Finally, after months of planning and pleasant anticipation I got off the train at Zurich airport to check in my bags. I met an excited Myriam next to the Bretzelkönig and then we checked in our bags at the SWISS counter without having to wait in line.
We were there 3 hours prior to take off because we thought that it would be a really busy day at the airport but it seemed like all the people suddenly arrived after we were through with checking in. Unfortunately, the lady at the counter neither could confirm our seats nor give us the second boarding card from Bangkok to Siem Reap. We were supposed to go to the gate and ask there. So, we took the Heidi train to the E gates, where our plane expected us at gate E34.
By then, of course the whole plane was checked in and we didn’t have two seats next to each other. They were both window seats but 20 rows apart. Our only chance was, that the person sitting next to me would be a single traveler who was willing to switch seats because the people sitting next to Myriam were traveling together. When I got on the plane, I saw this elderly man with a hearing aid on the seat next to mine. After a few tries in different sound volumes I figured that he spoke English and then, still yelling at him, I asked him nicely whether he would switch seats with my friend 🙂 He was really kind and soon Myriam was sitting next to me, as it should have been in the first place.
A quite long 10h and 30min flight followed. What makes time go by quicker while flying during the night if you belong to the people like me, who just can’t sleep on planes, is watching movies. Of course, it then had to be exactly my screen that didn’t work at first but the technic on planes seems to be so highly developed, that the flight attendant could reboot just my screen on its own and 15min later, I was also ready to use the program. Once during the first movie, the kind elderly man walked by and gave us the thumbs up sign. He looked so cute when he did it, that we wanted to adopt him! 🙂
Afterwards, I also tried to get some sleep but when it really didn’t work, I watched a second movie and after that, luckily at some point they served breakfast. There weren’t many turbulences on our flight but one minute before landing, a heavy rains shower started coming down on us. It was like waterfalls came out of the sky. Hello Bangkok! It didn’t stop for at least an hour. During that time, we walked about one kilometer to find our new gate and then had to find “Concorde B” as a woman from Thai Airways pointed out, to get our boarding cards. We realized that she probably meant counter B, where we received our tickets without any problems. This time, we would sit next to each other.
At the airport, they had these nice leather seats in which you could even fold your legs up. I relaxed for a while and Myriam was using one of the free computers. There was also free wifi for one hour. At 4.10pm we took a bus out on the runway, where we were all amazed about our aircraft. It looked like an old toy plane!!! So small, colorful and it had actual propellers! Everyone was busy taking pictures but the more funny thing was, once inside the plane, Myriam and I were sitting in the second row, behind us 4 empty rows and then everyone else. Did we win free business class or something? I took the opportunity to also sit next to a window. It was really worth it. This 1 hour flight was over so quickly. We saw down to the ground the whole time and even received a dinner package and tea or coffee. They even put a slice of fresh lime on a tooth pick to put into the tea. Vacation feeling was beginning 🙂
Siem Reap airport is a really pretty wooden building. Everyone was walking around on the runway or not moving at all because they were taking pictures again. The airport people must have thought that we flew for the first time and had never seen an airport or plane before…Eventually, they shoved us down from the concrete onto a walkway in the middle of palm trees. There were so many birds whistling that we at first thought that it was a CD playing.
Our backpacks were there right away, so we didn’t have to lose any nerves about our baggage and getting a visa took less than 5 minutes. Myriam just had to pay $21 instead of$20 because she didn’t bring a photo.
And then, something I’ve always wanted to happen came true. We walked out of the airport and didn’t have to be lost for even a second because there was someone standing there, holding up a sign with our names and the name of our hostel. We climbed into the Tuktuk of our driver, who then brought us to our hostel. The breeze on the ride was very agreeable and the ride itself quite fun.
The owner of the Bun Linda Hostel then offered us tea and afterwards pineapple juice, while talking to us about the hostel and the tours to Angkor Wat. We will do a small and a big circle with the same driver we had this evening.
Then, we decided to take a walk over the market, which is two minutes from our hostel if you take a back exit along a weird smelling canal. The vendors of course all wanted to bargain with us but we decided to start buying things tomorrow. Unfortunately, when we wanted to walk back, it started pouring again and small lakes were building on the roads. I really don’t want to know what I might have stepped on or touched under these puddles…
Showering doesn’t help much, the air just makes you sticky again right away. Now, we try to get some sleep in our new silk sleeping bags anyways. The humming of the fan is like a lullaby. Hopefully, the weather will be better tomorrow, when we are at the temples. Was a long day today.