Thursday, June 5, 2014

Siem Reap, Cambodia

Siem Reap... Home of Angkor Wat $4 thirty minute foot massages and fine dining on tarantula and crickets!
I arranged a tuk tuk driver, Heng, beforehand to take us on our temple tours since we were short on time, and he picked us up from the airport too.. Going from an airport to a hotel in a tuk tuk was a first for us, but it was kind of fun! Most southeast Asian cities have tuk tuks which vary in shape.. Siem Reap tuk tuks are motorbikes with a wagon/cart attached with a rooftop for shade.. It was pretty nice traveling from temple to temple in a tuk tuk because it gave a nice  breeze from the extreme heat.. 
We, of course, saw Angkor Wat and both recieved a good luck blessing inside, but we saw 4 other temples too.. Our favorite was Banyon! It's not near the size of Angkor Wat, but it's beautiful!!!! It was truly amazing to see so many temples in such close range from eachother.. 
Pub Street is also a hot spot.. It was neat to walk through, but we preferred the side streets.. Call us old and lame, but Pub Street was too loud for us.. But the side streets were very nice, quaint, and had much better food and drinks!  And after so much walking on uneven stone at the temples, the $4 foot massages on and off Pub Street were heavenly! The towels may or may not have been clean, but surely they washed their hands, right? Clean enough for us after a long day of walking in the heat! 
On a sad note, which I was somewhat prepared to see, Siem Reap has been the wurst place we've been as far as begging and haggling.. The worst is that kids are put up to selling souvineers and scamming for money.. We even saw two men dressed as monks that came up to us at dinner to ask for money.. Luckily, we were prepared for a lot of the scams so we didn't let it get to us too much.. I didn't want to raise my voice to some of the vendors that followed us trying to sell things.. It really tested my patience, but it was also a big culture shock and made us more grateful for our opportunities we have.. From what I've read, Siem Reap hasn't always been that way.. We would both recommend going to anyone, and not everyone there is trying to scam.. Our tuk tuk driver was very kind and really wanted us to enjoy our day.. He helped us plan our route so we would run into the least tourists as possible as each place.. Let us know if you're looking to go, and we'll give you Heng's info! 
Overall, it was very much worth it- Even if the next highlight to Angor Wat and Banyon was to watch Joshua eat crickets.. 

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