Next day I went to the local restaurant, that also happened to be recommended by my hotel staff.
It was an experience. First, they brought me a fresh wet towel to wipe my hands. With every meal the waitress brought, she would be too kind. Did you like the food sir? Sir, can I clean the table? They were polite to the point of being a little embarassing. But the food was truly delicious, and for the whole Khmer menu I was charged 7 USD. Of course, in this situation a tip was truly deserved. Woke up just in time for dinner. The initial plan was to eat, play hooker snooker and then hit the club. Well, I was lucky, since on my way spotted the restaurant, in which the owner didn’t have the menu and prices were quoted in Riels. Owner was extremely nice too, and prepared me a large portion of fried rice with beef for total of 2 USD. He said he just opened the business a week ago hence had no menu. Even though his english was limited, I was able to communicate pretty well. He also had similar establishments in Phnom Penh. During the meal (I was the only guest, so we socialized a bit) he told me about the club called Hip Hop. Well, I wasn’t particulary eager to go so early, but he offered me a ride and I accepted. We exchanged phone numbers with Khem and he offered me help if I needed anything. The place, in spite of having many motorbikes there was empty. It was also very posh – the quality of the finish could easily compete with best clubs in Bangkok or even in Europe. It was also dirt cheap. The draught beer was costing below 40 US cents and the portion of seafood 3 USD. The night rolled on.
Note the price difference between the “english” and “local” menu. Of course, as I was handed both, paid the local price.
Next day I switched the hotel to more party place. For the same 7 USD per night I got the king size room with bathroom, balcony and 2 huge king size beds. Not too bad. I really felt like a white king in Cambodia, having my dollars translated to so much value. Additionally, it seemed that khmers have sucked the hospitality along with mothers milk.
The value in terms of restaurants, hotels and booze in the clubs is better than anywhere else in the world I have been. Said that, I’m not even bothered by tuk tuk annoying drivers on every corner. The budget with fancy dining and decent rooms in guesthouses should be around 30 USD per day. And could be easily cut by 10 USD with less fancy dining and less booze.
To make logistics easier, I moved again to the hotel where my parents were staying. This was a third switch in less than 6 days. Hugged my parents hello a few hours later.
Since it was already paid for, we went for a dinner with khmer dance show. It was a huge room all you can eat style. There were probably more than 500 people. The show itself wasn’t too bad and was aimed for tourists spending their short vacations in Asia. The price was hefty (you could eat premium food in first class restaurant in Siem Reap for less), and drinks were on average 300% more expensive than anywhere else. Well, after that I took my parents to my favorite place called the hip hop. On the way we met the crazy girl from my previous guesthouse and her friends. I offered that we go together, so we did. The club itself had a major area outside where we sat, apart from being a posh disco inside. We had a few rounds of beer, a margarita and a nice plate of fresh and delicious prawns. For less than 10 USD. Now for the comparison, the dinner before cost 17 USD, excluding drinks.
We went to sleep quite early since next day were going to visit Angkor Wat. I admit that I hardly ever wake up before 9 am, not to mention 7 am, but I managed. Together with cold shower (as cold as it could be here, since the water itself is warm from the air temperature) it felt great. Had a quick breakfast and we went for the temples.
I knew before that it was going to be trampled by tourists, and wasn’t too eager to go. But the huge added value was our guide.
He knew a lot, and made things comprehensive, so I had a good time there exploring the temples.
Again, I learnt about the major religions in this region, and one interesting fact. Nagini, the woman who was transforming to be a snake during the night, but getting back to be diva during the night. The king had to satisfy her sexual desires every night, and if he failed to do so, the kingdom would be soon ended, or he would die soon. The divas’ place was situated on the very top of the temple, and just to climb there one needed a proper stamina. Later after the act, king would proceed to make love with his concubines, and according to the legend there were nearly 1000 of them at one point. Other interesting factor were swimming pools, one huge for concubines and another one for king. Harem at its finest. I like the asian culture more and more every month I stay there.
yeah, crowded as expected.
We proceeded to few more sights, to finish on the mountain from where the sunset could be observed. I knew I won’t be able to get to the temple, since I would have to be fully covered (arms and legs). So I just chilled near the entrance, and spotted two beautiful asian girls. One of them tried to enter by putting the wrap around her legs (since she was only wearing sexy shorts), but was rejected by guards.
We had a good time chatting, and watching the sunset outside the major crowd.