One Day: Sihanoukville to Siem Reap, Cambodia by Bus

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By: leelefever on July 13, 2006 - 9:07am

3AM: Lee wakes up to watch last half of World Cup finals.  Goes back to sleep happy for Italy and wishing bad, bad things for Zidane.

Wake up and pack.
7:05AM: Go to front desk to check out and order breakfast to go.  Find only one worker- a bar keep.  Order is placed as kitchen shows no signs of life.
7:15AM: Take bags to front desk... Food is being cooked slowly, checkout process begins, slowly.  Feel anxiety about catching 7:45am bus.
7:35AM:  Breakfast is done, but no takeaway containers. Must wait for someone to run next door. tick-tock tic-tock.  Finally board the backs of two motorcycles (motos) for the bus station.  Board bus with little fanfare.

8:15AM: Cambodian karaoke plays on the bus TV and sound system.
11:15AM: While arriving in Phnom Penh, Sachi notices a large stream of ants traveling up and down the window on her left as the woman beside me utilizes a third bus-supplied barf bag.  Sachi feels thankful for motion patch.
11:55AM:  Arrive at first bus station in Phnom Penh only to reboard same bus to go to main terminal to catch new bus for 6 hour ride to Siem Reap. Our bus to Siem Reap is full.  Walk to other bus companies, find another 12:30 bus to Siem Reap for US$7 per person.
12:48PM:  Depart Phnom Penh for Siem Reap with an ETA of 5:30pm.  We'll see.
1:48PM: This bus smells like urine and the AC doesn't keep the sweat away.
Lee commences all out assault on bus toilet door, which swings open incessantly just feet from his seat.  After closing it for the 12th time, resolves to find a solution.  The urine smell will be defeated!
4:17PM: Lee breaks a new sweat with each close of the toilet door.  No one seems to appreciate the effort.
5:43PM:  Lee continues to be mocked by the bathroom door and it's rank smells.  Despite fastening a canvas strap supplied by the bus people (a victorious solution), a steady flow of fellow passengers fail to recognize our plight and the door remains open for most of the time.  Grrrrr.  Lee admits defeat in the final moments.
Arrive in Siem Reap and into the typical SE Asian madhouse of tuk-tuk drivers, bags emerging from the belly of the bus and astounding inefficiency.  We take a tuk-tuk to our hotel and retire for the evening after spending 10 hours on Cambodian busses.

By: Casey (not verified) on July 20, 2006 - 8:48am

Hey Sachi and Lee,

 I am still enjoying your site and following your moves. Call me crazy, but the guy driving Sachi to the bus station in Siem Reap looks like the driver I had while touring Angkor. His name was Saak Aan (pronounced Sock On). He was really nice, soft spoken, and took meticulous care of his red motobike. You may not have had much interaction with him aside from the trip the the bus station, but thought I would ask. I have a pic of he and I on his bike, so maybe we can compare at some point. Looking forward to hearing about your adventures. Safe travels...


By: Anonymous (not verified) on July 27, 2006 - 3:50pm
Nice photos and great reading. Thanks for sharing.