It is already known that Siem Reap is the base city for exploring Angkor Wat. However, what few people don’t know is that in Siem Reap you can engage in many interesting food tours which makes it worth to stay a few more days to explore its cuisine. It’s amazing how much you can learn from Cambodian history through Cambodian cuisine.

Local farmers market in Siem Reap Psah Chas - Old Market
Psah Chas – Old Market

Why take a food tour in Siem Reap

Siem Reap has a broad gastronomic offer: local markets, street food, night markets, cafes, very good family restaurants, fine-dining restaurants, etc. However, even for us who travel to explore food, Cambodia is not the most friendly destination to venture your taste buds out and understand the local cuisine without any guidance. There are several reasons for that:

  • Cambodian cuisine is one of the most overlooked in Southeast Asia, due to this, there is not so much information available on the Internet. Despite having unique characteristics, the many similarities with the cuisine from neighbour countries and little available information, make it difficult to understand what is typical from there.
  • Unless you speak Khmer, it is very difficult to communicate with local vendors on the markets, street food stalls, etc.
  • Typically, Siem Reap is a short-stay destination, meaning it is good to be sure of the choices you take;
  • Food security in Cambodia is critical, to minimise the risks it is important to be informed where to eat. A valuable comment here: Don’t believe that you are safe by eating international food. Actually, it is the other way around. It is better to eat local food. Turnover is higher,  you will get the freshest ingredients, besides, there is no sense to go to Cambodia to eat pizza.

Read more: How to eat street food without getting sick

Therefore, we highly recommend you to take a food tour in Siem Reap with someone more experienced to explore the local food with reliable information, thus minimizing the risks.

Our choice: Siem Reap Street Food Tour with Backstreet Academy

There are several companies that offer gastronomic tours in Siem Reap, but whenever possible we chose to make tours with the Backstreet Academy (we talked about them here), we support the mission of the company and overall the experiences are more differentiated than the more commercial tour operators.

In Siem Reap, Backstreet Academy offers a variety of food tours, as well as cooking classes, visits to local villages, workshops, etc. For the food tour, our choice was the Siem Reap Street Food Tour-Unexplored Night Bazaar.

How was our food tour in Siem Reap

We could not be happier with our choice. It was one of the tours we ate the most (and we’ve been in many food tours)

Our guide, Yukheng, was super helpful and knew how to guide the tour according to our interests: super local food market off the tourist circuit, local curiosities, family restaurants, new ingredients, picnic on the sidewalk, insects, exotic fruits, recipes, many traditions, stories, and good laughs.

It is very worthwhile!

Other experiences in Siem Reap

In addition to the food tours, Backstreet Academy also offers several cultural experiences in Siem Reap. We participated in a Cocktail Workshop with local spices which was amazing. We also attended a performance of the Phare Circus.

It was a pity that we didn’t have time to learn how to cook insects in the Fear Factor Challenge and couldn’t learn how to make our own medieval knife.
I hope you can spend more time in Siem Reap, and by the way, if you decide to learn how to make a xylophone or a copper bracelet, please let us know!


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