Siem Reap – day 353

The Big Circuit of Angkor yesterday was brilliant. We had a taste of the riches of the area and kept some of the best for another day. But, even with the motorbike and taking the day nice and easy, we were a bit tired. The heat was more draining than you realised at the time. So, we gradually crawled out of bed and got ready for the day and washed some clothes. It was perfect timing that we were ready just at the same time as Hoai. We had a chilled out day in town planned. 

First on the agenda was a spot of lunch. Down a side street, there appeared to be nothing visible of the Vietnamese community that lived in the area. Then we were passing houses, where the garage forecourts had tables and chairs laid out in a restaurant fashion. We plonked ourselves down in a ‘restaurant’ on flimsy blue and red plastic chairs and simply ordered 3. The only thing on the menu was Pho and this place specialised in just beef (the broth is designed to complement the meat). Ripping a few leaves from the basket of herbs and a sprinkle of chilli flakes for more flavour, we had one of the nicest bowl of noodles ever. Still not as good as Pho in Vietnam, the flavours were intense and lingered long between mouthfuls and loads of chatting. 

Only a few houses down, the long yard had been converted in to two sheltered dining areas and it served as a very popular cafe. Not sure they see many foreigners in there, this secret gem of a place served us amazing filter coffees with condensed milk. The hours flew by and we had to make some other plans for the day. We couldn’t/shouldn’t spend the rest of the day on our ass enjoying condensed milk (and coffee). Hoai made a few calls and eventually the tuk tuk driver found us. We could have walked by the time he arrived, but we would have been on the street for 10mins and then would have got soaked. The heavens opened and a downpour of rain made the all of the potholes look the same depth. 
Thus, we bumped down the road on the way to Les Bambous hotel. In the ground floor of one of their buildings they had set up Escape Rooms. We were going to try a game and see what they were like. Katherine and Hoai had never really heard of them before and I was itching to have a go. An hour locked in a room to try and solve the puzzles and escape – it was genius. 

We opted to try City of Temples room. The object of this room was to find the treasure lost in one of the temples of Angkor. But, we had to find the clues to which temple it was in. The first section of the room had us turning up the stools to find colours and numbers under the seat, pebbles in the flowers pot of different colours, pieces of plastic with green shaded pieces. The clues were all in hidden places of the room and together they formed the combination for the locks to the chests on the ground and the lock on the door. The next room had stuff hidden amongst the skeleton of the last explorer whom couldn’t solve the puzzle and died. This clue helped unlock his backpack for more clues and a diary. We got a bit stuck at this point as we had all the clues worked out and couldn’t figure out the next combination lock. Colours on the chart depicted what combination to use, except we didn’t know the significance of the colours as that clue was hidden behind the decorations of the room – decorations they had told us that were not part of the game. We didn’t feel cheated in the slightest. We were given the last clue and entered the last room past the 60min time limit. The final chest was a piece of cake. So, so close!A bathroom break were we had to traverse the now flooded hotel complex and overflowing swimming pool meant we were all soaking. So, in no rush out to the elements we did another room. We did ‘Kowloon Captive’ where we had to solve the mystery and rescue the captive politicians daughter from her captors. We did brilliant at this more difficult room. The had to come in and help us with the briefcase as it was stuck. We thought we had the code wrong, but it was their props. The cameras constantly watching you in the room must be a bit funny for them. They get to see some people struggling, arguing or geniuses like us storming through a complicated set up. The UV torch was a cool trick as a clue. We finished the day, already on a high with a mega meal at the Korean restaurant. Another hidden treasure in the heart of Siem Reap, we got an all you can eat BBQ set up, with pancakes and kimchi and the works for a reasonable $7. Katherine and I waddled home trying to think of ways of converting the escape rooms into a board game and Hoai joined some friends in town for a drink. It took ages to fall asleep after such a chilled out and adrenaline pumped day. It was brilliant and can’t wait to do it again… ahem!

Saturday 24th September 2016