Days 4 to 6 - The Beginning of the End

Siem Reap Travel Blog

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Carvings etched in the bedrock of Kbal Spean waterfall
The morning jaunt to Kbal Spean was another two hours ride down from town. Kbal Spean is a waterfall famed for its carvings in the bedrock. This requires a climp uphill (see a pattern here?) before we reached the waterfall proper. Being the dry season, there wasn't much running water. My friction-less Asic sneakers failed me again as I slipped and fell into the river. Thankfully it was only ankle deep. As I was soaked, I couldn't really appreciate the intricate carvings on the rock.

We combined this visit to another temple visit to Banteay Srei (very pretty temple with its pinkish hues) and Rolous Group. By this time temple fatigue had really set in and we didn't stay long.

Tried the locally produced Blue Pumpkin ice-cream in town before heading to the Cambodian Cultural Village, set up to give an introduction to the culture and heritage of Cambodia.
The waterfall at Kbal Spean.. we loved being the very few people there
Sunday was half-price admission for locals, so we sat in with them as we watched the performances by the different groups showcasing the diverse cultures. Hanafy was able to join us this time and we got to know him even better. There was a particulary amusing moment when we were watching a live show of marriage proposals, that we asked him how he met his wife. As it turned out, she was a distant relative or something, so it was a matchmaking thing. Most Cambodians marry real young by the way.

We moved to different pavilion to watch the dances and other assorted items. Admittedly, some of the items were cheesy especially the parts where they got the tourists to join in and be part of the show. I remember a HK/China/Taiwan tourist who was so enthusiastic in performing, he was much better than the original performers! Entertained, we stayed till nightfall where the finale was a historical performance of the evolution of the kingdoms to what Cambodia now is.

We took it easy on Day 5 - this was mostly filled with last minue shopping for the people back home at Psar Cha and Pub Street.
Pinkish hues of Banteay Srey
We had a wonderful oil massage at one of the hotels for US$25. It was a great way to unwind after all the physical exertion although price was a tad steep. We could have found a better bargain had we looked around even further. A notable mention on Day 5 was that we had the most wonderful dinner of just fried chicken, brought from a street stall in Steng Thmai village. It was way better than KFC or any other fast food chains. Street food really rocks my socks off! And Cambodian street food is pretty safe to eat!

All too soon, Day 6 rolled around. I am unashamed to say I was full of tears. Hanafy drove us to the airport and we took some parting photos with him. He left pretty quickly after that - i think deep down, he was sad to see us go too.

I started the waterworks in the airport before we even left. Whatever, I get this overwhelming feeling of sadness everytime I leave for home.

I didn't want to leave Cambodia.
Bakong (part of Rolous Group)
I really didn't.

It was harder to leave than I thought it would be. Perhaps its a combination of the places I've seen there and the people I've met. But I think it was the goodness and simplicity of the people there that touched me most.

But fly off I eventually did. We transited in Phnom Penh, where I moped some more at a coffee joint in the airport. We finally landed in Singapore in the afternoon where I spent much of my journey home reflecting.

And as I write all these entries down, the memories come crashing in waves back again. :)
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Carvings etched in the bedrock of …
Carvings etched in the bedrock of…
The waterfall at Kbal Spean.. we l…
The waterfall at Kbal Spean.. we …
Pinkish hues of Banteay Srey
Pinkish hues of Banteay Srey
Bakong (part of Rolous Group)
Bakong (part of Rolous Group)
The very enthusiastic tourist part…
The very enthusiastic tourist par…
Cultural Village
Cultural Village
Siem Reap
photo by: genetravelling