Monday, October 2, 2023

Day 1 - We Made It!

I posted the following to my socials back on the 16th of September, just before we all crashed after a huge day of travelling, and quick look around Siem Reap to get our bearings.

"We made it! Out of bed at around 2am this morning, off to Perth International Airport, with access to the Aspire Lounge (courtesy of Mel) making things go a little more easily. Two flights, some pig trotter at Singapore Airport and well over half a day later and we were on the ground in Siem Reap. Stairs and a short walk across the tarmac sure brought back some familiar and so much missed memories of a time gone by. We checked into our hotel and headed down to Pub Street for a feed and a few drinks before a few big days exploring Siem Reap and the various temples around here, including Angkor Wat."

The bar at the Aspire Lounge happened to have the perfect view of our plane waiting to take us on to our first stop at Singapore Airport. We loved the Aspire Lounge, the staff were great, the only slight disappointment was that it was not open at the advertised '3 hours before boarding', instead opening at just after 4am leaving ourselves and a few other customers confused.

Mel is a confirmed Hard Rock Cafe addict, with a huge memorabilia collection to go with that addiction, and one of our goals on this trip was to get to all three of the Hard Rock Cafe locations in Cambodia (Siem Reap, Phnom Penh and Phnom Penh Airport). Here she is missing out on a fourth location at Singapores' Changi Airport by a couple of weeks.

During our Changi Airport we had just enough time to get ourselves over to the Straits Food Village, a Hawker style food court inside the airports T2 building, here I went for the Pork Trotters and a roti style dish on the side. The Straits Food Village sets a very high (yet quick cheap) bar for any other airport dining experience to match.

On the upper level of Singapore Changi Airports T2 building is a Sunflower Garden. Here are Lori and Mikah with some of the garden.

Our travel companions Mel and Ken, also posting with some sunflowers at Singapore Changi Airport. This really is one of the most layover friendly airports you'll find.

On the deck in Siem Reap. In just a couple of weeks, all international flights into Siem Reap will transition to the new Siem Reap Angkor International Airport and these old signs and buildings won't be popping up in photos anymore.

Disembarking in Siem Reap. There was a definite touch of nostalgia here, no airbridge, just that slap in the face from that wonderful tropical heat and humidity and a walk across the tarmac to the arrivals lounge. It's a rare experience that is getting rarer these days and I will certainly miss it when it's gone.

Mikah, Mel, Ken and Lori in Pub Street, Siem Reap. This is the traditional party area of Siem Reap, a couple of blocks of bars and restaurants (as well as a couple of laneways nearby) that have been home to Siem Reaps nightlife scene for several years, although as we found, there are other parts of town that have plenty to offer in that regard too.

The Angkor What? Bar in Siem Reap's Pub Street is one of the older bars here and claims to have been 'Promoting Irresponsible Drinking Since 1998' - so of course we had to stop in for a drink.

Myself, shot by Mikah at Angkor What? Bar on Siem Reap's Pub Street. Mikah would occasionally grab the camera and take a few shots during the trip, and I'm liking the way she's developing her photography.
We have been using the hashtag #GRSWLD2023 during the trip, so keep an eye out for that on social media while you're waiting for the next blog post.

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