Perhaps it wasn’t the most auspicious start when the Joker lost his reading glasses somewhere between customs and the departure lounge. It wasn’t even 4am and we were onto our second mishap (the Joker had earlier been zapped while riding the escalator). Still, if that is the worst that happens, we are doing okay.
As the plane descended into Siem Reap the lush green surrounds came into view. Rivers and waterways marked muddy tracks across the landscape and a smoke haze spread across the landscape with multiple fires burning. We’re still not sure what was the cause or reason of the fires.
But it was still a surreal sensation – a mix of the known and the unknown.
We were met by a wall of heat as we disembarked and once through customs we were met by our favourite tuk tuk driver, Mr Marom.
We welcomed the cooling air as we headed off down the airport road in the back of the tuk tuk, our luggage loaded between our feet and on the seat opposite us.
Then there it was – the familiar smell of south-east Asia; a mix of blocked drains and sewage, rotting rubbish, exhaust fumes and the toxic smell of burning plastic all mingled with the aroma of frying garlic and cooking meat. It was brought to us on a a gritty dust-laden breeze that lodges in the pores and the hair. And strangely, everything felt just right.
It was only a short trip and we arrived at Two Dragons – our home away from home for the next few weeks.
It was a long day and we finished in the Two Dragons dining room with a beer or two and a few mojitos. Let the fun begin.