28th December – Siem Reap

My last day in Siem Reap.  There’s plenty I could do – lord knows the receptionist could list half a dozen things if I asked, and Bernard is heading out to a different temple today, but I’m all toured and excursioned out.  What I want, is a lazy day where I do nothing but catch up on blog posts, surf the internet on this lousy connection and eat western food.  The only big thing I want to do, is see if there’s anywhere in town that knows how to fix a video camera.

Yes, even after charging, my Panasonic is still malfunctioning.  I’m reluctant to go searching in Cambodia, but I figure it can’t hurt to look – even the staff say they know a place that can help.  So I get into the tuk tuk with both cameras quite optimistic.

Really should have known better.  The tuk tuk driver had to pick a pair up from the station, so dropped me off at a store and then drove off.  When I went inside, they said they didn’t do camera repairs at all, but did give me directions to a place that would.  Sadly, when I got there, they said they did do camera repairs, but took one look at my cameras and shook their heads.

Ended up walking along the city centre looking for anywhere that might do the trick.  I hit up one that actually advertises Panasonic, but they don’t do repairs either.  Frankly, its clear I’m having no luck, and would probably be better off putting the camera in my bag for repairing in Australia.  Hop in a tuk tuk and head back, defeat accepted.

My bad luck hasn’t finished either.  I also try to book the direct bus from Siem Reap to Bangkok as I’d been told that’s the best bus to go for – only to find its fully booked.  The hotel have to start calling up other companies in order to find me a seat, and I can only slap myself for leaving it late.  Yes, I have had no trouble until this point booking them, but trying to travel anywhere in Thailand this close to New Years is difficult, and this is the worst transportation section of the trip that I couldn’t book before I left.  Thankfully, they do get me a ticket, and I console myself that at least the normal bus is a third of the price of the direct one.

Technically, I intended to use today to catch up on my blogging, but frankly its become hard to do anything that might require thought.  I end up spamming the Internet and lounging around for the sake of it, well aware of the time ticking by but not actually caring enough to do anything about it.  The one thing I do that requires effort, is walking into town – and only because my irrational need for chocolate finally overrides my idleness.  Not a bad walk, but still a good 20 minutes.  Sadly my Guesthouse really isn’t doing it for me – too far from anything, and the symphony of dogs barking at night mean it doesn’t even get the quiet that should provide.

When Bernard finally comes back in the evening (having been far more productive with his day than I’d been), we decide to head out into town and go see ‘Pub Street’ which is supposedly a great place for a tourist to be at night.  It was on the opposite end of town from us, so grabbed a tuk tuk and heading down – first time Bernard had seen the city centre too, so bonus for him as well.
imagePub Street is exactly what its name suggests.  A street filled with pubs – only interrupted by the odd massage parlour or souviner shop.  I’m not too hungry as I’d had a pretty big lunch and done nothing to work it off, but Bernard was pretty hungry – sadly, he also hates making decisions and had kind of been hoping I’d pick where to eat, which seemed rather stupid if he was going to be eating the bulk of it.

imageWorked out in the end though, as we both agreed on the same place – a cheap pub near the end of the street called ‘The Temple Club’.  I ordered spring rolls, while Bernard ordered a combo mix – getting about 4 small dishes together.  Looked awesome when it came out – though taste was so so.The bar also had a free dance performance on the second floor, so we decided to go up and have a look.  However, when we got there, the first 20 minutes was just live music, and we were constantly getting in the way of the staff who were catering the very busy floor, so decided to head back down and just go exploring.  Pub Street is right next to the night market, so had a gander there.

Masseuses are very big here – small makeshift parlours fixed up on the street while people try to call you in – prices aren’t bad either – and the fish spas haven’t lost their novelty here yet.  We weren’t interested though, and headed into the more solid part of the market, selling scarves, knick knacks, clothes and just about anything you could want.

Did finally buckle here and buy another vest top.  I’ve had my eye on the ‘Same Same, But Different’ shirts for a while, and I really wanted one.  I’ve lost count of how often I’ve heard that phrase.

Bernard didn’t buy anything, and we headed back to the city centre, only stopping once we found a pharmacy and both invested in DEET mosquito spray (since my 2 different bottles of spray really aren’t working), before heading back to the guesthouse.  Both of us leave early tomorrow morning so needed an early night – will probably catch each other as we leave, but just in case, we say our goodbyes now.

Honestly don’t think I’ll miss Siem Reap.  Not sure I gave it enough of a chance, and I would come again, but its not been that spectacular – Cambodia in general hasn’t been that spectacular, but not sure if that’s just me, or the fact that it has been perpetually compared to Vietnam since I got here.

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About Batale

I am an aspiring writer - though since I haven't written anything original in about 2 years, so calling me a writer is like calling a man who makes dinner every night a 5 star chef. I started this blog to force me to write. From the 1st January 2013, I intend to update this blog every day. If nothing interesting happens, I'll write about something that does interest me, whether that is a movie, a book, something I've heard about, or even some of my stories growing up.
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