Wait, why aren’t we in Siem Reap? Well after posting our trip itinerary, folks left us a bunch of advice in the comments. One, from blogger Theodora pointed out, “Christine, I’d recommend giving Angkor more than a couple of days. I didn’t believe the person who told me the stuff there was worth minimum three days, ideally a week, but it is. And I’m annoyed we didn’t do it longer.”

I kept thinking about that. A few other people had said similar things. Why was I rushing? Well I needed to get back to Chiang Mai in time for the Loy Krathong and the Yee Ping Lantern release (I went to it last year and it’s the most beautiful and amazing ceremony I’ve ever seen).

There’s too much cool stuff in the world to see. Obviously, this a quality problem to have. Then I saw this awesome video, and I thought, wow, that would be cool to try something like that at Angkor Wat.

So we did a visa run to Burma, got two more weeks in Thailand and pushed out Cambodia by two weeks, letting us see the Loy Krathong festival in Thailand and spend more time in Angkor Wat. So thank you, to everyone who commented and convinced me that spending 2-3 days in Angkor Wat was crazy. I needed that.

So what to do in the interim? Well, as I’m now an fully fledge member of the expat-class, I invited some people over for dinner, to begin testing recipes for my upcoming Thai Food series on Facebook.

The menu was simple:

I picked up some Thai cookbooks, one of which is in Thai, hopefully I’ll be able to learn the Thai alphabet well enough to google translate it.  (I bought my laptop in Thailand so it has the Thai characters on the keyboard).

Green papaya:

A special peeler that lets you cut green papaya into spaghetti like strings:

The shredded papaya, which smells and looks a bit like a very large cucumber:

Crushing Thai chilies, garlic and peanuts together for the salad:

Thai green papaya salad:

Cole entertains our guests while I try to get a shot of the papaya margaritas (with lime and rosemary):

The beef penang curry turned into pork penang curry because the shops are low on everything due to the flooding in the south.  It’s also missing basil, which we weren’t able to find.  It’s a good excuse to remake this dish again!

Even without basil, I still loved it:

We ended up talking late into the night.  It felt so great to have guests over, to be able to cook for people (even though I’m sort of out of practice!) and Cole absolutely loved all the attention.  This expat thing might not be so bad after all.  There are definitely upsides to taking a short break from constant travel.  Making new friends is definitely one of them.