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Thursday 6 Mar 2003
Siem Reap, Cambodia

Biking the Wat

Yesterday myself and James took a drive with Mr Chean in his moto-trailer thingy (motorbike with a tuk-tuk style trailer attached to the end) around the Angkor Wat... all was well till the end of the day when Mr Chean tried to get us to promise we would use him again.. which wasnt our intention.. so we spent about 30 mins trying to get out of that mess... although we did get him for 5 dollars for the day (most people would spend 10)

NB: All transactions in Cambodia are initially dealt with in US dollars! Although you can use the riel as well, all prices are written in dollars... quite amazing

Anyway lesson learned James rented out a moped today and I hopped on the back (a bit daunting driving around Siem Reep where rules of the road are a foreign concept!)

This truly is the ONLY way to see the Angkor temples... freedom and no pesKy guide charging you 10 dollars per temple!

In the evening we headed off to a local bar run by a French guy called "Zanzybar".. needless to say this was an experience in itself and has to be seen to be believed

Last night the two of us went to a local disco to "see the sights". The punters were all Khmer in there though and it was quite surreal to watch them dancing (in a style very similar to tai-chi martial arts) while the live band performed various hits from the 80s (in Khmer language of course!).... great fun!

...raconter...

I neglected to mention the group of ladies sitting in a dark corner of the disco, us sitting exposed in the centre of the place under the disco lights, "stage-centre"! The proprieter of the disco came over to us telling us that the group of ladies "would like to learn Engrish". Yeah right! We said we werent interested, but it wasnt the end...

We went off to another bar on the opposite side of the street, but this too was packed with prostitutues. In fact the whole street was full of them, a bit more aggressive than their Thai counterparts. I remembered warily what the Norwegian guy Id met in Bangkok had said to me about being jumped on and piggy-backed, so I frequently peered over my shoulder as we walked down the street.

Nevertheless, them pros are amazing pool players. Why? Well what else do you think they have to do while waiting around the bar all day for customers?? Myself and James took turns playing the ladies, often to our defeat. In fact in one session I managed to beat the girl at one game, whereupon SHE gave ME 1 dollar. Thats right! I GOT PAID BY A PROSTITUTE! Wont hear that being said everywhere! It became evident that it was a ploy to soften me up because over the following 10 games she beat me. Plus she won 10 dollars for no "boom boom" (as they call it). Damn!

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