Thursday, April 05, 2007 CAMBODIA
Jim was awake by 5 am and went downstairs to say goodbye to the first three of our group to head for home; their bus left at 5:30 am. By seven we were at breakfast, and then checked the Internet on the lobby computers before our bus left for the airport at 8:30 am. Seven of us are headed for five days in
Arrived at the airport, checked in and found out that we all received passes to the China Airlines Hospitality Lounge. We were all surprised and delighted as we had an hour before the flight. Food, coffee and free wireless internet!
When we lined up for the boarding, Gene noticed that our tickets all said Dynasty Class and we had a separate line with the First Class passengers. Wow…we were all in Business Class! Big seats, individual screens, and when they served us drinks in stemware before the plane took off we knew we’d gone to heaven!
Our lunch was served with linens, crystal, real silverware, etc. etc. etc. What a meal…fit for a king and queen! Can you tell we’ve only been upgraded once in our lives! The meal ended with Haagen-Dazs ice cream. We lost one hour on our flight that took two and half hours of luxury….there was twenty-four of us with two attendants plus a steward in our section of the airplane.
Because of the wheelchair Betty and Howard were pre-boarded and had been given seats in the first row. We boarded the plane and found that Jim and I were at the very back of the plane and Gene, Gena and Christa were scattered in between. It was only an hour flight and went very fast; our meal was a boxed snack and yes, we were in Economy Class this time! We’re not sure why but who is to question the fact that we've discovered on our flight itinerary sheet that we are also going to fly from Bangkok back to Hong Kong on the Dynasty Flight again next week. We’re all eagerly anticipating being spoiled again by China Air.
We arrived an hour later than expected at 6:00 pm, our flight was delayed in Bangkok (we were happy about this as I’m not sure that we would have made the flight if it hadn't been delayed), and found our OAT Tour Guide, Samnang called Nang, was waiting for us outside of Customs to guide us to the bus and our driver by the name of Saron. We will be at the same hotel for the whole stay: Khemara Angkor Hotel in Siem Reap. It’s a very nice hotel with air conditioning and a very large and nicely appointed room. There is Internet access on two computers in the lobby for ten cents a minute. One nice thing is that we don’t have to change any money; they accept American Dollars as well as the local currency. But, it can not be old money or torn, we’ve been warned to check our change to make sure that we receive usable bills out on the street.
On the fifteen minute drive from the airport we saw many examples of why this is considered a “developing country”; but there are also many new large hotels as the tourist trade is expanding rapidly. We’re near the end of the dry season and it is very warm and humid during the day. The problem at night is misquotes; I think I’ll stay inside at night as much as possible. We did bring 100% deet lotion with us if we do go outside.
After a short briefing in the bar we headed to our rooms about 6:45 and came back downstairs for a wonderful dinner in the hotel at 7:15. For now I’m calling it a night at the alarm will go off early…we leave the hotel at 7:30 am for our morning tour.