new side of a country when you live there as an expat for a bit I think.

      What is it they say? “A change is as good as a holiday”… I certainly agree with this sentiment!

      Caryl x

  4. eileen June 13, 2015 at 2:46 am - Reply

    I love your update. Your description of your ‘love/hate’ relationship with Siem Reap is so real. The photos are fab, especially seeing you with your new-found friends, Paul and the one of you ‘working’ Caryl. Glad to hear you are flying the flag for women and equality. Is Highway 6 still in that state? How fortunate that you can avoid it from where you are now living. Enjoy the power cuts, see it as a time when you can rest and relax and just hang out at the Peace Cafe or the pool.
    love
    xxxx
    e

    • Vegan Food Quest June 14, 2015 at 2:32 pm - Reply

      Highway 6 is still as crazy as ever, we avoid it like the plague! We’ve been busy busy busy – it’s amazing how time flies in a day. I don’t think we’ll ever learn to enjoy the power cuts – it’s just unbearably hot and all the food in the fridge and freezer goes off. But we’re enjoying the little routines we have like going for coffee and sourdough every Sunday and regular ice creams too… so life isn’t too bad 🙂 Caryl xx

  5. Franca June 27, 2015 at 1:12 am - Reply

    Never been to Cambodia, not yet at least. I think you’re doping the right thing, being constantly on the road can be extremely tiring therefor there is nothing wrong in wanting to take a break and it’s even better if it’s in a new place, it fits perfectly our idea of slow travel.

    Your idea to give courses to local businesess and help them with the vegan catering is also genius, well done guys and best of luck! 🙂

    • Vegan Food Quest June 29, 2015 at 9:35 am - Reply

      Oh yes – we’re travelling so slowly we’ve almost stopped! But you’re right – like your great article described, slow travel is all about immersing yourself in a place and we’re certainly getting to do that. We’ve seen a whole new side of Siem Reap and we love it more and more each day – which just proves that giving a place time and trying to scratch beneath the surface is always a good thing to do.

      We really enjoy telling people how easy it is to feed vegan hotel guests – mainly because it encourages them to cook delicious things for us! 😉

  6. Katie @worldwidevegetarian.com July 3, 2015 at 12:41 am - Reply

    Looks like it might not be a bad place to stay even if you change your mind later on! Maybe I will make it over to see you guys in the fall 🙂 Congratulations on finding a new home!
    Katie

    • Vegan Food Quest July 6, 2015 at 10:02 am - Reply

      It’s really grown on us the longer we’ve stayed but we’re off travelling again in a few months – we’ll probably be in Vietnam in Autumn – you should come and meet us there, the food is amazing! 🙂

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