BeauTi is a great driver
Just got in to Cambodia yesterday and so far it's my favorite place to be. The first thing I noticed flying in is how flat this region is. Everywhere else we've been so far has been so moutainesque. Arriving at the airport I had no idea we would need a visa or cash, or that the ATM would swallow my card, so that was a fiasco. In the end a very nice Korean woman helped me out with what to do and how to get through immigration. Once out of the airport, it was evident that things here are much more laid back and life moves more slowly than the other places we've been. Unlike Phuket or Kuala Lumpur, where everyone is always in a hurry to go anywhere, our taxi ride here was slow and the driver stopped multiple times to ask directions or just to say hi to people. Some might not like this, but I thought it was great. Once we made it to our quaint little hotel we had a brew and a swim to cool off. Next up the manager of the hotel called us a tuk-tuk driver. "Mr.T" is what the driver called himself. He took us to a restauraunt with a buffet and a traditional Cambodian dance/drama show. While not my cup of tea, the food was good and the show was nice. I think in a different setting I might have enjoyed it more. People around were eating and talking and the entire performance seemed like a backdrop or side act rather than the main event. What made the show worth while for me was the performers. One young lady in particular was always so bubbly and happy it made the night. She couldn't even hold back her smile during the serious parts. After that, Mr.T took us on a tour of the town then out for drinks at a local 'beer garden'. It came complete with bad Asian karaoke, ladies for hire, and spicy mushrooms. My girlfriend picked a bar girl for company and the girl ended up feeding her peanuts and mushrooms all night. Then it was off to another bar where my girlfriend found out Asian bathrooms aren't so nice. But, if you're drunk, things aren't so bad...that's the other thing she realized. Mr.T, we found out after a couple of drinks, is actually named Beau-Ti (spelling?) and once owned a nice hotel on the lake. He was very wealthy, but something happened with the government, and now he is a tuk-tuk driver, but still he is happy with what he has. He was chatting people up and singing karaoke and we were drunk, so that made a fun ride back to the hotel at a slow pace through the bumpy roads of Siem Reap.
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