Today was my day to kind of kick back, relax, and explore the town of Siem Reap a little. Just a relaxing day in advance of my big day tomorrow exploring the temples.
I lazily woke up around 10am and went downstairs for breakfast. The hostel has a huge bar/restaurant on the first floor alongside their swimming pool. For $2 you can get a breakfast buffet of fresh fruits, cereal, toast and mini pancakes.
I wanted a manly breakfast so I had their full breakfast off their menu for $5.50 – eggs, bacon, sausage, toast, tomato and beans.
I didn’t really have a plan for the day so I just headed out for a walk. It was already 34C out and it wasn’t even noon yet.
I went into a massage place cause, well, what the hell else are you gonna do? An hour full body massage was only $6.
After the massage I was ready to come back to the hostel for a shower and sought sanctuary from the heat in my nice air conditioned dorm room for a couple of hours.
As the afternoon was winding away I figured I should probably get my ass out of bed and back out there.
And I was hungry…
I walked down to the Pub Street on was on last night because that’s where most of the restaurants are. I looked at a couple of menu boards and then came upon a place with some nice western and Asian dishes.
I didn’t realize til later that I had actually walked into a Vietnamese restaurant. That would explain the yummy fresh springrolls and pork fried rice on their menu.
Both of which I had for lunch. I also tried a Winter Melon Tea that was listed under soft drinks along with Coke and 7up.
It came in a can, the ingredients were water, cane sugar, winter melon juice (still no idea what that is) and caramel.
Oh. My. God.
So good! You can really taste the caramel after taste. We have to get this in North America!
Of course after lunch it was time to go back to my sanctuary. On the way back I stopped off at an ATM to get some more money out. There were a couple setup a block away from the hostel and they were both enclosed in glass housings.
Holy crap, it was like a sauna in there. To top it off they both declined my transaction for whatever reason. I find here in Asia that I have about a 20% success rate at ATMs and am just declined for unknown reasons most of the time.
I spotted another ATM further up the road (this one inside a mini-mart) and it dolled out my money – US greenbacks. Yup, the currency of choice here is US dollars and the only time they use their currency, the riel, is when giving out change that is less than a dollar as they have no US coins in circulation here.
So if something cost $1.35 I would give them 1 US dollar and 700 riel as 100 riel is the equivalent of 5 cents.
A little complicated as I have both currencies in my wallet but at least there’s no conversion to be done.
I then had another campout in my room that I once again justified by the fact that I would have a long day outside tomorrow.
By 6pm I drudged out again to eat. This time I was gonna do it the easy way – dinner at the restaurant downstairs. I had my eye on the Hostel Burger when I saw it on the menu card yesterday and so I went for that.
It’s a burger with bacon, cheese, egg, caramelized onions and all the other fixins served with fries for $6. So, so good. God I miss the meaty, greasy western food!
They also had happy hour between 4 and 8pm so I ordered a Long Island Iced Tea for $3.50 and was served two of them at the same time. Let’s just say they didn’t water down those drinks. Wow, super strong that I actually passed my second one off to a girl I was talking to.
At 7pm I headed upstairs to the Cinema Room again as they were showing Tomb Raider.
Now I had already seen the movie and it’s one of those meh kind of movies but some of it was filmed here in Cambodia at one of the temples I’ll be visiting tomorrow. So, you see, I had to see it!
By 9:00 it was over and so was the day for me. This heat does wear you down and I find myself ready to turn in pretty early these days even on days where I sleep in.
Like I said earlier, tomorrow is going to be a looooong day as I’ll be travelling to different temples for about 6 or 7 hours in the blazing 35C sun. I leave at 10am and should arrive in time for dinner. To say I’ll be wiped out when I return is probably a pretty decent bet.
But, whatever – that’s why people come to Siem Reap! To see the temples! To see Angkor Wat!