Continuing the Cambodian adventure, our pockets were literally empty by the time we finished paying the USD3,000 at the airport and went to the immigration counter to submit our passport and all the relevant forms.
Since we were the last in the flight to pass through the Cambodian immigration check, the immigration counters were rather empty except for the one that was still waiting for us to clear through. The Cambodian immigration clearance was fast but we can see the officers unhappy to wait for us.
Read the earlier posts:-
First COVID19 Test
The severity of the COVID19 situation in Cambodia was not apparent when we were still at the payment counter or the immigration counter.
We then moved on to the next section where almost everyone is in PPE and segregation is enforced strictly and I then realised how serious the COVID19 situation is. Despite the tense surrounding situation, the people from Cambodian MOH manning the COVID19 testing station were some of the friendliest I ever met. I had to keep a distance when I handed over the forms and the passport to the first person sitting down at the counter before I was asked sit down for the swab test.
This would be the second time I would be doing a COVID19 swab test so I know how painful and uncomfortable the test is. The health staff would be performing the swab test also warned me of the possible discomfort that I may experience.
The first one was the swab up my nose which was very painful – I also noticed the size of the cotton bigger than the one I had in Malaysia. It looked like the officials were serious indeed to get as deep as possible to ensure no virus hiding deep in my nose. The next is the swab down the throat which akin to choking.
However credit to the medical team in the airport, they did this test as fast as possible. The test is expected to be out after 36 hours so we need to wait for the results before we can decide on the next accommodation.
After we had done the COVID19 test, we were ushered to the next checkpoint.
Bus Trip to Designated Hotel
We reached another exit where all the passengers were herded and asked to wait for the special bus that will take us to the designated hotel. I noticed that the local Cambodians were asked to take another bus whilst the foreigners take another.
I presumed it is because the Government set different types of designated accommodation for the locals and foreigners. Perhaps it is because the locals don’t have to make any deposit when they arrive in Cambodia unlike the foreigners so I guess to justify the deposit; the Government provides a 4-star accommodation for foreigners.
If you had read Part 2, you will know that we have a lot of luggage at hand so we had a problem pushing them around from one checkpoint to another checkpoint. Unfortunately, the “special” bus that was waiting for the foreigners does not have any special place for luggage. In fact, the luggage was rather violently placed on top of another and on bus seats and walkways. And we had to carry the luggage ourselves into the bus with little room to move around.
It was stuffy, hot and an uncomfortable ride from the airport to the designated hotel.
The bus stopped at a rather luxurious hotel where there was no one from the hotel came over to assist us to get the luggage from the bus. Thankfully the passengers coordinated among us to get the luggage out from the bus.
Despite the cost of the hotel is actually coming from our own deposits, I was rather impressed with the hotel – it is a 4 star so the standards were rather impressive. The only problem with the hotel that we checked in was that no one at the reception spoke proper English.
There were no clear instructions on what we need to do next but seeing others, we were made to understand that we suppose to stay put in our rooms. We cannot leave the hotel until the COVID19 test is out and given the go-ahead from the Cambodian MOH. “Free” food will be delivered to our rooms and yes, we have free Wifi provided as well.
The room is large and with a comfortable bed and has a good view and I have to admit that it was a good designated hotel to destress after a stressful time at the airport. The room also came with a video on demand facilities so there were a good number of movies on the list.
We expected to get the COVID19 test results the next day but after it had passed lunchtime, we did not get any updates from the hotel or representatives from the Cambodian Government. Even the staffs at the reception were clueless so we had to wait for someone to come to our rooms to inform us.
Then on the second night, there was a call to my room with a simple message – “Sir, your test is out, you can collect your passport and test result tonight or tomorrow morning”. Of course, this message was conveyed with a thick “Cambolish” accent. Considering that we had planned to check out the next day and it was late at night to collect our result, we decided to collect it the next morning and check out at the same time.
What we did not know is if anyone in the same flight was tested positive and whether we need to be quarantined at Cambodia Government’s quarantine centre.
To be continued in Part 4