Ok, so taking it up from my previous post, I took the night bus at 10:30pm from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap. I believe that the bus made it in good time since I arrived at the hostel even before sunrise. The first order of business was to get a shower. Although the bus, Giant Ibis, was generous enough to provide a wet towel, I could not simply do that. My last shower was a country away and maybe more than 24 hours ago. This was not to be had!
So I went straight to the hostel, asked if I could be checked-in earlier, but found that I couldn’t and so I begged for him to help me get a shower. He directed me to the place where the employees wash and clean up. It was at the rooftop. I loved it! The bathroom had the comfortable bucket and dipper (tabo at balde, anu beh?!) and it felt like the best shower I’ve ever had.
Feeling cool and refreshed, I sat at the still-closed restaurant and proceeded to eat my beef noodle take-away from the night before. I was also enjoying the free water bottle I got from the Killing Fields Tour yesterday. Yes, water bottles are given as privileged freebies in a country where water is more expensive than soda–or at least in some restaurants!–then I got my phone out, Googled for a laundry shop in Siem Reap, got the directions, and took my laundry.
Although, in hindsight, the laundry was WAY overpriced at USD 2.20/kg (because I had 4kg of laundry, I had to pay USD 9 and got a negligible change), it was worth it because it forced me to walk around the city, and while walking I found this “river”.
Side note: I call this a “river” with quotation marks because the water seems stagnant (hence the massive build-up of moss).
Then, I walked around to see some of the temples. Found my tour office, booked the tour, and paid USD 40 to get the sunrise and day tour at the Angkor Wat complex. After which, I bought some bahn mi spicy pork sandwich from the street for USD 1 then walked to the interesting yogurt place I passed by earlier (kiwi yogurt smoothie for USD 3.25 was SO WORTH IT!) and had an early lunch. Before I knew it, it was already noon and I could then check-in at my room in the hotel. As I got out of the yogurt place, the slippers I got from the bus driver in Kota Kinabalu broke and I had to hobble around, looking for a place where I can buy cheap slippers. I finally found a pair that costs USD 2.50 and then continued walking back to the hotel.
Other photos of sites and objects of interests to be found in the city are found below.
Once I was checked in, can you guess the first thing I did? Yes, I took ANOTHER shower! Walking for hours even during the early morning just made me sweat so much! Like you would not believe.
I thought that my day would end at that point because I wanted to sleep early for my temple plans tomorrow. However, Marine, a friend I met in Bangkok would be leaving Siem Reap the next day. Since we were BOTH in the same city at the same time, it would have been a shame not to have met up! I met her in Bangkok at the girls’ dormitory I was staying at there and we had interesting conversations, so I was not hesitant at all about having dinner with her. I knew that the conversation would be interesting, to say the least. It turns out, her stories were HILARIOUS! We were both laughing so much at her misadventures getting from Bangkok to Siem Reap and touring around the province. Her stories made me wish I had more time to travel – gasp, did I just write that??? – and get to really explore the places I have been to. Unfortunately, I had to keep an eye on my finances! At this point, I already had less than USD 100 (around USD 70, actually) and we ate at a nice restaurant (goodbye USD 8) but because she treated me to a beer back in Bangkok, I decided to return the favor and we had drinks along the sidewalk cocktail bars. For delicious cocktails with ACTUAL ADULT AMOUNTS OF ALCOHOL, we only paid USD 1.50 and that was WAAAAAAYYY cheap! Also, cheaper than a bottle of water! Hahaha!
So after drinks, we parted ways. I wished her luck in her future travels and she wished me safe travels going home. I think I speed-walked back to the hotel because I didn’t even notice the time and sites passing. This, of course, would result in repercussions the next day.