It’s early morning and I’m in Singapore. I look for the airline counter to pick up my ticket. The receptionist is wary as I respond that I don’t have an outbound flight from Cambodia. She asks if I have money. Yes, that I do. (It’s the honor system.) And that’s all Cambodia wants to know so I get my ticket. Cool.
I search for breakfast and get a latte and doughnut at Dunkin Donuts. It’s a spider doughnut for Halloween. Ah, American breakfast.
I walk over to the tour counter to sign up. Good thing I didn’t wait any longer or I would have missed it. I wait a few minutes with the rest of the group for the guide to arrive. She’s enthusiastic and explains that we need to go through customs before leaving the airport for our bus tour. I’m pretty excited because I know nothing about Singapore other than its downtown is suppose to be modern.
There’s probably ten of us. We go through customs and board a plush air conditioned bus. Most of the two hour tour is riding on the bus but there’s a couple spots you get a walk around briefly. I’m okay with that. It’s way better than sitting at the airport all day although I’m told it’s a cool airport. Anyway, we’re on the bus and she starts with the history lesson. As usual the British occupied the nation and for a short time the Japanese as well (WWII). The British left and they’ve done well on their own. Banks, shops and restaurants all over. Formula One racing runs through the city streets.
Our first stop is Merlion Park to take pictures of, well, the merlion fountain. It’s hazy and I think maybe I over reacted with Hong Kong. Either way it’s okay. I’m visiting a lot of cities on this trip.
We’re on the bus again and the tour guide points out different neighborhoods and their history, places to eat and places to shop. There’s museums too. I don’t know what I expected Singapore to be like. I never gave it much thought but was pleasantly surprised by the cute neighborhood buildings mixed with tropical plants. We stop in one near the mosque. I could see myself hanging out here for a night or two on a long layover.
We head back to the airport and I look for my next meal. I get some local dish but I don’t care for it. Oh well, there’s also the in flight meal.
Dude, Silk Air fed the people like it was going out of style. Two hour flight and they served a complete meal including ice cream covered in chocolate plus served drinks two or three times. They almost didn’t collect all the dishes on time for landing.
Siem Reap airport is small and cute. They’re so used to issuing visas that at first you think it will be a long process but you’re done within five minutes. Before I left home, I packed away small bills should I need it for visas and such plus my awesome homemade passport photos. I get my visa and I’m out the door.
I learned my lesson from India. The hotel offers free airport pickup and my driver is waiting for me. I climb into the tuktuk, prepared for the usual ride. Huh. He’s driving really slow (compared to India and China). I wonder if it’s just because it’s a hotel service. But no, really they just drive at a reasonable pace. Speed limits and all. I’m surprised to hear nothing. No horns unless necessary. This is nice.
The street that the hotel is on has several terrible pot holes and I need to hold on to something for fear of falling over or hitting my head. I laugh instead. What’s a tuktuk ride without some bumps?
I’m greeted and told to take my shoes off before entering. I didn’t expect that. My info is confirmed and I’m offered a cool hand towel and lemon drink. This is nice. My room is roomy with a queen size bed and a fruit basket. There are towels. Not only towels but clean towels that are actually white. Luxury, I tell you!
I’m enjoying my room. Lounging and planning what I should do here. It’s suggested to buy your ticket to Angkor in the evening to watch the sunset but it’s too late now. I find a bike tour that looks cool. I book that for Wednesday and tomorrow I’ll go see the sunset. Should I spend a couple days in Phnom Penh?