Phnom Penh Travel Blog› entry 16 of 49 › view all entries
May 18th, 2006 – by: umbralwalker
Woke at 4:25am in Bangkok. The night watchman at the hostel woke a friend of his to take us to the airport for 100 baht less than a regular taxi. Got to the airport, went through the usual rigmarole, finally managed to find some Sudoku-puzzle books and by 8:10am we were landing in Phnom Phen, Cambodia.
From the airport we hopped on the back of a couple of scooter-taxi's (motos, they call them here), backpacks and all, and headed across town. Traffic here is worse than Thailand. Motos and scooters flock through and around trucks and cars like wild birds. There are no stop signs; to take a left turn (they drive on the right here, as opposed to Thailand) it's customary to pull into oncoming traffic 50-100m early and weave your way through.
After watching one bike drive by with a propane tank strapped to the back, I saw the following on a scooter: a 5 year old, the driver, a woman with a baby dangling off her left arm over the road and yet another woman.
The moto taxi was actually less scary than I expected and was a lot of fun, but my first impression of big cities is rarely good and the attitude of our taxi drivers was frustrating. The drivers of our motos, not entirely unexpectedly, tried to take us to a different hostel than the one we asked for, so blew their tip.
We crashed for a little while then wandered near the hostel for some food. We found a great Western place called the Lazy Gecko. They were more expensive than some of the other places, but they give their employees excellent benefits and the food was fabulous.When we first arrived in Asia we would have avoided a place like this, but after 4+ weeks in Thailand, it was really nice to have some familiar food and a few Australians to help us get our bearings.
Megan went back to the room to crash and I'm sitting there now, enjoying a Lynchburg Lemonade and working on the Elephants and Friends piece for Vision magazine. (Internet note: this was originally written in my journal) I think we may stay in Phnom Phen a few days, seeing the National Museum, The Killing Fields, etc, then head to Angkor Wat for a week. That should put us back at E&F about the 31st or so.
Megan's seriously considering staying in Asia after I head back. She loves it here, as do I, and has very little she needs to get back to.I, unfortunately, have bills I need to payoff. I'll really miss her if she does that, but I'm excited for her and it's something she really needs to do. She's looking at volunteering at an orphanage in Nepal, like our friend Tim did (see early Bangkok entries). Personally I'm not interested in leaving Asia and want to get back to Elephants and Friends, the vet hospitals in Ko Tao and Ko Phanang, and other places to volunteer. I'll have to wait until next year. Possibly my travel writing will do well enough to help me get my bills paid faster and I can get back out here.
Back to work.
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