Coal From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 1627 posts, RR: 6 Posted (5 years 7 months 2 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 20301 times:
This was the second and last trip I took with my family while they were visiting me in Singapore. It was a 1.5 day visit to the temples around Siem Reap, better known as Angkor Wat. It was a fantastic vacation, even if we only saw a fraction of the sites.
We were originally scheduled to fly to REP from HAN and then from REP back to SIN, but due to an important meeting at the office I had to go back to Singapore before going on to the Kingdom of the Khmer.
The good thing is that this gave me the chance to fly a new airline, Silk Air, which is the regional arm of Singapore Airlines. The bad thing is that I found their treatment of their PPS Club members completely and utterly underpar as compared with SQ.
So without further ado...
Airline: Silk Air Flight: MI 618 Sector: SIN-REP Seat: 8F Dep: 15:05 Arr: 16:15
On the way to the airport
We got to the airport just over an hour from our scheduled departure flight and went to Changi Terminal 2, to the Silk Air Business Class check-in desks. As Silk Air is the regional arm of SQ, KrisFlyer status is (supposed to be) honored.
Silk Air Check-in counters
Although we were allowed to check-in in the Business Class counters, no priority tags were going to be put on our bags. We had to actually request the tags to be put on the bags, which were already on the belt on the way to the luggage cart.
After this, I asked if it was possible for me to bring in two guests into the lounge instead of one, but the CSA was not even sure if the PPS Club members were allowed in the lounge when travelling in Economy Since there wasn't much time before the flight and we wanted to do some shopping, we decided not to go to the lounge.
T2 Duty free area
After some shopping we went to the gate, minutes before boarding. Boarding for Business Class was called, but PPS Club members in Economy could not board yet. Either way, no annoucements were made for Econ pax and people just got up and headed towards the plane.
The MI A319 looked a bit tired in the inside, not quite on par with SQ. We were seated a few rows behind business class, where the 8 seats were full. Overall load factor must have been around 80%, of which I would say around 75% were Americans, which was quite surprising. Also surprising was that of all the tourists I saw in Siem Reap, about 80% were Americans, especially large groups on "Vanishing Cultures" tours. And they say Americans never travel abroad! They were not your average Joe anyway.
Boarding was completed and we soon pushed back for departure, heading to rwy 20R, even though we took off from 02L (more on that later).
Changi is very proud of being A380 ready
Another GA plane in line for departure from 20R
After holding short for the GA 734 to go first, we waited a fair bit on the tarmac to the extent that I thought something was wrong with the plane. Turns out something was wrong with the weather, and we ended up being the first plane to depart once the rwy direction had changed.
Lining up rwy 02L
QR A330 in front of Changi T3
We made a swift right turn immediately after take off, which gave us a nice overview of the whole airport. I finally saw where rwy 02R/20L is. Anyone know if it is only used for military flights? It looked quite far from the terminal area.
Overview of Changi
View of rwy 02R/20L
After the seatbelt signs were turned off, we could already smell the food! On offer today were two choices: Lamb with noodles or Thai curry chicken with yellow rice. We all chose the latter, which came with a lychee jelly dessert, coffee, and beer. No one was offered the full can of beer nor of soft drinks.
Lunch. Not bad for a two hour flight on a regional airline!
View of the South China Sea.
The lunch was quite good. The flight in itself was good, and went by quite quickly. Nothing noteworthy of mentioning with regards to the service, which was professional, and done by pretty Singaporean girls, albeit not as pretty as the Singapore Girl
Cambodia is said to become a large puddle during the rainy season
We started our descent just under 300kms from REP, according to the pilot, who had a strong hispanic accent. Not surprising, since a good Ecuadorean friend's dad is a pilot for SQ.
Turning for finals to REP
Moments from touchdown
REP Terminal bldg
Vacating the rwy
PG ATR on the ramp
PG ATR to Phnom Penh
I was very surprised by the terminal at REP and the town of Siem Reap in general. I was told by some people that there was a lot of begging and that it was very sad, but for such a poor country with such a sad history, the airport was amazingly beautiful and modern, and the town was generally clean, much more so than cities in Vietnam or Thailand.
