Thursday, January 3, 2013

Onto Siem Reap

Onto Siem Reap

Greenhouse Restaurant is the local spot in San Monorom for English speakers and it has been fun to talk with so many about where they have been or are going. Most headed to Laos and most were recently in Vietnam.

Restless night in a basic guesthouse - greenhouse guesthouse - rooms faces the road and it was very busy and the guesthouse had a dog in front who barked off and on all night.

Speaking of dogs...dogs are everywhere in Cambodia especially on e you get out of the city. They are everywhere, friendly and well behaved. Dirty but fun to see.

This may be our longest travel day but thankfully we are in a car. By bus 12 hours, which means 14 Cambodian time. By car we hope 7-8 hours. No flights as there is no airport. I think it's with it as we have seen so much and would have wanted to miss any spot. We will not make it to the South where the supposed amazing beaches are- but we decided as a family to go North. We have seen amazing beaches but never spent time in the rainforest. Temps in the North are much cooler and quite nice. Mid 70's and high 60's at night vs high 80's -and humid. No rain as this is the dry season and most expensive.

So the Casavee we see drying in the roads is grown for bio-diesel and sold to Vietnam for export. What is sad is the local farmers clearcut rainforest to plant Casavee and year 1 is bountiful and many made good $, year 2 they get 70% of what they grew and prices dropped 50% due to high supply and now they have made it illegal to sell to Vietnam so thy have to sell for 25% illegally and the Vietnamise make up make the profit. So again deforestation for profit but in this case the profit is gone.

Longest day of travel 9 hours but in an air conditioned car... We finally arrive in Siem Reap. Wow what a culture shock. Paved roads, people everywhere and lots of English speaking. We arrive dirty and smelly... Quaint hotel off a busy street on a beautiful plant lined ally (very French). Cleaned up we headed out into the chaos and were loving it all.

We headed to Pub St but were diverted by Dr Fish- you take off shoes and put your feet in a pond where the fish nibble off dead skin. $3/30 min and a free beer. Drinking age is 18 so JD is enjoying a few beers. It is so tickkly at first we can hardly stand it but slowly we adjust and settle in. No go for John but we had a great time. Off to eat... So am many choices and so many people.

We opt for Khmer BBQ where they bring hot oil and a flame to your table - there is BBQ spot in top and you cook raw meat and fry veggies. JD has chicken, steak, squid, alligator and pork and we opted for lots of veggie. Really hot oil so the veggies are not greasy but nicely flavored. Really fun and quite good. Riley fried up some noodles- her favorite Khmer food and we were full.

Off to the market and it is huge... Overwhelming so we just looked. And until we resolve our cash flow issues we are holding back in spending cash. Late night for us 10:00.