Last April 2011 finally my dream came true, I did My Me-Time trip to Cambodia. Unfortunately, the decision to go was obtained approximately 1 or 2 weeks before. Like an insane person, I tried to find cheap tickets which were impossible to get … but since this was a gift for myself, once in a while (or perhaps often more now 🙂 ) It was the time for pampering myself without having to be extra economical. LOL! Committed to go without luggage, just a backpack no more than 7 kg, and did not accept any request to buy souvenir or anything else that can aggravate the backpack, so I could be more flexible and able to have a quickly exit or enter the airport.
What I wrote here may be unimportant things during the trip, so called Out Of Topics or OOT. But instead of being scattered around the trash bin, it’s better to be shared, who knows somebody could get something from here …
Day 1 – Wednesday night, Bye Jakarta Hello LCCT..
Because of the sudden problem that occurred in the injury time of going home, so plan to leave the office had to be postponed. Plus the rain, which certainly led directly to Jakarta traffic so badly jammed, plus (more!) boarding call was heard while still in the queue of immigration process and it’s really slow like a turtle (and the officer could be so relaxed, laughing and chit-chat… aaarrggghhhh!), don’t ever think having dinner or buying something to eat, as the plane was still there waiting for me, it had been already good… Anyway, I run at full speed after the stamps on the passport from the terminal E to D for boarding. Thank God I could still breathe although like a tongue-out dog.
On the plane, I tried to forget the hunger, because honestly I didn’t want to buy expensive so-so in-flight meal. Although already many times using the Air Asia, but this was my first stop over at LCCT. Touch the ground! But where’s the arrival building? Being confident, I was following the crowds in front of me, looking right and left to find the signs, and keeping move forward, it’s like a never ending walk to the arrival building. Turn left and right again, keep walking and walking…. Haaah? So far? Yeah it’s LCCT! Remember, it’s the Low Cost Terminal, don’t expect to have the luxury for the things you don’t pay… do not complain! Finally got around to the arrival building which is (felt) like a biiiiiiig gym…
Being an Indonesian Passport Holder, I got an exempted visa to enter Malaysia. Queued again at Malaysian immigration, this time more ‘insane’ from Soekarno Hatta, Jakarta. Time to verify a person needed around 10 minutes. Seems problems occurred on the system on his counter because the officers next to him served quicker. Once free from immigration, I thought to take cash from the ATM (and subject to international cost). Unfortunately, my ATM card was rejected, didn’t know the reason. Usually I can take cash from International ATM Network. Now, I became the one without any Ringgit wandering in the LCCT. I remembered from the Google Search that there’s a little mosque on the way to Medan Selera. It was around midnight, so I followed the path to Medan Selera (food court) and the middle of my walk, I met the mosque. So instead of having some meal to eat, I stopped and who knows I can just stretch out in the mosque!
Day 2, Thursday, Siem Reap here I come …
At dawn I dressed up and went towards the international departure terminal. Love the quick self service of Air Asia, we’re able to do self check-in at the kiosk, checked documents to a beautiful lady in red and then off to the immigration. Off from there, I felt a little bit hungry, I had not eaten anything yet since last night… Thought to buy some bread, though do not have any Ringgit. Thought to take some cash from the ATM, but how if it’s being rejected again? It’s just only 1 or 2 hours left before heading to Siem Reap. So, hold on! Let’s diet…! LOL!
In front of the Gate which has number same as shown on my boarding pass, many people queuing up, wow so many Indian? Got negative thinking: Do lots of Indian people live in Siem Reap? (Think hard!) Well, tired to think the possibility, I just joined the queue. Boarding pass has been torn out and I walked into the waiting room. Suddenly a male officer approached. He apologized many times because his coworkers did not thoroughly check the boarding pass. It’s not my turn, it was flight to Sri Lanka and Singapore. What a dull! At the gate attached clearly the flight number and destination same as shown on my boarding pass. So, like a prisoner, I had been escorted to go out! Hungry, no money, escorted out by a guard! Complete! But I ignored all the curious faces.
Finally got boarding and had some sleep on the plane. The flight took around 2 hours and I got my life again by smooth landing to the mainland. Angkor, here I come. I lost my appetite to eat. Yaaaiiyy … Finally my dreams come true.
