Phnom Penh to Siem Reap

We left Phnom Penh early today for another 7 hour bus journey. We would have liked to have stayed longer as we just loved the crazy hustle and bustle, the traffic, the noise, the endless markets and of course the food.

Our bus driver today looked about 17 with his baseball cap and sunglasses and he drove like a 17 year old. Clearly buses take priority as they sound their horns endlessly and basically push everyone else out of the way. The road was all single carriageway, very badly potholed and we overtook everyone that got in our way scattering mopeds, tuk-tuks, donkeys as we went. At times it was quite alarming but that’s just the way they do it.

The scenery was great – water buffalo with just their heads sticking out of the water, others just roaming at the side of the road and endless roadside stalls selling food, drink and all manner of other things. We had 2 stops and children gathered round to sell us bags of fruit etc. They try to get your name and then follow you round talking to you and calling out your name. You just have to buy something and the smile you get as a reward is worth far more than the money you give them. Begging is also the norm and you have to feel sorry for them – they’ve just dropped out of the bottom of society. There is no safety net here. Most have limbs missing, a legacy of the war or have been affected by Agent Orange dropped by the Americans by the plane load to kill trees and foliage with no regards for anyone below.

The best hotel yet here in Siem Reap with the bonus of a swimming pool. We walked into town, had another super meal and a tuk-tuk ride back.

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