The Big Trip: Day 10: Siem Reap, Phnom Penh, and Kuala Lumpur AirportsAfter three full days in Siem Reap, it was time to head to my next destination: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. After breakfast and some last-minute browsing at the markets, my tuk-tuk driver, Mr. Bill, picked me up from the hostel and brought me to Siem Reap Airport. He gave me his contact information, asking me to refer him to my friends who needed a tuk-tuk driver in Siem Reap; so, if anyone is heading to Siem Reap anytime soon, I highly recommend Mr. Bill, and I can give you his contact information.

I was a little early in arriving at the airport; in fact, my flight hadn’t even begun boarding yet. It gave me a little time to explore the airport. It was a relatively small airport, but it was quite charming. There were lots of Khmer architectural touches in the design and decor of the airport.

Siem Reap AirportI was also silently happy that there was a Dairy Queen, a rare sight of an American franchise in Cambodia. However, what I really needed was some lunch, so I was unable to indulge in a Blizzard. I grabbed lunch, then browsed around at the airport souvenir shop. The pre-packaged mixtures of spices were tempting, but I wasn’t sure how they would hold up after two more weeks of travel, so I didn’t get any.

I was taking a Malaysia Airlines flight out of Siem Reap to Kuala Lumpur. I was fortunate enough to book my flight during a promotional period, so I was able to get a full-featured flight at a cheaper price than one on a competing budget airline. I boarded the plane and was pleasantly surprised to see that it wasn’t full at all; there were lots of empty seats, which I took advantage of by moving to leave a seat between me and my nearest neighbor. Choose your best trip at

Unfortunately, I was unaware that the flight was going to make a layover at Phnom Penh. I had been wondering why my flight was going to take the equivalent of five and a half hours; after all, the distance between Siem Reap and Kuala Lumpur probably wasn’t as much as the distance between Manila and Ho Chi Minh City, and that flight was only two and a half hours long. When I realized that we were making a layover, it explained everything. It also explained why the flight wasn’t packed; it was going to pick up more passengers in Phnom Penh.

So I experienced my first layover, albeit a short one (only about an hour or so). Because we had technically left Cambodia (my passport had been stamped already), we stayed inside the boarding area of Phnom Penh Airport.

waiting at Phnom Penh AirportI took a look at a bigger souvenir shop at that airport, which was stocked with the same items as the one in Siem Reap. There was a coffee shop, as well as an Angkor Bar, which was a restaurant which also served Angkor Beer. As tempting as it was, I didn’t really want to board a flight with even a little bit of alcohol in my system.

The flight to Kuala Lumpur was full this time, with the remaining seats filled out by travelers from Phnom Penh. The flight itself was uneventful, and eventually, I landed in Kuala Lumpur during what seemed to be rush hour at the airport. The lines at customs were extremely long, and I overheard one of the guards saying that lines were normally this long during the time I arrived. Why this hadn’t prompted them to open up more counters (some were closed), I didn’t know.

Kuala Lumpur AirportOnce that was done, it was time to make my way to the city to find Angelo, my host in Kuala Lumpur. This was going to be my first time to try CouchSurfing, and Angelo, a nice Greek computer person, was going to be the first person to host me. After a quick phone conversation and directions on where to meet, I attempted to navigate through Kuala Lumpur’s train system. It was all a little confusing and overwhelming, especially since I didn’t have a route map handy, but eventually, I got to my destination.

I met up with Angelo, and he brought me to his place. After dinner and a nice long chat, exhaustion got the best of me and I headed to bed early. Kuala Lumpur would have to wait.