Phnom Penh Travel Blog› entry 23 of 26 › view all entries
January 15th, 2008 – by: emmawow
I boarded the bus from HCMC at 9am with it taking about an hour to get out of the city centre....we then got to the border crossing where nothing was explained to us, like having to get our luggage off and carry it through the crossing (so mine was left on the pavement til I realised) and then getting back on the bus going a hundred metres where we got off again and had to fill in more forms, pay some dollars, get our passports stamped, looked at, pay another dollar for a medical form (?!) to come out the otherside and find that the bus has disappeared...i was directed towards what i thought was my bus, got on only to realise i didn;t recognise anyone....luckily the driver from my bus saw me and pointed to a nearby restaurant where all the passengers and bus was - phew! Driving to Phnom Penh the road was initally fine, could just see that poverty is more prevalent here from the wooden houses and buffalows in their gardens...as we neared the city though the road suddenly turned into a sand track and bad traffic jams where tractors were trying to build on it/flaten it. Entering Phnom Penh was quite an experience...dusty and dirty and much less developed than the Vietnam cities i'd visited. Dropped in the centre where I had to barter in another new currency (well they seem to depend on dollars more than riel). Got a moto driver who again didn't know where he was going so I had to show hime the LP map - thank god for those maps! Taken down to the very much backpacker area of Boeng Kak - or the lakeside....shown to a very dodgy guesthouse where the rooms were 2$ but made with bits of carboard banged together so opted for the Grand View Guestbouse - v nice and v cheap :-). Went down to check out all the many guesthouses with decksides, where everyone goes to watch the sunset over the lake...people in hammocks or lounging in chairs. Got bitten alive unfortunately so went to have a delicious curry at 'Curry Pot' restaurant where I chatted to an old indian guy about religion etc.
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