Not so Great Suvannaphum Airport & Arrival in Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh Travel Blog› entry 1 of 78 › view all entries
October 16th, 2006 – by: droonsta
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.
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.
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. So instead I just wandered around the city.
I popped into the Toul Sleng Prison (former High School), even though i've previously visited it back in 2001, I wanted to see it again. It was the exact same as the last time I went and some even say its exactly the way it was found after the Khmer Rouge were overthrown.
I continued my tour of Phnom Penh along the riverbank and admired the architecture and the people. One of the most interesting aspects of Phnom Penh is that old meets new, traditional meets western and of course poverty meets glamour and wealth. Everything about Phnom Penh, there were contradictions however the people were still very friendly going on their everyday jobs and daily life.
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...
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