After flying to Singapore, my wife and I took a one-hour flight to Siem Reap, Cambodia. We were looking forward to beginning our new riverboat experience, sailing down the Mekong River aboard APT’s La Marguerite – a two year old riverboat built in Vietnam.
Our cruise was to officially start at the Le Meridien Hotel in Siem Reap, a luxury 5 star hotel with wonderful facilities and perhaps one of the best pools I have ever seen.
We decided to spend three days at the hotel prior to the official start as Sandra was particularly interested in visiting the World Heritage listed Angkor Wat temple complex, which is literally only minutes away.
Built for King Suryavarman II in the 12th Century, Angkor Wat is an absolute must see when visiting Cambodia.
We soon discovered that Cambodian money is virtually unwanted, while American Dollars are requested by all, from hotels to the smallest stallholder.
After three days of sightseeing and being pampered at the hotel, the first day of our APT adventure began at 11 a.m. in the hotel foyer when we joined our, mostly Australian, fellow passengers. Once the check-in formalities were taken care of, we boarded our air-conditioned coach for a drive through the countryside to the river where we boarded large motorboats that ferried us past floating fishing villages to La Marguerite.
On our way to La Marguerite several small boats pulled alongside trying to sell us wares that ranged from fruits to live snakes held by young children.