Cambodia – Siem Reap – Just Arrived

Our flight from Bangalore landed in KLIA2 at 6 am and almost at the last gate. So that means that we had to walk for almost 15 mins to the main hall for our immigration. Good Lord! That was a damn long walk, let me tell ya. It kept going on and on. I was already tired, but then I guess that acted as sort of our exercise for that day. And then there was this immigration. ‘A’ was the first to go for her immigration. This immigration officer was asking her the usual questions and when she said that she was with her friends and she pointed us, he asked her some more questions and then called the rest of us and then suddenly decided to leave L out of it and there we were just C and I standing before this officer and what does he ask?, ‘is your friend over there (he was pointing to A) , is she single ? or is one of you her boyfriend?’ I was taken back, to be honest. I never never would have thought that this would come up in our immigration. We said that we were just friends. We were four of us (two men and two women) it is natural for people to assume that we are a couple. That’s OK. But when you ask that during an immigration process and inspite of you clarifying it if that officer doesn’t believe it, what do you do! It was so ridiculous. He was sure that we were bluffing and that we were a couple or at least one of us had secret feelings for the other. BS! Tough luck officer! We didn’t know if we really wanted to laugh or cry or shout at that guy. C literally had to calm me down and tell me not to run my mouth off 🙂 and then the officer called up L and guess what he said , when he was asked the same question, that we are just friends because we can tolerate each other only for a trip, and any time more than that we would end up killing each other (probably when the other is asleep 😉 ) I am paraphrasing him, but that is him alright! You go boy! That out of the way, we had to wait for our baggage’s, and as usual my baggage was the last to arrive.

And then after that we took the metro from KLIA2 to KUL airport (or KLIA) which cost around 8 RM for one person. Once we were there, we did our checkin, had our breakfast and lots and lots of coffee at Old Town Coffee (remember this place, yeah) until 12.10 pm in KUL when it was finally time for our flight (Malaysian Airlines) to Siem Reap. We also got some Liquer Chocolates, in an offer (3 for the cost of 1 or 2 , I dont remember now) just so we can use it in Siem Reap.

When we arrived in Siem Reap, since we had done the e-Visa done already we got through faster (even otherwise it takes very less time to get the Visa done I guess, but since you have the e-Visa option, just get that done if you can), the pickup from the hotel was already there with the placard. It looked like it had rained very heavily there. The driver didn’t understand English at all and we had a tough time to ask him to stop so that we could get our SIM cards from the airport, which we spotted as soon as the van started. We had to use our sign languages to ask him to stop and finally got the SIM cards for 5$ with 3 GB data each.

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The hotel, Sokkhak Boutique Resort, was a lovely little hotel and they were ready with our rooms and all. It’s not a very big place, but it is very friendly and the staff were very hospitable. We got time to freshen up and also got details from them about the tours and places that are available and stuff like that and C took it up to check out the places to visit and how and when to visit them etc. The rooms that was originally booked for the ‘guys’ ended up being given to the ‘gals’ and so we did get a better room 😉 , that means we had separate beds, with fully covered bathrooms (yes, the other room had bathrooms with was not fully covered and even the covered part was with some designs, so basically you can see the other person taking a shower if you wanted to! Guess those rooms were meant for couples , but sad it got allotted to the guys who are just friends 😛  and this is the second time that we gals ended up getting a better room) So, whatever. We freshened up and decided to visit the National Museum for the day as it closes by 6 pm and then crash so that we can go on the big tour the next day.

We started from the hotel, in a Tuk Tuk at around 4.30 pm. OK, here is the thing about Tuk Tuk. In India, a autorickshaw can otherwise be called a tuk tuk. But in Cambodia, its practically a motorbike, attached to a carrier. That’s it. If you want you can just detach the carrier and use the motorbike. How convenient! We forgot to check the petrol rates there. In India, most of the autorickshaws nowadays run on gas. Wonder how people in Cambodia can afford the petrol for this. So yeah, there we were on our way to the Museum in a Tuk Tuk going through the city and it starts to drizzle. We knew it was going to be a little rainy, but the first day 😦 Thank God we went inside the museum by the time it started to rain.

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In the museum, we aren’t allowed to take photographs inside each of the exhibitions, but we can take photographs of places outside. So its practically the corridors. They have a room with 1000 Buddhas in it , where you see so many different types of Buddha’s. This is how it looks like from outside.

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It was lovely to see it, but sad that I couldn’t photograph any. The two basic mudras the Buddha is found in are BhumiSparshaMudra and DhyanaMudra. Also I found the story of Siddhartha that was depicted there to a story that I found in Gaya. I also learnt that ‘Wat’ means a place of worship like a Buddhist Monastery or a Temple. And there were lot of rooms with the history of AngkorWat and Cambodia. But all of them revolve around this one mythological event. the Churning of the Ocean of Milk.

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After spending some more time and grabbing an espresso and a pastry, we headed out. On the way, we stopped by a local super market, where we found very interesting local wines and drinks. Got a Rice Wine made in Cambodia and a Red Wine (imported of course) and we were wondering where to go for our dinner. Our Tuk Tuk driver took us to this little Italian place where C introduced us to this nice drink called Limoncello and L was totally into it.  We also finished what stock that small little place had of it 😀 Had good time with Pizza (which we had to box because it was too much) and made our way to the hotel, where we ended up playing Pre-Game and ended up drinking that awful rice wine (just one glass though) and the red wine and a lot of that liquer chocolates too. It was fun to just relax. We had to be up early by 9 am atleast for our first tour of the places in Siem Reap, without a guide of course.

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