Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Loving Siem Reap

It's been a whirlwind trip to Angkor and Siem Reap. We only had one full day since we arrived night time of the 1st and left at noon time on the 3rd day. That full day was maximized, so we had that quick tour of the Angkor Temples and explored Siem Reap in the evening. We stayed in a reasonably-priced hotel ($25 up per room) called Tanei Guesthouse. 

It had a large pool, which was a requirement for me in Siem Reap. You'll know why after visiting the temples. Tanei wasn't our top choice, Le Tigre De Papier was. However, the owner revoked our booking, so we had to find another one. I settled for this one, again, because of the pool. The websites of our choices are:

http://www.letigredepapier.com

http://www.bousavyguesthouse.com/

http://www.thevillasiemreap.com

http://ei8htrooms.com/


That night, after our tour of the temples, we decided to go on a cultural dinner buffet. It was a touristy thing to do, but we were told that the price of the buffet was $5. Well, unfortunately, the price was really $12, so we were disappointed. 

There were a lot of people, mostly foreigners on tour. This was probably included in most tour packages to Siem Reap. Our guesthouse was able to reserve a nice table though, close to the stage, where a performance of traditional Khmer dances were set.

After that, we walked back along the main road and shopped for souvenirs and bags. We bought several North Face back packs at around $10 to 20 per bag. We almost ransacked the entire store, and we had almost 8 huge plastic bags filled with bags!

We planned to go out and get drunk, so after shopping, we headed straight for the popular bar, Angkor What?, in Pub St.  There were a lot of graffiti on the walls, that served as its decor and charm. I remember writing something as well in my previous visit, but I just can't remember where. Well, it was almost impossible to find my mark, since the entire place was covered in colorful graffiti. 

We ordered drinks in pitchers for only $8, and enough to keep us yapping and laughing and screaming all night. We ordered pizza as well, from next door, Le Tigre, the same pizzas we had last night. We were probably the only Asians amongst a sea of drunk Westerners who were dancing and cheering all night long.

We walked back to our guesthouse for about 10 minutes. We occupied the entire street, and we were noisy. We were all tipsy or drunk to control our laughter. It was indeed a memorable night.

The next morning, we were supposed to go on cooking lessons in Le Tigre de Papier, but only 3 of us woke up sober and early. More on that cooking encounter in my next post. Meanwhile, I'll show you how some shots of Siem Reap's Pub St. and establishments:



We checked out at 12 Noon, and headed to the airport for our 2PM flight back to Saigon. We initially were to take the bus back, but after that long and exhausting bus ride going here, it was unanimous that we fly back, even if it set us back $125 each. 

The Siem Reap airport was a boutique airport, and looked like a resort. It was small, and very upscale. The airport charged $25 airport usage fee, so that's another blow to our budget. Nevertheless, we were happy we were onboard an hour's flight back to Saigon. 

Onwards to our last destination: Mui Ne in Vietnam!

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