My new friends at Food Explorer had suggested a trip to one of the floating villages around Siem Reap, so after some intense negation on what we would do and when we would go we finally hatched a plan.
I’ll start right away with a big up to Floating Village Tours who arranged the event for us.
The journey to Outaput Village, Kampong Khleang
Our driver/guide/business partner on the event was actually from the village we were visiting, which was great as we wanted to avoid anything too touristy, although that isn’t all that hard during corona to be fair.
It is about 55 km from Siem Reap city, which meant we got to do a few tops on the way!
Nom Kan Tram and nong thang num
On the way out of the city there are tons of street huts selling sweet sticky rice, which I avoided this time, as well as shops selling all kinds of sweet delights. Although rather than just sell them they actually make them on site and sell wholesale.
We tried and saw made nam kan tram, which is a Cambodian doughnut and nong thang num, which are very literally ice-cream cones. It was facisnating to see both made, they were pretty tasty (if not coconut heavy) and we purchased enough to hand out to the kids we would be meeting at the school.
What is a floating village?
I kind of feel a bit dumb here, but I was expecting a literal floating village, but what you actually get is houses that are high in stilts, this means that during heavy heavy rains, or rather pre-global warming any season it then becomes a floating village. What we actually visited was houses on stilts.
The school at the floating village
The main point of the visit was to plan an event at the school of the floating village, which sadly has mostly been closed due to COVID. It opened though for us and we managed to hand out biscuits and doughnuts for around 70 kids, as well as having a little talk with them.
100+ ice-creams at the floating village
On the way out an ice-cream man came along selling his wares for literally nothing, so Food Explorer Peter decided to literally feed everyone. We ended up with lines and lines of kids waiting for an ice-cream, we fed the masses whist almost spending no money.
We’d only visited briefly and for one day, but it was truly amazing to see people who whilst literally having nothing were still as happy as could be, although I guess the mass of food we gave truly helped.
We’re planning to go back and do more work with the village and the NGO, and I for one cannot wait. A great day to be a Food Explorer and a Street Food Guy!