Today was more of a down day for me. Decided to pass on the breakfast at the hotel in favor of some pastry and hot latte down the street at a French bakery. I get tired of eggs each morning whether fried, scrambled or an omelette. Tomorrow being Sunday it may be time for another waffle at the rather nice laundry coffee shop down the street. The waffles are the real thing folks and they serve them with some butter and syrup and a nice cup of coffee.
Since was not a temple day or a tour day or a anything day at all; I decided to stroll the river farther than before and see what I could see. Its fun along the river because as I’ve mentioned previously, I really like bridges and there are any number of nice little bridges that cross the Siem Reap River. Each one has its own character whether its utilitarian and functional or beautiful and decorated. Pedestrians can cross on any of the bridges. So I walked down the river walk area past the usual tourist spots to more of the local community. At some arbitrary bridge, I decided to head back and get a Strawberry Smoothie at the Bangkok Cafe. Its a nice little place where you can rest, look at photos or read the news.
Finishing up after an hour it was the 0.5 mile walk back to the hotel from the river area and thinking about dinner. I am still looking at restaurants down this one street where there are lots of residences or hotels or long stay places. Lots of western and European places, lots of Khmer places that I keep finding more of like last night. I had the Cambodian noodles with beef, spring rolls, and two beers for $4.00. Cheapest yet I think for all that food. Tonight I will head further down the road and either do Indian food, a burger, or Khmer food at another place I found on the map. Since the places are next to each other and they are all next to really nice bars, its easy to find a place to sit for awhile after and nurse a beer or three and watch the people and also watch the waitstaff watching the people.
Tomorrow is the same kind of day but I will probably cross to the other side of the river and walk around over there for awhile. There are lots of streets with businesses, local rural areas, and shopping areas I have not seen yet. I also always seem to end up at the Old Market. Its probably one of my favorite markets since they have just about everything and if you are patient you can find it. Like I found this nice lady that sells better walking sandals that helps you fit them, gives you advice on sizing, and bargains a bit. I paid a decent amount for a second pair of sandals and my take is why buy some that cost $100 and then have them mailed if I get six months of wear for a pair of $20 sandals that I then need to buy again in Phnom Penh or Malaysia or wherever I happen to be. Unfortunately, my wonderful Merrell Moab shoes are approaching their end of life. I’ve worn them every day just about for 11 months now and walked lots of miles every place from Japan to Vietnam to Hong Kong and finally here in Cambodia. They are wonderful shoes but its the same deal with buying them as the expensive US sandals. I buy them then I have to have them shipped here which costs. By the time I’m done, the two costs equal 7 pair of sandals here. You can kinda figure what I go for 🙂
Monday is Temple Day…
This Monday is a very early day as I will go see the sunrise at Angkor Wat and then see three other temples that day. That’s it for the tours of temples here. I will have seen 10 temples all told here. I think that’s enough.
Its been wonderful also reading up on the temples on wikipedia and reading the conservation signs and pamphlets at each site to understand the reasons for building, when they were likely built, and their function if known. The temples are a major thing here in Siem Reap and the groups that manage the access, do security, and help tourists are excellent. Very professional people that take the job very seriously. Its a major archaeological and historic trove of information that is so well preserved in some places. Simply amazing! If you make it to Cambodia you should stop here for some time and see the temples. I opted for two packages but you could do one and see the major ones. Since I have a month here, there is no real rush but the issue I have is that the passes are only good for limited days. I bought the 3 day pass which I have to use in a week after its issued. Monday will be my last day on the pass.
The downward side of times in Siem Reap and then Onward!
When Thursday comes along, I’m on the downward side of things and will leave on December 15th for Battambang for two weeks. After that its a quick blur to when I go to Singapore and travel on for 5 months. I have not been back to Singapore since 2011 so it will be nice to see it again. Its expensive but so nice and I have friends there as well.
I’m pretty happy with the Cambodia adventures over the past months! Kampot was a good part of things for me. I may try again to go to Phu Quoc Island but not until I have the 90 day tourist visa for Vietnam already.
So this Saturday will wind down and it will be dinner time and then reading and relaxing in the AC room after getting my daily walk in. The steps become so much more to me each day. Each one takes me to a thing or place or park or nice city street where I can see a new thing, revisit a thing I have seen before, or just let it all go by and not focus on anything at all. Any of those are acceptable.