One thing I love about Cambodia (definitely not words you hear coming out of my mouth often) is the ability to get out of town for the weekend. Relief from the city is a mere bus ticket away and this past weekend I jumped on the chance to get out of town and back up to Siem Reap (aka Angkor territory).
One of the university president's advisers is also a high up in the Ministry of Arts and Culture, so he phoned a friend to get me free tickets to a show playing at Angkor Wat over the weekend. The show, I'm going to have to admit, was rather cheesy. It told the history of Angkor from the perspective of a French explorer who traveled back in time Charles Dickens style, but instead of the ghost of Christmas past, famous Khmer dancing queen Apsara served as his tour guide. I couldn't quite understand why the Cambodian people wouldn't take pride in their own culture to tell the story from their own perspective and use Khmer rather than English. However, I can say I appreciated the taste of traditional dance and music the show presented. The show also used a unique display of lights, which, with the ancient temple as the backdrop, made for an excellent stage setting. A free show will never be a total loss on me.
The trip also brought to my attention how cheap a weekend getaway can be here in Cambodia. I spent $5 each way on bus tickets - that's $10. Then my friend and I split the cost of a guest house room - hot water but no A/C cost us $3 each. A day's worth of food (breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks) can cost anywhere from $5 to $50 depending on how much you eat and how fancy you want to get - I spent in the ballpark of $15. Then we splurged and got $6 massages. Factor in tuk tuk fares and the weekend cost me a grand total of $40. I totally need to do this more often!