The last leg of our journey was a six hour layover in Bangkok and a one hour flight on Bangkok Airlines to Siem Reap. Six hours is a long time … a really long time! So when they notified us that our flight was delayed due to mechanical issues it didn’t go down too well.
We’d already done two circuits of the airport shops and restaurants, and had changed $20 into Thai Baht so that we could buy ourselves some breakfast and a coffee to keep ourselves awake.
But we were dead on our feet and fearful of sleeping through out departure time so we’d headed to the departure gate early so that we wouldn’t miss our flight. And there began the long wait for a plane that would fly.
I saw lots of very colorful Bangkok Airlines planes out of the window, and was looking forward to getting on our multi-coloured plane to take us to Cambodia
But not so fast!
Although you can apply for a Cambodia Visitors Visa online I also read that you could just get it when you entered, so I opted for this option instead. But before we were allowed to enter the boarding area we were submitted to the third-degree by the Ground Staff. They wanted details of where we were staying and then confirmation of our planned itinerary when we arrived. They made a phone call, and what followed was an agonizing 20 minute 3rd party phone conversation where we had to convince the nameless faceless professionals on the other end of the phone that we had a solid travel plan and that we had a plan to leave, even though we only had a one-way ticket.
Luckily I had our first hotel booked and I had the name and address and I had a vague idea of our travel destinations. Thankfully that was enough to allow us to board without a Cambodia Visa and with our one-way ticket, with assurances that we were getting a bus to Vietnam at the end of our 30 days.
They gave us three forms to fill in and waved us through, and I said a silent prayer that we’d been allowed one step closer to our destination.
Worst case scenario we could have booked a couple of bus tickets, or I could have booked a couple of fully refundable plane tickets out of Cambodia. But I was sleep deprived and I was pleased I didn’t have to wrangle my way around this blip.
Moral of the Story?: Next time I’m buying my Cambodia Tourist Visa online before I leave, or I’ll rent a short-term ticket via one of the Nomad services out there: Fly Onward, NomadProof, or Best Onward Ticket – these services are cheap and allow you to rent a valid flight ticket for 48 hours to show proof of onward travel.
Our flight kept getting delayed and delayed, but we were finally ushered onto a cramped bus and ferried over to what looked like the Airport equivalent of the knackers yard. My hopes of a colorful plane were dashed – instead we boarded Plain Jane of Planes.
Jane wasn’t the most reassuring sight when I had the tannoy announcement of “mechanical failure” ringing in my ears. But as we were only an hour away from Siem Reap it seemed like a good gamble to get on board – fingers crossed.