7. Angkor: punch 2 oops

(By Nate)

Our mission today was to eat lunch at Haven and to go for a sunset walk recommended by our Guesthouse. I know, very ambitious, lunch and a walk.
Haven is a restaurant that supports and trains local youths. It was recommended to us by our friend Brooke who’d met the owners in Argentina. Before we got there, we dipped out of the heat and grabbed a beer. 
Side note – Tea vs beer: while in Ireland, if bad weather hit, you could duck into any pub and grabs pot of tea for $1.50 ( I think Guinness was $4.50) and wait out the storm. Here, it’s the heat you need a break from. The tea is hot and the coffee is expensive and the ice could potentially be bacteria laden. That is why a cold draft beer for 50 cents is the clear choice. Also, most restaurants will point a fan at you. It’s purely economical.

The Haven was nice and had some great food. This time McKayla played it safe with beef noodles, while I decided to test my gut with fish amok with local fish. The gamble paid off; it was delicious. The owner remembered sharing a house with Brooke in Argentina but left before I could try to get an assumedly awkward picture together. 

Our guesthouse (Babel) had told us they if we booked our trip to the temples a day ahead, we could take a sunset walk for free. So we grabbed Joy, our personal tuk-tuk driver while we’re here at Babel, and headed to a secluded temple that’s a half hour walk from any of the main features. Not only was this not the quite temple advertised by Babel (the “empty” path had motos coming and going leading to a fairly crowded temple in the middle of nowhere. Plus the front desk worker warned us to not go at sunset because of snakes) but also, our three day passes were punched, wasting one of our days. So our well laid out plan to tour more temples tomorrow then bike around the temple areas later in the week was ruined. Double whammy. Thanks, Babel.


On the topic of Babel, we’ve also realized they’re charging us 50% more than advertised, while still only providing a mediocre room and overpriced food. The staff and Joy are great but this guesthouse is getting on my nerves. The owners are everywhere, literally. They have their pictures and articles of themselves plastered all over the walls, even in our room. If it were a house, I would understand but it’s a 30 room guesthouse with the same articles of their ‘good deeds’ everywhere. It’s great that they’re giving locals a living wage and bringing in international students but your accomplishments of human decency don’t need to be plastered every 5 feet. You’re a foreigner running a motel with local labor, you’re not Mother Theresa. Sorry, she probably didn’t deserve that but it’s been building since the overcharge and pompesness of this place. We’ve booked Saturday and Sunday at a guesthouse that’s closer to pub street and half the cost. 

On the plus side, on our way out of our little walk, Joy pulled over once so we could see the sunset from the bridge.
And he pulled over a second time so we could marvel at some elephants. 
They are pretty extraordinary animals. We could have road them up the mountain but we figured we’ll have plenty of opportunities in our travels to ride elephants. 


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