Another day in Siem Reap beckons. Today’s plan is to try a new bakery this morning and then head out to the Angkor National Museum for a few hours. Its a 30 minute walk from here give or take and that’s if I go in a straight line. I may decided to take a few extra turns.
I went down to Pub Street last night and walked back the longer way after getting a few tacos at this street food place. Yes tacos! They were really good and I enjoyed them on the walk back. I then stopped at this convenience store and got some chocolate chip cookies which also were quite good.
If you have not been to the Night Market or Pub Street in Siem Reap, its kind of unique I guess. The Night Market opens at night of course and there are stalls of people selling goods, a lot of food stalls selling just about every kind of street food including different fruit and ice cream concoctions, and a cast of characters that will hold your interest. You can stroll around for free and shop for clothing, souvenirs, or other stuff. Its not really like the Old Market in town. Its more of a arts and crafts and food thing. The Pub Street is a bunch of restaurants and bars, food stalls, massage parlors and yet another cast of characters. There are some prostitutes that ply the street and some of the massage front people are a bit more persistent. All in all, its just a fun place though. I don’t go often to Pub Street or the night market. I prefer this adjacent street called Sok San Road. The restaurants there are many but its a little quieter.
A nice thing wherever I have been is sitting out under the stars and eating and drinking. In Da Nang most of the restaurants along the riverwalk had tables set out outdoors so diners and drinkers could enjoy the evening. In Kampot it was the same. Here in Siem Reap the restaurants also have tables almost on the streets. Nothing like Hanoi where the streets were the dining areas for the most part. There, little plastic tables and chairs sprouted up on the streets at night and everyone wove around them, the street vendors selling Banh Mi or whatever, the shoeshine guys trying to damage your shoes first and then fix them. For a price of course.
One of my fav places is Kuriosity Kafe on Sok San. It has this elegant yet kind relaxed vibe. The menu is international and food and beer flows quickly. Beer is cheap and mostly tourists and ex-pats visit.
Update… Back from Museum
I had decided to wait to post this blogpost until after the museum today. After the bakery, I walked the longer way around to the museum. The Angkor Museum costs $12 to get in but I think its well worth the museum and its beautiful artifacts and history presented. The museum is divided into halls of different periods of history like pre-Angkor and Angkor and the carved stone artifacts, lintels and stele are just beautiful. These are all real artifacts from the various temples around Siem Reap and even farther to Vietnam and Thailand now. It gives you a view of the pre-Angkor period but the best part has to be the presentation of the Angkorian period and how Angkor Wat and its style. It may be better to go to the museum before, but I don’t think it really matters if you can read the displays at each of the sites. I got more out of the museum displays after being able to correspond a specific temple like Bayon with a style. Bayon temple is a intricate masterpiece of a temple with some of the most beautiful and stylized stone carvings. You get to see artifacts that were either lost to other governments including the US and those found during rescue archeology or ongoing preservation.
Since the museum is split on two floors, you can choose where to start but the museum interns gently guide you to the second floor first. In one of the displays are over 1000 figures of Buddha. Simply breathtaking and complex.
It’s difficult to present history in a compelling way. I dealt with this awhile back working at museums in New Mexico and California. What the anthropologists and historians think is important can be confusing to the visitor. Just presenting lineages or culture temporal frameworks means a lot to the studying professional and perhaps even to the avocational but visitors are more visual. This is where, I think, the Angkor Museum shines. There is an attention to detail which separates out the technical details and gives it back gently so you can grasp the significance of the 1000 years or so of history and even prehistoric information.
So my take is that this one of the nicest museum properties in Cambodia and should not be missed. There is a richness of display and the sweep of time is explained well. Its all reinforced by physical artifacts that depict how the different chronological ages relate to the historic sites you may visit on a tour.
A last thing…
You probably have realized it but this blog has no ads or content that someone else has purchased. I don’t do that. I think you come here for the words. The precious words that tie the thoughts together. I put some time into writing the words that then become content because it gives me pleasure to create but it also seems to be a need I have. I enjoy the creation of words and watching how my travels have moved across time and space.
If you blog and sell your content and write sponsored posts and have ads, good on you. If you create content that is then hard to read because of the ads or sponsored content, chances are you will get complaints. You are free to do as you please and I’m happy if you have found a path to blog profitably. Others have the same right to complain. Don’t confuse a privilege with a right.
Blogging has assuredly changed and someone from the old days that has stopped asked me,
why even continue?
It is really simple. Because I love to. And I have to. Its like the 5 pound chicken and 10 pound egg thing. I feel compelled to write words that become content that you may choose to read or not. This blog will not go away with zero followers. It simply does not matter to me. You can comment or follow or not. It is all okay by me. See a picture I post that you like? Just take it. You want to use it or to say you took it, I’m good with that. Its all a creative outlet for me and the photography I am still learning.
That’s about all I have to say about blogging for profit. I won’t do it and you can. No judgement given or taken. I wish you luck with it. Don’t complain too much if people ask questions about your ads though. You chose them. You live with them.