10th – 21st January
As you can tell we stayed in Siem Reap a long time, but with good reason. As I mentioned in a previous post, we had our flight home booked on the 4th February, and because Thailand only provides 15 day visas when crossing overland, We couldn’t enter Thailand until the 21st. We considered going to Battambang, but Siem Reap was too much fun, and Darryl and Vasco were coming to Siem Reap for our last few days there.
We arrived on the 10th and checked into Siem Reap Hostel. Siem Reap Hostel is one of the best hostels around. It has a pool, good bar, friendly staff, clean rooms and awesome air con. I wouldn’t stay anywhere else in Siem Reap. We met up with Eoin, who got there the day before, and Ryan from the US, who was also in Phnom Penh at the same time as us. The four of us went to X Bar that night, played cards and then kicked on at Angkor What? On the 11th, we did exactly the same thing.
On the 12th, we walked around town before going to the Mad Monkey Hostel (Same owners as Phnom Penh Mad Monkey) with Ryan, Alison and Qing for an evening booze cruise on the Tonle Sap lake. We were there in the dry season and the lake was huge, stretching beyond the horizon. The booze cruise itself was more chill than I expected, but it was still good. I think it cost about $15 including all drinks. We saw the floating villages which also included a Crocodile farm. In one caged off pen in the lake, they bred catfish, with crocodiles in a similar enclosure. For $5, you could buy a catfish and feed it to the crocs! I didn’t buy one but I did film others feeding it, see the video below.
That night Eoin, Qing, Jack and I went to Angkor What? We sat on the tables outside with 2 French Canadian guys and a German girl. As the night progressed we moved inside and the Canadians obviously didn’t appreciate that the German girl had taken a liking to me, and their attitude changed as they desperately and unashamedly tried to win her back.
The next night it got a little more interesting. The four of us again went out and were sitting out the front when a couple of French girls joined us. I had seen the French Canadians walking around all night with a bottle of water each creeping girls, and as soon as they thought they were on, they’d pretend to be drinking. They came up to our table and asked to sit down with us all, we said ok, thinking we’d give them another chance or get some amusement from watching them. They insisted on sitting in between the French girls and the four of us, effectively cutting us out, and proceeded to talk non-stop in french, probably ridiculing us (who knows).
One of the guys gave me this really greasy smile, as if to say ‘We’ve cut you off two nights in a row, suck it!’ – they were dickheads.
At one stage, we got up on the tables and chairs dancing whilst the Canadians had gone to the bathroom. They came back and tried to get amongst it but it was game over for them. I will never forget the moment I gave the guy the same look he gave me, but with a massive smile on my face, his reaction was priceless!
On the 14th, We went to The temple complex for sunset. If you buy a one day pass, you can enter for sunset the day before and the full following day.
On the 15th, we got a tuk tuk early in the morning to take Jack, Qing, Georgia (from Australia) and I to Angkor Wat in the morning. We arrived at about 5am, and took our spot on the edge of the North lake for sunrise.
Angkor Thom Complex
Ta Prohm – Tomb Raider Temples
That night Darryl arrived, and we all had a huge night at Angkor What?
On the 16th, Vasco arrived from Mondolkiri, so he, Jack and I went and got Mexican for dinner. We each got three tacos for $1 each, amazing. We kicked on at Angkor What? (again) where we met Ashlea, Daisy and Maddy.
Jack went home early, feeling crook, but Vasco and I kicked on. When we decided to go back to the hostel, we went outside and got a tuk tuk. After driving for 30 seconds, the driver turned around and said ‘Fire! You want to go see?!!’ he took us to a side alley where we could see flames burning what looked like a guesthouse, but it was so good we couldn’t get close. We stood on the other side of the road, watching people evacuate. After a while, the powerlines started sparking out above our heads, so we ran for it. As we were leaving, after watching for 40 minutes, the fire brigade finally arrived.
The next day, Vasco and I took Jack to go see the wreckage. Somehow we remembered how to find it, and there were film crews there and all. Click here for the newspaper article.
On the 19th, we had dinner with Vasco and Darryl at a small dodgy restaurant next to the market. We had met Darryl almost 9 weeks earlier in Vang Vieng, and seen him in Luang Prabang, Hanoi and Saigon since. We had met Vasco about one month earlier in Mui Ne, and seen him in Saigon, Sihanoukville and Phnom Penh since. This was the last night all four of us would be together until our final night in Bangkok. We went to Angkor What and tagged the place like no tomorrow. With Darryl standing on my shoulders, he wrote all of our names on the ceiling, we werj. e the only people to tag the ceiling. If you go to Angkor What?, look out for D. Van Gerven, J. Moloney, J. O’Connor & V. Hartigan on the ceiling at the entry.
On the 20th, our last night in Siem Reap, Jack, Vasco and I decided to try the fish massage at the market. I think it was about $3 for 20 minutes. The fish nibble away at the dead skin cells on your feet, it tickles like crazy!