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Siem Reap, like in the tales, Cambodia

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MadSuh's pictureby MadSuh review
added on 10th of September, 2007

Arriving late in Siem Reap did not give us too many choices. I was a bit hungry so I decided to stop over at the little market across the street and have some dinner. Bad mistake, it seems like the food in Cambodia may not be as clean as it is in Thailand, so I caught a pretty bad diarrhea which I am fighting today with some Imodium. Anyhow, we did meet some friendly guys and sat down and quickly had a few beers. There were many children begging and Ivan got up to help out one mother with her child. She asked for milk for the kid and he went to the supermarket with her. Sure enough she picked out a $7.5 box of milk power and not just a box of milk. When he came back to sit down, there were 4 or 5 children following him crying that they were hungry. It’s quite incredible that they are though, because the land is really rich and there are fruits around everywhere. One girls was crying hard and really had these heart breaking eyes. She kept weeping and crying “One Dolla, One Dolla, Sir, very hungry”. I saw one of the Cambodian guys trying to give the girl around 10c in Cambodian money and she pushed him back because she wanted more. To put that into perspective, 10c is enough to buy some desert on the street. Anyhow, I think they are poor, but they are not begging for food, they are begging for money to buy stuff and they will stop crying immediately once they realize that they can’t get anything from you. I will try to find out how this all works from some locals and hopefully I am right.

We went to one of the clubs to have a few beers and to my surprise, this was almost like the center of Bangkok. Beautiful prostitutes were everywhere and there are a ton of lady boys trying to hit up on men. One thing though is not bad, they are not aggressive and when you say that you are going home to sleep and you are just visiting Angkor Wat, they will leave you alone and may say “see you tomorrow, sir”. Ivan was walking a girl home and well I tried to warn him but it wasn’t a girl. She looked really good, but there was just no way she was a girl. One of the local guys whom we had met on the market had joined us and he could not stop laughing about it. Anyhow, at 1 o’clock he decided to walk her home. He had no intentions with her whatsoever but he just felt like doing her a favor by walking her home. Obviously, she was working and naturally wanted something else. Ivan walked the lady boy home, which was quite a long way. The lady boy wanted to introduce him to her/his parents and asked him to come inside. Apparently, he declined and walked back. He did pay her quite a bit of money according to him, just so she would still make enough that night. Funny … I got back home around 2am as I was waiting for him and then decided to write a little bit and go to sleep. He arrived at around 4am and I was already asleep then. He got lost on the way back home from the transvestite’s home and then he was devastated when I told him that it was a guy and not a girl he walked home.

A fun night, and a good memory. The next day we woke up and booked a Tuc Tuc for the whole day. The people at the hotel recommended going to the lake and seeing the floating village and then come back and watch the sunset at Angkor Wat. We arrived at the lake and they were selling us $20 per person private boat tickets. “Too much”, I said, but they only lowered the price to $30 for the two of us. The guys next to us paid $15 each as well for that boat, but were actually 4 people, I even though this is way too expensive for Cambodia, it was still relatively cheap. The floating village was rather unspectacular, except some nice crocodiles and some interesting shots we were able to take. Also, we met some Japanese girls out on the lake and went swimming with the guides.

On our way back to the hotel, we told the taxi driver to go ahead and drive home and we would just walk. You can see so much more when walking. We were actually walking around in an area where there were no tourists, and children and adults were waving as we walked by their homes. There are many very poor people in those areas, but no beggars. When you are in the center, you are not able to walk more than 5 meters without having 3 kids jumping up and down trying to get a dollar from you. At the market I told Ivan to try Mangosteen, I asked the lady for just one piece, she didn’t understand a word and there were 2 friends immediately next to her advising her. After a brief discussing she said

Things about Siem Reap you may be interested in

Amazing Thailand - overview

1. Aug 18, 2007 Arriving back to Bangkok (Bangkok)  (* 13)
2. Aug 19, 2007 A little more of Bangkok (Bangkok)  (* 31)
3. Aug 20, 2007 Still in Bangkok (Bangkok)  (* 31)
4. Aug 21, 2007 Adventures in Ao Nang (Muang Krabi)  (* 7)
5. Aug 22, 2007 Railay Beach - Nice Place (Ban Khlong Yang)  (* 63)
6. Aug 23, 2007 The best beaches and islands of Thailand (Krabi)  (* 87)
7. Aug 24, 2007 A quick stop and great food in Surat (Surat)  (* 11)
8. Aug 25, 2007 Koh Tao - My favorite Thai island (Ko Phangan)  (* 72)
9. Sep 4, 2007 From Koh Tao via Chumpon to Bangkok (Bangkok)  (* 52)
10. Sep 5, 2007 Back again in Bangkok (Bangkok)  (* 185)
11. Sep 9, 2007 Traveling to Siem Reap, Cambodia (Siem Reap)
12. Sep 10, 2007 Siem Reap, like in the tales (Siem Reap)  (* 71)
13. Sep 12, 2007 Experiencing Angkor Wat (Puok)  (* 204)
14. Sep 13, 2007 Great days in Phnom Penh (Phnom Penh)  (* 81)
15. Sep 14, 2007 Adventurous vacation in Sianoukville (Sihanoukville)  (* 39)

Start from beginning1 - 15          Journal overview

Traveling to Siem Reap, Cambodia

Recommended Phnom Penh Guide

Phnom Penh History

Under the beneficial influence of the French, Phnom Penh went through a thorough transformation. Roads and canals and a port were built, and the characteristic colonial architecture spread like wildfire in the city. At the beginning of the 20th century, Phnom Penh was already known as one of the most beautiful cities in Asia, ranking as high as other colonial marvels such as Ho Chi Minh City. The 20th century was a tragic period for Cambodia. After suffering great losses during the Vietnam War, when it was used as a base by the Vietnamese army, Phnom Penh fell into the hands of the dreaded Khmer Rouge. Many memorials in the city stand as a... Read more »


Recent reviews for Siem Reap

Traveling to Siem Reap, Cambodia - Sep 10, 2007, by MadSuh
I woke up a bit dizzy from last night’s adventure and really had a hard time getting up. It’s always a pain when you are traveling with a headache and a strange feeling in your stomach. Anyhow, I managed to get a cab to the bus... Read more »


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