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Magnificent Siem Reap seven: For the ladies

Whether you’re a pink and fluffy girly girl, or tomboy sort of dame, we all need some quality time with our closest pals. Maybe shopping is your bag, cake is your dish, or you prefer to work on your friendships while you work on abs? Either way, make a date with your best bud and try one of these on for size…

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The Fun:
Mani-pedis
The Friend:
For your gossipy pal who loves to be pampered just as much as you do.

The Factors:
Relaxation, beautification and uninterrupted chat time; all essential elements in a girly day out. Siem Reap is brimming with great (and well-priced) pedicure venues. Just make sure your choice has room for two, so you’re not shouting over curtains or through walls for your catch-up. You’ll leave feeling gorgeous and looking refreshed after 90 minutes of great conversation – now you can’t say that after many dates, can you?

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The Fun:
Afternoon Tea
The Friend:
For the friend who likes the finer things in life (and stuffing her face).

The Factors:
Tea, cake, conversation, and lots of it. There aren’t many times in life you get to pig out and feel decadent at the same time, so afternoon tea is something every girl should include in her mate-date arsenal. Siem Reap has some fabulous options, with Hotel De La Paix and Raffles for a high-end experience, or head to Café Upstairs and Joe To Go for afternoon tea and cake happy hours. All you need are your pearls, your pal and your penchant for crust-less sandwiches and refined conversation.

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The Fun:
Ladies Night
The Friend:
A bunch of your funnest, fiercest, favourit(est) friends.

The Factors:
Drinks, dancing, and spotting talent. Get any gaggle of girls together and they can create their own fun, but the good people at Soria Moria have gone one further. Every Tuesday the hotel lays on a free glass of bubbly, a hot-tub, a tarot reader, a nail technician, and sometimes even some musical entertainment. You heard it here first, Tuesdays are the new Saturdays. Picasso also has a night just for chicks with sangria and cocktail discounts every Wednesday.

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The Fun:
Shopping
The Friend:
The one who’ll tell you, “Yes, your bum does look big in that.”

The Factors:
Spending money and acquiring clothes. We’re being stereotypical here but (almost) every girl loves to shop, and Siem Reap has some cracking boutiques in which to do it. Not everyone makes a great shopping companion, so pick a friend with an eye for style, who is firm enough not to let you shop blindly but fun enough to spur you on a mini spree. Meander around Alley West and The Lane then head up to the FCC. Finish the day with sore feet, full bags and a cocktail in hand.

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The Fun:
Work Out
The Friend:
The fabulously fit mate who’ll kick your arse into gear.

The Factors:
An adrenalin-rushed mate-date that gives you a better bod. Catching up over a jog or an exercise class might not be everyone’s cuppa, but for those strapped for time or motivation, this could be your perfect way to hang-out. Whether it’s the Thursday Pilates class, Monday’s kickboxing, or simply running by the river, set mini targets, spur each other on and within weeks you’ll find you’re not even out of breath any more when you gossip.

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The Fun:
Book Club
The Friend:
The best friends/bookworms who’ll read the book instead of watching the film.

The Factors:
Nibbles, giggles, literary commentary (and maybe even some wine). From Jane Eyre to Twilight, chick lit to sci-fi, a book club is a great way of meeting other locals, making pals, and expanding your literary horizons while you’re at it. Simply put the feelers out to six to ten ladies, pick a book, bring a bottle and you’ll have yourself a club. Siem Reap doesn’t have a library per se but places like D’s books have tonnes of titles and will trade your old ones against the price of something new.

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The Fun:
Karaoke
The Friend:
The most out of tune bunch of crooners you can get your mitts on.

The Factors:
Booze and blues: there’s something so gloriously fun and unifying about a night of uninhibited crowing with your friends. Whether you remain shame free and rent out a private booth on Nokor Soksan, or let the world know of your musical carnage somewhere like The Warehouse, is up to you Just remember a few drinks makes everyone sound better, and I Will Survive is never off limits.

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