Easy transition into Siem Reap

Within a day I felt settled in my new temporary home. In just a week, I’ve met the incredible and generous people I will be working and living with.

What feels immediately different than Vancouver is I am not always the one taking initiative to invite new people to hang out or try a new place. Since I have arrived on Monday, I’ve been invited to a going away dinner, an art performance and an all you can eat buffet at a hotel. I also plans to join some people climbing. Yes there is a climbing wall here apparently! Not as elaborate as our climbing gym,  but that was a surprise. It’s very refreshing.

What’s even more surprising is the only “theatre” in town is a ladyboy cabaret! That, I must see and I hear nothing but good reviews about it.

Last week, my friend and I went around the residential roads and it’s fun going around these areas and marking Khmer restaurants we want to try for lunch. I’d much rather eat at a local restaurant and will try to avoid Western restaurants as much as possible. We live within a ten-minute bike right from the market and right next to people who sell eggs, rice and among our favorite, sugar cane juice.

Nom nom nom.

The Old Market
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This is just under a 10-minute bike ride from our place. I love coming here to get groceries and look around. I also got a pedicure at the market.

I’m really enjoying the buzzing night life and markets in Siem Reap. People just hang outside, enjoy food, enjoy the air and enjoy company. It still floors me that Vancouver doesn’t have an option for people to hang out at many cafe’s past 8 p.m. on weeknights. Sad.

We all feel very safe going out at night, always in groups so far because there are so many people. Within a day, three of my volunteer colleagues said that they feel much safer in Siem Reap than parts of the U.S. that they’ve traveled to. Many people told me to be safe, which of course I will do but I also feel much safer in Siem Reap than going to the suburbs at night where there aren’t many people around.

So far so good.

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