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Sights and spices - A week inside Cambodia’s kitchens

Cambodian food is slowly making its way onto the international food radar, with celebrity chefs like Rick Stein and Gordon Ramsay singing its praises. While it has yet to gain the prominence of Thai or Vietnamese cuisine, Khmer food has an appeal all its own – extraordinarily flavorful, using a wide array of herbs and spices, and incorporating ingredients that range from the tame (potatoes) to the exotic (crocodile). Dedicated foodies and gourmets will revel in Mekong Viet ’s weeklong exploration of Khmer cuisine. Dive straight into markets, cooking classes, and a huge variety of meals at streetfood stalls and the country’s best restaurants, while at the same time exploring the country’s most compelling sights. Begin your culinary adventure in Phnom Penh, where a tour of important landmarks ends with dinner at one of the city’s best-known restaurants. The next day, shop for ingredients at a local market, then take a cooking class with one of Cambodia’s top chefs. Spend the following day learning about the Khmer Rouge regime, followed by a French-inspired lunch; then sample fried spiders en route to Siem Reap. Based in Siem Reap, the next three days combine tours of Angkor Wat and other amazing historical sights with cooking classes and visits to the city’s best restaurants. You’ll even get to grill your own meat at a local barbeque joint, where chicken and squid sit alongside crocodile and snake. Finally, take a boat tour of a floating village on massive Tonle Sap Lake, and relish the beautiful scenery and impressive wildlife of western Cambodia.

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