At last, a much needed day of no alarms and no timed plans.
It was so nice to wake up to the sunlight and the sound of life from the streets below. Tea in bed (whilst Siobh lied in), and a flick through the 'bible' to see what might tickle our fancy for today's stress free day.
Croissants for breakfast and a stroll around the town looking at potential hotel upgrades (for no real reason than just being plain nosey and potentially finding a luxury bargain).
Fruit shakes, tea breaks and shopping in the form of looking for our next bus journey, made for a relaxing morning.
A local Khmer family restaurant for lunch: chicken noodles, beef & veg stir fry and Tom yam soup (an amazing tomato and fish based soup!). Washed down with another 30p beer!
The afternoon started with a relaxing foot massage followed by a fish foot massage; you dip your feet in the water and the fish eat the dead skin! (See picture). Total cost £1.30, for both of us!!
Home, shower (from the very hot and sticky sunshine), DVD, nap. Mmmmmm.
We were woken up from a torrential downpour outside. Only raining for a max 20 mins, but the streets turned into rivers. Outside our hotel the road was a good 8 inches deep!
We hired a Tuk-Tuk driver for the evening (for $5) to take us to Phnom Bakheng, the beginning of our Angkor Wat experience!
Excited to get our first glimpse of Angkor, and not wanting to go in the rain, we did the sun dance; the sky's parted, the sun came back out and we headed to the 8th wonder of the world (or so Olly keeps saying it is lol)!
A brief glimpse of Angkor Wat as we entered the site provided a taste for tomorrow's day of exploring, but for this evening it was just about Phnom Bakheng; designed to represent mythical Mt Meru.
The relatively easy climb (made easier if you take an elephant) to the top, provides an amazing spot to watch the sunset.
The sun made a brief but staggering appearance, and was more than worth the effort.
Siobhan was asked by a very friendly man if she would like to join him on an elephant ride back to the bottom. Having paid for the ride and being on his own he very kindly offered the other seat to Siobh. Overwhelmed with joy Siobh jumped at the chance to ride an elephant, and for free!!
Unfortunately, just as she was about to board the elephant, the young Cambodian pilot claimed that if Siobh was to join she had to pay extra, even though the nice random man had paid for the hire of the elephant, and not per person. Unwilling to part with any cash,we tight-pocketed travellers walked to the bottom, for free!
The Tuk-Tuk man had waited for us as planned at the bottom, and he bombed us back (5km) to Siem Reap.
Siem Reap has it all; night market, pubs, clubs, street food, western food, KFC, cafes, pizza delivery, and hidden in the alleyways; good local Khmer restaurants. Tonight was time to try two local dishes; Khmer amok (dry, but so juicy fish curry) served in a banana leaf and Khmer curry (shrimp and veg in a curried coconut sauce). Both served with jasmine rice and washed down with more 30p beers! Thank you very much!
Khmer is the language of Cambodia and is used in the same use as 'Cambodian', i.e. Khmer curry instead of Cambodian curry.