Number of accidental bug spray foggings: 2
Number of potential mosquito bites (despite using said bug spray): 3
Number of times my mouth was overpowered by Thai spice: 1 (but it was pretty bad so I’ll count it as 2)
Number of hours travelled in total: 20
As you can see from the numbers above, by the third day, I had already racked up a lot of hours travelling. And with lots of travelling means lots of early mornings (you will understand as these posts continue). The day started at 6am with breakfast at the nice hotel. I thought ‘ah this breakfast is alright’, ate some eggs and that was pretty much that. I did not realise that this would be one of the best breakfasts i’d have for the next 5 and a half weeks, and looking back I should have savoured the runny yolks in the heart shaped… I should have relished the fried rice, rather than mocking it as a ‘non-breakfast food’ by UK standards. In reality, it was decent.
So after the tasty thai breakfast, we piled into the first of many buses for that day. It sounds horrendous but in reality, 7 hours on the road was alright: travelling across Cambodia and Thailand is a very different experience to rush hour on the M4, and could even be considered: not terrible.
The 7 hour bus ride was broken up into a number of stops, including a 40 minute queue for a Cambodia visa (that wasn’t super enjoyable) and then a shorter queue to cross the border. A 40 minute queue carrying all my travelling possessions in a room with like, two fans was not my idea of fun, especially in the 40 degree heat, but it was manageable. And then we were then in the beautiful ‘Kingdom of Cambodia’.
A few bus rides later and we reached the hostel in Siem Reap. There was a pool which didn’t have a closing time: I was happy.
The evening was an interesting one; and by that I mean I ate some fried bugs. A bit of scorpion, you know how it is: when in Cambodia. The rest of the food was pretty tasty and we even had a few cocktails (I was celebrating exam results… and I’m on holiday… And to be honest I don’t need to prove my need for a Sex On The Beach anyway).
We then entered the market. From the perspective of hindsight, I would say to first time travellers: don’t buy tat. I went to many night markets in my 6 weeks of travelling and I feel informed enough to say: you do not need the tat, you will not need the tat, the tat does not need you either.
This was my first night market experience… And I bought tat. I got 2 pairs of elephant trousers… (which I never wore), a t shirt (which has since become a gym top; and a pair of shorts, (which got a huge hole in). The money (and cheap prices) had gone to my head. I would regret this 5 weeks down the line during an impromptu trip to Bali with about £5 left to my name.
The market was interesting… Like I said: a lot of tat, but it had more than just tat: something that would make it quite special: As we wandered towards the back, we could hear the faint sounds of Beyoncé… Suddenly bright lights came up and a topless dancing man appeared. And then another one. Is this some kind of Magic Mike thing? I thought to myself… The market stalls then opened up further to reveal a gaggle of middle aged women, feet in the hands of Cambodian men (a very odd place for a massage parlour). And then out from behind the topless men appeared: Ladyboyonce. (an awful pun, which I kind of love).
Ladyboyonce was a magnificent sight: my gal group and I agreed that those moves were not something we could easily achieve. And this performer did look amazing. Maybe Bianca Del Rio was wrong: you can paint to look like Beyonce…
Stunned by this drag performance, we continued to watch as more ladyboys entered the stage and fought for the mic, wigs everywhere.
After what was quite a glorious moment, we went back to the hostel, and talked of potentially seeing a ping pong show another day…
Thanks for reading!