This morning we had an early morning flight with Air Asia from LCCT. Low cost carrier terminal or LCCT aka budget terminal is a specific type of airport terminal designed with the needs of low cost airlines in mind. Though terminals may have differing charges and costs, as is common in Europe, the concept of an all budget terminal was promoted and pioneered by Tony Fernandes of AirAsia at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in 2006.
AirAsia Berhad is a Malaysian-based low-cost airline. AirAsia is Asia’s largest low-fare, no-frills airline and a pioneer of low-cost travel in Asia. AirAsia group operates scheduled domestic and international flights to over 400 destinations spanning 25 countries. Its main hub is the Low-Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA). Its affiliate airlines Thai AirAsia, AirAsia Philippines and AirAsia Japan have hubs in Suvarnabhumi Airport, Clark International Airport and Narita International Airport respectively. AirAsia’s registered office is in Petaling Jaya, Selangor while its head office is at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
The taxi was scheduled to picked us up at 4:30 which ended up being nearer 5. The hotel tried to charge us for the laundry RM497 (close to £100!!!) we ‘discussed’ the payment and finally managed to take it off our final bill.
The journey to LCCT takes around 45 minutes, we had already checked in online. So that eased the stress!
Once you arrive at the LCCT the front looks nice plenty of shops, cafes, restaurants. Once you get inside it is like a hanger! The airport is badly labelled so you are running around trying to figure out where to go. Finally we managed to work it out. On the opposite side to where we were standing there is a security scanner, security scan your baggage before you go to the check in desk. Once there it is like any other check in desk. A guy on the mobile tried to push passed everybody, one person told him to move back. He shouted saying he is on the phone. The attendant at the check in desk sent him back. Once checked in you then go through two lots of people who wanted to see our boarding pass. Up the escalator and then through customs. You then go through a security check for yourself and any carry on luggage. Once through you are free to enjoy the shops!!
The statue, the live plants behind the visa area, and the overall design of the airport makes you realize that they did some serious designing here. All in all, the Siem Reap airport has somewhat of holiday resort feel.
The visa section
If you don’t yet have your visa, you can apply for it on your arrival.
There are mainly two types of visas for travelers: the tourist visa (valid for 30 days, not renewable) and the business visa (valid for 30 days, but can be renewed multiple times).
The process of applying for a visa is simple, but you do have to wait while it is processed.
If don’t like to wait, you can get your Cambodia visa online instead.
The electronic visa process allows you to print the visa yourself and go straight to the e-visa immigration line as soon as you arrive.
That way you can be out and about faster!
You’ll see the immigration line as soon as you step inside. Yes, the airport is that small.
Unfortunately, the passport check line does not move very quickly. But it’s not overly slow either.
Just be patient, and you’ll be out of there as soon as they take a digital photo of you and stamp your passport with their multiple stamps.
There are at least two ATM machines in the arrival hall; one near the visa section and another near the immigration line.
If you need to apply for an on-arrival visa, the visa fee must be paid in cash. So these ATM machines come in handy if you don’t have enough on hand.
Once we had the visas we walked onto immigration which was a simple process. Once through I saw the backpacks on the conveyor and rushed to get them.
Siem Reap is the capital city of Siem Reap Province in northwestern Cambodia, and is the gateway to Angkor region.
Siem Reap has colonial and Chinese-style architecture in the Old French Quarter, and around the Old Market. In the city, there are traditional Apsara dance performances, craft shops, silk farms, rice-paddy countryside, fishing villages and a bird sanctuary near the Tonle Sap Lake.
Siem Reap today, being a popular tourist destination, has a large number of hotels and restaurants.
The name Siem Reap means the ‘Flat Defeat of Siam’ — today’s Thailand — and refers to the centuries-old conflict between the Siamese and Khmer peoples.
This name, according to an oral tradition, was baptized by King Ang Chan (1516-1566) as “Siem Reap”, meaning “the flat defeat of Siam” (Cambodians call Siam or Thailand “Siem”). It was because of the victory over the Thais which King Ang Chan counter-attacked, and shot Prince Ong dead on an elephant’s back, and routed the Thais and captured no less than 10,000 Thai troops.
