Monday, January 23, 2017

The top 5 coffeeshops in Siem Reap

I really like coffee, and I really like to work in a coffeeshop. I always did, even when they were called Cafe. It is the laid back environment what I like, but even when it's crowded I can ignore the noise and just work. Siem Reap is just perfect for my work style, so I thought I make a list of the Top 5 coffeeshops where you can work and where you get great coffee. My benchmark is a) quality of coffee, b) that it's local owned, c) decent internet and d) friendly service. The Top 5 are equally good, but in my opinion stand out compared to others.


This coffeeshop opened just a few months ago and quickly gained attention within the freelancer community, both expats and locals. The coffee at Biolab is excellent and very reasonable priced. Internet connection is extremely good and the service is very friendly and helpful. Located at Wat Bo/corner Street 22. Open every day from 7.30 am. Breakfast and a  basic food menu available.

Noir 306

Based a the Hotel 306 at the corner of National Road 6 and Lok Taney Road this little gem opened last year and is one of my favorite places. Internet is decent, coffee is good (what was a surprise since they use Boncafe, normally not my favorite). There are two meeting rooms attached. Sitting at Noir 306 isn't the most comfortable if you are a lounge guy, but the wooden stools force you to sit straight. Lovely stuff and very good and cheap Khmer food.

Noir 1928

Another new branch of the same brand. They recently opened Nour 1928 on Road 6 corner Achar Sva street, at the gas station. While it's smaller than the branch at Hotel 306, they offer the sample quality and variety of food and drinks. Decent internet speed and the same friendly stuff. Good location just opposite the Royal Gardens.

Temple Bakery

While I do not like the Temple group too much because of their aggressive strategy to expand and their business behavior in Pub street, the Bakery building at Street 25 is well done. The morning shift is great, service goes down pretty quick in the late afternoon and gets - in particular at the sky deck - horrible at night.
If you like to relax, stretch your legs and but you laptop on a pillow, this is the right place for you. Internet is ok, but drops sometimes. Khmer noodle soup with beef  is only 1.50 between 7-9 am and highly recommended. Staff in the morning shift is quote nice and helpful.


This place is a bit far from downtown, but if you live in the area behind Angkor High School its just perfect for you. Located at Sombai Road/Navutu Road TruBlu recently updated their menu and service, and that was a good thing. Relaxed place, even with beanbags to chill, great food with huge portions, the usual range of coffee and fast internet. Stuff is friendly and helpful.


Brown Cafe

Finally they came to Sieam Reap, but my favorite Phnom Penh coffeeshop brand screwed up here.  The building is a total architecture failure, because the blank walls and a high ceiling create a constant noise even with a few people there. Service at this Brown branch is sometimes slow and internet drops. While the quality of the coffee is great and food as well (although pricy), the options mentioned above are still better.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

8 reasons why we should not rescue pagoda dogs and cats

The word of mouth says there are some foreign doctors in town treating pagoda cats and dogs. It was said that no privately owned animals are treated. I think this is a wrong approach. And I tell you why:

1. The reason why dogs and cats have huge litters is because most are supposed to die. That is how it works. Saving them means producing a lot of animals who are unfit for life and reproduction.

2. Let the fittest survive instead of saving the weakest. Locals usually wait a few weeks until they see what cat/dog will survive and keeping it as a pet.

3. By treating pagoda cats and dogs you are actually support the pagoda trade – what means people will continue bringing animals to this place, even if it wasn't meant to be a shelter.

4. Monks accept the animals, but they are a temple, not a animal shelter. Their religious belief  forces them to care but they do it only to still low extent.

5. Rescuing a cat/dog isn't just a one day treatment, but a life long commitment. You don't do that to make you feel good.

6. What is needed is changing habits of locals. You can't do that in a pagoda with foreigners. What is needed is a Khmer owned proper clinic and a Khmer owned proper pet care with dog/cat boarding. Have a look an neighboring countries like Thailand and Laos. The toy dog business (like them or not) made dogs and cats a pet that is accepted in the house - and an investment you care more about. So people start caring about their pets just because their peers do it.

7. Pagodas do not provide medical service. A one day event (beside spay and neuter) doesn't change anything. Money is better spend in supporting/setting up a local clinic with a qualified vet and proper equipment.

8. Siem Reap as any other places in Cambodia needs better equipment and better diagnostic tools for pet care. As long as you can't get blood tested here or an x-ray, those one-day events are useless.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Commute on Yamaha XTZ through outskirts of Siem Reap in Cambodia

My ride from my home to the supermarket on a Yamaha XTZ