Food is not easy to come by when visiting Angkor Wat. Or, more accurately, it’s not easy to find decent food at a reasonable price within the temple complex. There are numerous vendors and small restaurants to serve the tourist masses, but they all charge rather high tourist prices — these are not places for the budget-conscious tourist.
Obviously, the smartest route would be to buy some food in Siem Reap before heading to Angkor Wat for the day. This wasn’t really possible considering how late I arrived the previous day and how early I had to leave in the morning. By the time I reached Angkor Wat for the second time of the day, after the sunrise visit, I was starving. Add the heat to the equation, and I wasn’t the happiest of tourists — I really just wanted something to sustain me until I found some air conditioning.
Along the left side of Angkor Wat were stalls full of vendors and a few outdoor restaurants. The prices weren’t outrageous, but were certainly more than I wanted to spend — and I would guess that the food isn’t the best either. All I stopped for was a cold coconut for a dollar that I hoped would give me enough energy to find some food.
Back out in the parking lot, I came across some food stalls further from the tourist crowds — it looked like tuk-tuk drivers were in the area. When I asked at one of the stalls, I was told almost everything was about $2 and included rice. I ordered a large piece of barbecued chicken and relaxed in the shade. It tasted better knowing that I could’ve ordered something similar inside Angkor Wat for 4-5 times the price. I also liked that the vendor tried to talk with me despite only being able to speak a few words of English — he was very happy when I said I enjoyed my lunch.
Have you ever found better food slightly away from the crowds of a major tourist destination?