Thoughts about Angkor and Siem Reap

Sofitel Royal Angkor Hotel

A great place! Nice room kept sparkling clean, big bath, balcony, pool to use in the heat of the day, well trained people, great service. Every day when I came back from sightseeing with my shoes dusty, I called housekeeping to get them cleaned, as suggested by the sign in the closet. A man came in a few minutes and brought them back cleaned in 10 or 15 minutes.

The food was reasonable and an immense breakfast buffet was included, but it annoyed me to be charged $3.61 for a glass of juice. The magic words in both Thailand and Cambodia, if you don't want the buffet, are a la carte.

Breakfast buffet included eggs cooked to order, even soft boiled. Noodle dishes are also cooked to order. There are good cakes, cheeses, a separate Japanese buffet with sushi and other stranger things, Chinese food, dim sum, salad makings, yoghurt, meusli, a table of fruit: orange and grapefruit sections, pineapple, papaya (best with lime, which is with the Japanese food), dragon fruit (translated from the Cambodian garuda)(looks like an Edam cheese, but the soft sweet white inside the red rind is speckled with seeds). Rice, congee with slices of two different kinds of hard boiled egg. Two kinds of chicken sausage. Baked beans in the farthest corner. Dried fruit, six kinds of jam and jelly, rolls, four breads to toast. Cold cereal. Skim milk. Good coffee (but bad juice.)

CNN on the TV, though it wasn't in any of our hotels in Thailand.

The Sofitel is about a mile from the town of Siem Reap, but with a driver hired and ready to take us to town any time, it wasn't a problem.

Flying from Bangkok to Siem Reap

The food on Bangkok Airways was poor in both directions: jellied something for lunch, almost as bad for dinner on the return. In Bangkok, the airline gives you a colored sticker to wear so they can be sure you get on the right plane, since they have several leaving at the same time. I spent most of the flight filling in forms.

On arrival in Siem Reap, we had to stand in four lines, to present our pictures and forms to apply for a visa, to pay $20 and pick up our passports with the visas pasted in, to get our immigration card stamped, and finally to pick up our luggage and get our baggage tags checked (!). Interminable in a hot airport.

The return trip was on a Boeing 717, a first for me.


It was expensive to go in comfort. The plane from Bangkok was $228 each at a discount. Visas are $20. It was $60 for a week pass to the sites, which we needed since we were there too long to use the $40 four day pass. Our carefully researched room at the Sofitel was reasonable at $135 ++ (which means plus 10% service and 10% tax on top.) Add $20 per day for our driver, plus tip. Total $1420 plus food and drink for 4 1/2 days.

It was a bargain to see a world wonder!

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