After two days of visiting temples I was ready for another hot chocolate. Today my tuk tuk driver, Chanthy brought me out of Siem Reap along a bumpy bright red dirt road to the stunning Bang Mea temple. One cannot escape the buses of Korean tourists which have even made it here (1.5 hours away from the city) but other than that one bus load there was no one else around and the place was very quiet. The temple hasn’t been restored yet so you can walk right into the buildings, climb over the rocks and feel like you have just discovered this temple in the jungle.
On the way back we rode through bright green patches of rice paddies, some with women in cone hats working in straight lines. Water buffalo could be seen ploughing fields, and whole families were riding together on tiny motorcycles. It seems that every single house we passed has children who run out to wave and shout “bye bye” as I pass.
From here we visited the Rolous Group of temples (also beautiful and much quieter than the main Ankor Wat Site) before we ride back into town. I ask Chanthy to bring me to The Blue Pumpkin which I had been wanted to try out for a few days already. The first time I visited it was just too hot to have a hot chocolate so I tried a big scoop of Khmer fruits icecream (highly recommended). This time it was much cooler so I invite Chanthy to join me. He has never had a hot chocolate before. We sit on the terrace and watch the city come to live in the early evening. There is a non stop stream of tuk tuk drivers dropping and picking people up. Next to us is a place called Dr. Fish massage where, for $2 you can dip your feet into a giant aquarium filled with little fish that will apparently eat all the dead skin on your feet, a very popular option with the backpackers.
The hot chocolate was nice, very light with a hint of chocolate but not very hot. I’m not sure if it has converted Chanthy to hot chocolates unfortunately, as he didn’t seem convinced.
Verdict: You won’t miss The Blue Pumpkin, they have several spots across the city and even at the airport that serve drinks, icecream (excellent) and lots of beautiful French pastries. The hot chocolate was nice and simple. The Blue Pumpkin, 563 mondol 1, svay dang kum, siem reap, Cambodia