Slickdrums Chronicles

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The Trip To Phnom Penh City

Slickdrum’s notes:

Wow.. I just got motivated to finish off our Cambodian adventure. I got a little behind after completing the time we had in Siem Reap. I was rushing a project and right after that, my wife took leave off work for a few days (I must also confess, I have been spending time trying out Flickr and Picasa too!).

But my motivation came in today when I checked my email (yes, left that a little behind too!). A comment by Andres Orta, Revenue Manager at Le Meridien Angkor got me encouraged to get my story moving (before them grey cells starts depleting and I start forgetting!).

So, starting off where we last ended.. after a long day at Sisophon.

The next day, 17th Nov (Tues), we had to start our journey to Phnom Penh. So after a sumptuous breakfast at Royal Angkor Cafe (and sad to leave such a beautiful hotel with excellent service!), we got ready to leave early for Irene’s last appointment in Siem Reap before catching our flight to Phnom Penh.

We were at the domestic terminal about 11am and  to our surprise, no one had “checked in” for work at the check-in counters yet!

The empty check-in lanes Hey, where’s everybody?

Eventually, one person arrived and a lane opened up.  After checking in, we had about 1.5 hrs to spend, so it was a really good thing we found a Blue Pumpkin cafe inside. So we had drinks & sandwiches for lunch.

It came for time to board the plane. And it was a first time for me to board a propeller-powered plane!

Our cool propeller plane! Like, how awesome is this?

All in all, it only took 45 mins to travel to Phnom Penh from Siam Reap. After getting our luggage from an open luggage area (not air-conditioned as we were used to), we went to meet our driver from Inter-Continental Hotel. Yes, my wife is very efficient and she had thought about the arrangements ahead of time.

The open luggage area The simple open luggage area

However, as we came into the arrival area scanning the displayed cards, we didn’t see anyone holding a card with her name on it. Frustration started to seep in since she had paid for the service and booked very early.

After a few failed attempts (and nerves getting shot) in trying to call the hotel, we finally managed to call Inter-Continental hotel (with the help of a local, we figured out how to call locally). Apparently, the concierge head completely forgot our arrangement! So we decided to grab a taxi while fuming inside!

But reflecting on how the concierge head had apologized profusely over the phone for the blunder, we had somewhat calmed down. When we arrived at the hotel, the concierge head came out to greet us personally and started apoligizing. Knowing he very well didn’t  intentionally make that mistake, we gave a big broad smile as he helped us the bags from the cab and told him it was okay. Only a very minor thing, which it really was.

Inter-Continental Hotel lobby The lobby of Inter-Continental Hotel.. quite a nice hotel.

The room at Inter-Continental cannot really be compared to Le Meridien Angkor. At Le Meridien, we were superbly impressed. At Inter-Continental, we were happy it was nice. I guess it could be that Inter-Continental catered towards the business people where Le Meridien Angkor catered to tourists.

Now, curiosly, one thing I discovered during our drive to the hotel was that there weren’t many tall buildings in Phnom Penh. True enough, as I viewed the city’s landscape from room window, it was quite a flat country. Perhaps, it is growing in development.

Rather flat landscape A flat landscape.. not many tall buildings

After Irene had gone out with her colleague from Belgium for an appointment, I decided to check out the city life at night. Unfortunately, at where I was, there weren’t much. My hopes of finding a cafe to hangout in came up zilch! That, plus the fact that I was starting to sweat a little, made me decide to head back to the hotel and laze until Irene and her colleague gets back so we can all head for dinner.

We decided to check out the chinese restaurant, Xiang Palace, at Inter-Continental Hotel. It was ok, not as great as back home, but plenty of food (mental note: never assume there’s not enough food!).

After a very, VERY filling meal, it was nice to plop into a cool bed with a nice cool room! Awesome!

Coming up: A Day in Phnom Penh City


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