Siem Reap might be big, but there aren’t a lot of things happening in this town. Pub Street is the biggest night out scene in REP and I bet the partyphile on you won’t be able to resist the happenings around here. From night markets to street food to restaurants to pubs (duh), you won’t run out of things to do in Pub Street. It’s an organized chaos around here, that’s why I loved it the moment I laid my eyes on it (not exaggerating — even before going, while browsing online!)
Pub Street is a mish mash of everything in a tiny convoluted array of streets. It would be easy to get lost, but hey we really didn’t mind if we got lost a bit — because everywhere you go just seems lively and so… full of boys (there I said it!) Everyone’s so friendly and cheerful — them foreigners and locals alike love to holla at ‘ya whenever wherever. You’ll feel like this is just your usual pub in your usual city… just with a tropical climate to boot.
The food doesn’t disappoint as well. As long as you have a nose for good food and great crowd — you’ll never run out of places to eat at. Choices are abounding as well – some with apsara dancers, and some with that music you might have left at home but were badly missing. There is something in Cambodia that tries so hard to make you feel at home.
If you’re tired chugging Angkor beer and spicy chow, head to the night market – a few struts away from the main happenings. Don’t be apprehended by “You lady, what you want,” or “Mister, mister you want?” from the locals who are trying to make a living. Just politely say no if you don’t want to buy. Or feel free to haggle — I did have more shopping done here than I did in Bangkok because haggling is just so fun to do!
The best part that I liked about Pub Street is how the whole street is a hotpot of different cultures – whether local or foreign, Asian or Caucasian. Everyone’s just there to have fun – get drunk,
high, or bloated. Everyone wants to meet everyone. You just need to have your best brave intoxicated self (as for me, that is) to introduce yourself and ask for names. Ask people where they’re from, what they do in life. What brings them to Siem Reap? Most relevantly, have they been to the temples? This French couple we met were just incredible travellers – having been in Siem Reap for the second time around and absolutely loving it so far. I really enjoyed listening to stories of far away lands, where I might have never been. It makes me long to see the world more. It makes me long to learn more, walk more, climb some more. It makes me feel alive.
Ella left me for a while. I followed where the lights are, and where the people are dancing. I’ve made some friends, some I flirted about. Thanks to the buzz I have in my head til the morning. But some are just lonesome rangers of the night that won’t budge (that Latino wearing a muscle shirt in Linga is one tough nut to crack.) Meeting eyes with eyes, a shot for a shot. I found myself in a shithole where the sobriety of the night is only the hush whispers the walls make. A young Moroccan with the most expressive deep-set eyes to my left, and a seasoned (emphasis) British businessman who has seen half of the world to my right. Hush talks, laughs. Let the serendipity work. The alcohol did its work as well. But not that day, I thought.
I was back to my friend, who enjoyed her banana-milo crepe in the middle of the street, and who wishes she can bring it to Manila. Ella thinks of the endless shift hours she makes at the hospital she works at. I thought of the guys I could’ve done that day. But we were in the middle of a happy street. And we were just happy. That’s all we need to know.
Photos taken from iPhone 5