Was up shortly after 5am, the last horrible night in this hotel. Killed time till 7, went again for vida bakery. Had this time toasted muffin filled with bacon and egg, hush brownie and grilled tomatoes (togheter with black coffee of course). Delicious as always (received a 5 star rating from me on Google, does not happen that often)
Was still a little afraid that something could happen again… did checkout by 9, killed time by reading a book in the lobby and was pickup by my tuktuk at 10:45am (check-in for international flights start 2 hours in advance, mine was scheduled for 1am). Arrived at 11am only to learn that checkin starts 11:30. Airport is really small, maybe 15 other people had to do check-in (was the only flight in 3 hours from the airport). Everything went smoothly, did immegration, waited for departure and left the country around 1pm. Still have to say that Laos was nice, but the last experience killed my desire for coming back anymore!!!
Arrived in Siam reap/Cambodia around 1:40 pm, well ahead of the scheduled arrival (2pm)
As I heard some reports about waiting 2 hours and up for the visa on arrival I was well prepared. Checked several travel guides, had the last row in the plane (as the boarding was from the back, would be the first one out). Happened like that, we had to March to the arrival hall (small plane, maybe 50 people at all), me first entering, headed to the left as described, hall completely empty, went to the officer only to learn that this is not the visa counter, it’s to the right. Had no loosen my advantage, was last in queue, not a big problem, meant 4 people in front of me with 3 officers taking money. Had the visa within 3 minutes, the luggage also arrived already, was out of the airport ahead of the scheduled arrival time by 1:55pm 😀
Maybe a short sidestep here: I am booking most of the hotels just short before arrival, mostly based on TripAdvisor ratings in the price range around 30 euros. Normally I end my holidays somewhere at a beach for the last days. This time I will end the trip in a city with more inhabitants than the whole of Austria, so no relaxation. Therefore I had my relax time planned for Siam reap (furthermore I stay here the longest time, 6 nights). I was already since starting the second week in Laos looking for hotels in the range of 50 euros, so some very nice but they were around 60 euros. The moment I saw the hotel in pakse I immediately booked a 60 euro hotel (according to trip advisor a b&b, but 4 star). Furthermore ranked nr. 1 of more then 500 b&b in Siam reap. Now back to the story.
Hotel had complimentary airport transfer (both directions), therefore looked for a sign with my name. Saw a 25-30 boy holding the sign with my name, he was smiling and his look was telling he was surprised who was has guest. Liked him from the first moment (lala, that’s his name), he greeted me, told him I want a quick cigarette, no problem, he comes with the car. He arrived, then the wonder started. I had brought a small bottle of water we got in the plane, he opened the trunk of the big SUV and first handed me a cold towel (stored in the icebox) for refreshing. Next thing was his question do you want anything to drink, he had a (complimentary) selection of coke, beer and water. Went for the water and had a 15 min drive to the hotel. On the way he already showed me the main spots there and told me will be an official tourguide by 15.12., he will only be 2 more days driver for the hotel.
Arrived at the hotel, obviously they told me just go in, somebody will take care of my luggage.
Went in, was greeted by I think 5 people by name on the way in (and they also introduced themselves, didn’t remember all names). First was again a cold towel served on a silver tablet, they told me to sit down. 3 people were standing in front of me smiling at me, then one came with a big silver tablet.
Truly speaking I do not remember all the details, the cocktail was somehow the signature cocktail of the hotel (no alcohol, different fruits, coconut milk, it was a little bit moisturizing, delicious and sour as I like it), on the left chocolate brownies (I couldn’t stop eating them), specially flavoured peanuts and chips I have no clue what it was, everything delicious. Have been to a lot of hotels in my life (also some 5 stars), this one is topping everything I have seen so far. No other hotel even came close to that, now I know there are reasons for a nr.1 rating. During my enjoyment the gave me paper after paper, from the most important phrases in Cambodian to lists of recommended restaurants and so on. Must admit it was to much information in the short period of time but had something to read afterwards 😀
Went up to the room, saw this.
The guy told me every detail of the room, seconds later my luggage arrived, brought up by my driver. I already asked him on the way to the hotel if he would like to guide me, he was first unsure because the hotel wouldn’t be happy if he is doing it beside of the hotel, told him then I do the first day tour on my own and afterwards he is anyhow not working for the hotel anymore. He didn’t agree immediately but we exchanged email addresses.
After a refreshing shower I headed out for an atm first (again only the third accepted my card), then some lunch/dinner (was already 3:30 pm), as I live about 100 meters from pubstreet there is a lot to choose from. Went into one, had fried spring rolls and some Cambodian curry, nice but not overwhelming.
Bought me water and beer on the way home, came to the reception, was greeted again by name and welcomed with a cold towel (happens here obviously every time you enter from the street). Was around 5 pm, after the stress I had decided for a head and shoulder massage in the hotel (checked prices beforehand vs. the street prices, reasonable here, 20 USD for an hour and you get as guest 25 percent discount), was told it start around 5:15 and they will give me a call). Called me some minutes later, had a fantastic massage (as I remember the same as in Thailand, head and shoulder means the massage every part of your body), didn’t want to stand up afterwards as it was so relaxing 😀 back to the lobby (massage is alongside the pool in a hut, it’s a small hotel with only 22 rooms, all with private balcony overlooking the pool)
Was told to sit down again, a lady came with tea and cakes and asked me to fill out a feedback form for the massage. Enjoyed tea and cake bites during filling in the form, went back to the room, enjoyed some beer while writing my blog and went to bed shortly after. I call it here really heaven on Earth (or maybe now I know what paradies means 😀)