That February 3, 2014, Di, Rai, Yani, and I were reunited with Sadam as early as 5 a.m.. To the airport he drove us. Yes, time to say លាល្អ to Siem Reap. The first to check in for our flight, the four of us had extra time to enjoy the last day.
Desserts at Blue Pumpkin perked the sleepy us up. Perfect for another round of shopping. This time, the chums purchased Lok Lak spices, complete with recipes. Speaking about food, Air Asia offered free coffee for Yani and I just because the former's booked meal had to be replaced with a different one. The reason both of us, who happened to sit side by side, kept on talking throughout the journey.
At the Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT), Rai returned to her place as Di, Yani, and I made our way to Alamanda for sushi and more conversations. Among the topics was our next destination 💜
Comfortable and affordable, but the latter came with a price 😉. Air Asia Go (a joint venture between Air Asia and Expedia at the time), to me, has been a reliable hotel search engine, but, after two incidents, I now doubt its credibility. Interestingly, both happened in Siem Reap. Overbooking, during peak period!
After the first incident, I was more careful. As the holiday approached, I, on behalf of my chums, directly e-mailed the management of Frangipani Villa Hotel II for re-confirmation of dates and room types. Their assurance was then forwarded to Di, Rai, and Yani.
Upon arrival though, the four of us were informed that only one twin room was available. To compensate for the problem, the hotel manager offered another single room. That, to us, was not a compensation; it was a fraud. The language barrier worsened the situation. Fortunately, Rai was tenacious about securing two twin rooms, as booked and paid. In the end, every single thing was resolved accordingly. No attached rooms as promised though, yet, we were grateful enough to be placed on the same floor.
No drama afterward, Alhamdulillah. In fact, the rest of the stay was pleasant. Cosy ambience, strategic location, and lovely spa.
February 1, 2014 | Siem Reap, day three | Part two
"The need for social interaction is very much a part of why women shop."
- Stella Minahan and Michael Beverland
Why Women Shop: Secrets Revealed
Siem Reap, to Di, Rai, Yani, and I, was more synonymous with historical and cultural aspects than retail industry. Surprise, surprise, the town offered a myriad of goods for everybody. Even those with no intention to shop, like Di and I, ended up with a number of mementos. Undoubtedly, Rai and Yani, the sagacious consumers, found the greatest bargains.
All of us were especially in love with the handicrafts made by the Khmer artisans. My favourite: silk necklaces. For Khalish, I brought home a magnet featuring a local child's art.
From the alleys of the town, we moved to Phsar Chas. The Old Market was teeming with various vendors, sectioned according to their products. Curious, the four of us roamed the place before naturally stopping at the fabric area. There happened "the need for social interaction" as the experts shared their knowledge on Cambodian textiles and the travellers negotiated for the best deal.
We concluded our retail therapy in the evening. The destination: night market. The crowd was adrenalised by the exuberant vibe. Had the four of us not booked a spa session, we surely would stay there until midnight. Just to leisurely walk along the aisles of unique items and blissful people, enjoying the whole atmosphere.