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Published: January 28th 2018
The weather remains a problem, and again had overnight rain so, as much as we have enjoyed our little oasis in Otres Village we are hoping a change of district might improve the weather, which has limited our planned activities, once again. Our itinerary involves a return to PhNom Penh as a night stop, before moving on to Battambang a total distance of nearly 400 km so, that's about 9 hours by coach, therefore, a stop over is vital. Cambodia's highways run North- South as a rule, so travelers often have to double back to major cities to move around efficiently. As we enjoyed the atmosphere and restaurants of PP, this is no hardship. We say goodbye to our lovely hostess Domo, who really looked after us at Om Home, we board our coach that takes us , without transfer directly to the quay area that we now recognize as a 5 minute stroll back to our original hotel. Feels so familiar and we are happy to be back.
Starving hungry, we shower, hardly unpack, and hit Sisowath Quay for food and refreshment. Saturday evening vibes are good as ever, and we aim directly for Mother India, now
our favorite restaurant. Indian food choices are limited in Paphos, Cyprus, our current home, so we make the most of their Chefs talents. Paula even induces some Reluctant French tourists to try it and they were equally delighted by the food. Replete, we stroll back to our hotel for an early night tired but happy. Not so happy, we both spend an unpleasant few trips to bathroom during the early hours, which can only be attributed to Travellers Tummy. Enough said and thankful for Imodium, we hope to make our 7am Tuk Tuk trip to the coach station.
Sunday morning. Day 11 - Battambang Bound
Arriving early for our 8am Mean Chey VIP Mini van 5hr trip, we feel lucky, as within minutes of our arrival the heavens opened and a heavy downpour floods the roads of PhNom Penh. We are happy to travel North to, hopefully, drier climes. Fully loaded we set off only 15mins behind schedule in what is a lovely comfortable, brand new minibus. The only Farangs on board, with the best seats, pre-booked online!Leaving P.P. We take the AH 1 , the major interstate road in Cambodia, after 30 minutes of fairly clean
and clear dual carriageway we revert to a two way narrow road but in the main it is very straight so overtaking slower vehicles is not so hazardous. The countryside heading North West is noticeably more well maintained and the villages have a feel of affluence and are visibly far cleaner.
The Countryside is very much the engine of prosperity here, no Chinese sweat factories but Rice, Grain and hardwood production. Local homes are built with good wood, and some even boast glass windows, a far cry from the poorer settlements we saw on our Kampot to Sihanoukville journey. Apparently, this area around Battambang is called the 'rice bowl' of Cambodia.We hope to explore more fully tomorrow, as we have booked a full day Tuk Tuk tour. Despite the poor map of the town, we wandered for a couple of hours and are hopeful that we can navigate, again we were impressed by the HSI (exercise) regime of both young and old in the park along the Ton Le Sap River, alive with happy, enthusiastic people of all ages. Not a touristic area, but all foreigners welcomed, it seems.
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