It seemed like our month in Vietnam just flew by as we found ourselves in the overwhelming heat of Siem Reap. Many people recommended finding accommodations that have a pool and we are glad we did because it was an even 39 degrees celsius every single day. Cold showers were taken in abundance and there was no end to the amount of water we consumed throughout the day. We were only a ten minute walk away from the centre that had all the restaurants, bars and markets, but ten minutes in that heat feels like an eternity.
We met a couple people who had already suffered heat stroke and we noticed that most places were closed during the middle hours of the day. We would spend our mornings walking around the centre, come back to the room for the middle of the day to do some work, jump in the pool and then head back out around 5 O’clock. The streets and markets would come alive as the sun went down giving way to a cool 30 degrees at night. Neon lights, music flowing from every threshold and bars on wheels are a few of the things that draw people out at night. On top of that, there are delicacies like fried tarantula, cricket and snake being sold everywhere, YUM!
Personally I only had the stomach to try the crickets but I have a feeling it won’t be the last opportunity I have, after all we are going to China very soon.
A couple friends of ours recommended we go see the circus while in Siem Reap, not only is it a wonderfully told story of the history of Cambodia but it’s also a treat for the senses with amazing acrobatics, art and music. We were both blown away by the performance that bordered on Cirque du Soleil but with more history, we learnt about the Khmer Rouge and the war in Cambodia all while being astonished (if only all history lessons were as enthralling).
Despite the heat, we spent one day exploring Angkor Wat temple, it was amazing to walk around and through the temple, seeing monks, appreciating the incredible architecture, craftsmanship and overall attention to detail. We didn’t hire a guide to take us there and back, we got a scooter as we usually do and found our own way there, stopping along the way to fly the drone and take some pictures.
We wandered around the temple for the first half of the day before returning to the centre for some lunch and rest and then returned for sunset.
Hindsight being 20/20 we probably could have used the help of a local guide to find some more photogenic spots in the area but we just felt overwhelmed with the heat and found it hard to want to do anything. We will be better prepared next time we go back and we know we have plenty more to see.