Wednesday, July 4, 2012
We got up early, then headed over to the airport. We tried to do the self check-in, and it showed flights to Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok, but no Siem Reap - that wasn't good. Especially not good since we weren't supposed to be going to Bangkok. We got to the Ticket Agent, and he told us that our flight to Kuala Lumpur was delayed, and accordingly we had to get moved to a flight to Bangkok and a connection to Siem Reap. This was quite a bummer, as we were supposed to be checking out Angkor Wat in the afternoon, and instead we'd be in airports all day. We moped around for a bit, especially Justin, before finally got some breakfast using our last Ringits - some fried chicken. Mmm, comfort food.
We left Kota Kinabalu around 10, without ever getting an explanation of why we were delayed. We got into KL a little after noon, and there were people waiting with a sign for people headed to a number of locations, including Siem Reap. They made sure we had the connections we needed (which we did), and then gave us a meal voucher, which was nice. In the states, the US airlines wouldn't have given us squat, and probably would have been irked we were bothering them. So now that we had the meal vouchers, we actually had to find the restaurants, and as it turned out we had to take a tram over to the next terminal. On the tram we recalled our last trip on the tram, where we were with the Malaysian soccer team and a bunch of KLM flight attendants. This one was more eclectic.
After getting some ramen for lunch, we went over to a bar for a bit, finally heading out to Bangkok around 3:30 - right when we should have been landing in Siem Reap. It was an uneventful flight to the new (to us) Bangkok airport. They were just building it when we were here in 2005. At the airport we took a looooong walk to the next terminal, probably close to a mile (seriously, it was 1500 meters). It was a pretty stark contrast after being in Indonesia and Malaysia for over two weeks to be in Bangkok, even the airport. While there were plenty of women in the KL airport wearing burqas, there were plenty of women in Bangkok wearing...much less. There was a fair amount of eye candy trying to route people into the various restaurants. The one plus of being re-routed through Bangkok was that we got to get some real Thai food, not an American impression. And, as it turned out, another Starbucks mug for Crystal (Phuket this time).
It was a one hour flight from Bangkok to Siem Reap. We landed around 8, changed some money, then met our guide Sitha (pronounced Seet-ha). The ride to the hotel (Le Meridien) was only about 15 minutes - Siem Reap is still a fairly small town, with tourists making up a large percentage of the population on any given night. At the hotel, we got another massive upgrade, to some corner suite with a bed that looked like two queens put next together. We didn't even eat dinner, we just crashed to get ready for the next day - we had a lot to fit in since we missed half a day.