The history was told that King Ang Chan of Cambodia tried to assert further independence against Thailand. The Thais also had been through internal trouble themselves during these years. King Chairacha was poisoned by his concubine, Lady Sri Sudachan, who committed adultery with a commoner, Worawongsathirat, while he was on the campaign against Chiang Mai. The Queen then raised Worawongsathirat to the throne. The nobles hated Worawongsathirat and lured the usurper and his family to a place outside the city where he was assassinated together with Lady Sri Sudachan and a new-born daughter during the royal family’s procession by barge to see a white elephant (allegedly just captured). The nobles then invited Prince Thianracha, who was a monk in a monastery, to disrobe and ascend the throne under the title of King Maha Chakkraphat (1548-1569). Being informed of the internal troubles in Ayutthaya, King Ang Chan attacked Prachin Buri in 1549 and successfully took away Thai inhabitants. At Prachin, he obtained information that King Maha Chakkraphat had become the new king of Ayutthaya, signaling that the question of succession in Ayutthaya had thus become settled. King Ang Chan therefore retreated and did not advance any further. King Maha Chakkraphat was very angry at this, but his hands were tied, because the Burmese had just come by the way of the Three Pagoda Pass, took Kanchanaburi and Suphanburi, and appeared in front of Ayutthaya.
Cambodian history presents the reason for the next Thai attack because King Ang Chan refused to give King Maha Chakkraphat a white elephant when he asked for it, it is indicated that King Ang Chan declined any symbol of vassalage to Thailand. King Maha Chakkraphat’s attention was now turned towards Cambodia. He put Prince Ong, the Governor of Sawankhalok and Srey’s son, in charge of an expedition against Cambodia. King Ang Chan counter-attacked, and shot Prince Ong dead on an elephant’s back, and routed the Thais and captured no less than 10,000 Thai troops. It was because of this victory over the Thais that King Ang Chan baptized that battle area as “Siem Reap” meaning “the flate defeat of Siam”. However most of sources mentioned the final defeat of Angkor Kingdom by the Thais from Ayutthaya in the fifteenth century. The city was abandoned since then.
From the sixteenth through the nineteenth centuries, the feuds among the Cambodian lords caused the interventions and domination from the more powerful neighbors, Vietnam and Siam. Siem Reap, along with Battambang and Sisophon, major cities in the north western part of Cambodia, were under Siamese rule from time to time until the French rule.
We were met at the airport by the hotel representative and got a transfer to the hotel. It is still amazing the rate we managed to secure this five star accommodation. I checked on the iPad and a few minutes later Sangeet checked the rate on the iPhone. The iPhone showed half the price. We are not paying much more then a hostel room!
On the way to the hotel
Borei Angkor Resort & Spa
0369 National Highway 6,
T: +855 63 964 406
Though Pub St is better known for its bars a handful of places are known for great food, many with seating upstairs so you can escape above the partying milieu on the street below. Crammed along The Alley is a wider selection of restaurants that offer a generally quieter and more intimate experience. The local restaurants lining Phsar Chas have extensive yet near identical menus of cheap fried rice and westernised approximations of Khmer dishes. At dusk the Kindergarten on the corner of Street 8 and 11 erupts into a a rabble of small BBQ stalls, billowing smoke, noise and the persistently entreating peddlers. The phnom pleurng here is the cheapest you will find.
We were surprised to find such great tasting vegetarian food.
We then took a tuk tuk to Angkor National Museum
No. 968, Vithei Charles de Gaulle,
Siem Reap District,
Siem Reap Province,
T: +855 63 966 601
F: +855 63 966 600
Opened on 12 November 2007, the Angkor National Museum offers visitors a better understanding of the area’s archaeological treasures. The Golden Era of the Khmer Kingdom is presented, including the use of state-of-the-art multimedia technology. The museum covers Khmer history, civilization, and cultural heritage in eight galleries.
One is not allowed to take a picture of the actual exhibits. The exhibitions are amazing are worth seeing. At the time of writing the entry fee was USD$12 per person.
Afterwards we took a tuk tuk back to the hotel. With tuk tuk drivers you have to negotiate the charge.