With the promise of an air conditioned bus, with wifi, water and a cold towel for a 5 hour journey to Angkor Wat, for only ten of Mr Obama’s finest, I was hooked.
Quick breakfast at the hotel and my tuk tuk driver, provided by the company, was ready. Off we went, weaving our way through the Phnom Penh early morning traffic with the dexterity of a rather turgid slug, but still managing not to hit anybody or anything.
On arrival at the plush offices of Larryia Express car rental and bus company, I was informed our trusty steed was just being fed, and would arrive on time.
True to the young lady’s word, the bus arrived and in we all got.
Settling in, right at the back, the wifi was good, the aircon was good, the water was there and the towel was one of those plastic things, but it was there.
We drove for less than 10 seconds and the wifi disappeared.
“Yes Sir, Wifi. In office.” Ah well, that’ll be that then. So, we settle down for the 5 hour journey, “6 hours Sir” as comfortably as we can.
I’m not saying the road was bumpy, but a trip to the dentist may be in order before you venture on this trip.
The road was long, with many many a winding turn. Lots of horn honking, lots of bouncing up and down until finally, a quick 5 minute loo stop. Excellent.
A group of young Cambodians were sat in front of us, and they liberally showered us with all their food and drinks. Not sure what one thing I tried was, but if I never eat it again in ten lifetimes it will be too soon. I was polite though, and managed to swallow without actually vomiting.
The second leg continued much the same as the first. By now my lack of dental solidity was causing some concern. At my advancing years I’m not overly spoiled in the tooth department, and I was seriously thinking I was going to lose some more. The vibrations were starting to make me ache.
At least there was something to look at outside though, apart from tuk tuk’s and roadworks.
The ubiquitous paddy fields stretch as far as many eyes can see.
A second stop, this time for lunch. The young Cambodians told us that after the second stop the road would get much better. I suspect I may have lost a bit of this in translation. It is true that the speed of the vehicle increased slightly after we started our third and final leg. The pot holes and bumps though simply were bounced in and over a bit quicker.
Despite this, my travelling partner managed to sleep. Good effort I say.
Finally, after almost six hours we pulled into Siem Reap.
After a quick transfer to our hotel where the inviting pool was screaming my name:
The heavens opened for the afternoon monsoon.
Apologies for the poor quality on some of these pix, but honestly, if you’ve travelled that road, you’ll understand.