Happy birthday Loren and Sonya
Up early for breakfast, as our driver will pick us up at 7.15, he is actually here a lot earlier but tells Tony we have plenty of time. That is good to hear as Tony has no intention of rushing breakfast any more than he has to. Shane and Joanne decided to fly, but we decided the bus would not save a lot of time, by the time we spent an hour getting there, being there an hour before take off, and getting into town after the hour flight.
As we leave the hotel we find the main street blocked off for a funeral procession, but we are not delayed for long. We get to the bus station, a proper one today!, in plenty of time, and depart around 8.30. The bus crew hand out bottles of water and boxes of biscuits to us all. Tony thought we would have had to share a box, but we get a box each. We are surprised at the state of the roads, they were brilliant! We have a pleasant bus trip, it was very comfortable. The bus station in Siem Reap is quite big, and quite some distance from our hotel. It seems to take ages to get to G&Z Suites, which themselves appear to be far from the town centre. We will have to check that out later, the town seems to be spread out a lot given that the population is only around 200,000.
Shane and Joanne left at around 11am, and thoroughly enjoyed not having to rush too much this morning. We arrive just after 3pm, and beat the others by 5 minutes, we were unpacking in the room and heard them out in the corridor. Our room overlooks the pool, and we have another guest in the room, a bloody ghecko. Tony opens the sliding door and manages to shoo it outside.
It is beer o’clock for Tony and Shane, and the girls have their cocktails in the pool. The big disappointment is the beers for happy hour, there are none on tap! Some drinks are half price at happy hour, provided you can get them in the first place. In fact quite a few of the drinks we try to get are not available (bloody frustrating). There is a wee bit of a language barrier, but we are managing. We end up telling them how to make a couple of the cocktails, using the ingredients available, rather than the proper recipe.
Shane and Joanne have a meal booked at a restaurant, they had to book weeks ago. We head off down the street to see what we can find, and stop at a local place at the end of street. We have a lovely meal, and decide to walk to the end of the street to see what we can find. We are pleased to see that we are close to the markets. Across the river are the local markets, and we have pancakes for supper.
The night markets are very busy, but we have a long day tomorrow so we decide to head back. At the big roundabout over the bridge we hear, rather than see, the Hard Rock Café. The music is great, and we head in that direction, only to get distracted by a sign - woo hoo, 50c beers! at a bar in the Made in Cambodia market place. We have a good look around the markets, designed to give local artists an outlet, on the condition that they keep their prices reasonable, which it appears they are doing. Back at the bar we sample “one or two” cheap tiger beers, US 50c a handle. We head home past the Hard Rock, the live music has changed, and is bloody awful.