When in Siem Reap, it's a lot of fun just to be a tourist.
Going to the night market is not something that regular Cambodians do. It is strictly for those out-of-towners who aren't too weary from trampling around temples. Most of it, as the name suggests, involves shopping for souvenirs but there is a central bar serving strong drinks and plenty of opportunities to get REALLY cheap massages.
$4 foot massage for an hour? No problem!
But if you're looking for something a little more exotic, then there is another option ...
A FISH FOOT MASSAGE
On this visit to Cambodia, I really wanted to try it out. I was hoping that the experience was better than their command of English.
For $2, you get a massage that lasts about 20 minutes. This means that the fish are bringing in higher profits than their human counterparts!
This does seem a little um, fishy.
You do get a free beer, glass of wine or coke while you're getting your toes tickled. This was a huge selling point for me because I was thirsty and a little nervous about sticking my feet into nasty water filled with a school of potential pirrhanas.
Here is the pool of water and the hungry fish. I don't think they get fed otherwise. Their diet consists entirely of tourist toe jam. Yummy.
After sticking my toes into the pool, the sensation was almost unbearable. I have ticklish feet and the feeling of having thirty tiny mouths eat away at me like I was some sort of human buffet was very disturbing.
But damnit, I sucked it up and endured it like a man.
At the end of twenty minutes, did my feet feel any better? Well, no but I walked away satisfied knowing that I had filled up lots of little stomachs and made them very happy even if they hadn't done the same thing for me.