I don't know if you guys know this, but the likelihood of delirium resulting from dehydration increases exponentially when you combine 104*F heat with 85% humidity, an unmitigated love for coffee (which is apparently anti-hydrating whaaaat who knew right???), and a lack of awareness of water intake. Crazy, right?
Let me throw another surprising fact your way: apparently 12th century religious leaders were not concerned with my brittle bones and lack of coordination when they built Angkor Wat bc I rolled BOTH my ankles walking through the temples this week and have been hobbling ever since. Granted, I don't need any help with my inability to walk considering I can barely make it down paved streets without falling over, but that's not the point.
The point is, we took a bit of a beating in Siem Reap. After a week and a half lounging at the beach eating some of the best food we've ever had (including but not limited to Khmer Amok Curry which is literally the best thing anyone could ever eat) it was only natural that we suffer, right?
We arrived in the city after an overnight bus from Sihanoukville on which I was incredibly glad to have a friend along bc you had to share your bed - which was like a twin and a half - with whomever you happened to be put next to. Basically, if you didn't know your bunk-buddy before the bus ride started, you were certainly well acquainted by the end of it. We were woken up abruptly at 6AM by our bus helper (not the driver but the guy who loads the luggage and aggressively shakes your leg to wake you up and let you know you've arrived at your intended destination - or a few miles away from it) and our bus company offered us a $3 tuktuk to our hostel, which we happily accepted in place of walking the dozen or so kilometers or haggling with a random tuktuk driver on the street.
Our driver (whose name is Bin) turned out to be particularly awesome, so when he offered to give us a tuktuk tour of Angkor Wat (the temple complex for which we came to Siem Reap) at a discounted price, we couldn't say no. We decided on the sunrise tour bc we had heard amazing things about watching the sun come up over the main temple, and 4AM the next day found us crawling out of bed in the dead of night to climb into Bin's tuktuk and make our way to the Wat. As would naturally be the case for us bc of how our lives work, we had an absurdly cloudy morning and absolutely no visibility as the sun came up. The view was breathtaking nonetheless as we watched from our relatively unpopulated viewing point - Bin suggested we come to a more quiet area rather than the usual place people watch the sunrise at the Wat so that we could get the view without the insane crowds, and I'm eternally grateful we did it his way. The rest of our morning was spent walking through varying temples and meeting Bin and our tuktuk on the other side so that he could drive us to the next one - that is until he ran out of gas. One would think that someone who drives the same vehicle every day and has given this tour before would know he'd need extra gas bc there are no gas stations in the temple complex. One would be wrong. But Bin laughed off his mistake and told us to follow him (by foot) to a nearby restaurant where he borrowed a motorcycle from the owners and drove to buy more gas while we grabbed lunch.
On Bin's return, we piled back into the tuktuk to enjoy more temple ruins. And by enjoy, I mean slowly but surely melt into puddles as the humidity chipped away at our sanity and capacity for cognitive function. Between my ankles rolling and the $3 flowy pants Ky had bought for the temples ripping at the crotch (it was freaking hilarious - he couldn't take proper steps up the stairs bc of it and spent the whole day trying to walk in a way that wouldn't rip them more which totally didn't work) we had worked our way into some sort of state of delirium in which we thought literally everything was hilarious. I'm not kidding. Ky was telling the most unacceptably ridiculous knock knock jokes and we were laughing our asses off. We were losing our minds. So we kindly asked Bin to return us to our hostel - which by the grace of whatever gods you believe in had some astonishingly effective and much needed AC - to shower and relax for a bit before heading back to the night market we had visited the night before.
But see, we were in Cambodia. And in Cambodia, you can count on almost everything to be unreliable. So of course, the water in our hostel wasn't working. It was only 1PM at this stage (bc we had spent the first 8h of our day at Angkor Wat) and they said the water would be on by 4PM. They lied. Mind you, we were past the point of disgusting at this stage - like we could 100% smell ourselves and it was NOT pleasant. A shower was all I wanted, and none of what I was going to get. A very long hour and a half later, the water finally came back on - I knew immediately bc I had turned the sink on so I would hear it when the water came back - and I got into that shower faster than I can even articulate. One staggeringly long and well anticipated shower later, and I felt like a human person again. Ky hopped in afterwards and we headed down to the night market where I found a new skirt for $5 that I am downright obsessed with and we discovered our new favorite dessert thus far: fried ice cream rolls. Despite their name, they do not in fact contain gluten. They are freaking life changing, though. We didn't last long at the market due to the level of pure bodily exhaustion we were experiencing and soon headed back to the hostel to repack and get ready to fly to Thailand the next day.
But for right now, I am in country #22 (Thailand) and couldn't be more excited to experience everything it has to offer. Getting here was quite the mission, but I'll tell you more about that next time bc sleep is calling my name and I intend to answer.
Until next time, folx!
Today's list of surprises and differences:
About the Author
Mouth like a sailor, great lacker of empathy, paper cut survivor, avid arguer, harsh critic of people who put clothes on their pets, easily distracte
USA, Mexico, Iceland, Austria, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Morocco, Malta, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Ireland, Denmark, Czech Republic, Hungary, England, Poland, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, Scotland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Croatia, Greece
The Baltic countries,
if Covid allows for it (Latvia, Estonia, maybe a stop in Finland)
(in August in the US)