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Siem Reap


吃在暹粒 All About Food in Siem Reap


暹粒面積不大,共有7個區域,遊客大部分都全到市內的法租界 (Old French Quarter),舊城區(Old Market) 及酒吧街 (Pub street)。小鎮內沿河而運,皇宮及充滿殖民地色彩的老房子,也可於這裡找到,風情萬種。日間於法租界四處漫步,十分寫意。如果覺得太悶熱,不妨到Raffle Angkor 喝下午茶,酒吧內的咖啡特別美味。舊城區如步行街一般,可四處游走,這裡隨處是時尚的咖啡店,特色的餐廳,及售賣手信的小店,還可品嚐柬埔寨地道名菜 Amok。

Charming Colonial Town

There are seven districts in Siem Reap, though most tourists gathered in the Old French Quarter, the Old Market and the Pub Street. The town centre is built along the river, where you can found colourful buildings from the colonial era and the royal palace. Walking casually along the area in the Old French Quarter is a relaxing affair. It would be a good idea to have afternoon tea in Raffle Angkor to avoid the afternoon sun as the bar serve exquisite local coffee. The Old Market is where you will find small vendors selling local specialities and food, as well as very fashionable coffee shops to hang around. Don’t miss the quintessential Cambodian dish Amok!.

 Old Market 內隨處都是有型的餐廳。Discover the trendiest bars and restaurants inside Old Market.

 Red Piano 是當年 Angelina Jolie 拍戲時於這裡消遣。 Don’t miss a bar called Red Piano where Angelina Jolie used to love to hang around here during shooting of her famous movie.

在街內游走時,不妨到 Gelato Lab 吃個冰淇淋吧﹗Drop into Gelato Lab for ice-cream and coffee, an escape from heat and sun during day time.



All About Food in Siem Reap

Siem Reap is a paradise for food because it is so rich in natural resources, especially for fresh fruits and vegetables! Do not miss out the fresh mangos here.  Also, the city has so many restaurants serving all kind of exquisite local and international cuisines. Let me introduce a few of them.

  1. Cuisine Wat Damark  – 暹粒市內最受歡迎食府,也是亞洲50大餐廳之一,法藉主廚Joannes Riviere 已札根於柬埔寨長達15年,善用地道食材,如河鮮、香料和蔬菜,配合他的經驗,創造了充滿現代感的高棉菜。One of the most popular restaurants in Siem Reap and named to be one of the Asia 50 Best Restaurants. French chef Joannes Riviere has been in Cambodia for 15 years. He is excellent in using local ingredients from the river, herbs and veggie, mixing them with his creativity to give traditional Khmer dish a modern twist.

於餐廳小房子內,有庭園和室內可供選擇。 The restaurant offers alfresco and indoor dining areas.

餐前小食 (Amuse-bouche),材料包括西瓜配以豬肉和蝦乾及香蔥。 An interesting amuse-bouche in which watermelon is paired with dry minced-pork and spring onion.

(Appetizer) 柚子、蝦及荷花沙拉,配以香炒青蔥及椰子。 Pomelo and water lily salad with prawn, sprinkled with fried shallots and coconut and lemon basil, an extremely refreshing dish prefect for the hot summer in Siem Reap.

煎洞里薩湖 (Tonle Sap Lake) 魚,以咖哩清湯,番茄及地道香料一起吃,鮮魚味完全沒有被蓋過﹗My favourite fresh catch of the day from Tonle Sap Lake! Coacker fish  is served with  sour clear curry soup, tomatoes and local spices, banana chunks and rice paddy herbs.

香煎 Sanday 魚 (洞里薩湖的河鮮),配以茄子3 食 (茄子蓉、蒸茄子和燒茄子),十分惹味。 Pan-fried Sanday (fresh catch from Tonle Sap Lake) toasted with aubergine puree, steamed aubergine and fried aubergine!  One of my favourite veggie on earth!

很特別的一度地道菜,以吳哥黑啤酒慢煮豬腿,配秋葵及已煎香的麵條及發酵辣椒汁。One of the most unusual local dish – Angkor stout slow cooked pork shank in black beer with okra together with fried crispy noodles and fermented chilli sauce.

很美味的甜品,朱古力紀廉及椰子加牛軋糖奶油和焦糖脆片。 Chocolate pot de crème with caramelised rice praline, toasted with coconut whipped cream and nougatine.

很喜歡這個petit fours。山竹(Mangosteen)、柑橘 (Tangerin) 和椰子,以上面的粗鹽調味﹗Petit fours is seasonal fruits in which mangosteen and tangerine seasoned with a pinch of salt!

