Siem Reap – the city of food, drink, and a bit more drink. We have become regulars at the Central Cafe, enjoying breakfasts such a fruit salad, pesto scrambled eggs, french toast, and eggs benedict, plus a glass of Baileys to start the day (and end it most nights as well) never went astray. You can really feel the French influence here with the food, so we were all more than glad to be over our illnesses! I finally had a chance to prove to everyone how big my stomach actually is – and officially join the ‘Clean-plate Club’ with Jacob.
Walking around the pretty little town, we visited the National Museum and got a brief look at the history of the country, and more specifically the temples we would be visiting later in the week. I have found so far that while a lot of the culture of the countries we’ve been visiting has been incredible and long-lasting, so too have these cultures been affected so heavily by disease and warfare. This was evident from our stop-off at the Children’s Emergency Hospital where we discovered that 1 out of 15 child dies before they turn 5 years old. An alarming, and rather haunting statistic. And one that makes you truly grateful for the medical and health services we have available at home so readily.
Since our slow recovery from each of our illnesses, we have all been anticipating a night out on the town, and that was indeed what we got (as far as we can recall from the millions of blurry and distorted photos on the camera the next day). I have discovered a passion, let’s say, for Baileys (only$2.75) and thoroughly appreciated the barmen’s free pour. We also found a litre bottle of gin for a measly $12 (that’s payback mum for posting a photo of the Christmas ham!) It was a night of dancing in the street, singing along to terrible cover bands, dancing on stages, finding Anna a girlfriend, late night pizza binges, and meeting heaps of cool people – a night not to be missed.
Louis arrived the next day, and it didn’t take him long to acclimatise to the holiday vibe – with an unbuttoned shirt, happy pants, and a scarf wrapped around his head to keep his hair, which is the longest of the group, out of his eyes. While missed one awesome night out, he made it for the best dinner EVER! Each of us purchased a Cambodia BBQ set (that was intended to serve two). It included rice, noodles, salad, onions, capsicum, and a meat of your choice. You were provided a hot plate with a bowl around it where there was a broth boiling. You then got to cook you meat and accompaniments accordingly. Both delicious and fun! Plus, we got a whole grilled frog each which was surprisingly delicious.
And of course there was Angkor Wat and the temples. You can spend hours running around (and climbing) the temples that scatter the area. Each of them unique but equally amazing. We got to see the temple where Lara Croft was filmed, and Chang, our Tuk Tuk driver was a legend. A lot of restoration work was happening, and unfortunately at one of the temples, 300,000 stones had been removed to be restored but somewhere along the lines the plan on the temple and where all the stones went was lost and subsequently, more than half the temple was gone and will never be rebuilt.
We have spent the longest in Siem Reap than we have in any other town, and it was worth it. Lots to do and see, and drink. Sad to leave, but just as excited for what Phnom Penh has to offer! And Christmas! Hoping it will be a merry merry Christmas for all. Will be missing my family and hope they have something amazing planned. But also, that they save some of the ham for my return! Haha
Lots of love,