"One More Off the Bucket List!" Phumi Siem Reab by gaolei
Phumi Siem Reab Travel Guide: 484 reviews and 1,062 photos
Friday, mid January 08. I have a project in Thailand near the airport. Kind of a dull location, but it is in warm Thailand and it's away from the cold New England winter. I fly to Bangkok and get to my usual room at the Dynasty Inn Grande at 6:00 PM. I plug my laptop into the network slot and download my email, and there it is - do not go to the customer site, the job is on hold.
So what to do? First, go out and have a beer, maybe two. I have appointments in China in a week and can't move them up a few days, so I have nothing to do until then. Then it hits me, I was in a similar situation last year, but I had trouble arranging a flight to Cambodia. The weather is cooler than normal. I think I will check those flights. Sure enough there are flights available. I am going to see Angkor Wat! Another location off my bucket list!
The airline tickets are a little high, $400 round trip, but this is a dream and I don't care what it costs. I know I can get there by bus, but I had enough third world bus travel in Vietnam in September. Anyway, for a small airline, Bangkok Airlines was ok. The Jet was new and clean, the people friendly.
One important thing, Bring a photo for immigration. It cost $20 for immigration and you get to see the entire immigration office sitting at a curved desk where they will take turns looking at your documents and stamping things.
The next big thing is to decide how much money to change. I chose $40. This was a mistake. The local shops, hotels and restaurants take US dollars first then Baht and the rest of the world's currencies. They don't take Cambodian. I traded my Cambodian cash back and got $36 for it.
Now you are ready for the Taxi. You will find a stand at the exit from the terminal. It costs $5, no haggling, to get a taxi to town. It is only a couple miles to town, but for the money my guy was willing to help me shop for a hotel.
You should either book ahead or have a clue as to where you want to stay and what is available. If you go there and shop, you will need the help of your taxi driver. He will know all of the hotels and the general prices and features of each.
I would suggest finding something as close as possible to the pub street, because this is probably where you are going to go for dinner. If you take a Tuk Tuk, it will cost a couple bucks every time you get in it. Pub street is also close to the market.
I chose to stay a mile from pub street and, although the hotel was good, I hate the constant dribble of dollars into taxis. I also chose a hotel with a pool. For me this is a necessity in the tropical climate.
My first choice in hotels was Bopha Angkor Hotel, because of the good ratings. I loved the location, but it was booked. I then learned it is best to reserve a room ahead of time if possible. An hour later I finally found (gave up and found) Prum Bayon Hotel. All hotels display rack rate to arriving tourists and they stick to this rate. Again, look online for a hotel.
- Pros:Nice People, Great Food, Excellent Ancient Sites!
- Cons:A little dusty.
- In a nutshell:This place should be on everyone list.
The standard offering if you get a taxi for the day is to see the sunset from the lake or a hill. I picked the boat ride... more travel advice
It will be high season, so book your hotel early and expect slightly higher prices. The best part of winter travel is... more travel advice
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