Tuk-Tuk in Siem Reap

Flashback March 2016

It’s hard to leave Angkor Zen, but more adventures await.

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The road back to Siem Reap’s city center. (c) Andrea Preziotti

My final two days in Siem Reap are a short tuk-tuk drive away. I chose to stay at the Golden Temple Residence, a hotel highly recommended by Trip Advisor and friends alike, located in the heart of the old town and a block away from the Night Market.

Over the top. It’s the only way to describe the level of service at the Golden Temple. From the stone Buddha at its entrance to the welcome ice tea and fresh fruit at check-in. The room is spacious, almost as big as my New York City apartment. The bathroom alone is triple in size. This transition is awkwardly decadent given my minimalist practice at the retreat center.

From the balcony I can see a view of the city, it also overlooks the area where GT performs the Aspara dance show. Interesting perspective watching the dance movements from above. The proof is in the detail, the turndown service included cookies and milk, and a bedtime story written on a card. Very nice touches. I am curious about the need for the amenities price list, essentially a cost for everything portable in the room–I’m guessing some guests at Golden Temple mistake it for a shopping mall.

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Bedtime story, Golden Temple Residence (c) Andrea Preziotti

An evening stroll through the night market. Not many ‘bargains’ to be had, although the prices were wickedly less $$ than NYC. I stopped for a mani-pedi (a whopping $6) and had dinner at a local eatery with live music. I am obsessed with the Alibaba harem-style pants and I may have gone a bit overboard with shopping tonight.

On my last day in Siem Reap, I made my way to the Angkor National Museum, a collection of ruins from the Angkor temple complex. There was a special exhibit of batik paintings from Pascal, an artist local to Southeast Asia. One, in particular, caught my eye, an interpretation of the apsara dance, and will be moving to Brooklyn. Next, we stopped in at the McDermott Gallery for a trio of black and white prints showcasing Phnom Bakheng in the clouds, ‘Monk in the Wind,’ and Apsara performers. Although my tree house walls may be few they will be well represented with Cambodian art.

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Phnom Bakheng ‘in the clouds’ print

All that cultural art viewing calls for a snack at the Foreigners Correspondents Club in Angkor where I had lunch. I ran into the professor from UC Davis (we met at Borei Angkor previously), and we caught up on our travels over tea and ice cream.

The view from across the river is like a window back in time. Tuk-tuks remind me of horse-drawn carriages. There are bicycles and people on foot, and the occasional SUV or minivan bring me back to reality.

One last trip to the night market. This time the bidding war was fierce and now four elephants and two giraffe t-shirts are joining the ark to Brooklyn.

Next stop on the flashback tour: Vietnam 


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