I'm not an everyday blogger... If I have something to say...this is where I will say it. You will also find links to my specialized blogs.

Live your life in such a way that when your feet hit the floor in the morning, Satan shudders and says... 'Oh shit....she's awake!!'

""Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO what a ride!""
— Unknown

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Cambodia- The Road to Siem Reap

Saturday morning, January 14, our driver picked up us to take us to Siem Reap. Siem Reap is a tourist town in Angkor Provence known for its Wat (temple) - Angkor Wat. While Angkor Wat is impressive, there are lots of things to see in this area.

Our first challenge of the day was that our driver didn't speak English...of course, Cynthia had been ASSURED that he did. But it was really too late to do anything about it. The GOOD news is that he was an excellent Camboidian driver. 

It is a 5 hour drive from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap...with very few places to stop. But once we did it was definitely an experience. First, we were surrounded by children trying to sell us fresh fruit.(Watch out...these kids could grow up to be excellent sales people - they do not take NO for an answer.) Our first objective was to find a restroom. After determining that there were no "western" toilets...it became time to figure out how to use an "eastern" toilet. As a woman, this might have been easier had either of us been wearing a skirt. Also, I might have wanted toinvestigate the right away to do this BEFORE I really needed to. I managed to muddle through...although it is not an experience I look forward to again. (Cynthia tells me that I'll get more practice when we get to Laos...*sigh*) The other interesting thing about our rest stop was  the variety of food offerings. Most disturbing were the trays of Fried Tarantula. Thanks but no thanks.

After arriving in Siem Reap, we found that our reservations at Somadevi Angkor Hotel & Spa had been made for February instead of January. Fortunately, they had rooms for us so we were good to go. Lunch then the pool (with the swim-up bar were our priorities.

Following a swim, we booked a guide for the next day and decided to go to a restaurant that serves a 7-course Khmer tasting menu. Meric is located in the Hotel de la Paix. We arrived early for our 7pm reservation and decided to have a beverage in the beautiful garden. I started with the Khmer Martini (lime and lemongrass infused vodka) which was delicious and was served in the best glass. While enjoying our Martini's we learned that there would be a Traditional Khmer Dance (known as "Apsara") performance by children from the Sangkheum Centre for Children - a local orphanage just outside of Siem Reap.

We decided to delay dinner so that we could enjoy the performance. I missed video taping the Blessing dance which is a cheerful, thankful and happy celebration for their rice and successful harvest. I did get video of the Coconut Dance which is performed at engagements, weddings, and other special occassions. I also got video of the Fishing Dance which depicts rural life and young love.