First night in Cambodia

Since I napped the afternoon away and we have dinner booked I’ll make tonight’s post a quick one.

We arrived in Cambodia yesterday and, although the heat was as bad as Saigon, the air seemed better and we were picked up from the terminal by a man named An. The hotel has an arrangement where self-employed drivers pick you up for free and then, if you like them, you can hire them for some time over your stay as your driver to get to the temples. We decided, pretty much straight away, that we really liked An. He smiled a lot and his English was very good. He told us that he is traveling to Bangkok on the same day as us to meet his godfather who is Indian but lives in Australia.

We arranged to be picked up at 5:15 the following morning to watch the Angkor sunrise, then we checked into our hotel. The Somadevi Hotel is very nice. Big, deep pool, swim up bar (luxury!) and we have a nice big room with a balcony. We’ll sure miss this sort of thing when we get to Europe. The whole thing is costing us about $30 each a night.

After we checked in and dumped our gear (and went for a swim, of course – practically bath temperature water) we headed to Pub Street, the very bright, neon-lit, noisy part of town. We enjoyed some people and cat watching and had dinner, two of the local dishes – amok and luklok (sp?).

Cambodia is clearly making the most of the tourist trade, there’s massage stalls everywhere, fish spas where they nibble your feet, endless market stalls and people just generally hassling you everywhere.

Crocodile products also seem to be prevalent, apparently there’s a farm nearby. Another blogger mentioned that it’s not really a great place for anyone who cares about animal welfare so I don’t think I’ll be going.

Tomorrow: temple time!

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