Siem Reap: more than just temples

The Highlights

#1) Cambodian B.B.Q.

That is the name of the restaurant that Ding and I went to with our new Singaporean friends. Great recommendation on their part! The four of us shared the degustation menu, which allowed us to eat chicken and beef alongside squid, crocodile and snake. Delicious!

The concept is cool also, where you grill your own meat and drink the broth that it gives off. There was a block of butter which we didn’t understand how to throw into the mix, however. The result was butter soup… gross. Thank goodness we made that mistake at the end.

#2) Christmas at the Siem Reap Hostel

Our hostel was amazing. Probably the best hostel I have ever been to! More like a hotel with bunkroom options, The Siem Rep Hostel came fully equipped with a bar, restaurant, yoga room, pool, entertainment center and game area. The rooms were sterile, each with its own bathroom.

Ding and I decided to attend the Christmas lunch held at the hostel. She opted for lobster, while I chose traditional turkey. The organizers prepared little gifts for everyone who attended (candies, chocolates, etc) and had champagne on hand for those in need (mostly me).

#3 Happy Ending Massage

At first, I thought it best not to share this story, but enough time as now passed, and I’m sure my sister can find this funny. This entry does not get a photo though…

It is the eve before we go our separate ways: her on her long journey back home, and me to Phnom Penh. We decide to have a girl day together at one of the many spas we had passed along the way near Psar Chaa. How could they be sketchy? They were all located along the main strip…

After instant bombardment by gangs of masseuses inviting us into their respective salons, we just pick one at random and check out the inside. It looked clean enough, had good lighting and friendly staff… so we each signed up for a one hour, full body massage.

To our dismay, we leave this clean and comfortable environment to head upstairs, where we are greeted by a series of mattresses divided by curtains. After a quick exchange of worried glances, we decide to go with it. Ding and I are assigned two single mattresses that share a curtain partition; at least we’d be together.

Our two young masseuse, aged 17 and 19, were also sisters. What a coincidence! We change and lay there awaiting our massages. Luckily the girls didn’t speak too much English, so we weren’t forced into awkward conversation… except…

Ding’s masseuse decides to share that she is a “girl-boy” and had to apologize for “loving Ding”. I look over at Ding and she is playing dead, as if this girl-boy was a bear about to attack. Not receiving a response to her advances, the girl-boy and her sister are instantly distracted by the presence of Andy the Australian, who had settled-in next door. His masseuse had also professed her love to him, wondering if she could be his girlfriend. When the giggling behind Andy’s curtain becomes hard to ignore, our sister pair decide to leave us and go explore all that Australia has to offer.

I tried not to listen, but curtains don’t block sound very well, and needless to say, I was very disgusted when my masseuse got back from her Outback trip and put her hands on my face. EEEEEEEWWWWWWWWWWWWW.

After all these events, we STILL didn’t stop the session. It wasn’t until girl-boy decided to touch Ding’s nose with her own that I piped up and told her to back-off. We then got dressed very quickly, threw $10 their way, and left the sketchy parlour holding hands. At least it made for a funny story!


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