We started the day off by getting our plan tickets out of Siem Reap sorted out. Originally we’d wanted to head over to Bangkok for the rest of the trip but given the prices of hotels and the plane ticket cost we decided to short cut it and head back to Vietnam. Not quite sure what we’re going to do in Vietnam, but hopefully make a trip to Hoi An, Hue or the Mekong Delta, depending on prices.
After the tickets were bought to SGN (plane tickets, mind you — another 13 hours of busses on the way back would make me want to kil myself), we went and rented a tuk-tuk driver for the day to take us to the east side of the temples we hadn’t seen yet. For $10, our driver stayed with us the whole day and took us around to a lot of the quiter and less seen temples. It was so much faster via tuk-tuk compared to our bikes from the day before. Again, I don’t have the list of temples we say (the bag is back at the hotel) but again they were beautiful, charming and imposing. One of the ones we saw today was in the middle of a set of concentric pool that used to be filled with water and another was a 15 minute walk from one side to the next. I’ll have to post a comprehensive list of temples when I get my notes in front of me for my own sake.
We started to feel a bit templed out and called it a day and headed back to Siem Reap for lunch and some refreshments. Having the rest of the afternoon avaiable, we took one of the side trips out of Siem Reap to a floating village on the Tonle Sap Lake. We hired the same tuk-tuk driver (he’s become quite our friend by now) for the 45 minute drive out to the boat launchers. The trip into the lake was nice, but given the price of the boat rental, it probably wasn’t worth it ($10/pax). There were two villange on the water — and I mean litteraly — one Cambodian and one Vietnamese. The former seemed a bit more permanent while the latter felt more like boats anchored in close proximity. The village was complete with TV antennas attached to homes, dogs running and juming between platforms and a boat-housed Catholic church. Some the pictures I managed to get were fantastic.
In the evening we did some gift shopping then had dinner at Khmer Kitchen again (yet again, the best curry evar) and now I’m at this internet cafe on the Pub/Bar Street.
Our flight to Saigon is at 1pm tomorrow, so I plan to spend a little bit of time exploring the city of Siem Reap itself. Tomorrow is Khemer New Years Eve, which is supposed to be chaotic and avoided if possible (due to the crowds and chaos). Hopefully I’ll just a taste tomorrow before we leave. Then it’s off to the aiport and who-knows-where-in-Vietnam. Worst comes to worst, we’ll stay in Saigon but I’m really hoping to make it up to the UNESCO christened Hue or Hoi An.