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Published: April 24th 2018
It seemed like a good idea at the time; a 6 hour bus trip to the capital, Phnom Penh. It’s only 199 miles, so that’s an average of 33 mph. The old man and I reach the bus terminal. It’s rather chaotic, child no 1 has booked the complimentary pick up service and is nowhere to be seen, finally arriving a couple of minutes before the bus is due to depart.
We are late leaving; some American kid has his ticket on his phone which he forgot to charge. Then we have to make an unscheduled stop after a few miles; some American kid needs to pee and can’t wait. It’s going to be a long day.
The road is less rural than I’d expected; it’s lined with townships for most of the route. And litter – lots and lots of litter. The verges are thick with plastic bags and bottles.
After 6 hours, 3 scheduled stops at service stations on stilts and 2 unscheduled stops (Mr ‘I need to pee’ demands to be dropped off when we pass a brewery) we reach our destination.
We take a Tuk Tuk to the hotel. We climb in, but
the driver has parked over a tree root and can’t push the Tuk Tuk back onto the road, so we have to get out again. Still no success, so we have to help push. Then he asks me to stand in the middle of the busy road and stop the traffic so he can reverse.
We make it to the hotel, but are greeted by guests making a run for the door, followed by staff. They are spraying insecticide round the pool and it stinks. After a brief wait outside, we are issued with paper masks and allowed to check in.
Child no 1 is staying at a hostel nearby with a 4th floor bar overlooking the Mekong River. It sells cocktails at £1.35 each, so we head for the river for drinks and dinner.
It’s a popular area, the river is full of boats and has a footpath lined with palm trees full of walkers and runners. As it gets dark, the boats light up and there are red and blue fairy lights on the palm trees which match the Cambodian flags along the street. It’s a magical sight. We have dinner in a Khmer restaurant
opposite the river then head for bed.
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