Experience local life in Cambodia
One of the most recent trends in the travel industry are authentic experiences. While overtourism let travelers reconsider to go to the hotspots in a country, they may change to lesser known, but more individual destinations like experience local life in Cambodia when you visit families. The travelmarket report recently wrote: “More and more travelers are demanding an “authentic” travel experience, a trend that experts say plays into the hands of experienced, high-touch travel agents who can help consumers sift through the vast array of opportunities the world offers. According to a recent Expedia survey, 76% of baby boomers rate experiencing authentic local culture as “the most important” aspect of their decision making, while 62% of Generation X consumers rate local culture most important.”
If you are looking for authentic experiences, you may have to look very close. Nowadays many classic tour packages are just wrapped in new paper. Village tours and cooking classes, food tours and home stays are all a kind of authentic and locals experience. But the are also organized, and quite often there is not much time to interact with locals. Also, interpreters and tour guides may help to communicate, but can be a barrier as well. We are a cooking class with families.
Time needed to experience local life in Cambodia
At Dine With The Locals we do not provide guided tours. We let you have the full experience with the host family, without interference. Our hosts are not working in the tourism industry, their houses are private and not open to the public. Also, the tour itself is private: It’s just you, the people traveling with you and a Khmer family. If you are curious enough, you will get a much deeper understanding of the daily life, the dreams and challenges of locals in Cambodia. Dine With The Locals means that you cook with locals, eat with locals and experience local life in Cambodia.
You can stay one or two hours, and even longer if the hosts have time. We had guests staying for 4 hours with our host Vannak Khun in Phnom Penh and talking about modern art. We had even requests if guests can stay overnight at our host in Banteay Meanchey, because it was so beautiful there (we do not provide accommodation yet).
So much to learn from locals
One great example of local life is the use of the mortar. In Khmer its called tabal, and we use it as well in the official name of our company tabalr technologies Co. Ltd. It is one of the most common tools used in Khmer cuisine. In former times, it was the only way to blend spices and other ingredients. But even now, in the age of electricity, most Khmer will use the mortar instead of the blender. The latter is mostly used to make fruit shakes. When you make the Kroeung spice paste with your hands, crashing the lemongras and tumeric until it becomes a thick paste, you understand what local life is.