We boarded a bus Saturday morning for a 7 hour ride to Siem Reap, which the driver told us we would arrive at 7 pm…leaving at 9 am we were a bit aggravated and unprepared, but whateva! There was a language mistake and really it was just 7 hours. But still, for some reason, no little child tried to sell me a book off the side of the road that morning so I was stuck with nothing to read and only my rubix cube and suduko to keep me busy (which I never solved, still had 3 out of place)
Anywhoo, we rode for hours and arrived at the bus terminal outside of the city when a tuk tuk driver basically stole us off the bus, got us to buy a $1 a person ticket to take us to our hotel. At this point, I showed the driver and his friend the name AND address of the hotel. “ok ok” they said. So, off we went. We came straight into the city of Siem Reap and after a good 5 minutes of trying to sell us on being our tuk tuk driver the next day, he stopped outside of his friends hotel. We told him that this was not our hotel and we had already paid. We needed the right one. Well he looked at me stupidly and once again I showed him the name and address. He and three other drivers all tried to figure it out. So, I walked over to a computer, pulled up agoda.com
and showed them the map where it was. He looked at it like he had never seen a map before and didn’t know where even the airport was in his small city (right.) So we drove along the river and he pointed out place after place all with different names than our hotel. I kept saying no.
Adam opened the ipod, found wireless and using google maps and GPS tried to direct the driver to the hotel (however google maps had the wrong address) It was at this point that I thought we had been had. That the hotel really didn’t exist and at $8 a night we were played. So, we stopped at the Hotel d’Ankgor which books for 300-1900 dollars a night and kindly went in begging for help. While Adam was inside with the hotel staff looking for a phone number for our hotel, I was sitting outside in the tuk tuk with our bags. The driver was starting to say all sorts of rude things like we were taking up his time. I told him that he should never have lied in the first place. If he didn’t know where it was, blah blah blah. He said well most foreigners say one thing but mean another (heard that before) So, Adam eventually came outside with the lady from the hotel and she gave them a piece of her mind…telling them how to get to the hotel. Then, the men wanted to charge us more money. I was like Hell NO! Our ticket says right on it, “bus station to hotel, $1 per person”
Yes, our hotel was really far out of town. We arrived at the Paradise Eco Resort. The driver never used the phone number and said he knew where it was. So I don’t know if all along it was just a ploy to get us to stay elsewhere. We said peace to him and checked into our little eco room. I am not sure what makes it eco, maybe it is all of the materials used for construction or the fact that there is no internet or tv. The place itself will be amazing. It is a great getaway from the city and right now, only 2 out of the 5 rooms are complete. One is a bungalow suite for $30 and one is a very small room for $8. There is a pool but only filled about 2 feet as well as 2 bars, a restaurant and their own personal silk weaver. The owner is French and works as a GM at a hotel but is building this too, he lives on premise in his own home…which I imagine is like the bungalow but 100% bigger. It will be fantastic when the hotel is finished but at the moment, it should be a bit less expensive and possibly they should hire a full time tuk tuk and include it in the price of the room.
We dropped our stuff in our tiny room which has a beautiful mural of the Angkor on it, and headed on a $3 tuk tuk ride into town. As we sat down for dinner at a local Khmer Kitchen restaurant, we discussed our housing situation for the next 3 nights. We did the math and for the same price that we would be paying for tuk tuks into the city, we could just book another room and lose our money at the Eco reserve.
Siem Reap is not very big. Its downtown area is like I Drive with tons of restaurants, markets and shops…their big attractions are the Angkors and there are tons of guest houses and Dr. Fish places for your feet (you can get a 2 hour massage for $6 then have fish eat your feet and a mani pedi for another $6…maybe a spa day is coming)
We booked our bus tickets out of Siem Reap for the 17th and then grabbed our tuk tuk back to the Eco. We spoke to the receptionist and since we are the only guests asked if we could combine our 3 nights stay into one and stay in the beautiful bungalow and then we will pack our things and move into the city for the remaining two nights. She said ok.
We checked into the Old Market Hostel and will spend the next few days here.
So here we are, about to spend the day at the Angkor’s…the huge temples built for kings and gods…the 8th wonder of the world…my dream. I am so excited I can’t stand it! So, I am off to wake Ad up so we can begin our day exploring like Laura Croft!
(sorry for the lack of pictures but someday when we have a strong internet connection we will upload)http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=Sweetpik2&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0060856262&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr