A Day in Siem Reap
The morning started with our free breakfast at the hostel – the variety of fresh fruit slices (dragonfruit, pineapple, mango, and watermelon) continue to be one of my favorite features of Southeast Asia.
We then met our tour guide, “Ok” (pronounced “Oak”) outside of our hostel. He and the tuk-tuk driver introduced themselves, and we were on our way. Ok took us to several temples via the tuk-tuk, where we’d get out and walk around the ruins. He knew a ton about the history and religious explanations for the details of the temples. He also was very familiar with the traffic flows around all the sites, so he manuevered us through places at strategic times when there wouldn’t be a lot of people.
Before we hit Angkor Wat, we had lunch at a quiet place that served the food in hollowed out coconuts! The curry was delicious (though not spicy, like we’re used to in Thailand) and cheap, despite the lovely ambience of the restaurant.
Apparently at the Angkor Wat, it’s not socially acceptable to wear sarong skirts. We weren’t aware of this custom, since sarongs are widely accepted at every Thai Wat (temple) as appropriate clothing, so our tuk-tuk driver nicely grabbed us some $3 pants to wear while we were eating lunch. They were absolutely goofy looking, and I’m still not even sure if I had them on backwards or not. Uncontrollable laughter dotted our tour from that point on.
Angkor Wat was gorgeous – the walls are so intricately ornamented, and the views from the top were spectacular. Keep in mind, you have to climb a relatively tall staircase/ladder thing to get to the top. This is the case for a couple other temples in Siem Reap as well.
In the afternoon, it started to rain. In the traditional South-East Asian fashion, everyone ran for cover as if the rain were literally acid. I will never understand the fear of rain in a place where it is so gosh darn common, but hey, SEAL. Since we weren’t scared of the rain, we made our way out to the pool in front of Angkor Wat which provides a beautiful reflection of the whole structure. We then made our way back to our tuk-tuk, which took us back to our hostel.
Being exhausted from the day, we took a nap, but before we went out for the night, we also wanted to get a massage. The hostel offers really inexpensive ones, and we couldn’t resist.
Most awkward. Massage. Ever. The two masseuses came up to our room (normally there’s a massage room, but it was being used by people doing yoga). They spoke zero English, which was fine, except we weren’t sure what state of clothed-ness they wanted us in. Flailing body language, various guestures, and attempts to communicate “Should we get naked?” commenced. Jill and I were laughing histerically – equally entertained and terrified that we were going to traumatize these poor girls by getting naked for a supposed-to-be clothed massage.
Turns out naked was the correct choice. After that was established, the discomfort was far from over. A hostel attendant came to do housekeeping for our room, but instead opened the door (terrified) to find us not only in the room, but laying on the beds getting massages. Twice. Yay towels.
Way too many Angkor Wat pictures below. For even more, check out my Instagram.