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Published: June 11th 2017
Just a very quick update before bed. We met in the lobby a bit after 6:30 (it seems someone is always late) and then we walked along the river into the tourist area of Siem Riep called "Pub Street". It was a pleasant walk, it seems the rain has cooled things off a bit. The town is very touristy, of course, but it is still quite small and it was pretty along the river with all the lights (it was dark during the walk). We noticed some very nice hotels on the drive in earlier today.
Sowann pointed out the various markets and then we went for a group dinner to "The Corner" restaurant where we both had Amok (the Cambodian national dish I think). I had fish and Susan had chicken. It was really delicious. We shared a pitcher of Cambodian beer ($4), and finished off with a really good strong coffee.
After dinner Sowann left us and we were free to make our way back to the Claremont Hotel. Susan and I checked out the night market (where I completed my elephant ensemble) and we got a selection of silk scarves and a Tin-Tin t-shirt for a
friend). Then we hopped into a remork (the Cambodian equivalent of a tuk tuk) and headed back to our hotel.
On the drive today Sowann told me that Angkor Wat gets around 3 million visitors a year, but unfortunately most of the revenue goes to Vietnam, instead of staying in Cambodia. Ever since the Vietnamese overthrew the Khmer Rouge in 1979 (basically by invading the country) they have had a strong influence here. They have some sort of arrangement with the Cambodian government whereby they run the tourist activity at the temples, and get most of the revenue. It is unfortunate for Cambodia, which badly needs it.
Tomorrow will be a full day at the temples, so off to bed now.
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