Siem Reap – getting there

Slightly delayed by typhoon we flew to Siem Reap, former capital to the Angkor empire, via Hanoi. Vietnam Airlines fill the cabin of their planes with insecticide. I think they overdid it on the second leg of our flight however; our plane filled with smoke-like gas and we could only see about 6 rows ahead not sufficiently far enough to see the hostess giving the usual emergency instructions.

At Hanoi, we had dutifully obeyed the security instructions by discarding all of the grenades, land mines and bombs that we had brought on our family holiday. Since 9/11, airport security has just gone mad.

At immigration in Cambodia, the girls were dispatched ahead of me leaving me alone with the chief immigration official while he tried to negotiate a “tip”. A few years ago I learnt, through a Philippino friend of mine, how to not pay a bribe. I used the behaviour she had exhibited, and eventually the perspiring official returned our passports to me. I described the experience to the girls later, and Tilly said that you know a country has issues when you can’t trust police and government officials.

Siem Reap is a funny type of town. Driven by tourism and now home to about a million people, its infrastructure is built around the main roads that lead to the airport, and to Phnom Penn and the Thai border. Lorna sourced a relatively low cost two room hotel room in the centre of town. Its air conditioning replicates the Arctic nicely and they provide a (compulsory) wake-up service via a local cockerel at 4.30am. (NB Since writing this, I have learnt that there is a time change in Cambodia. It should read 3.30am)

I’ll write about temples tomorrow,

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3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Anonymous on July 1, 2012 at 7:51 am

    Tilly’s learning fast but what will she think when she returns to the UK?

    Reply

    • She’s going back to UK for 3 weeks later this month. I doubt if she will come across corrupt immigration officials (though I understand there will be long queues)

      Reply

  2. […] About « Siem Reap – getting there […]

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