15 May 2010

A Lazy Afternoon in Siem Riep

The only problem with organised travel is that you are often rushing from one place to the next.  Finding time to get away from everybody, relax in a cafe and watch the world go by becomes a bit of a luxury but it is something I crave and always make time for, if the opportunity presents itself.  So when we found ourselves with a spare afternoon in Siem Riep, Al and I decided to head out to a cafe for a bit of lunch and a chat.   Intrepid_Cambodia-6 There is nothing better than spending quality time with a fellow traveller with whom you share interests and have common passions.  Al is a fellow writer who shares my passion for writing and reading and it was fun to chat about our very different approaches to writing up our travel experiences.  He has a great sense of humour and writes his experiences from a comedic perspective.  We are both from the same general area of Sydney having lived there since arriving as migrants about 10 years ago.  We’ve left our  jobs to travel the world for a year, so we did have lots in common and lots to talk about.

Siem Riep is a city with lots of cafe’s that spill out to pedestrian walkways.  We found a strip with a lovely  variety of Khmer food and lots of atmosphere and spent much of the afternoon sampling the exotic food on the menu and drinking the amazing shakes that Cambodia is famous for.  The particular cafe we chose was famous for crocodile, so we decided to give that a go…and yes…it does taste like chicken!   :)

After a few hours we thought it time to move on and found a place tucked away upstairs where we could drink cocktails and look down on the world going by.  The time ticked by and soon it was time for dinner!  We were sitting directly opposite the shop advertising a fish massage which led Al to suggest we should it a go!  We had stuck our hands in the tank previously and said “no way”, but after sitting above it and watching so many others squealing with laughter while trying it out..we sort of got used to the idea and thought it was another opportunity we shouldn’t miss. 

I had never done anything so bizarre before.  Having fish nibble your dead skin is a truly weird and strange sensation and incredibly ticklish to begin with.   What a great way to have your feet exfoliated!  After awhile you stop fidgeting, relax and get a bit more comfortable with the strange sensation of fish nibbling you to death.  Then you start to enjoy the experience…. 

Passers by were fascinated and stopped to take photos or just point and laugh!  All good fun really and a perfect end to a great day. 

Intrepid_Cambodia-7 When you travel, remember that a foreign country is not designed to make you comfortable. It is designed to make its own people comfortable. ~ Clifton Fadiman

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