AmaDara: Day 1- Inchon International Airport, South Korea/Siem Reap, Cambodia

Concourse of Inchon International Airport
Concourse of Inchon International Airport

First you drive and fly and walk and sit and then you cruise.

The main concourse of Inchon International Airport is paradise for shoppers and gawkers. Not so much for hurriers, though, as crowds amble aimlessly, looking into shop windows or their electronic devices. No one walks in a straight line or at a steady pace.

Impossible to try anything but gawking as the “Parade of the Royal Family,” cymbals clashing, pipes tweeting out a regal rhythm for the traditionally costumed Korean ensemble – the king and queen are the ones under the large red parasol – makes its way along a seemingly endless concourse.

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Parade of the Royal Family at Inchon International Airport

Shoppers are paying royal prices for the Dior, YSL, Burburry, Tiffany’s and Hermes goods. It’s Duty Free, of course, not that such minor amounts deter the status conscious.

All a bit confusing to the traveler of any nationality emerging into the bright lights after a 15-hour flight. Fortunately, signage is ample and everyone else stops wherever to look or read or post so go ahead, give in to a moment of clarity amid the confusion..

The tiny boarding lounge for the Korean Air flight to Siem Reap, Cambodia, was just to the left of the international transit x-ray machines and queues but you won’t know it until after a confusing then edifying stroll up to and along the shopping concourse.

Kudos to Korean Air for reconfiguring the Airbus 380 into a comfortable pitch for coach class flyers. I’ve had less leg room in “comfort” or “preferred” coach. Attendants were pleasant and eager to assist and serve and made the best of our confinement. A fellow traveler commented that the perfectly attired and coifed, always busy and attentive female attendants reminded her of Stepford Wives with their unremitting cheerfulness, but it was wonderful being catered to. Don’t know how they do it but grateful that they do.

the king and queen are the ones under the large red parasol
the king and queen,  under the large red parasol, during the Parade of the Royal family

The 5 and ½-hour flight to Siem Reap was equally pleasant, although it was well past midnight before we arrived at the tropically elegant Sofitel Hotel and Resort. That cold towel and lemongrass tea the staff had waiting was much appreciated.

Tomorrow, oh, later today then tomorrow, the wonders of Angkor Thom and Angkor Wat, followed by the inaugural cruise of the sparkling new AmaDara.

Johm riab sua, Welcome to Cambodia

Photos by Judy Wells

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