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Stung Treng

Eat and meet

Stung Treng

Start your day in Stung Treng with piping hot noodle soup on the banks of the San River. Meals are cheap and the coffee strong, but no English is spoken. Staying local, venture into the market to find coconut-flavoured rice wrapped in bamboo as well as an impressive assortment of fruit for such a quiet town.

The standout traveller restaurant in town is Ponika's Palace (previously Stung Treng Burger). The menu features an array of Khmer, Western and Indian food, including English breakfast, pumpkin soup, cottage pie, various masala dishes, Mekong fish, burgers, house-made yoghurt and ice cream -- we liked the amok, even if it did have a bit of an Indian flavour to it. Free WiFi and bikes and motorbikes are available for hire. Recommended.

Dara used to offer solid French cuisine, but that's faded somewhat and it's now more of the same Khmer/Western menu as most guesthouses, with a focus on fried rice and noodles. Its fruit shakes are above average, however.

Riverside's food is slightly worse, catering to travellers who are in a hurry to transfer buses en route from Laos south. Even the fried rice here was sub-par -- greasy and flavourless. Riverside is best for cold drinks, traveller information, and friendly conversation, whereas Ponika's offers the best dining option in town. If Riverside's beers are too pricey for you, the shop next door has a fridge and will put a table out on the pavement for you.

Mekong Blue, the weaving centre to the east of town has a small cafe on site, but only drinks were available when we visited. Still, give it a try after checking out the weaving centre.

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