1.13.2009

Cheap Weekend Getaway

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!

6 comments:

Katherine said...

yes, i did meet elizabeth, we were at the same table, although with the music hard to talk. i've met her somewhere before ages ago
nice to hear about your weekend too.

Crys said...

Shoot, I want a $6 massage :) Glad you got away this weekend and enjoyed it!

KBrock said...

I wish my weekend excursions cost $40.

Branden said...

I can eat out twice for that price here, and its a vacation for you...lucky. :)

Em said...

Two movie tickets = $19.50. 2 small drinks and 2 small bags of popcorn = $16. Throw in a $30 dinner for two... are you sure you want to come back to the states?

Em said...

PS: I haven't read all of this yet, but this guy blogs about traveling for $5 a day...
http://frugaltraveler.blogs.nytimes.com/