Morning was blue and quiet. It was 6.30am, a light breeze blew as I set foot in the town of Siem Reap. I was indeed, in a state of excitement. At the entrance, there where lots of Tuk Tuk Drivers. I thought maybe the demanding ones where bad peeps linger, so I walked out more in search of a driver.
I met a driver, probably in his late 20s that offered me a ride for Free to my hostel. It sounded absurd at first, but after getting to know him better, he looked more like a nice person (Was I being too nice?). He spoke almost perfect English, in a right tone and looks legit. Thus I took up the ride.
The ride was great. Lots of cool wind and fresh morning air, amidsts the rustling city of Phnom Penh. During the ride, the driver and I discussed on destinations to go in Siem reap. Despite having made an offer to BatMan Tuk Tuk, I went ahead to schedule an Angkor Wat visit ($30) with him tomorrow. He mentioned that we would head to buy the tickets later. In about 10 minutes, I've reached my hostel - One stop Siem Reap Hostel.
One Stop Siem Reap Hostel is a young and newly established chain of hostels that provide accommodation to various travelers from all walks of life. It features rooms from mixed dormitories to female ones, to single rooms too. In addition, the hostel has a in house cafe, roof top swimming pool and laundry service - more of it in another post!
Having booked my stay from Agoda, I read that check in time was stated as 12 noon. It was 7.30am. What should I do?
I first dropped my bag and went to ask the receptionist (which tried his best to help me ✌️) where I learnt that Cellcom is Cambodia's largely used mobile service provider. If you had read my previous post, I bought a useless SIM card that only works within the airport. Thus, I need another one that works!
I headed out of the hostel and explored the area around. The area around was quiet and shuttered in the morning,
but as researched, the area would transform into Pub Street in the evening.
I first got breakfast at a nearby restaurant. It turns out it was a Chinese restaurant that serve Chinese food. I ordered a bowl of Beef Soup Noodle ($2.50). The beef was plenty and it's broth was well cooked. Served with Chinese tea, it was a great start to the day. It was then that I found out that restaurants don't accept large notes such as a US 50 bill - lucky I had small change!
I then visited the old market. The old market was situated amidst a busy junction, where it sold a variety of products from fresh vegetables to poultry to home goods such as electrical and fashion accessories. However, there where many shops distinctively
selling similar goods, purposed for the tourists.
I walked far, exploring places and back alleys in
broad daylight. Siem Reap was indeed a beautiful city with great people around. However, it's streets are a challenge to cross.
I visited the Angkor National Museum, where I learnt more about the ancient history of Cambodia. It was an informative journey, despite the high entry cost ($12). Nonetheless I did not regret going there as I wanted to find out more about the Angkor and its history.
Lunchtime! I got back to the hostel for some lunch, a plate of fried rice for $2.50, add a can of Cambodian Beer ($1) - sumptuous indeed.
Finally, it was time meet up with the driver to get the tickets. The tickets for angkor wat had moved to a new location somewhere 1km East away from its existing building. It's building represented the looks of a royal palace, had large spaces and a number of ticket counters. Processing was swift, and I got my tickets immediately. For a 1 day pass, it costed me $20 where tickets for longer periods would cost more.
The driver then took me to Old market where I can get some dinner. During the journey we spoke and I asked him what foods should I try while in Siem reap. He mentioned about trying fish amok, a curry made with fish and vegetables.
Upon reaching, I got some snacks and munched away as I went look for dinner. I found dinner at Old market. A plate of fried egg black sauce noodles.
Tune in soon for part two of day one!