Aug 7, 2015

Siem Reap - An overview

Hello from Siem Reap (The Hive cafe, to be exact)! The wifi here is pretty good so I'm taking this opportunity to escape the afternoon heat, get good coffee and do some blog updates while I'm at it. Heehee. 

Me and Danielle (high school bestie whose college mates bailed on her to Siem Reap so I get to go instead) are here for four days to explore Angkor Wat and the lovely little town of Siem Reap. 

It's been great so far! Today's the third day and since we're flying out first thing tomorrow morning, so technically, this is our last day here. Marilah recap what we've been up to (in lovely Instagram-friendly square pics format for your perusal):

Day one: 
The first day was kinda relaxed; we took the six am flight, touched down local time eight am (which was already crazy hot!). 

Took a tuk-tuk for two dollars each (yes, they use usd for everything here which is a crazy pain for us Malaysians but more on that later), checked in our nice little boutique hotel, took a shower, did a little itinerary planning on Danielle's MacBook (yes she brought one along to keep up with work; I didn't. sorry boss!), and decided to rent a bike for the day!

Danni with her prewar bike; complete with a wicker basket. 

We cycled around town; the receptionist told us not to start off with a bike on the first day as we're not too familiar with the town's layout yet, but we did just fine with the town map on the tourist brochure hehe. 
This is a cafe facing the riverside called Sister Srey. They serve good coffee! 
After a visit to the Angkor National Musuem for some pre-Angkor Wat prepping, it's sort of time for dinner so we got some Cambodian-style banh mi (called num pang), then stopped by a roadside stall for noodles. According to the nice local girl who helped us order the bowl of noodles, they call this borborlut (I'm not quite sure how to spell it. Google didn't help in this case). Anyway, it's like loh shi fun. 

After dinner it began raining so we ran to the Angkor Trade Centre (some sort of tiny mall with Swensen's!) right opposite the road to do some....pointless walking. It is a small mall.
A selfie dangerously taken while cycling hehe. 

After that we decided to brave the relatively tamer drizzle back to the hotel, so it was really fun to cycle like crazy in the rain which got progressively heavier. Heheh. 

After that, we spent the night in reading, chilling, then going to bed as we have to wake up super early to catch the sunrise at Angkor Wat!


Day two! 

Woke up at 3:30am, refreshed and ready to go. 

Some pics: 
You know, the temple where Angelina Jolie filmed Tomb Raider? Yeah. That one. I'm going to watch it after this. 
Pretty impressive though. Look at these huge old trees growing on the ruins, without a care for the centuries of history they're crushing with their roots. There's a certain beauty about it.  
Walking around the Angkor Archaeological complex is no joke; I felt like dying already. And that was like only nine am. We had been walking since six am!! 
More temples. Here's Danni.

I shall post more temple pics in other posts (hahaha fake promises).

Day three:
Ahem. What do you do when you eat yeast and shoe polish everyday? 
You rise and shine! 

(Yeah. That's a lame joke in airasia's travel three sixty magazine's August issue. What were they thinking?)

So we rose and shone this morning for a food tour! Steven from Siem Reap Food Tours picked us up at eight am.
Lots and lots of yummy food. The glossy stack on the top right is a rice flour doughnut with palm sugar glaze. Incredibly delicious. 

Also this photo illustrates the weirdness of Siem Reap's markets: they have no system to selling their stuff. You can sell doughnuts with garlic, no problem. I've seen people selling grapes along with catfish. Weird. 
Then it's off to the village!
Where we had yummy fresh rice noodles right off the pot. 
More sweet things. This is made with lightly fermented palm sugar. 
Ironing your clothes the Siem Reap way. 

After the tour, we once again rented bikes and embarked on a hipster cafe tour of town; plus some shopping for elephant pants on the side. 

So yeah. Here I am, leeching wifi off these perfectly kind people. Mind, their wifi is better than KL's hahahah. 
And this is The Hive! Pretty cool, eh? 

Ok it looks like it gonna rain. Time to balik hotel. More updates next time! 

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