From Seim Reap we got a night bus down to Phnom Penh. What a nightmare!
We have decided not to get one of these again. The pictures of the “hotel bus” showed a luxurious room, with a big bed and lots of space. In reality when we arrived at the bus stop at 11:30pm at night after the days wait, you could barley squeeze throughout the passage. The bus had about 3/4 rows down it then the beds were stacked two high.they were so tiny it was unreal. Smaller than a single bed for two people and shorter than either of us in length. We had our camera backpacks under our legs, and you couldn’t sit up at all in the cubby space. We could have made do with this but this wasn’t even the main issue. The bus finally took off on the journey music blaring when the blue neons around the window came on and the air con put a chill in the air. This couldn’t be turned off, the vents leaked with a tiny thin cover and a miniature rock pillow there was no way to keep warm. Eventually the music went a bit writer, the blue in your face neons stayed. This was not a normal journey, oh no. The road felt more like the ATV track we was on in Thailand and the bus nearly toppled over twice. Needless to say, we didnt sleep on the hotel bus. We got off at 6:30 am was hassled by the locals for tuk tuk, grabbed our bags and walked to our hotel… Which was actually for once close and east you find! We arrived at 7am and was very lucky to be able to check in. It’s a big place, Angkor international hotel with many rooms.
On the day of no sleep we went out for some breakfast, spent a lot of time looking at hotels for our next destination and went for a walk to the local shopping centres.
While in Phnom Penh we have been doing a lot of planning. Cambodia has been a lot more expensive than expected with the cost of Angkor watt and the cost of food. Even hotels have been more expensive so we have needed to think more clearly about our plans. We have also had to begin to think about Australia, and work out where we want to land and work (we think now we may know!)
We’ve visited the Russian market here too, where I was able to pick up an amazing new home gift for my sister (cannot say what it is as it won’t arrive there for a while!)
We visited the outside entrance of the palace and photographed it at sunset. We’ve been spying on the neighbours out the window with a big lens, that’s been fun… Haha
Yesterday we had quite a sad and morbid day, although very insiteful. We visited Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum. It was quite upsetting to see how badly the victims were treated, and definitely one of the saddest places we have visited on our travels. We were both unaware how recent the killings had taken place, and how people living here now would have grown up with it. Quite sad…
We have been trying to shoot more people in this town, it seems quite friendly towards the camera, children love to say hello (half the time because they are trying to sell you something) their faces light up when you reply to them , and their English is amazing here, adults and children.
So there are some fantastic things about Cambodia, but also some strange things which would not be accepted at home. We have witnessed many times people polluting the river they bathe in. Just today sitting by the river, we saw locals washing in the river, washing their cutlery, then the same group of locals, throwing dirty nappies and plastic drinks wrappers food wrappers in the water. This seems very strange for us, rubbish was all around the banks, the bins were 100 meters away or less.
The amount of poverty is also more apparent in cambodia than in Thailand, thou see whole families living on the streets in hammocks around trees, or living out of the TukTuks, fixing their hammocks up and night to go to sleep. It’s very different from what we are used to seeing, yet they all seem so happy, a different less wealthy way of life where you can see they struggle, but they deal with it; cope and carry on.