Tomorrow, God willing, we will be leaving Siem Reap. Out of all the places we’ve been to so far, this is by far my least favorite. I can’t possibly express how much I hate this city.
When we arrived here, we learned that the New Year festival started on the 13th, so we extended our stay. It’s a three day celebration with most of the country coming to Siem Reap to celebrate.
Around ten pm Jay and I head out to check out the festivities. It’s been loud most of the evening, and louder when we left the hotel. The streets however betrayed the loud music with a fairly barren landscape. We were expecting a celebration akin to Toronto if the Leafs won the Stanley Cup. Instead the streets looked like the streets of Toronto after the Leafs won a regular season game – there’s some people that are happy but still a little confused.
After watching a very amateur looking dance troupe wrap up on a stage we decide to see the crowd around Pub Street. It’s busy on a regular Tuesday, so we’re just curious to see the turnout.
Leaving the stage area I’m slapped in the face with baby powder by a German girl who slurs “happy new year” to me. We were curious why people were covered in white powder and we found the answer in the most dramatic way possible. I’ve always heard of it called ‘antiquing,’ where you throw white powder on someone with the effect of making them look like a statue. I’ve secretly always wanted to do it to someone but thought I was far ahead of the curve. Now I’ve had it done to me.
Jay and I head over to Pub Street where mercifully, the streets are closed to traffic. At the barricade we see cases of baby powder for sale. The entire street is jam packed with wet, powder encrusted people doing their best impressions of Mexican jumping beans. We get close enough to the action to take a picture, then retreat to buy water and head back.