Trip from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh with a stop at the market of spiders

April 2013

Besides the temples of Angkor, Cambodia has a lot to offer and then an overland tour, for example from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh, will enable you to discover not only other archaeological sites, but also the authentic life of the Cambodians who live far away from the tourist places. Do not miss a brief stop at the market of spiders, so called because fried spiders and other insects are sold to passing motorists

Siem Reap Siem Reap Cambodia
Photo of Siem Reap. This town, in the heart of the Cambodian jungle, has just under 200,000 inhabitants and until a few decades ago it was completely unknown to the rest of the world. Now, thanks to the discovery, restoration and opening to the public of the famous temples of Angkor, almost 2 million tourists each year (April 2013) visit Siem Reap. They come to find a sort of "Las Vegas" in miniature , with dozens of great hotels, restaurants and night life on the streets which are always lit. Siem Reap has an international airport connected by direct flights from many capitals of Southeast Asia and it can be reached by land from other cities of Cambodia.
The old town of Siem Reap is crossed from the river on which a lit bridge has been built
Night market Market in Siem Reap
Market in Cambodia fruit market
The market in the central streets of Siem Reap is open until late at night, and you can find everything from clothing items to fresh fruit.
dragon Fruit
A woman sells dragon fruits, oranges and water apples at his stall in the night market in Siem Ream.
Nine-headed snake
The central regions of Cambodia are interesting and it is worth travelling by land between Siem Reap and Phnom Penh at least in one direction, for example by organizing the flight plan to arrive at and depart from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh or vice versa. Along the road from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh, Kompong Kdei visit the old bridge dating back to the twelfth century, which now crosses the river to the lowest level since March is the peak of the dry season. The bridge has along the edge a parapet in the form of a snake body, which ends with the usual nine heads.
Kompong Kdei
Sambor Prei Kuk
The archaeological complex of Sambor Prei Kuk is located about halfway between Siem Reap and Phnom Penh. It consists of structures of the pre-Angkorian period (period prior to the construction of the temples of Angkor) dating back to the seventh century. In the photos, a shrine with the holy water at the centre of the room.
Temple of  Sambor Prei Kuk
The site, which covers an area of ​​just over one square kilometer, consists of a series of buildings being restored, which had the function of small shrines. Their condition is not among the best, and beside being worn by time, they were also damaged by U.S. bombing.
Kampong Thom
Sambor Prei Kuk - Cambodia Pre- angkorian site



Some shrines are still buried in the soil that has accumulated over the centuries. On the external walls some low-reliefs in fairly good condition, incredibly, survive




Guardian lion
On the left, a lion guardian. In the picture on the right , the remains of a large pool.
Spiders market
Spiders village

Just north of Phnom Penh, the town of Skuon, is the market of spiders, so named because hawkers and stalls sell fried spiders big to passing motorists. The spider fried in Cambodia is considered a delicacy and many Cambodians arrive here from far away to buy their favorite dish
Tarantula Tarantules
Fried spiders


The spiders are captured in the forest and in the fields, or in the holes where they are bred before being deprived of venomous claws and to be fried together with various herbs. Originally, the consumption of fried spiders for food began simply because of starvation, but later, among the Cambodians, they have become a much sought-after delicacy
Cambodian food Fried birds
Spiders market photos. At the market of spiders in Cambodia you can find other specialties, such as small birds which are cooked as a whole.
Fried cock-roachs Fried roachs
Cooked insects Cooked insects
Food in Cambodia


Other specialities sold at the market of spiders include fried crickets and other insects seasoned with chilli pepper and other species
Stall in Cambodia Market stalls in  Cambodia
Cambodian food


Stalls selling various specialities, such as birds, spiders and fried insects.
Fried crickets Cooked insects
I was nearly tempted ... but at the end I didn't taste them...
Lotus flowers for  food
Lotus flowers

At the market of spiders there are stalls selling fruit and other vegetables. In particular, in these photos, we can observe the capsule of the lotus flower (the part that remains after flowering and contains the seeds), used for food because the seeds are tender and very tasty.
Dried fruit stall Fruit stall in Cambodia
Other stalls selling fresh fruit and dried fruit at the market in Cambodia.

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English translation by Lorena Anzani.