Monday, January 14, 2008

Picnic in Siam Reap


One of the best things we did in Siam Reap was have a picnic. We decided to go local and just stop visiting temples (it gets boring after a while) before we headed back to Angkor Wat to watch the sun set (nope not a good place to watch the sun set but if the lights project took off its definitely worth going there in the evenings to watch the lights).

Every evening the locals will gather with their families by the lake that encircles the Angkor temple. You can get all kinds of food from fruits, corn, Cambodian snacks, sweets to roasted meat/ eggs and drinks at the stalls that dot the road and then cross over to the lake and sit on one of the mengkuang tikars (straw mat) that are placed by the hawkers on the cement hedges. Yep you don’t even need to bring mats, the Cambodians are an ingenious lot I tell you.

The lake is really huge and there are various points to sit at but best of all its really peaceful besides the occasional honk of the tuk tuk. Luckily the spot we were sitting at was neither near a temple or a corner, so the honks were limited.

Picnic by the lake One weird thing about Cambodia was you rarely saw cats and dogs loitering the streets. I’m not sure why so we were pleasantly surprised when a bunch of dogs politely came sniffing for left over bones. Yes the dogs were polite, interestingly we found them more humane then the people.

The dogs did not lunge at our food, left us at peace and waited patiently for us to give them food. Of course the 3 dogs fought among themselves but they left us at peace. We were pretty entertained with their antics.

We had ordered half a chicken which was shared by my friend and our tuk tuk driver and I had some corn and tapioca snacks (kuih/ palagaram) (I was vegetarian that day – you can survive as one anywhere if you ain’t that picky). I heard the sauces were really good, so was my tapioca snack.

Our tuk tuk driver like all curious gossipy asian men, couldn’t understand why both of us weren’t married. It’s normally the men who ask such silly questions. I never understand why this has to be discussed by perfect strangers. Just coz you’re our driver or traveling in the same train/ bus with us, does that give you a right to be nosy and ask such silly questions? Anyway smart mouthed driver here decided to be a smart aleck and claim oh you’re all too old to be married now.

Anyways we had a perfect little quiet picnic on the third evening of our revendouz in Siam Reap. If you’re looking to do something different do try this. It was an evening well spent away from the hustle of the mob that crowds the temples.


ashok said...

amazing richness in ur snap...wat a place! wow!

visithra said...

thanks ashok - how r u