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Published: April 28th 2018
Today is poorly planned. Our onward flights are from Siem Reap, which means a 6 hour coach journey this afternoon to catch a plane in the morning.
First, just enough time to visit the National Museum. It houses a collection of Khmer artefacts but isn’t really worth the $10 admission fee (plus a further $5 for an audio guide). Plus there’s no air conditioning, so we only manage an hour before heading for a Café by the river for cold drinks and a cooling breeze.
We say goodbye to child no 1 who is flying home, check out and begin the long journey back to Siem Reap. We make it, despite the kamikaze driving, the dodgy clutch, a torrential downpour and multiple stops to pick up and drop off passengers. It’s an intriguing combination of services; westerners pay in US dollars to be taken on a direct service from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap. But Cambodians flag the bus down and get on and off at will without tickets. I’m not sure if this is an official policy of making foreigners subsidise Cambodian travel, or a little sideline run by the crew. Either way, the 8 additional stops mean
we are 20 minutes late arriving in Siem Reap. This means; 1) the final part of the journey is in the dark; a hair raising experience as there are no street lights and head lights are very much an optional extra and 2) we arrive after the laundry (where we left most of our clothes) has shut.
We check into our hotel and go into the village for surprisingly good pizza and beer. I’m not sure they actually sell beer; when we ask, they say yes, then send someone out to source a case. It takes a while, but beer does indeed appear. We get beer, they get dollars. As they would say in Cambodia: “Good for you. Good for me.”
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