Epicure Vietnam

24 HOURS IN Siem Reap, Cambodia

- Joffrey Thin-Gris, general manager of The Aviary

» Where to eat There’s no shortage of dining options in cosmopolit­an Siem Reap. I love going to Banlle for its vegetarian fusion fare. Set in a beautiful and quiet garden, it’s an oasis of calm right in the heart of Siem Reap. Fresh vegetables from their organic farm are served in a charming wooden house and you won’t want to leave without trying their vegetable amok, a Cambodian curry of vegetables served in banana leaves.

It’s also nice to have other cuisines for a change and Fumizen is great for Japanese tonkatsu - perfectly fried panko-battered, deep-fried pork cutlets.

» Where to drink Pub Street is a hive of activity with its many bars and restaurant­s. Sip an Angkor Beer after a day at the temples; you can even do a little shopping at the markets surroundin­g the street. Make a turn into a small alley and you will find The Glide Bar, an elegant rooftop space that is great for drinks at sunset. Cocktails and bar bites go hand in hand as you admire the fastchangi­ng skyline of Siem Reap.

» Where to stay The Aviary Hotel is a sophistica­ted urban oasis inspired by nature and Cambodia’s rich heritage of traditiona­l crafts. This relaxing sanctuary filled with locally commission­ed artworks, which celebrate the beauty and diversity of the kingdom’s birdlife, is convenient­ly located in the heart of the city.

Another go-to spot is the newlylaunc­hed Sambok rooms combine modern lines and curves with Cambodian style. On a hot day, have a dip at any of the two pools in the property to cool off.

» What to do Siem Reap has modernised a lot but the countrysid­e hasn’t changed as much - I like to cycle there, enjoy the scenic landscape which is filled with traditiona­l wooden houses, children playing and serenity. After a day of cycling, one has to refuel and what better than a street food tour? Partake in Cambodian-style sandwiches, pork sausages, chive cakes and wash it all down with an iced-coffee.

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