We woke up early the morning after our trip to Bokor to find that the town of Kampot had been flooded over night. Even though it’s the dry season, a long night of heavy rainfall had covered the town in several inches of water.
The first floor of most buildings (including the hotels) was flooded and everywhere you looked people were working hard to get the water out.
But unlike most places, it wasn’t just the first floor that was flooded in our guest house. Even though we were staying on the third floor, we awoke to an inch of water on our bedroom floor. Fortunately, my backpack and all of my clothes were on the bed, well above the water level. Nick’s stuff, however, was strewn about the room –all of it on the floor and all of it soaked! Our computer bag also happened to be on the floor, with my laptop inside.
Fortunately, my computer was only slightly damp and suffered no damage. Our passports, on the other hand, were sopping wet and we spent the entirety of our 12-hour bus ride to Siem Reap drying them out page by page.
The entry stamp on my Cambodia visa has been completely washed away, but I am hopeful that this will not cause any problems when we exit the country. (keep your fingers crossed!)
Well, a 12 hour bus ride done and we arrived in Siem Reap to begin our exploration of Angkor Wat. But first we spent a night hanging out in town.
Siem Reap is a tourist haven with fantastic international food, spa treatments galore, 50 cent draft beers, and the best shopping in all of Cambodia. The options for food are endless ranging from $1 noodles to great western food for only slightly more.
Neil was still raving about the amazing chicken Kiev he had here 3 years ago, so of course we had to stop by at Molly Malone’s and check it out – it was deliciously drenched in butter.
One of the peculiar things about Siem Reap is that there are “fish massages” lining the streets everywhere you look. For $3 you can stick your tootsies into a tub of little fish and have them eat away at the dead skin on your feet. So, after dinner, Claire and I had a go at it.
I stuck my feet in first and immediately had hundreds of little fish nipping at my toes.
The feeling was wonderfully weird at first, and it tickled so much that I wasn’t sure I would be able to keep my feet in for more than a couple of seconds. After persisting for a minute or two the strangeness of it died down and I began to really enjoy it. It almost felt like having my feet in a bucked of Coca Cola - like hundreds of little bubbles were popping away on my skin.
After 5 minutes or so, we decided to graduate ourselves from the little fish to the tank of bigger fish. These guys were at least twice the size of the small fish and the sensation was much stranger. First of all, because they were much bigger, I could feel the slipperiness and sliminess of their skin rubbing against mine. But the even stranger part was that I could actually feel them chomping away at my feet. It felt exactly like what it was, a little tiny mouth scraping away at your skin. It didn’t hurt at all, it mostly tickled and once I got over the weirdness of it all, it was really quite enjoyable.
Claire and I stayed in for about 45 minutes just hanging out with the fish. They did a pretty good job too, and our feet felt super smooth once we finally took them out of the tank!
Dinner done and spa treatment complete we were off to bed to rest up for our first day hanging out at Angkor Wat.