  1. Fresh Fruit Factory – 一向怕冷的我,從來不吃刨冰 (Shaved Ice),因為在香港開冷氣好像不用交電費的情況下,即使戶外攝氏30度的天氣,在室內地方也會經常冷得全身發抖﹗但因暹粒實在太悶熱,每天溫度大約38度,中午的時候更沒有人外出,否則不用一小時,可變燒豬。於是刨冰變得非常吸引。這間由日本人主理的小店,很有特色,刨冰是由煉奶製成,又香又滑,再配以地道芒果,味道一流﹗I was never fond of shaved ice because I do not like the cold. But since Siem Reap is scotching hot, having shaved ice is a welcoming change. This Japanese-ran store presents a very unique. This dessert is made by condensed milk and serve with fresh mango. The taste is exquisite.

門口給人嘻皮士的感覺,可能也反映著這對日本partners 的性格。A bohemian entrance which reflects the cool characters of the Japanese partners.

小店內每一幅牆已讓遊客留下他們的印記。我也在外牆畫了一個蝴蝶,老闆很開心。 This little gem is adorned with marks left by tourists all around the world.  The owner is so delighted to see I paint a little butterfly on the wall as a gift to them.

芒果沙冰 (smoothie) 及刨冰很滑,必試。 The mango smoothie is a must try dish here.

刨冰很大碗,以煉奶製成,非常滑,溶了也不會覺得在吃沒有味的水。The silky smooth shaved ice is made with condensed milk based on Japanese recipe.  It will not turn into ice water when it melts under the hot weather.

3. Raffes Angkor –  一個充滿殖民地色彩的老建築,酒吧給人懶洋洋的氣氛,天花上的吊扇,灰色的絲絨梳化,木椅子,望著酒店的泳池,非常的 “old world charm”﹗必點吧內的咖啡,用上暹粒咖啡豆,十分香濃,而餐前小吃香蕉片,是用胡椒和鹽調味,一吃難忘。 This is an old building full of colonial colour with a bar that gives a relaxed atmosphere. In full display is an old world charm – a ceiling fan, grey velvet sofa, and wooden chairs facing the hotel pool. Order a cuppa here made of the rich and bold local Siem Reap coffee beans. The taste of the pre-dinner snack, banana chips, seasoned with salt and pepper, leaves a lasting memory.

Old World Charm 耐看的地方不是庸姿俗粉的裝飾堆砌奢華,而是源自它優雅的本質,旖旎的風姿及引人入勝的內容。This enchanting hotel is a typical colonial style where you can immerse yourself in old world charm, a beauty who is femininely charming, elegant, graceful and a book for you to read…

大堂內的老升降機,默默地告訴Raffles 的歷史。An old elevator inside the lobby, whispering history of Raffles to everyone who passes by.

 必點的咖啡,獨特的暹粒咖啡豆,甘香並帶有雲呢哪味,沒有苦澀的餘韻,一試難忘。 The latte is one of the best in town using local coffee beans that offer a hint of vanilla flavour without any bitterness in the end note.

酒吧望著室外的泳池,步伐放慢。 The bar oversees an outdoor swimming pool for everyone to unwind.

當日點了Macaron,雪糕及麵包布丁。 I also try macaron, ice-cream and bread pudding.

法租界 Old French Quarter.


吳哥窟 – 人生之旅 Angkor Wat – Journey of my life

首次想到柬埔寨的吳哥窟,是看了王家衛的《花樣年華》。梁朝偉飾演男主角的周慕雲,於荒廢的寺廟內,面向一個小洞把心底秘密說出來 [注1],背景音樂旋律拉奏著千百年來的哀傷。他心底那段未果的愛情,一如盛極一時的吳哥王朝一樣, 隨時間消失,只剩下斑駁遺跡下的滿目荒涼….. 心想有生之年必須造訪這個國度。 柬埔寨的歷史就像是一個複雜的萬花筒,放眼望去,交錯著硝煙烽火,刀光劍影。吳哥古蹟是世界上最大的廟宇群建築,供奉印度教的毗濕奴 (Vishnu) 及佛教(大乘佛教),延伸到160公頃。提據銘文,當時曾動用三十萬名工匠及六千頭大象興建,工程浩瀚無比。每一個城市有它的城門、護城河,有些寺廟甚至鑲滿寶石或黃金,綺麗奢華,王朝盛極一時。

吳哥王城由 Jayavarman VII (柬王闍耶拔摩七世) 於12世紀間興建。吳哥通王城( Angkor Thom) 也稱大吳哥,是「大城市」的意思。吳哥的通王城始建於9世紀,現今所見的建築是由12世紀末、13世紀重建而成。而大吳哥以著名的巴戎廟(Bayon)為中心,也是著名的「高綿微笑」佛像所在之處。及至15世紀時,柬國王朝沒落,被逼棄城退守金邊。輝煌的建築竟漸漸被叢林蔓藤吞噬,完全湮沒在人類的紀憶之中。直到19世紀,一名法國生物學家按照古籍探險,終於在不見天日的叢林之內發現這座迷失的古城,令文明古蹟重見天日,哄動一時,被列為世界七大奇觀之一。

