Travelled to the capital of Cambodia today - Phnom Penh, and what an experience that was! Started with a guy picking me up on his motorbike to take me to the bus station with my big backpack procariously balanced on his legs!
Being the budget conscious traveller I am (at times!) I opted for the cheapest coach out of 3 so I paid just $4, and later realise why...I disover that as the bus starts to fill up, I am the only foreigner on it. It was filled with real locals, and hard-up locals at that! They also don't stick to the one bottom on one seat rule. The parents sit on the seats and then their 2-3 kids sit on top of them so there were maybe 65 people on this dilapidated 47 seater coach! The last seat was one next to me on the backseat and the dirtiest guy in the world comes to sit down next to me, and I feel quite amused / unnerved when as he sits down he starts saying something to the rest of the bus (that I naturaly couldn't understand) which causes every single person on this packed coach to turn around and stare at me, which they carried on doing at various intervals along the 6 hour journey!
But, to my amazement, the 12.30 bus left on time! A first for Asia! Next for amusement was the air con...I opened my window because the air-con didn't work but the guide later comes along and makes me shut it... so after maybe 2 hours this bus is really hot and smelly and I find it strangely amusing that instead of openeing all the windows to get some actual cool air in, they all usethe non-existent air con and sweat buckets! Random. Maybe air-con in a bit of a novelty for them, I don't know.
Road was so much better than the one from the border...tarmacm yellow lines and all so could have been worse!
Am so relieved to get off this coach and my heart sinks when I see maybe 20 tuk tuk drivers and guest house reps gearing up to hassle me as I get off, so I have to say a massive thank you to Simon back in England who told me to get the guest house I stayed at in Siem Reap (Garden Village) to organise a guesthouse for me in Phnom Penh, so out of the masses appears this guy holding up a bit of paper that says 'welcome to Ms. Diana' and he whisks me off to my next guesthouse (Lakeside). Sweet (as Simon would say!)
Then, just as I have about recovered from my amusing journey, I get chatting to a guy called Matt who has just made the same journey but opted for the most expensive $9 coach and was telling me that he had air-con and hostesses that brought him wet towels!!!
Spend the rest of the evening chilling by the lake at my guesthouse with Matt (UK), Edward & Evelyn (Holland).