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Published: December 19th 2012
When we first started this adventure I dreaded the days that we had to spend on buses. You never know what to expect! What is the size of bus? What's the seat to person ratio? Any pukers? Any babies? What are the roads going to be like? Will the time quoted either by guidebook or travel agent be accurate? These are the questions that used to fill my mind while preparing for travel days. When we bought our bus tickets from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap the three guys travelling with us were most concerned about whether or not the bus would have AC. I laughed to myself as I thought "that is the least of my worries". All I really want now is enough room to feel comfortable. I can shut out babies crying, I can sit through the bumpiest roads, I can pretend life is a video game when the bus swerves all over the roads passing motos, cows etc.and if the bus has AC, well that is a luxury!
Bus rides have become part of the fun. On our particular ride from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap I sat looking out the window most of the time and was mesmorized by the landscape. Most of what we passed was sprawling fields dotted with a few trees and green areas. The villages were beautiful; every house was different. Most of the houses are on stilts and built of wood but they each have their own character, their own shrine, their own colourful coat of paint, their own mini farm. Then the village disappears as the bus continues right back through the fields that go on as far as the eye can see. Every once in a while we would come across a larger town that was bustling with markets and regular day-to-day life. The diversity you see on bus rides should not be missed. If you aren't looking out your window you might miss some of the most beautifuly authentic pieces of a country like Cambodia. In a place with such recent tragedy I looked at the fields and wondered "is this where the Khmer rouge forced so many people to become slaves on their own land? Is this where they made people work literally to death?"
Just as those thoughts crept into my mind we drove past a young boy herding his cows and I realized that the people here have the strength to move on so I shouldn't dwell on it either. Again and again I am reminded of how amazing Cambodians are and how beautiful this country really is.
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