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LikeLocal – Kokdong Village, Krong Siem Reap

It’s a cool Thursday morning, and we’re preparing for another LikeLocal Cambodia experience. The rain drizzled overhead, and the streets were busy with people taking the day off to prepare for the Khmer New Year celebration.

Community-based tourism is at the heart of LikeLocal, and our partnership over one month consisting of four meals made me realize why the world is so obsessed with Cambodia. Hospitality is a fundamental core of the Khmer People.

Ms. Srey Lack invited us for an early lunch. Ms. Lack prepared grilled fish, known as snakehead fish, with prahok chhav and climbing wattle omelet. They are a very tight-knit family living in Tikvil Commune, close to the Siem Reap International Airport.

The family is most notoriously known for their handmade baskets. They make a living off of handwoven baskets crafted from reeds. The process begins with selecting the best reeds for weaving and continues with the detailed finishing touches. Once complete, these beautiful handmade pieces are carefully packaged and exported to markets and private clients in Thailand and beyond.

Customers appreciate the intricacy and artistry of these baskets and the fact that they’re crafted with sustainable materials. The family’s success has led them to expand their business beyond weaving baskets, and they now offer a variety of handcrafted items made from reeds. With their hard work, creativity, and dedication, this family can showcase Cambodia’s artisan side.

On their off days, the family loves spending time together, cooking, enjoying traditional games, drinking, and playing football. As hardworking as this family is, they make a point to spend time together and enjoy the small things in life.

Ms. Lack and her mother prepared the table and slowly rounded up the kids to join us for lunch. I obviously avoided the snake-looking fish and dug into the rice. I’ve noticed that most kids’ go-to meal is the omelet with rice. 

My LikeLocal hosts explained that this specific fish is costly in local restaurants. However, Ms. Lack took great care in preparing it for us in a better way than any local food store. I couldn’t tell what was more interesting, watching Ms. Lack prepares lunch in her outdoor kitchen, which I absolutely love, or watching her mom weave baskets while sitting on the edge of her traditional home.

Sustainable travel is becoming increasingly important in today’s world, especially in places like Cambodia. By opting for sustainable travel experiences, travelers can enjoy a unique cultural experience while preserving the environment.

For example, instead of visiting local restaurants and bars, tourists can opt to eat at local markets or participate in cooking classes that teach them traditional recipes using locally sourced ingredients.

By traveling sustainably, tourists can ensure that their trips will have a minimal environmental impact while still being able to sample the delicious cuisine, explore unique sights, and experience the vibrant culture of their destination.

LikeLocal is a company that partners with locals to enhance community-based tourism in a fun and affordable way. Through this platform, travelers can explore their destination with the help of local hosts who can provide unique cultural experiences for visitors. In addition, by partnering with locals, LikeLocal can ensure that the money generated from tourism goes directly back into the local community and helps benefit both travelers and hosts. 

Furthermore, this type of tourism also promotes cultural exchange, which can further enrich the overall experience for all involved. With LikeLocal’s services, tourists can enjoy an immersive food experience while helping to support the local economy. It’s a win-win situation for everyone involved!

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