Warm Welcome, Chilled Vibe

After the parasitic ordeal that I have just been through, I more than anybody realise the importance of eating not only great food, but most importantly healthy food.

To experience this with the added bonus of super-friendly hosts and relaxed Bohemian atmosphere, just make it that much better.

Everything Zen – Michael comes to take our order

All of this and loads more is here in bucket loads at Camtama in Siem Reap, Cambodia. This is more than just a lovely tastefully decorated cafe, serving locally sourced organic produce, Camtama is a way of living. I will explain more.

The cafe has been set up for about a year now by German/Australians Michael & Elke. They wanted a base in Siem Reap for their wider project in using their vast knowledge accumulated over many years of travelling extensively (compare travel CVs for a bit of fun!) and senior management of various businesses in several countries.

Their aim is to help Cambodian’s subtlely raise the bar in the spheres of hospitality, hygiene, efficiency, marketing etc. to look after their guests that much better, so get more from their enterprises without making radical changes. Proverbially teaching them how to fish rather than just providing fish to eat.

They are of course a commercial enterprise, but in my few hours spent in their company, I got the over-whelming feeling that they genuinely cared and wanted to help their national hosts by passing on what they know. They certainly cared about me and without them my recovery would have taken days longer.

See more about their wider project by clicking guiding hand.

Back to the nitty gritty of the cafe itself. The airy space has lovely eclectic furniture, custom-made by local artisans, whilst the walls are adorned with works by a talented but as yet unknown artist that Camtama are trying to publicise.

The scrupiously clean kitchen served us beautiful light omelettes one day and a ginger chicken with rice to die for the next. All washed down with pineapple and mango juice, whilst listening to ambient tunes. Exactly what my particular doctor ordered!

They do a ‘dish of the day’ ranging from international to Khmer cuisine, whilst gourmet salads are a real speciality. Anything containing feta cheese is an absolute winner in my book!

I am going to be controversial now! We breakfasted one day at the revered Blue Pumpkin. It was no contest, Camtama is miles better!

Camtama is slightly out of the centre down street 27, but is only a 5-minute, $1 tuk tuk ride away from Pub Street. You won’t be sorry that you made the small effort. Your well-being will be eternally grateful!

Words by Wilbur, Photos by Mrs Wilbur (Rania).

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