It will be 2017 in just over an hour, but J and I might not be able to stay awake until the ball drops (unless the thumping music next door keeps us up). We both had long travel days, and our eyelids are getting heavier by the minute. So if you’re reading this and haven’t yet greeted 2017, please say hi to it for us.
J and I met up at the Bangkok airport this afternoon and had an uneventful flight to Cambodia. We rode in a tuk-tuk over the very flat roads of Siem Reap to get to our hotel.
Our room is on the fifth floor, which seems pretty high up when (1) most of the buildings in town are only two or three stories tall and (2) there’s no elevator. We have quite a view from up here:
Our room has a lot of green chenille — it pops, as they say in the design industry. And we loved the lotus flower petal art:
We walked into town for dinner and realized that there’s a reason no one walks here. It’s not clear that there are any sidewalks, and the areas that might pass for sidewalks are usually covered in stuff (or the concrete tiles are all cattywampus). The streets are filled with a melange of scooters, tuk-tuks, and cars, and there are no obvious rules of the road. So far, it feels a little like Hanoi, but I trust the drivers here less. J and I were glad to make it downtown in one piece.
Before dinner, we decided to have a quick massage (massages here cost $10 or less if you don’t want anything fancy, so they’re hard to resist). Then we went to dinner at a delicious Khmer-influenced restaurant called Khmer Touch. The rice ball and green mango salads were outstanding!
The town grew more and more crowded — and the music all around grew louder and louder — as we sat at our table outside. It seems like everyone under the age of thirty (and a few people older than that) has come into town to celebrate the New Year. The crowds were unlikely anything I’d expected from Cambodia.
J and I had originally thought we might stay up till midnight with the party crowds, but between our sleepiness and the insistent throng, we just didn’t feel up to it. So we pushed our way through the crowds (including the motorcycle parking lot), did a little souvenir shopping, and braved the roads back to our hotel.