The Water Festival and the night market

Trip Start Oct 13, 2009
Trip End Nov 18, 2009

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Where I stayed
Shadow of Angkor Guesthouse II

Flag of Cambodia  ,
Wednesday, October 28, 2009

    Arrived in Cambodia via flt. from Bangkok.  Found a lovely little guest house after hopping in a remork (Tuk-Tuk) from the airport.  Mr. Chok our driver was very helpful and pleasant though he unintentionally drove us to the wrong hotel.  There are apparently two Shadow of Angkor Guest houses, both are centrally located and easy walking distance to the night market.  The original is quaint and on the river, closer to the shopping areas and restaurants.  The one we stayed in was very nice with a kind staff, free wi-fi and beautifully decorated rooms.  It is apparently the newer location and  a little further from the noise and crowds.  We spent the second day w/ Mr. Chok,  after breakfast at the Butterfly sanctuary, visiting the temples of Angkor Wat. I suggest purchasing the 3-day pass as it is physically impossible to see them all in one day.  As you can see from the photos, the temples of Angkor Wat are truly amazing.  Get there early, bring water and wear comfortable shoes.  
    There are many restaurants at the night market most feature Khmer cuisine, with a few catering to the tourist palate of hambugers and burritos.  I truly recommend taking a walk swiftly past all of these places on Pub street to the area where the real food is served.  The heart of dining at the night market is on a little street with rows of local families serving delicious hot plates of hearty and inexpensive cambodian food.  Look for an adorable little girl named Alyza holding a menu, with such a radiant smile it would be impossible to miss her.  She, along w/ her mom and younger sister work the tables while dad cooks up some of the best food in town! The large plates of steaming noodles were $1 usd. and so delicious.  Same same but this place is truly different.
    If you happen to be in town for the Water festival, it is definitely worth checking out. Locals and people from neighbouring villiages travel to Siem Reap to cheer on their team in the long boat races. It's an amazing celebration with music, food and plenty to see.  Pick a team, pack some food and drinks from the nearby vendors and find a spot along the river.  It gets crowded around 2 or 3 pm so pick a spot before then or you won't have a chance for a clear view.  They take this sport seriously and the competition is fierce!
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