Saturday, December 31, 2016

3 Weeks In South East Asia - Day 13: New Year's Eve

After a day in old Bangkok and a second day in new Bangkok, we decided on a day across the river in what we can call real Bangkok. Just a normal neighborhood where normal life takes place. We walked around, played some tepak sekraw with some kids, ate some amazing street food, and enjoyed our final boat trip down the river. Then, the real adventure began. We took a 45 minute flight to take us 400 kilometers from Bangkok to Siem Reap in Cambodia. Then, we spent almost two hours in a taxi to get from the airport to our hotel just 9 kilometers away! There seem to be only a few main roads through Siem Reap town center and, with New Year's just an hour and a half away, the streets were PACKED! It was madness and, although I've never experienced it, I would compare the scene to Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Music, lights, and a barely moving mob of pedestrians. Ash and I sat in shock the entire time. This is not the village we remember from our last visit to Angkor Wat thirteen years ago. I don't think I've ever seen a place change quite so much. Then, literally at the stroke of midnight, as we could hear distant fireworks going off, we arrived at our hotel. This hotel, too, is a big change from the last time we were here. Thirteen years ago, we paid $1 for the night. This time around, we are in a nice boutique hotel with a pool and are paying $42 for the night. Change. That is what the New Year is all about. Change in Siem Reap and change in the way we are visiting the place, too.