We had an amazing day and a half in Siem Reap visiting the temples. We only had enough time to visit Angkor Wat, Bayon at Angkor Tom, and Ta Phrom. Angkor Wat is the main temple which can be seen in countless of photographs. Bayon is the temple where they have these massive faces built from several blocks of limestone. And Ta Phrom is the temple that has been mostly eaten by the jungle, and has been left like this to reflect how the Europeans found the Angkor Wat complex in the 19th century, after centuries of being hidden in the jungle. It was so bad that up until its discovery by a French archaeologist, it was believed that the existence of Angkor Wat was a myth.
Relief at Angkor Wat
Reliefs at Angkor Wat
At the side entrance to Angkor Tom
Riding the elephant at Bayon
Feeding the cheeky elephant
Faces of Bayon
Buddha at Bayon
After our short stay in wonderful Cambodia, it was again time to get up at an ungodly hour to catch the flight back home.
Our return was on JetStar Asia, as we had originally planned to connect in REP from HAN. Our driver took a long time to get to the airport, as he was doing no more than 30km/h! We finally got there and headed straight to the check-in area.
Roof decorations in the check-in area
I was surprised by the amount of check-in desks. There were only three open, all of them for JetStar. There was also an area with many, many bags, which were of the Americans in the tour of vanishing cultures, who were on a chartered 757 with basic Moncarch colorscheme and Starquest Expeditions titles, which was headed to Kathmandu, in Nepal. I was slightly envious of their trip
After checking in we went through passport control, paid the USD25 "Convenience Fee" (err... airport tax!), and through security. After that we checked out a very overpriced artifact store, which was a total rip-off. A small wooden buddha was going for over USD200, whereas I bought a very nice bronze buddha at an art gallery in town for under USD100. It's a beautiful piece though!
After the pax to Nepal boarded their charter plane, the 3K flight was announced and we went through the gate to walk on the tarmac towards the waiting A320.
PG ATR and some Chinese airline MD
Charter 757 in basic Monarch colors and Starquest Expedition titles
Our A320 to SIN
After boarding was done, we pushed back and headed for the active. We took off to the West (I believe) and head straight over the South China Sea towards Singapore.
There was BOB food on offer, and we got two coffees and a chicken foccacia. The coffees were ok, but weak compared to Vietnamese or Cambodian coffee. The foccacia was also ok, although a weird option for breakfast food.
Crossing the South China Sea
About to land
The flight was uneventful and in the blink of an eye we were already on descent to SIN. We landed from the North on rwy 20C, and after vacating the rwy we headed to T1.
Sri Lankan A340
An exotic Air Mauritius A340
Overall JQ was the usual deal, having them flown once before to DPS. They are the quintessential LCC, but a quite professional one at that.
MI was ok inflight, and the food was a nice touch. However, I was appalled at the treatment of their premium pax (MI's FF program is also KrisFlyer).
Thanks for reading and please be kind and leave a comment on how to improve. Some of my most recent reports:
My upcoming reports are my first trip on the A380 from SYD to SIN on SQ's new Business Class in early November and my frist trip on the world's longest sector, SIN to EWR and back, on SQ as well, in late December and early January. Stay tuned!
Nxt Flts: QR SIN-DPS | SQ DPS-SIN | 3K SIN-SGN-SIN | SQ SIN-PEK | CA PEK-FNJ-PEK | CX PEK-HKG-CGK
Goldorak From France, joined Sep 2006, 1673 posts, RR: 3 Reply 5, posted (5 years 7 months 2 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 19795 times:
Thank you for your excellent TR. I'm glad you enjoyed Angkor. It's one of my favourite place in the world. I've been already twice (in 3 years) and will go again next january. Ta Prohm is my favourite temple
Is that you? Now we finally see how the elusive "COAL" looks like?
Quoting Coal (Thread starter): whereas I bought a very nice bronze buddha at an art gallery in town for under USD100.
Still... you know you were ripped off by that price. Hehehe...
Quoting Coal (Thread starter): However, I was appalled at the treatment of their premium pax (MI's FF program is also KrisFlyer).
