So I arrived back in Siem Reap on the flight that comes in at 9pm on Wednesday 3 February 2016. I had already booked into a hostel on Sok San Road which is spitting distance from Pub Street (see YOLO bar), so got in a cab and headed that way. I wasn’t hungry as I’d eaten a great portion of Asian fastfood at the airport in Bangkok, but I was really looking forward to a good sleep.My bed for the next five nights was in a dorm room of 4. Very different to the luxury I’d been treated to in Phuket. Luckily when I arrived, there was only one other girl staying in my room, so I grabbed the other bottom bunk and got some shut eye. She was going to do the sunrise at Angkor Wat the following morning, so I knew it wasn’t going to be an uninterrupted night’s sleep. Plus, the house hunt was going to kick off in the morning and I had no idea where to start, so I knew I needed to rest. All good intentions went out of the window when I slept in the following morning… old habits die hard!
Anyway, when I finally ventured out, I had my mental note of the kind of place I wanted to call home. I wanted to be within walking distance of town, and I had been told by more than one person that it was perfectly possible to find a room for less than $100/month and an apartment between $175-200. Whilst this may be true at other times of the year, I’d timed my arrival beautifully with both the peak season and Chinese New Year. All the hotels, hostels, guesthouses and apartment blocks were either fully booked, unable to rent me a place for such a long period of time, or just extortionate (relatively speaking… if you call $450/month for privacy and peace of mind, A/C, fresh towels and linen once or twice/week, extortionate!!). I was feeling dejected, especially after visiting a couple of places that were an absolute dive; I was already thinking about heading off to Australia months ahead of schedule because more than a few of the amazing people I’d met on the G adventures tour were all going to be in Melbourne. I hated the shared bathroom at the hostel, with its daily cockroach check before grabbing a shower and I was finding it difficult to find a decent flat of my own. I even had to extend my stay at that hostel for 2 nights because I was running out of time, when I eventually found a brilliant real estate agent (through Facebook, of course!) who was able to find me a couple of options within my criteria. Over night. He was a miracle worker who had located a cute little apartment block which was a 10-minute walk to a hundred eateries, clean and modern with a western style bathroom and a hot shower, and perhaps most importantly, it had a teeny tiny little kitchen complete with a chopping board, wok and spatula. It really is amazing how much the little things matter! So whilst I’ve now been in my place for a couple of months, check out how excited Minion was when I first moved in to our new little home. (I promise he looks excited, sitting there by the sink… even if you can’t see him!)
In hindsight, it’s not bad for a week’s work. It took me another week to kit the place out with some simple home pleasures like a bathmat, a kettle, some kitchen supplies and the suchlike, all the while meeting new friends and getting acclimatised to my new town. For regular readers, you’re going to find my blog is going to read quite differently. Even though every day brings something new and exciting, there isn’t nearly enough content to make an interesting blog!
For newbies who are interested in MinionTravels from the beginning, click here, and for those of you who are just completely baffled by my timelines – check this out, and if you are still confused, send me a message or drop me a comment. I’ll be only too happy to clear things up for you!