First impressions of Siem Reap, since I’ve been here for all of about 14 hours, and about half of that asleep, is it’s nice. It’s a lot quieter than the cities I visited in Vietnam, the motorbikes are not quite as ubiquitous, but there are more tuk-tuks – either individually three wheeled, or a trailer pulled by a motorbike. It turns out, that was the method of my hotel shuttle. The temperature was pleasant in the late evening, and riding in relative comfort in the open air for the 15 minute ride was pretty amazeballs.
I checked into the hotel – a very small, boutique ⭐️ ⭐️ job located in an alley – and dropped my stuff and headed out for a beer. My hotel is not far from the main tourist streets that are crawling with bars, restaurants, and yes, tourists. This is the kind of hotel with physical keys on large fobs that you leave at the desk when you go out. Old school, and I like it. A less-desirable aspect of the hotel is a dearth of available power plugs. I’ve a desk and no plug anywhere near it. On the positive side, there are plugs on both sides of the bed, so both charging stuff and watching stuff is a go at night. The shower seems to have adequate hot water, but I haven’t pushed it yet. I also haven’t decided if I am going to stay here for any longer than the three days I originally booked. It’s quiet, and in a pretty decent location, so the tea leaves in the empty cup are leaning in a positive direction.
As soon as I got to a likely bar along Pub Street, I grabbed the $0.75 drafts of Cambodia brand beer and engaged in one of my favorite pastimes: people watching. I find it truly amazing just how much time and effort some people go through to get photos of themselves. Y’all should be glad I don’t have the penchant for doing that, otherwise this blog would be a paean to myself. Ain’t nobody want that.
Also of immediate and interesting note to me is the ATMs only will dispense USD for my card. Huh. The restaurants and stores all take USD for 4000/1 (the official rate is currently about 4135), and dispense change in Riels. I guess I can afford to eat the difference. Today I’m going to spend walking around and checking the surroundings, and probably will go for one of the amazingly inexpensive massages. I thought it was cheap in Vietnam, but here a 1-hour massage is $5. Even a bad massage would be relatively ok at that price. Coffee is $1.00 for an 8-oz Americano. It’s back to the kind of coffee I, as an American, am used to. The super strength, differently flavored Vietnamese coffee is in my past – except for the packets of instant I brought along as an emergency supply.
I’ve got a dawn bicycle tour of Angkor Wat scheduled for tomorrow. I’m really looking forward to that.