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3rd Time Lucky

July 14th, 2007 · 1 Comment

We are now in Siem Reap, a tourist town outside Angkor Wat, arguably the most interesting ruins in this part of the world. The ruins are something straight out of Indiana Jones towering out of dense forest. But enough of the sight seeing, the real story is about our hotel room and how we got their.

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We flew from Danang to Ho Chi Minh City and picked up the next flight to Siem Reap. We bought tickets and checked in, in less than 10 minutes including going through security. All these countries relativity small so the flight to Seam Reap was 45 minutes, enough to get up and down and get what passes for a sandwich on Vietnam Airways (mystery meat on a bun). Food in Asia often seems to contain at least one piece of a hot dog for some reason.

As Sharon was so efficient in organizing our travel, we ended up in Siem Reap a day early as we both agreed we had seen enough of Vietnam and nobody had anything good to say about

Ho Chi Minh City. We were going to stop and see the tunnels but then

Sharon admitted she didn’t like tunnels that much so we gave it a pass. It was neat to taxi down the runway and see all the abandoned fighter births at the airport.We arrived in Siem Reap, went through the usual round of customs and pictures and were meet by a tok tok (a carriage pulled by a motorcycle) driver from the hotel. He was wearing a helmet and better yet, they don’t drive with their horns here. The driver was quite good and the ride actually lessened my stress level, a nice change from driving in Vietnam. Siem Reap is a big tourist town with the main drag lined with staggering hotels that would do Vegas proud. Alas, my body would never touch one of those shining hotels.

I booked a boutique hotel called Golden Banana which also has a regular hostel attached to it. Bearing in mind the soap size issue, we went mid-range and it looked like a wonderful place on the Internet. We headed off the main drag down a dirt road, through a dubious and dark looking market street lined with street vendors, then down another dirt road and arrived at the front of the hotel.

We were met with a very courteous hotel manager who informed us because we were a day early, we could not get a room at the boutique hotel but they had reserved us a room at the hostel. The cost of said accommodation was $20 US. I was starting to get nervous.

To get to our room, we walked down another dark alley that had lots of large flying things moving around in it. Since it was so dark, I couldn’t really get a good id but I’m pretty sure they were insects. Our porter opened the outer doors that looked like large safe doors with a very large looking padlock on them and then opened the inner door to the room. The outer doors did nothing to appease my concerns regarding security especially hauling my D2X around.

The room was, ah, basic. There was AC, there was a bed, there were towels and water on the bed.  As we stepped into the room, a large cricket (at least that was what Sharon was insisting it was) scurried across the room.

Sharon urged me forcefully to kill it. I stood on it with a satisfying crunch and moved my foot to survey the damage while simultaneously giving the shower stall a once over.The bug was a tough bastard from the EverReady family, clearly, takes a licking and keeps on ticking so I repeated the shoes to the body routine and applied more body weight to ensure good contact and maximal bodily fluid spread. My glance over at the shower stall had my athletes foot (much better thank you) stand up at attention and start a Conga Line at the prospect of meeting so many new relatives. That combined with yet another cricket appearing was all that Sharon could take. She looked at me in terror and pronounced the room unfit for Sharon habitation.For those of you that know us, Sharon is famous for never liking the 1st room we look at. I’ve taken to standing outside the room, not looking in so I don’t form any type of attachment as I know I’m going to be changing rooms. The record, btw, is 4 rooms in Costa Rica.

Sharon was so forceful that they shipped us across the country at their expense to give us a room they thought would meet expectation but that’s another story.We went back to reception and said that the room wasn’t up to our standards and we would be happy to take a suite at the boutique hotel (when Sharon get in these moods, the budget goes out the window as well). They had nothing. To their credit, they did suggest another hotel not far away. We said we would leave the bags and go check the new hotel. If we liked it, we would transfer our bags.

Personally, I felt unless the hotel was the 3rd circle of hell inhabited with wild animals, we were going to stay there. A few minutes later, we pulled up to largish hotel made all of wood. We went in, asked to see a double room ($32 USD) and had a look. The room was clean, had AC and lacked large creatures scurrying around the floor. Perfect. Sharon and I agreed that the room was acceptable and I went to collect the bags with the tok tok driver from Golden Banana.

I collected the bags, went back to the new hotel and went up the room. Sharon was hard at work. A tiny Cambodian gentleman was in the corner trying to coax a stream of cold air from the AC. He was handicapped by the fact that the remote control was Japanese and he clearly wasn’t making much headway. I let him fumble for a few minutes that stepped up to bat. I tried, based on position of the buttons, since I felt that I was an expert with AC remote controls at this point. I too, was unable to produce a suitable stream of cold air. After another 5 minutes of dicking around with the small man and the manager who had joined the party after Sharon started working the management chain, I asked for another room and we finally settled in for the night. 3rd time lucky I guess.

You’ll be pleased to know that the boutique hotel is wonderful with a 2 story room, lots of AC with a small salt water pool right outside our door. Sharon thinks we didn’t get good value… I like the place

Tags: Blogroll · Cambodia · Siem Reap · Togetherness · Travel

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 yvonne shamash // Jul 16, 2007 at 11:41 pm

    Glad to see that Sharon is still being completely Sharonish and you two haven’t gone all granola on me. Have a drink for me…miss you guys

    P.S. Do I have some great martini recipes for you guys when you get back:)

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