26.03.2006 - 28.03.2006 30 °C
Although the flight was at 10.00 in the morning, we have to be in the airport - KLIA - at least 2 hours prior to departure time. There are other questions, we are not sure of which airport for "Air Asia". My sister arrives in Malaysia, with this airline yesterday in LCC, instead in KL International airport. Thus to avoid of being late out of confusion, we need to get there early enough, incase some changes.
It is true, it was not written in our itineraries about this change. We need to go to LCC to fly with Air Asia, which is 15 km away from the new airport. Luckily, there is shuttle bus that runs between the two airport.
After almost an hour delay, finally we arrive in Siem Reap, the local international airport. As per our order, we were picked up by Tuk tuk that parked outside the parking space of the airport. This 'vehicle´ is later become our means of transportation in Siem Reap as well as guide through out our stay in the city and the temple.
What intrigue me is unlike many other country in the East part of Asia, where driving isi on the left side of the road, in Cambodia, the drive on the "wrong" side of the road. However, I don't thing in this particular town this is important issue. Tuk tuk, motorbike and bicycles certainly can drive on either side of the road. But a car, the position of it's steering wheel will most likely dictate by the which side of the road you drive. Other things worth to observe is to register the car, and get a plate number not to mention to get a license to drive. I do not think they required these things as you do not need a plate number to be able to drive around your car.
Excellent Lodge and Tour Package System
Once we got our bums to the hostel and do the administrational job, instantly Kunn, the owner of the Jasmine Lodge, (the hostel we booked through travellerspoint) offer us the tours available as well as the connection trip to wherever we want, to Phnom Penh, to Thailand, or maybe to Vietnam overland... I was amazed on how professional they are, despite the fact that they look shabby.
we have to leave the lodge at 4.30 pm and hit to the temples area by our tuk tuk to the first Wat and wait for the sunset.
I was hoping to be a quiet and peace full sunset. But it turns out to be a crowded place with hundreds of people waiting for sunset, and it was really difficult to find a good spot to see the best sunset moment, and it was hardly a sunset on the beach at all. And no matter it was cloudy or not, this is the package of e one day tour, from dusk to down, or maybe from down to dusk..., or maybe from down to dusk and beyond...?
We have to climb the steps to get to an up high Phnom Bakheng Temple to be able to see the sunset. As usual, my sister is always chicken out with the condition of the surface. I had to convince her that she is good enough for this exploration.
Outside the temple, there is nothing in Siem Reap except all the facilities for tourists who want to see the famous temples, everything is to facilitates all the tourists needs.
As I use to live outside Indonesia, I use to hear other people speaking different languages, other than Indonesian or English language. But sometime to my surprise, in all those places I have been, I heard Indonesian language here and then, but not in Cambodia.
It all began with waiting for the sunrise at Angkor Wat.... we need to get up in the morning before five in the morning, As I need more sleep and relax, this kind of vacation is really not a lax vacation at all, and I believe these has been going on for 3 weeks now including all the busy life before I leave.
It seams that everybody in Siem Reap, including the informal entrepreneur knows everything about the Great temples compound, and the routine of different tour. I realize that there is several option to see the tamples, there is this one day tour, 2 days and it goes up to 6 days tour. If you don't have so much time, and you will only spend for 1 day, than the routine is already set. Its like a free n easy tour, as the tuk tuk driver, our guide was just show us the way and introduce us with a little of its history and the rest is up to us to explore.
I think we make the right decision to do this tour, not the really guided tour with a proper tour guide. Amateur tour guide can be found once we are in one of the temple. Beside, local people as small as 10 years old is already good for giving us bit and peaces of history and background of the temple, not to mention his ability to speak perfect English.
We finish our pilgrimage to Buddhist temple at around 2.30 p.m feeling exhausted and fed up with all the temples. What make it worse was the heat and the humidity... but what can we do this the climate in this part of the world.
What can we see in Seam Reap? A small town just to accommodate the people who's living depends on the attraction of the temples. There is this old market where they sell local groceries and souvenirs including antiques and collectible things, showing local cultures, which to my opinion, was heavily influence by the Chinese, in fact, I was a bit confuse whether there really any Cambodian culture at all.
This town was really amaze me, even though this is a very small town, one can never expect too much, but everything in their shabby way is there. Although we stay in budget accommodation, it does not means that there is no such a 5 star hotel. In fact there are plenty of choises. Communication wise was also very good, we can find interenet café in almost every 300 m.