This is one of the few times our journey has involved doubling back, just worked out that way, too expensive to fly, buses fairly reliable, and we’ve made a sort of circular route through Mekong, taking our time, so it’s been a fairly chilled way to travel from Saigon to Cambodia and back.
I’ve once again had to embrace bus trips, and it hasn’t been too bad, you can’t beat value for money when you put $11 to the Mekong Express bus vs. $200 on a plane if you have the available time, and add to that a little boxed lunch, a water, a hostess on board, and someone smiling and helping you through customs and it outweighs the rather cramped seats and streaming sun through the windows. We also had really careful drivers, sadly, terribly, I think this is due to a number of fatalities a few days ago on a tourist bus in SW Cambodia; the drivers we experienced before the accident were complete nutters.
This has been an odd overlapping week of approaching the end of the travels (I know we still have a fair few weeks to go but it’s relative to a full year), the countries we’re about to visit seem to be speeding up, we have shorter times in each place, and the other big until now unspoken thing has started to loom; finding a job on our return. So in between viewing stunning temples and sampling the nightlife in Phnom Penh we’ve been spending a disproportionate amount of time on linked in and seek!!
I have to admit I am so looking forward to getting home to Melbourne, I know, I know grass is always greener, but I miss friends, other side of the family, the cutest cat in the world, Carlton, Fitzroy, parks, food, great wine, having a kitchen, not having to pack up my life every morning, having my own outdoor space…and lots more…which is a great thing, imagine if I didn’t want to go home!!!
Anyway back to this week of travel, kicking off with the rather modern city of Phnom Penh, I think physically it’s a bit of a HK in the 70s, starting to grow, a few skyscrapers in the making, water surrounding it, one difference being a significantly more tragic and horrendous past and a rather serene royal palace.
So onto Siam Reap, and apologies to those on facebook who have seen these photos already, suffice to say Angkor was exceptionally amazing, swelteringly hot, hard to fathom in terms of size, scale and achievement.
It also completely randomly contained a hotel owner with a daughter at St George’s, a girl I used to know at St Georges just arrived on holiday, and a girl from St George’s married to an Italian restaurant owner who had lived there for years…more per square mile than Rome?!!!
A rather good night… A truly beautiful visit.
Our tuk tuk driver “Bob”, and yes I did have a Blackadder moment…, was lovely, we had lots of interesting chats with him, he took us to a little stall on a dirt track, with a lady that cooked us from fresh, the best chicken spring rolls I’ve ever tasted, and to a wat for early evening dragonfly watching.