After doing lots of templing at Angkor where my attempts to recreate tomb raider was failed as it was met with comments how cool my trousers are! They are pretty cool. Cool trousers for a cool dude.
But as we were staying in Shadows of Angkor Guesthouse, we wanted to explore Siam Reap as well. Our 2 days at Angkor also included time in Siam Reap and you know what? Matt, Alannah, Muriel (who joined us a day later) and I were absolutely loving it. It was the same feeling I got when I was at Ko Tao, Chiang Mai and Luang Prabang.
But what did I do in the 5 days I was staying in Siam Reap?
1) Playing Games at a local orphanage with the cute kids there. They sang to us and we played Goose and did some dancing. They loved to jump on both Matt and I. This orphanage is run by a few adults there who support it by earnings of their jobs. Our tuk tuk driver, Mr Batman, who by he way is absolutely crazy (see below), helps to run this. It was truly a rewarding experience and we bought lots of rice packages for the kids to help with the food. Mr Batman told us straight up that he didn’t want any monetary contributions from the start as he wanted his orphanage, which he also grew up in, to be honest and reliable.
2) Taking a Tuk Tuk with Mr Batman. He took us both on our Angkor Wat trips and also to the orphanage but his style of driving is absolutely crazy! He would go 3 times the speed of any normal tuk tuk around us and more than often he would yell at slow tuk tuks to ‘diiiiiiiiiiiiiiiie!’ he was also pretty cheeky getting our custom. As we arrived at the guesthouse to book in, they ordered a tuk tuk to come collect us an hour later while we got breakfast at Pub Street. Soon as we sat down, we noticed him holding up a sign for tuk tuk and he was grinning at us with a warm smile. He came up to us and asked if we had been to Angkor yet, no obviously, so he then told us that he would drive us for half the price that the guesthouse! Result! But we had to lie to the guesthouse that we were tired and would go to Angkor another day and then run around the corner to find him waiting for us! Cheeky indeed! He has his own Facebook page so check out my likes on my Facebook page to find him!
3) Get a Haircut! After a month and a half of travelling, my hair has become far too long and thick for my liking. Cambodia is hot! And having thick hair on top of your head is not a good thing! I found a local barber and the hairdresser was very specific and extremely skilled in cutting hair to the point where I must have not seen his hands move as he was snipping away at light speed! I loved it immediately! I got it done in the afternoon of my first day at Angkor.
4) Go Quad Biking! There’s a company called Quad Biking Cambodia that does amazing tours of the countryside surrounding Siam Reap. I didn’t go on it as I wanted some ‘me’ time but both Alannah and Matt raved about it and they certainly enjoyed seeing kids running out of their houses to save at them.
5) Get a Seeing Hands Massage! Keen to support local businesses and charitable organisations, both Muriel and I got full body massages from blind people. The money we give is spent for their welfare. The massage was brilliant! Lasted a whole hour and certainly loosened some knots in my lower back!
6) Do a Khmer Cooking Evening Course. Both Alannah and I went to the market, where she harassed a Kiwi bloke by shoving a camera in his face, and learnt all about the herbs, fruits, vegetables and spices that is found in Khmer dishes. We then went to a local kitchen to be instructed by a stern little Khmer woman in the art of cooking. I managed to cook a Spicy Shrimp Salad and a Spicy Chicken Canneloni that really stuffs your stomach to high heaven. Both Alannah and I enjoyed wearing our hats! Sitting down, we gorged on the food. It was completely gorgeous and so stuffing that dum dum duuuuuuum! I had to leave some food on my plate. I don’t think my stomach has handled such great food up to my throat!
7) Go to one of the many Night Markets! Complete bargains here! I managed to find a green and gold tablecloth there for my mum. I could have gone wild in my spending but I somehow managed to restrain myself!
8) Go to Blue Pumpkin and get an Ice Cream Shake. Nowords can describe how amazing it is!
9) Party at Angkor What? Bar. Many an evening we would be found at Angkor What Bar in the hope of getting a tshirt. Buy 2 buckets and you get a tshirt for free. As there were 4 of us, there were a lot of buckets ordered! We met so many backpackers there and on the last night, we decided to stay on a bit longer there and we could be found dancing on the tables and pulling that cheesy chat up line!
Siam Reap has been the place to go for me in Cambodia and I’ll happily return there for a longer time!