Sunday, May 10, 2009

Asian Tourists in Asia

Hey Everyone,
One of the nights in Siem Reap, Dara picked us up to take us to a restaurant in town he suggested earlier.  I can't remember the name of the place, but it was a pretty large restaurant in the main part of town.  The restaurant was buffet style with various Asian foods to choose from and the dinner price included a show of traditional Cambodian dance after the meal.  The show actually featured a live band and live singers accompanying the young dancers who did about five or six different performances/routines.  The interesting thing about the dancing was that a couple of the routines obviously told some type of story, although I couldn't tell you exactly what story they were telling.  The costumes were also very beautiful and it was nice to watch the dancers various hand and body movements, some of which required great balance. 
One of the interesting things about the restaurant and about Siem Reap in general was the number of Asian tourists.  Obviously, Cambodia is a lot closer to their home countries and it's natural that people will vacation more often in places closer to home.  I have just never been somewhere with such a high percentage of Asian tourists and I found it especially interesting being in an Asian country.  I just wondered if the locals receive the Asian tourists the same they receive Westerners.  I've learned that money is money no matter where you are in the world so at the end of the day it doesn't matter where you're from; but, given the huge economic disparity between places like Cambodia and Japan or certain parts of China, I am just curious to know how Cambodians view other Asians, especially considering factors such as war and history, which obviously has a lot to do with the wealth of any nation.
Anyway, after dinner, we went back to the guest house and had more beers while playing a few games of pool and bowling on the Nintendo Wii.  After seeing what we wanted of Angkor Wat, it was time to move on to the next stop on our South East Asia itinerary.  Since we're trying to limit our time in the region to one month, we aren't staying too long in many of the cities.  On Wednesday, we flew from Siem Reap, Cambodia to Vientiane, Laos.  More on that later. 
Cambodia COE:
Pack of Cigarettes: $1.50
Pint of Beer at a Bar: $1.00
Can of Beer at the Store: $100
As I mentioned in a previous post, most things seem to cost $1.00 in Cambodia.  I even got a pack of cigarettes for $1.00 from a street vendor late one night after the convenience store had closed, but the regular price for cigarettes seems to be closer to $1.50 at the store.  Sorry, no McDonalds in Siem Reap, but the food is pretty cheap.


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