Siem Reap and New Year

Siem Reap. Its rather lovely. And now i’m no longer there and am,  in fact, in another country, i have time to write about it…

Siem Reap was described to me before i got there as an oriental benidorm, but i think thats doing it a bit of a disservice. It is pretty touristy, you could find out more about the reality of Cambodia from a day in the country than a month in Siem Reap, but thats not what its for. The reason it exists is the temples, and servicing the tourists who come to visit them, and it performs that function admirably. Its relaxed, and it has pretty much everything you could want. Hence why we ended up staying for about a week.

View from the chill-out area of the hostel onto the temple next door. Imagine a grateful “Ahhhhh” as you sink into the hammocks. Speaking of which, a hammock is a definate priority when i get back, they’re everywhere here, why aren’t they in the west?

View past a Cambodian lion down the river in the middle of town. There are busy streets either side, but it still seems to retain a strip of blissful calm.

“Happy” pizza places. They make genuinely excellent pizza, and if you ask for it to be “happy”, they add something a little extra. Then you wait an hour and realise you’re all laughing hysterically, and you have a burning desire for snacks. So you go and watch in awe, the art of the chocolate and banana pancateer. That was a good night, although some people did go to see temples the next day still utterly wasted…

The old market. This place was brilliant, all touristy booths selling assorted tat on the outside, but inside, a crazy maze with a fruit market, fish and meat market, clothing, hardware, jewellery, and any number of unidentified things i didn’t have the vocabulary to ask about. Everything an asian market should be, in fact. I spent about an hour and a half just wandering its cramped and twisty byways.

New Years Eve in Siem Reap, and the main bar area, imaginatively named Pub Street, was just a massive street party, with 3 seperate soundsystems fighting it out for dominance while fireworks went 0ff from every angle.

Clearly, we had a good time. I didnt even get that drunk, there wasnt really time, i just danced like a twat non-stop for about 5 hours.

Clearly, it had an effect on some people.

And yes, we went to the shooting range. Where i was, truth be told, massively disappointed. Rhys just loved the fact that he got to shoot a gun, but i’ve already done that. I wanted variety. I wanted to shoot an AK47, and at least one pistol. But all they had was this or an M-16, and it was really expensive.

One casual gunslinger.

One man, with possibly visible disappointment. I did shoot a couple of rounds, but it wasn’t the same. However, i found out that Vientiene in Laos has a shooting range too…

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~ by zendog888 on 03/01/2011.

3 Responses to “Siem Reap and New Year”

  1. I think everyone will agree including you and Rhys that you need to go back and take new pics of you with those guns, but this time with cigars and vests! Looks like fun mind.

  2. Everything about that last picture rocks. Hywel, sunglasses, beard, M-16

  3. HYwel, did you leave anything for us?………Just bodies!

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