I’ve been using my first day in Cambodia for some R&R, prior to commencing the motorcycle tour.
Last night, I headed down to Siem Reap’s Pub Street. The bars and restaurants in the area are a magnet for tourists, so it was very busy. I took a front row seat at one of the bars and had a couple of beers whilst watching people go by.
Whilst walking around the area, I passed several of the MANY massage places that are scattered around town. At each one, ladies sitting outside called out “Massage. Massage.” At only $7 for a one-hour massage, it was a no-brainer, so I gave one a try. I was taken upstairs where I found that there were several compartments, separated by only curtains, with a single-bed sized floor mat in each compartment.
My massage had only been underway a few minutes when I heard two men being brought into the room and placed in the next two adjacent compartments. I heard them say that they were from ‘Holland’. They proved to be a pain in the ass! Constantly shouting to each other and giggling like little boys. In the end, I called out to them and told them to cut the noise. It worked for a couple of minutes but then they resumed the commentary. My masseuse did a good job, but the two knuckleheads next to me ruined the vibe.
Video: Short clip of Pub Street
This morning, I walked a few yards down the road to a small laundry operation. They wash and dry laundry for only $1 per kilo, with same day service. How can you beat that? Laundry dropped off and will be ready for collection this evening.
Later in the morning, I took advantage of the free massage that is provided by the hotel. The masseuse came to my room and gave me a Cambodian massage – similar to a traditional Thai massage, conducted whilst I was wearing pyjama-type pants and including a lot of stretching. A nice way to get the morning started.
After the massage, I started walking towards town and stopped at a road-side food place for lunch. I got lunch and a mango smoothie for a total of $3.50 (most places here prefer to take US dollars as payment). A reasonable lunch, but not as tasty as the street food in Hanoi.
After lunch, I did a bit of shopping in the local markets and stores. I needed to find a pair of light-weight long pants that would be comfortable in Cambodia’s heat whilst still providing the appropriately respectful appearance for visiting the temples.
Along the way, I passed more of the cheap massage joints. Despite having already had a massage today, $7 a pop is hard to pass up, so I headed into one of the places for my second massage of the day. Being early in the day, the place was quiet, so I was able to enjoy a cheap and peaceful massage. Afterwards, the masseuse told me “You a big strong man. Very slim. How old are you – 34?” She was apparently angling for a tip – it worked!
The next offer that was hard to pass up was Happy Hour draft beer at 50 cents. So I had a couple whilst people watching.
On the way back to the hotel, I stopped in at Kickstart Dirt Bike Tours for a quick chat with the owner, Dave. My 10-day tour starts tomorrow but the first day won’t actually include any riding. Instead, I’ll be transported to Angkor Wat by tuk-tuk for some sightseeing. Looking forward to it.