在50至60年代的柬埔寨曾經在國際舞台上光輝無限,成為多過知名人仕或政要到訪之地,座上客包括前美國總統甘乃迺的夫人(Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis) 、瑪嘉烈公主、李光耀總統、及法國總統。直至1970,龍諾 (Lon Nol) 策動政變,推翻帝制。在1975年至1979 年間,赤柬 (又稱紅色高棉) 的波爾布特 (Pol Pot) 掌控政權,在接近四年的「零度歲月」自絕於國際社會,展開了人類歷史上最恐怖的大屠殺之一。極端獨裁的政府,黨同伐異,無所不用其極地逼害反對派人仕,對持異見的文人、藝術家、及政客進行殘酷清洗。大屠殺令當時人口由700萬大減至 350萬人,全國四分一人口死於處決、酷刑、過勞、饑荒等等,該國至今仍留下聞之色變的夢魘。英國電影「戰火屠城」正是以這段殘忍的歷史為背景。

一直到1991年,柬埔寨終於在巴黎和平條約規定下,由聯合國接管,取得短暫和平。1993年實行君主立憲制,再次建立柬埔寨王國。到1997 洪森發動軍士政變,掌控政權至今,該國仍籠罩在強人威權統治的陰影下。


Angkor Wat has always on my mind since watching In The Mood for Love by Hong Kong movie director Wong Kar-wai. In the film, Chow Mo-Wan (by Tony Leung) brought the memory of his forbidden love to the monastery relic in Angkor Wat, where he whispered into a hole in the ruined wall. He then covered the hole with soil to bury the brief romance that never blossomed in daylight. Along with his unspoken affection lies the faded grandeur of the Khmer Empire, which was once the most powerful Southeast Asian empire during the Middle Ages. But as time goes by, the great empire was forgotten, its holy temple abandoned, leaving behind the valuable relics of the legacy. It was then I decided I must visit this place and see it for myself. Cambodia has a long and colourful history. Angkor Wat in Siem Reap is the largest temple complex and religious monument in the world, located on a site measuring around 160 hectares. Originally it was built as a Hindu temple for the Vishnu god in Khmer Empire, but slowly transformed into a Buddhist temple towards the end of the 12th century. According to old documents, over 300,000 workers and 6,000 elephants were employed to build the extensive structure. Each palace in Angkor had its tower gate and city moat, and the temples were lavishly adorned with gold and jewelry.

Angkor Thom was built by Jayavarman VII in the 12th century, which literally means “Great City”. At the centre of the massive complex was the magnificent state temple, Bayon, the temple of the smiling gods. In the 15th century, the royal family of Khmer Empire suffered a downfall and fled from Angkor Wat. The awe-inspiring temple complex was then left to wither in decay, later forgotten, and in the end completely swallowed by the robust jungle. Until the 19th century, adventurers discovered the ancient temple according to historical records, stunning the world with its grandeur and aesthetic values. It is now listed as one of the seven wonders in the world, and preserved as an UNESCO World Heritage.

Cambodia was once glamorous on the global stage and hosted numerous international stars. Until 1970, Lon Nol launched a coup to abolish the monarchy, and declared himself the president. Following his ruling, communist party Khmer Rouge rose to seize power and its leader Pol Pot led the country into a dark era known as “The year of Zero” in history. During the vicious four-year regime, the country descended into complete chaos. The dictator sealed the country off from the outside world and launched a genocide within his own country to eradicate his opponents. The deadly cleansing was performed on writers, artists, politicians and so on, resulting in a shocking plummet in the population of the Cambodia from 7 million to just 3.5 million! A fourth of Cambodians died from torture, execution, starvation or exploitation. The bloody history has inspired award-winning British drama film The Killing Fields.

The country only achieved peace when the United Nations took over its governance after the Paris Peace Accords, and later restored the status of the royalty. However in 1997, Hun Sen launched another military coup and seized power, extending his legacy until today. This is the first time I visited  . I saw a large piece of fertile soil on the plane, with trees and trees along the road. Only six main roads have traffic lights in place, and the economy relies on farming and tourism. Nevertheless, it is a city rich with history and culture. Visitors will find vintage and charming colonial buildings with pubs, shops, and a diverse local cuisine. Top resorts and hotels are also in town. It is a place really suitable for different travelers. Let’s take a glimpse of how I feel about Siem Reap!