It is no secret that MI treats SQ's premium pax that way. Their working relationship is frosty at best and I can attest to you that the 2 camps do not get along at all. They are in a marriage of convenience because MI needs to feed on SQ's inter-lining pax from the latter's long haul flights otherwise they will be dead. Therefore MI NEEDS SQ and the latter knows it, therefore can afford to continue treating their little sister the way they do. Sad...
Quoting Coal (Thread starter): My upcoming reports are my first trip on the A380 from SYD to SIN on SQ's new Business Class in early November and my frist trip on the world's longest sector, SIN to EWR and back, on SQ as well, in late December and early January. Stay tuned!
You are one lucky SOB. Very envious.....
Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
Coal From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 1627 posts, RR: 6 Reply 9, posted (5 years 7 months 2 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 19550 times:
Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 1): Fine report with great pictures from Cambodia - definitely an exciting country to explore. Good to see MI keeps its catering standard high.
Thanks. Yes, the food was quite good.
Quoting Ag92 (Reply 2): As usual a great report
Waiting for your Airbus 380, Business Class Report
Thanks! Stay tuned after Nov 11th.
Quoting BigTom (Reply 3): Cambodia is always a great trip, nice report and pics. REP does look beautiful.
It is really an amazing place!
Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 4): Great pictures from Cambodia Coal, thanks for those - anotehr place I need to visit!
I think it is really one of the places to see before you die.
Quoting Goldorak (Reply 5): Thank you for your excellent TR. I'm glad you enjoyed Angkor. It's one of my favourite place in the world. I've been already twice (in 3 years) and will go again next january. Ta Prohm is my favourite temple
3 times already? Wow! There is indeed so much to see around Siem Reap that you could probably spend weeks there.
Quoting CXtra (Reply 6): Good to see you're enjoying the jaunts from SIN...
Absolutely. I try to get out at least every other weekend.
Quoting BNEFlyer (Reply 7): I'm going to SIN and REP in a couple of weeks, flying 3K. I have never flown JQ/3K and i'm kind of looking forward to it!
3K/JQ are quite good for a LCC.
Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 8): GASP! How could you mistake Garuda's pride and joy for a crummy old 734? It is their latest equipment 737-800.
Hehehe, I only realized that after I made the post. Still, no match for the A345
Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 8): Is that you? Now we finally see how the elusive "COAL" looks like?
Ah yes, unfortunately I've put on quite a few pounds while taking my family to all the good restaurants in Singapore. Still, this reveals you have not kept up with my TR's, as I had already posted a shot of myself on a TR I did when I went to South Africa. Tsk tsk tsk!
Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 8): Still... you know you were ripped off by that price. Hehehe...
Maybe, but the quality of the piece is really good, unlike those that you find at the souvenir shops or at the airport.
Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 8): It is no secret that MI treats SQ's premium pax that way. Their working relationship is frosty at best and I can attest to you that the 2 camps do not get along at all. They are in a marriage of convenience because MI needs to feed on SQ's inter-lining pax from the latter's long haul flights otherwise they will be dead. Therefore MI NEEDS SQ and the latter knows it, therefore can afford to continue treating their little sister the way they do. Sad...
Interesting. I was reading how Silk Air used to be Tradewinds, which was SQ's leisure/tour operator.
EddieDude From Mexico, joined Nov 2003, 7177 posts, RR: 45 Reply 21, posted (2 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 8896 times:
I am glad I ran a search and found your report. It is definitely going to come in handy for my trip to Asia next month! Great descriptions and pictures as always man. It is a pleasure reading your trip reports.
RJtraveller From Indonesia, joined Feb 2011, 50 posts, RR: 0 Reply 22, posted (2 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 8793 times:
Nice TR and great picture, the service seems to be average during the silk air flight I flown to Da Nang from Singapore via REP around last year seems to offer better service and larger meal amount,
Anyway nice TR thanks for sharing.
Coal From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 1627 posts, RR: 6 Reply 25, posted (2 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 7593 times:
Quoting EddieDude (Reply 21): I am glad I ran a search and found your report. It is definitely going to come in handy for my trip to Asia next month! Great descriptions and pictures as always man. It is a pleasure reading your trip reports.
Thanks Eddie, I hope you enjoy your trip to Asia in May!