Excited to get to Cambodia after 3 weeks in Laos. I had heard the journey was bad and just to get on with it. But nothing could have made me anticipate just how bad….
Up at 8am to get the boat to the main land. All is fine and well and we cross the boat and walk up to the bus station. When there we are given immigration forms to complete by a man, who then starts asking for our passports. The one thing I am not comfortable with is handing my passport to a complete stranger. I’m told by other travellers not to do so,
“It’s a money making scam”.
By this point we had met up with Caroline and Jen from Liverpool who we met on the kayaking day. All of us are unsure of what to do. We get on the bus having not handed them over and at the last minute we decide to hand them over. We get off the bus at the border, all those who gave I their passports walked through, the others had to que at the borders thinking it would be cheaper than the 40dollars that the man was asking for. We walked straight through and sat in a coffee shop waiting for him to return with our passports. We had to get a visa, stamps and a health check. It turned out it worked to be the same price the others paid without the que.
A mini bus turned up at the coffee shop 20min later and we were all so glad at this point that we decided to take the fast route with the others all held up.
On a squashed mini van with no air circulation we set off, now in Cambodia. A guy has fallen asleep on Nkosi’s shoulder and my cheek is pressed firmly against the glass.
After about an hour and a half we stop. The driver tells us to take our bags and get out of the bus. We comply wondering what our next steps will be. We are told to eat and then the next mini bus would pick us up in 20mins….no such luck!
3 hours later, the people from our first bus rocked up…we had to wait for them! What was the point in that! I was fuming…going dilerious and absolutly ranting. I think I drove everyone crazy, and our little scouse buddies found it amusing whilst I got my knickers in a twist. Nkosi on the other hand just ignores me and puts his head phones in and watches a film, whilst annoyingly laughing out loud every 2 seconds at 22 jump street. He is used to me. Whilst he sits back, I’m stating trade description act laws and refund eligibility quotes to a Cambodian man, who didn’t understand me and just kept saying 15 minute at me!
The best bit was after 3 hours… Then having to wait for the late comers to eat….oh how considerate indeed.
Finally after 3 and half hours our next mini bus turns up. It’s 16 seats for 20 people. Illegal. Hot. Sweaty. Ridiculous.
Nkosi being the BFG that he is gets VIP treatment and put in the front seat…suppose that’s what you get for keeping quiet and being 6foot 3… I’m on the hunt for undercover stilts after this.
Me being me, I’m adimant that I’m sat in the first row as I have been waiting so long. (So has everyone else…call me selfish.). With my best shoving technique, learnt from years of attending topshop sales, I get my seat so I’m happy. Until… We are told people have to sit in the boot so our backpacks have to go under our feet. You got to be kidding. This is a journey lasting for 8 hours and my feet are on top of my bag…knees are killing!
I think my life can’t get any worse…imagining 8 hours sat like this…however, apparently it can! The driver is constantly on his mobile phone..can I again point out. Illegal. I’m wondering what could be so important… Of course, picking up his friend. Now where on earth would his friend be sitting on this already packed out bus… That’s right… In between my knees sat on MY backpack. Like. Get off seriously. My limit was reached when he used my knees as arm rests and fell asleep at one point with his head rolling I between my my croch. At this point I flipped out, but he just found it funny. Like seriously. Poor Caroline ended up with my legs on her and seriously squashed. I felt so bad. As for Nkosi…he’s fast asleep watching films. Fab.
After 8 hours we get to Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia. It is dark, and the tuk tuk arranged by our hotel to pick us up is a no show. We ring them and they say we. Issued it so we have to get our own. We turn up at our pre booked hostel and I have to say, it’s amazing. Lovely Jubbly, defiantly the best place we have stayed so far. A solid nights sleep is just what was needed and I was happy, after a long long day of stress and squashiness.
Hope if you do this trip you have a better journey than us!
Lots of love
Kym and Nkosi x