Bullsh*t, Bargains and Buddhas
Trip Start Sep 15, 2012
138Trip End May 01, 2013
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Where I stayed
Reflections Boutique Hotel
We went in search of tourist information to book a guide for a tour around Angkor Wat tomorrow. This proved more difficult than anticipated as the first tourist information office was a shed on the edge of a park, and was completely deserted.
On our second attempt our tuk-tuk driver told us the larger office was closed. Vikki being a suspicious Inspector Gadget suspected foul play and told him to take us there anyway, where the doors were wide open and information was being given to tourists left, right and centre. The driver had wanted to secure himself as our tour guide it seemed
Once inside, we enquired about an English speaking guide and discovered that it was practically impossible to book one at such short notice since good guides were in short supply. Fail to plan and all that.
Undeterred (there is always a way around things), we moved on and priced up some organised group tours and decided to go for a beer to discuss our options. It was then, outside Molly Malone's, that we stumbled across our friendly tuk-tuk man, Ing, and after some haggling decided to hire him for $25 for the day instead of an expensive guide.
To supplement his questionable knowledge we also bought a book on the Angkor temples so that we could educate ourselves ahead of time. Vikki even negotiated a discount price for that! All in all, we had sorted our temple adventures for the day at a reduced price and it would be completely on our terms - no straggling behind annoying groups of Americans with far too many questions..hurrah!
Feeling all 'Lara Croft' we went for a Tomb Raider cocktail at the Red Piano (to add a touch of Hollywood authenticity to the day) which we then followed with a drink at the rooftop bar of the Elephant Terrace
To get ourselves into the temple mood we visited Wat Prom Rath, which is a working monastry in the heart of Siem Reap, and when we arrived there were lots of monks clad in orange praying in the central sanctuary in front of a giant golden statue of Buddha - lots of incense and lots of chanting. We resisted the urge to join in and left them to it.
Invigorated by the spectacle we went to the market for supplies and then back to our suite to sort new year birthday accommodation out on the Thai islands. This also proved more difficult, and more expensive, than we had first anticipated as this is the height of peak season and it seems that everyone wants a bit of white sand and blue ocean! Can't think why...
We cobbled together a plan, with a number of contingencies, and then went out for dinner at Square 24 which was far too trendy for two backpackers but the food was delicious and the setting sumptuous!
The only downside was a family who arrived at the table next to us; the man coughing up the contents of his lungs for most of the meal and his wife spilling water all over herself and the floor whilst the daughter talked incessently about herself.
We finished our meal and asked the mincing head waiter if we could reserve a table for tomorrow as we had been so impressed by the food (overlooking the coughing fits and spillages...).
Back at the hotel we settled in for a relatively early night as we have a 5am start in a tuk-tuk to watch the sun rise over Angkor Wat in the morning....