Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Heading Off to Siem Reap

(Sometime November 2010.)   After working for two weeks in Phnom Penh, I was so ready to take a much needed break in Siem Reap.  My officemate V was flying in from Vietnam while  B who was celebrating her birthday flew in from Manila.  Although I had visited Phnom Penh so many times before, this would be my first visit to Siem Reap.  My friends at the office would actually wonder in amazement why I never visited Siem Reap earlier.  I guess I'm really odd.  It seems that I always want to rush home after a working trip.  But here I am (finally!) at the Phnom Penh Airport waiting for my flight to Siem Reap.

Although there's an itinerary already, I haven't done much research on where to eat. While waiting to board the plane I decide to hang out at a coffee shop and search the web for suggestions.  So happy that their airport has free wifi, our beloved NAIA doesn't.
I was hoping that that would be our plane but alas...

Our plane was the propeller driven aircraft that you see below.  That's Cambodian Angkor Air (CAA).  I think it cost me almost $100 for a one way ticket if I am not mistaken. 

The flight was delayed for an hour and people were just anxious to get on board.

I think Vietnam Airlines (VA) used to ply that same route but not anymore.  I get the impression that CAA could use some competition.  They were late and the price they charge customers is way too expensive.  The Philippines was in a similar predicament some years ago when domestic flights were "monopolized" by Philippine Airlines.  Travel was expensive and flights were delayed.  Thank God, things have changed and there are more choices. 

While on board the plane, an Australian guy starts a conversation and I was too tired to be attentive.  At that point I was sleep depraved and just wanted to have a nap.  So after a few minutes of being polite, I lean my head on the window and close my eyes.

After 45 minutes or so, we finally land at Siem Reap's International Airport.  I breathe a sigh of relief since I didn't feel too comfortable riding on the aircraft. 

Ah, the adventure begins as I walk towards the holding area to pick up my bags.

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