Man we have been in Siem Reap about twenty hours now and only just worked out where we are. We have two maps of town, and two business cards with basic maps on them and damned if Paul or myself could make any sense of any of it! To top things off, any tuk tuk driver or guesthouse operator we asked to point to our location on a map would wave their finger non-commitally at some blank area on the page and say 'about here'. I think our mistake was over-estimating the size of Siem Reap. We expect a fifteen or twenty minute slog through the dusty streets looking for this particular landmark and we come upon it in about two minutes. There also appears to be two central markets in town, just to be thorough in confusing us, so as soon as we get some confidence in our position this market shows up and suddenly we may or may not be four blocks away. Gargh!
We have it sorted now though, forget the maps, just remember the direct route from our guesthouse to this really awesome (although a bit trendy) cafe lounge restaurant called Blue Pumpkin. Downstairs is a really airy ice-cream /bakery cafe (a bit like bread-top in the bakery area) and upstairs is a super cool restaurant (so cool it's all white and minimally). Food is a bit more expensive but comes with free wi-fi. Hence the long and involved blog post.
For those of you at home here is a picture of our meal.
This morning after being woken by the sound of hammering in the room next door (I think they were smashing out tiles in the bathroom) at 7am, and then being re-woken by ear splitting Khmer music at 8am and 9am (we found the loudspeaker responsible two blocks away) we decided to find another room. This was at number 10 guesthouse up the road a bit, which was ok - pretty clean bathroom, $6 a night - but on our wanders we found number 9 guesthouse. And you guessed it - it's affiliated with number 9 and number 9 guesthouses in Phnom Penh.
Number 10 were pissed that we only stayed one night. Out tuk tuk driver who ho picked us up at the bus station had been hassling us to go to the temples on his tuk tuk and pretty much lost it. We tried our best to be friendly and I think he told us to get bent in Khmer. Yikes.
So tomorrow we will most likely get started on the temples with another driver who doesn't swear at us. It's expensive business too. US$20 gets you a one day pass, $40 for three days and $60 for five. I think we're going to go for the three dayer.