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July 2007 - Siem Reap Town, Cambodia
Row of Shops

July 15, 2007 - I am currently in Siem Reap, Cambodia, the Angkor Temples are about six kilometers outside of town. I am staying at the Peace of Angkor Villa, accommodations are very good and the staff is very friendly and helpful. The Peace of Angkor specializes in taking care of photographers and providing special photographer oriented tours and services.

Elephant Terrace
The Terrace des Elephants is currently being renovated but it is typical of the fantastic colonial era architecture that can be found in the Old Market section of Siem Reap.

Girl on Bike
This picture is also kind of typical of Siem Reap's Old Market section, a girl on a bicycle cruising past a Mexican Cantina. When it starts to rain I have seen girls like this one put on an amazing display of speed and skill pedaling down the street to their destination.

Duracell advertising
These Duracell battery advertising sculptures are all over town, most of them are on busy street corners, but this one is in the park along the river that runs through Siem Reap.

The Soup Dragon
The Soup Dragon is a very popular hang-out for the tourists. When you are walking around Siem Reap everyone is very nice and hospitable, even the motrcycle taxi guys. As a matter of fact the motorcycle taxi guys arer a bit too hospitable, it is impossible to take more than a few steps without one of them trying to get your business. For someone like me who likes to walk and take pictures, it can get pretty annoying at times.

Money Changer
This money changer at the Old Market was very nice but gave me only US$ 28.50 for 1000 Baht. In Thailand I would have gotten US$ 33.00. I should mention, that almost everything in Siem Reap that has to do with tourists is more expensive than it should be, there are exceptions but they are few. I can eat for whole lot less in Thailand than in Siem Reap. I can also get ripped off in Thailand (mostly by hanging out in tourist spots) but it is easier for me to avoid, probably because I know Thailand better and I speak Thai.

In Siem Reap the most commonly used money is US dollars, I also use Thai Baht but there tends to be a pretty lousy exchange rate (as shown above). The small change is given in Cambodian Riel (shown in the display case above), there are approxmately 4,000 Riel to a dollar and you are given 1,000 Riel notes for change. Restaurant menus are in dollars so if something costs US$ .75 you will be given one 1,000 Riel note for change from a dollar. In the confusion, the shopkeepers tend to make out like bandits.

Siem Reap Sidewalk
In Cambodia motorists with big expensive cars rule, not only do they rule the roads but they also rule the sidewalks. I guess it makes sense that you don't want to park your expensive ride in the streets, where the only rule is uhmm, well actually there are no rules that I can see.

Indian Restaurant
There are a number of Indian restaurants in Siem Reap but I have not tried any of them yet, mainly because I have not seen any customers in any of them. Places with good food tend to have a lot of customers. In an Indian restaurant I want to see a lot of Indian customers (tourists don't count).

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