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dimanche 3 septembre 2017

SIEM REAP IN CAMBODIA : TWO DAYS TO CHILL OUT

Most people come to Siem Reap, to base themselves there for three days to visit the largest archeological ruins in the world, Angkor.
I have been to Siem Reap three times this year, mainly to calm myself down and balance my thoughts. Like my brother Eliyahu, who loves this town, I am also fond of it. Apart from visiting familiar establishments to eat and buy goods from, I dont do anything special (from the point of view of the tourist), but I do have a good sensation of renewing contact with so many people I have met here over the years. Also, I have time here to get a leisurely hair cut, massages every day and eat at the same restaurant whose quality I know, and just wander around gawking at the tourists, most of whom would never return.
 Vibo Sor and Vanny Soem at Beyond Yangon Boutique Hotel 
 My burmese brother and his khmer wife own this hotel and i have known them ever since my first visit to Siem Reap

 My last two hair cuts has been by this gentleman, who works at the New Zealand Hair Cuts in Kandal Village, a nice area with shops and eating places.

 At least one meal a day is at SMILING FOOD which is in the alleyway that connects the two main arteries and just below the Pub Street. 
 The typical dish of this region is Fish Amok. I have eaten Fish Amok in many places including Paris but nothing can beat this Fish Amok at Smiling Khmer Food
 She started as a waitress, has a name that reminds you of Rambo but she is sweet and soft, now she is attending university to study commerce. In the weekends she returns to her old job and i was happy to see her
 GEKKO NAIL ART AND MASSAGE just in front of the Provincial hospital with its good array of masseuses and a welcoming manager is the next stop. and I always request Anya shown below. Daily one hour is spent with leg and back and neck massage.

 There is always a stop at ZYTYs shop, at the new Night Market across the river, where I am given a good price and I dont have to argue or bargain. I dont visit any other store but this one and she has all the things I take to my friends in the Indian country as well as Cuba.
what a lovely treat is to be able to eat Morning Glory in Garlic!
 There is always time to have a fruit smoothie or juice of your choice 
 I had met this lady when she was only 19 and now she is a mother of three, renting this store in the old market. I knew her family and I had not seen her in years and it was a good reunion. She belongs to the minority Cham community who are good traders.
 There is a lot of noise along the Pub Street very popular with tourists. Lots of drinking places and foreigners gather here.
 walking back to the hotel, i stop by the 7/11 kind of convenience store with lots and lots of packaged foods but with cold drinks as well. We recognized each other and exchanged greetings.

smiling Khmer Food is owned by a young sino cambodian lady and the chef guarantees you a good taste of Khmer food.

was a bit reluctant to leave Siem Reap for a brief stopover in KL. I knew that I could have a glass of wine and some nice snacks at the Plaza Premium Lounge at the airport.
But at the breakfast table at Beyond Yangon Boutique Hotel, I invited a young visitor from Guangzhou and she was friendly and a good emissary for her country. Normally Chinese tourists are not well liked, either by the locals or the hotel owners, but this lady shows us that Chinese are just like anyone else, there are very nice people among them too..
I took the short flight to Kuala Lumpur on Malaysian Airlines, a once glorious airline, now limping along. 
The immigration clearance was quick and soon I was on the KLIA express to Sentral Station in the heart of Kuala Lumpur.