In the home stretch: country #12

Day 67
Siem Reap, Cambodia

Appropriately enough, there was a light rain falling as my 14th flight (Silk Air 633) on this trip around the world passed over flooded fields on its approach to Siem Reap. It has been about two weeks since my last flight, and besides the captain’s warning that visibility on the ground was limited, the two-hour ride from Singapore’s gleaming Changi airport was uneventful.

We touched down at 3:55 p.m. local time, having gained an hour en route. As most passengers queued up to purchase their visa, I’d bought an e-Visa online (recommended) and breezed through immigration, where my transfer was waiting.

We’re staying at the FCC Angkor, a luxurious art deco boutique hotel overlooking the Siem Reap River, with fantastic and courteous service. After three weeks of complete garbage, can you imagine my happiness after arriving and seeing a rain shower and infinity-edge pool? Finally.

Derek and Andy got here from Bangkok about a half hour later and we caught up in our room (#9, “Aloe Vera”) before heading into town. Siem Reap feels like one big dollar store — everything, from rides in a tuk-tuk to a bottle of water or a massage, is a buck. With a 4,000 riel to $1USD exchange rate, the U.S. dollar is basically the official currency here; even the ATM’s spit them out!

While walking around, we spotted the Hotel de la Paix, a brand-new hotel that Andy had read about. It was a super trendy spot and we returned later for dinner at Meric, whose 7-course set traditional Khmer menu and wine pairing was matched only by the setting (served on a swinging bed overlooking a beautiful courtyard).

Beat from a long day of travel and dreading our 4:45 a.m. wake up call, we grabbed a tuk-tuk back to the hotel and hit the sack.

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Comments

  1. Nice, as if I haven’t been jealous enough, now I get to see you meeting up with everyone and having a great time! Can’t wait to read about that from my desk in NJ!

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