Southeast Asia 2006/07
Not so Great Suvannaphum Airport [400 words, 0 pictures]
16 Oct 2006
The flight from Australia to Bangkok was a very uncomfortable flight, with the lack of sleep and constant turbulence, my mind when into a whizz, I had a feeling that something would go wrong upon my arrival in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
At Suvannaphum Airport, Thailand’s brand spanking new International Airport was a so and so pile of metal and cement. The interior and exterior looked very industrial. The toilets were hard to locate, and when you did locate one it would all be busy because most of them only had 2-3 cubicles, such great design and thought into catering for 40 million tourists annually. Inside the toilets there were unfinished work to be seen everywhere!
Taking this into consideration, the airport has now begun building new toilets to cater for the many passengers that go through. So these toilets are like through long corridors and are very out of place.
As I walked through Customs at the Phnom Penh International Airport, I was pestered for some bribe money, and even after continually saying sorry I do not have any lose change, the customs official kept on begging and pleading and asking whether I had any US dollars or AUS dollars at all. I just shook my head and politely said no, claimed my passport and entry stamp and walked off. I was one of the first to go claim my luggage, but somehow I ended up being the last to leave.
One hour went by and still no sign of my luggage. I was later informed that since Thailand built their new Suvarnaphumi Airport, there has been delays in luggage and that the luggage would usually arrive the same evening or the following morning. What do you know my luggage arrived that evening so all was well.
My first few days in Phnom Penh, I did a walking tour of the city visiting many of the city Wats (temples) and doing a bit of shopping at Psar Toul Tompoung (The Russian Market - The market got its name from the many Russians shopping there before the Khmer Rouge).
I tried to do a city tour of the Sangkum era (pre-Khmer rouge) architecture, but that failed as the map I downloaded off the net was very inaccurate and very hard to follow.
Anyhow I finished my first few days in Phnom Penh, with a nice dinner of fried frog legs... YUM... hehehe.
Well I'm off to Kampong Cham...
Locations Visited: Melbourne , Bangkok Metropolis , Phnom Penh