I arrive at Siem Reap at 5am in the morn I was on an over night bus- full- and my seat was the only one that would not recline! Sitting next to a smelly fat man, I reckon I clocked 3 hours sleep before the rude awakening, in the dark to tuk tuk drivers wanting to take me to their commissioned hostels. I was in no mood to argue- I have never been a morning person- and while I half heartily tried to fend for my preferred guesthouse, I really didn't mind where he took me, as long as it was cheap and I could rest my head. my memory of the way into town was cold and dark (so not anything!) and by the time I got to the guesthouse and they had cleaned the room that I was to stay it was 7am.
I meet up with Georgie (my parents, neighbours, daughter) that morning -as she has been living i Siem Reap for years and she had some useful tips on the city and the temples. The I crashed for a couple of hours in my sorry state. After an afternoon stroll to try and map the city, I ran into Bennie from Germany, that I had been hanging out with in Pangkor and Pinangin Malaysia. Over dinner, we caught up on what we had done since, where we had been and what we know of the people we had met together (also listened to every Bob Marley cover ever done by anyone!) We bantered until late into the night.
I woke and booked myself into the Golden Banana That dad had booked for us to stay while they are here. It is very nice. Much nicer than any place I have stayed so far and it has a pool! LUXURY! I went into town for something to eat and I decided to let the fishies eat my feet in one of those Mr Fish Massages. It tickles so much at the start but I got use to it. I am skeptical of it as a way to get rid of dead skin as my feet still look like travelers feet after 30mins with the fish!
I hung around the pool until mum and dad arrived. It was SO great to see them! They had just arrive from 2 weeks in the UAE so over dinner and an early night we discussed our adventures and caught up.
The following day we did the tourist thing around Siem Reap (as we were waiting for my sister to arrive to see the temples.) We went to the Silk farm were they give you a guided tour of the farm and showed you the process it takes to hand weave the silk. While it maybe sounds a bit dry- it was really interesting! (or maybe I am a textile geek- thinking back to my high school days- I couldn't help think- this would be great school excursion!) it takes an entire day to hand weave half a metre of a scarf and this is not taking into account the time consuming process from cocoon to thread. Really incomprehensible for one hand-made fashion scarf how much effort goes in! Mum and dad bought some nice cushion covers then we headed out to the floating villages on the outskirts of Siem Reap.
It is low dry season so the water levels were low at the villages. You could see all the houses on stilts many metres away from any water, which indicates just how high the water gets up to. Many poor shacks and naked kids fishing in the mud. We went on a boat tour through the part of the village that was underwater. So bizarre, there are supermarkets, churches, schools, basketball courts and a crocodile farm just floating with no way to, or from them, without a boat. Young kids all know how to run the motor boats, and they come right up beside the tourist boats, jump on with an esky and try and sell you soft drink or Angkor beer.
We headed back in the afternoon and spent the time by the pool before heading out to a cambodian barbeque for dinner. We had five types of meat- Snake, crocodile, Shrimps, Beef and frogs legs that we cooked ourselves on a little cambodian cooking plate with a gas burner underneath. Our waitress Sukear, was so smiley, bubbly and helpful. I told her I liked her earrings and she took them off and insisted that I have them. I fortunately insisted more intently that I didn't need them and they only were pretty on her so she kept them!
Alicia and Lachie arrive tomorrow and we are off to the temples!!!!