“Siem Reap like a diamond,
like a diamond in the sky”
That’s a knock-knock joke by the way. Haha
I start this entry with a corny joke and a laugh because Siem Reap was a memorable non-stop laugh trip all day all night with a crazy Japanese traveler Takuma, “Takuma! Takuma! Takuma!”
We encountered annoying situations only in Tonle Sap Lake by some people who tried to ask more monies and even tricked us to go extra tour called a mangrove tour. There was nothing to see except mangroves, thrashes, mosquitoes and probably anacondas and crocs. At the end of the 15 minutes or less tour, they asked us to give 30USD each for the kids at school. Our eyes rolled and we wanted to jump off and swim back to our tuktuk (pedicab). We declined and decided to buy notebooks and personally did the distribution to the kids nearby, which was fine. Although in the back of our mind, we hope that floating classroom wasn’t fake. We were somewhat annoyed a little bit but we totally enjoyed the conversation with our drunk tour guide who has a fine British accent. He said he named her newborn baby Dyesebel because of Marian Rivera. He spoke Nihonggo and a few French.
It was just heartbreaking to see the floating houses of people living in poverty and kids doing all tricks to impress every tourist in a boat.
The best thing to do in Siem Reap is to shop, eat, drink, spa and talk to locals at the Angkor Wat Night Market. The Night Market is one of the best that Siem Reap offer to visitors. It is like Malate at night, but more interesting and more intimate, more people and more things to see and to do such as massage parlors, souvenir shops, restaurants, fine dining, pubs, clubs, spas, artsy fartsy places and all sorts of services and entertainment in a very affordable price in US Dollars. Its an ordinary streets at day but turned colorful and lively at night. We were always greeted with “massage sir?” “tuktuk sir?” and “Sakana! Sakana! Sakana!” (Japanese term for a fish spa). The next day, Takuma bought a very interesting shirt that says, “No TukTuk, No Massage, No Money” and every time someone yelled to us offering something, Takuma would show his shirt to them, and we rolled our eyes and died laughing.
There are many Filipino tourists in Siem Reap, also entertainers and teachers, and Khmer people are crazy about Marian Rivera and Dingdong. I saw comedienne K Brosas and had a photo with her while exploring the Angkor Wat compound.
The Angkor Wat was like a gem that landed down from the sky. Our tuktuk driver drove us to the compound at 4.30 in the morning, I thought it was too early, but people were there earlier than 4.00. Tourists from all over the world with long and huge camera lenses lined up waiting for the picture-perfect sunrise at Angkor Wat. A misty fog covered it, and the temple turned rustic red the moment the sunrise hit the magnificent temple. Oh, I was really melting, the same feeling when I saw Taj Mahal in India.
The Angkor Wat is just one of the equally amazing temples in the 81-hectare compound. Inside the temple were even more beautiful centuries old wall carvings and amazing and beautiful stories of people from the old times. Inside the compound were even more detailed carvings and temples that unbelievably amazing.
A day is needed to get to see all temples and enjoy the nature. After too much jumping shot we had, my shorts ripped off. We decided to buy and wear the Angkor Wat pajamas that every tourist probably were wearing that day, but mine ripped off again, and we died laughing again.