We’ve really gotten the most out of our two days in Siem Reap. Yesterday we rented a moped, drove out to the floating village, and took a tour of it. Today we went to Angkor Wat. I feel confident to say both were completed without incident!
After getting a late start to the day (we didn’t have breakfast until almost 10:00), we wanted a scooter. Lucky for me my husband has ridden motorbikes around Thailand and Vietnam and is comfortable cruising around with all these crazy driving Cambodians. It’s pretty nice, I sit on the back and try to be still and he does all the work.
We rode maybe 10 miles to the boat launch for what they call the floating village. It’s named Chong Khneas. It was nice, we had a tour guide and no one else on our boat. The boat took us about 10 minutes down this brown, muddy, nasty river, to this village full of floating homes and stores. Our guide showed us where there was a floating basketball and soccer court, a gas station, school/orphanage, community market, and bought us beer at a 7/11. Our guide explained to us there were many kids in the orphanage because there had been a huge storm that came through the lake that is connect to the river. The storm caused a near tidal wave he told us and killed many fisherman, causing many children to be parentless.
Our boat driver took us into the lake, Tonle Sap, while we drank our beer. Our guide explained to us how it’s bad to give money to the kids because they should be in school, but their parents make them go beg, so it’s bad to give them money. He also explained it’s bad to give money to the teachers because they will often keep the money. Then he told us we can go to a community market and buy rice to give to the school/orphanage. He said one bag will feel 350 kids and rice is a staple food here. He then asked if we would like to stop and buy some rice to give to the school? We said sure, that seems like a good gesture. When we showed up to the “store” it was only 50 pound bags of rice that we sold for $50. Something seemed a little off to me, but what do I know (the answers is not near enough)? Thankfully, while I was writing this blog, and probably Facebooking, Shaq had done some research and found out this is a common scam. We told them we didn’t have enough money with us, and couldn’t help. Our guide didn’t talk much to us for the rest of the trip.
This morning we left our room at 04:30, got in a tuk tuk, and rode out to see the famous wats of Siem Reap. We watched the sunrise at Angkor Wat, explored that wat, and two others. The wats are so detailed and full of amazing carvings/stonework. It’s also a photographers dream. The angles, shadows, colors, and detail are so fun to attempt to capture.
We thought we would be out there ALL day, but when you start your day at 04:30 and our surrounded my about 1,000 Korean tourists a half day is plenty.We joked if a piece of the ruins fell, and took out a group of tourists half of Korea would be in mourning. The tourists were just out of hand.
And I might have been a little out of hand too. This morning I had two near incidents. First, after we got back in our tuk tuk to drive down to another wat, my hat blew off. I yelled “Oh no! Stop!”. Another man had picked up my hat, I ran and grabbed it, and that was the end of that story. Until I sat back down and my phone, aka my lifeline, fell out of my pocket, facedown, on the road full other tuk tuks, cars, and busses. I panicked, got the driver to stop, ran to my poor phone, picked it up, and guess what?!? Only my screen protector was chipped on the sides a little! Thank got for the $3 screen protector I got in China. After that I put everything away, sat quietly, and tried not to cause any more scenes!
We will be heading to Sihanourkville, which is a beach town in southern Cambodia. It seems to have pretty mixed reviews, so we will see how it goes. We are hoping to jump off from there to some island time.
Number of signs saying the restaurant doesn’t service rat, dog, cat, or snake seen: 1
Percentage of worry about what I have actually been eating: up about 60%
Cost of eyelash extensions: $24
Hours we will spend on the bus tomorrow: around 12
- $20 for room
- $10 moped rental
- $36 bus tickets
- $37 food and drinks for the last two days for both of us
- $24 massages for both of us
Amount of times I’ve gone to the bathroom in the last hour and a half: 5 (I have no clue what I got into that is upsetting my stomach. Making it to week 3 without having this issue is pretty amazing)