We made our 9:00 am bus trip without incident (even though we couldn’t read the text they sent us this morning), then spent 5 hours making our way north to Siem Reap. We used the company called Larryta. It’s a smaller bus so supposedly makes fewer stops. Also it was a little cheaper than the big companies ($10 a person instead of $15). It was a fairly comfortable ride with a water bottle and a wet wipe waiting on each seat for us. A man with a very large table umbrella even escorted us from the building to the bus so we wouldn’t get rained on. .
Halfway to Siem Reap, the driver stopped for lunch. I went with the safe chicken and pineapple while McKayla decided to test herself with spicy beef with extra pepper sprinkled on top. Her face was nearly purple before she ordered a juice and started picking off the little red devils. I had one bite with one of those little peppers and no amount of soothing pineapple juice was going to calm that storm! For a few moments, our eyes locked and we sat panting to one another in equal parts pain and delight (take that, Fifty Shades of Grey).
Our new spot is owned by a nice Norwegian couple, has a nice bar/dining area and 0ur room is nice but very basic (with air-conditioning, of course). I thought it was just the last place but since this one has it too I’m going to go on a rant. For some reason, the shower and the bathroom are one. Imagine a regular half bath and then attach a shower head to the wall and put a drain on the floor. It’s not that bad, but it will take some getting used to. I feel like I’ve had to tone down my rinse routine to keep from splashing everything, but the age-old question of ‘should I just pee in the shower’ has been answered with a resounding yes!
—- side note: McKayla thinks the bathroom setup is genius because it would be way easier to clean —–
There was an interesting couple on the bus in front of us. The guy was from Jersey but had lived in Cambodia for two years. It wasn’t much of a conversation but he did tell us about pub Street here in Siem Reap so as soon as we got settled, we geared up to go find it. The only navigation we had was a screen grab of Google maps which led to some confusion about distance, direction and just where the hell we were. After a bit of bickering, we decided the best course of action would be to stop, grab a beer and figure out our current predicament. Since no one at this restaurant spoke much English and the Wi-Fi password was written in Khmer, we use some sim card cell data to get our bearings. We also grabbed some shaved beef and were taught by the owner how to prepare our amok (fish sauce with coconut curry – it’s better than it sounds). He used the fish sauce as the base then added chili peppers, lemon grass, a squeeze of lime and some crushed peanuts. We then combined it with this awesome shaved beef and steamed rice. It made for a very tasty dinner that we probably otherwise wouldn’t have found. McKayla got some good shots of their main attraction as we left – a big leg of beef hanging out front being carved on by the owner son.
Pub Street is a single block in downtown Siem Reap. Both entrances have light up arrows pointing your way to pub street, just in case you missed the one block lined with three-story bars and lined with different colored floating cubes. Each bar has open air seating on all levels so you can have a beer and people watch to your heart’s content. This place has all the makings of a tourist trap, equipped with western food, English signs and Young Cambodian workers looking just like young American workers do in a tourist town (sick of tourists). After checking out a few of the bars, we called it an early night because tomorrow we’re going to Angkor-freaking-watt! I’m so pumped to see some ancient ruins! Indiana Jones, here I come! To mitigate the earlier mishap in navigation, we hired a tuk-tuk to take us back to our guest house. He also got lost.