Landed in Siem Reap at 08.00 AM. Wow! Nice airport, a small but attractive one. At once I was standing on my own feet for the first time in Cambodia Land, as usual, I had to touch the ground first, then quickly, took out the camera and stylishly taking pictures. Approaching the entrance, saw a warning on the screen of camera! No Card inside! Haah? ROTFL! Poor me! In Jakarta, I bought a new memory card because I forgot where I put the last one. And I didn’t put directly into the Camera. Stupid me!
Well then I had to complete the Visa On Arrival process (Since October 2011 Indonesian Passport Holder got the exempted visa to enter Cambodia). A photo and US$ 20 Cash. Completing the application, paid, gave the passport to the gentlemen in uniform and waited for the visa. Fast, not more than 5 minutes, I got the Cambodian Visa. After all the clearance, it’s the time to think how to go out from the airport. It’s totally a get-lost traveling for me, LOL. A tuk-tuk driver approached and negotiated. Deal with US$10 to go directly around Angkor Wat and at the end of the day hotel check-in.
In the afternoon after exploring Angkor Wat, I was watching TV in the hotel room, got Indonesian Channel: Indosiar! Although I’d never watched soap operas on the television, but I felt at home hearing Bahasa Indonesia in a foreign country! I could not find MTV but it’s OK, as long as there is music, although didn’t understand the language… I love my hotel bed and fell into a deep sleep after experiencing a tired Angkor Wat exploration throughout the day.
Please read my Angkor Wat exploration yaaaa … Angkor – Home of the Soul
Day 3, Friday, Siem Reap – Phnom Penh.
Today was my trip to Phnom Penh. So early in the morning I was standing in front of the hotel cashier to check-out. I asked to the receptionist when and how a bus agent picked me up to go to Phnom Penh? Without any change on his face, he told me that the shuttle had just come and gone. What? Being left? Confused for a while, didn’t know how to react. But it’s my fault no to tell him that I will be picked up. Being panic would not solve the problem. It’s the beauty of being get-lost! So I had to catch the bus quickly or being left! So enjoy what was happening. He suggested going to the bus station directly by a tuk-tuk. US$3 charged, too expensive for the distance that is not so far.
At the bus station, I found the Mekong Express bus. It’s a good choice to sit on the right side, not so hot during the trip. Next to me a Caucasian guy, rather cute really, but his behavior was terrible. The front passenger could not recline the seat because he held it by his long legs. He’s mad because his legs cannot fit on the space between the seats. Then he put his feet on the armrest of front seats, I didn’t know what the person in front will react!
Around 11AM, the bus stopped for a while in the Kompong Thom. I planned to stay onboard but the bus assistant said it would be very hot inside. So, I waited for a while in the shop with the other passengers. From Kompong Thom it took around 2 hours or more to Phnom Penh. I took some photos of the trip, but really, Cambodia at that time was dusty. Forgot to bring a mask.
Well what I visited in Phnom Penh please read this: Phnom Penh Tourist Attractions
Day 4, Saturday, Back Home
Well, I had only 1.5 day in Phnom Penh… this is my last day in Phnom Penh. On that day, I visited the National Museum and memorial Places of genocide (see: Learning Value of Life in Cambodia)
Oops, it’s the end of the holiday. So this day I enjoyed the sunrise at Phnom Penh, Cambodia; enjoyed the same sunset from above Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and experienced turnover of the day in Jakarta, in ONE day! What a day!
Flying back to KL, grateful having a good orientation skill in LCCT KL. It helps a lot if a person knew how and where to go. Walking quickly, it’s a fortune being sit near the rear door of the plane. When it opened I could be able to go off quicker, directly go to immigrations to have clearance process with two-finger verification. Then again to check in through kiosk for my next departure to Jakarta, check passport and done. After all, this time I took cash from ATM; fortunately it didn’t reject my card. Just having some meal before the boarding.
I’d learned from the previous experience, how and where to go to the Gates. This time I double checked the gate number. Many passengers to Jakarta just followed the crowd to queue, but instead of Jakarta, the crowd was heading to Surabaya. Thanks to my eyes, not to trust the crowd in front of me.
The journey ended at the Soekarno Hatta Airport, Jakarta, midnight. Certainly many lessons learned from this trip. It was a wonderful me-time trip and made me become addicted to be a solo traveler …