Cambodia Day 4

Monday morning after we checked out of our hotel in Phnom Penh we loaded up in two tuk-tuks (we couldn’t all fit in one with the luggage) and were transported to the bus station. I bought bus tickets from the company with the best reviews, and the bus was quasi-airconditioned, but it was otherwise what I would call low-budget. We had a six hour bus ride from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap- which was it’s own kind of adventure.

Phnom Penh had a trash problem. I get it- in the hustle of a big city people lead busy lives and the country is too poor to finance programs or sanitation departments. Outside of the city it was cleaner; fewer people and probably more time.
Little roadside shops like this sold gasoline in reused plastic soda bottles.

We only stopped once to buy lunch/snacks and use the restroom. The traffic was bad, and there were frightening moments on two-lane highways. I wasn’t frightened for myself- but for the smaller cars that had to give way to the giant bus that passed when it wanted to pass. The two-lane highway was really a three-lane highway with lines painted down the middle of the third lane. But the organized chaos seemed to work.

The scenery was pretty consistent the entire way. I nagged the kids about looking at the window to absorb the Cambodian countryside- there was a lot to take in. I took a few photos through the glass, a sampling that more or less represents what we saw.

Once we left Phnom Penh, I probably only saw two or three “brick and mortar” stores for the next six hours. But there were hundreds of these roadside shops.
Nearly all the houses were built on stilts. I couldn’t ever tell if that was for flooding purposes or otherwise. But the area beneath the house always had hammocks hanging and often kitchen tables and chairs.

We arrived in Siem Reap in the late afternoon at a hot and dusty bus station. It was chaos and I knew the hotel was planning to send a tuk-tuk driver but I had no idea how to find the driver. Eventually we did, but then realized/remembered that we couldn’t all fit with the luggage in just one tuk-tuk. So the driver recruited another tug-tuk driver and they drove us to our hotel.

Out hotel was a small little bed and breakfast type place. Only 6-7 rooms, and we had three of them. It was on a quiet street, quiet being a relative term, because Siem Reap is a noisy place with clubs and revving Moto engines. The manager was shy and difficult to communicate with, but he was so kind and helpful. Our first night we were getting eaten alive by mosquitos so he gave us repellant and had our rooms sprayed while we were out.

As soon as we were settled we went back into the city for dinner. We walked briefly through a market, just because I was dying to check it out, and I only lasted about four minutes before I bought something. We ate at a pizza place (of all things) that had been recommended to us and we knew it would be a kid pleaser. Richard took most of the kids back to the B&B but a couple kids stayed with me while I wandered through more markets before calling it a night.

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