KAPOORS ON THE ROAD
The morning arrived and it was time for us to pack up and head back to Phnom Penh where we would make arrangements to travel to Vietnam overland. We thought that we would like to join a three-day tour that would take us over the border and then through the Mekong Delta ending up in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). However, Jeong Ae found that she had a bad tummy in the morning and as the day progressed it got worse. By the time we reached Phnom Penh, I was starting to run a fever and to make matters worse, the hotel where we had stayed earlier did not have the same rooms available for us. The only rooms they had were interior rooms with no windows at all.
Jeong Ae and I were in no shape to spend time looking for another hotel, so we checked in and went to bed. Once again, the guys were on their own for the evening, but at least this time they were on the waterfront where there are plenty of cafes and lots of people-watching opportunities. My fever began to climb higher and higher, and then just like Jeong Ae, I spent several hours with a pretty bad stomach. The decision was taken to stay on in Phnom Penh for the next couple of days to be sure we were over whatever it was that hit us. The second night, we moved into rooms at the front of the hotel because both Anil and I were freaked out by the feeling of claustrophobia in the tiny windowless room. Plans to travel through the Mekong Delta were cancelled and we looked at taking a direct bus from Phnom Penh to Saigon.
With all this time on our hands, we began to examine what we had done wrong to bring all this sickness on ourselves. Well, to be truthful we had done just about everything we shouldn't have done. We swam in water infested with jellyfish (David got a sting on the stomach and I was nicked on the leg), we spent far too much time in the sun, we put ice in our drinks at a small beach resort where the water was questionable and we were eaten alive by sand flies and mosquitoes. To make matters worse, we relied on hand sanitizers instead of soap as there was no running water at the beach. If we were not able to wash our hands properly, how were the people who were preparing our food washing there's? You would think that with all our combined years of experience travelling, we would have been smarter.
By October 27th, we were well enough to travel again. I think we were very lucky to get off so easy - thank goodness Anil and I had updated vaccinations just before leaving. We booked tickets on the direct bus to Saigon - a trip of about six hours with a stop at the border to clear customs and immigration. We already had our visas for Vietnam.