After my less than warm welcome to Cambodia I did not have very high hopes for the country, I surveyed the street that my Hotel was on and had even less hope. This was most definitely the poorest place that I had ever been, the ‘road’ was a pile of rubble, the shops were set up in shacks and dogs were roaming free. I decided to have a wander, the tuk tuk driver had told me that this was the center of Siem Reap but it just couldn’t be the case, 15 minutes later I found it, and I absolutely adored the place. There were dozens of beautiful French cafes serving delicious food, local restaurants selling traditional food and even a place that lets you BBQ your own snake and crocodile to eat. Across from the river is the night market selling beautiful scarfs and trinkets.
As I walked around this town I never wanted to leave especially when I knew what it was that I was going back to, as I drew closer to my hotel I began attracting attention, people were begging me for money and I ignored them until a girl about the same age as me stood in front of me holding a baby. She asked for money for milk for the baby, and I said no, she stood in front of me and followed me the entire way back to my hotel asking for me to go into the shop and buy her some milk…afraid that she might actually follow me into my room I gave in and bought her some milk that according to the shop keeper cost $7. I had been scammed again!
I retired to my room but couldn’t sleep, I decided to have a wander around the hotel, however when I opened the door and found a whole bunch of homeless people on mattresses I realized that I was not in a hotel at all more like a soup kitchen. The next day I left the hostel, finally ridding myself of the kind of trip that the man on border patrol had scammed me into having, I found a beautiful hotel in the middle of the town for the same price as the homeless shelter, met some really amazing Cambodian people working in the shops and restaurants and fell in love with this beautiful part of the world.
- The Road To Cambodia (truetravelings.wordpress.com)