The bus to Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh Travel Blog

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Travel agent in Saigon

  One option was to take the two day boat/bus trip from Saigon through the Mekong Delta up to Phnom Penh. I made the trip once before and it was well worth doing again. But the extra night in Dalat put me behind schedule, as if I had one. Well, I guess I actually do since my Vietnam visa expires today. I don't know the penalty for overstaying and didn't want to risk the possibility of being denied a future visit, so booked a bus for the run to Cambodia.

 

I chose the Kumho Samco Busline for its 09:45 departure which allowed plenty of time for a leisure breakfast followed by a final iced coffee at a sidewalk vender. It's always nice to watch a city or town stir into a new day. Saigon's streets rumbled with the usual parade of motorbike commuters while venders shuffled carts and baskets into strategic locations.

Student texting in the morning sun
Pretty students, decked out in flowing white ao dais, strolled gracefully toward their morning class.

 

The orange bus with gray and white trim had more legroom than any I had ridden before. Two Swedes and myself were the only foreign passengers on board, the rest being locals. There were several vacant seats and one was next to mine which made the ride all the better. By noon we reached the Moc Bai border crossing. A bus attendant collected everyone's passport and handled all immigration formalities, including visas for Cambodia. Normally those cost $20 for a 30-day stay but the attendant charged $25 which seemed fair by the time and hassle saved. Instead of waiting in a long line, I enjoyed a leisure smoke with a traveling monk in orange robes.

 

The highway in Vietnam was lined with shops, businesses, or houses all the way to the border.

My friend the monk
The Cambodia side was a far contrast with mile after mile of wide open countryside and undeveloped spaces. Road construction of several years ago had been completed and our speed was fairly good. By two o'clock we reached the mighty Mekong River. It was one of those landmarks that stirred awe and wonder and its crossing went almost too quickly, enjoying another brief visit with the chain-smoking monk.

 

The $10 ride to Phnom Penh took six hours and terminated near the national soccer stadium. I rode a tuk tuk taxi to the riverfront area and checked into the Tonle Sap Guesthouse. I stayed there before, in July, just around the corner from the Paramount bus station and my next ride to the Cambodian coast.

 

 

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Travel agent in Saigon
Travel agent in Saigon
Student texting in the morning sun
Student texting in the morning sun
My friend the monk
My friend the monk
Student going to class.
Student going to class.
Exchange rates on 15 DEC 2010
Exchange rates on 15 DEC 2010
Vender shuffling into town
Vender shuffling into town
Bananas
Bananas
Tuan Travel, Saigon
Tuan Travel, Saigon
Jet landing at Tan Son Nhaut
Jet landing at Tan Son Nhaut
Cambodian rest stop
Cambodian rest stop
At the Mekong River
At the Mekong River
Mekong ferry
Mekong ferry
Crossing the Mekong
Crossing the Mekong
Vender on the Mekong
Vender on the Mekong
Arriving Phnom Penh
Arriving Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh tuk tuk
Phnom Penh tuk tuk
Phnom Penh
photo by: terminalfunk