For the first time in a long time our travel day didn't begin with an early start! For breakfast, we wandered along the road, back to Barista Coffee, for a coffee and pastry and headed back to our hotel to get the rest of our bits and pieces packed ready to be collected for our bus to Kep. The minibus arrived and we were thrilled to discover it was relatively comfy and spacious for our short 40 minute journey to the coast. However, our delight was short lived when we pulled up next to a rather ramshackle bus in the town centre which we had to change to. The seats were so tightly packed that even Katy struggled for leg room but thankfully we managed to move to a couple of seats right up the back that had a little more space making the journey much more comfortable. The bus carried on to Vietnam and we were glad we weren't doing that part of the journey!
It was a pretty uneventful journey and we arrived into Kep just in time for lunch at Beachside Tacos. After lunch we flagged down a tuk tuk and headed out to Khmer House Hostel, our home for the next 3 nights where we were greeted by Blackie the resident dog!
Our blog starts with the usual getting packed up and going to a bus station (the Post bus this time, it was a flashback for Craig as he used to get the post bus back to Tighnabruich from Dunoon with his Gran Salisbury) however, and I'm not being melodramatic, we thought we were going to be part of the BBC evening news as part of a tragic Cambodian bus accident! It started by curb crawling random bus stops around Phnom Penh to get more people into his bus (he got 5 into the 4 spare seats, so a girl had to pretty much sit on his lap). We think this might be a side hustle to make a little extra money on the way down the road to Kampot. The driver then drove like a maniac as we left the city, swerving from the tarmac to the dirt road (in place of a hard shoulder) to get around traffic and hammering on the brakes as he came back in from another over or undertake. Then, (and Craig had a fiver on a blown tyre) crack! A rock was thrown up from the road and cracked a rear window. It did take everyone shouting at him to finally pull over as tiny specs of glass, increasing in size, started to fall into the bus and onto the laps of those sitting beside it.
After breakfast at the hotel in Battambang we walked across the road to the bus station for our mini-bus to Phnom Penh. The journey was meant to take us 6 hours however, as is becoming standard for bus travel in South East Asia, it was closer to 7.5 hours. Travel days are quickly becoming our least favourite days of travelling, nobody ever tells you how much actual travelling you have to do whilst you travel!
We were thrilled when the bus finally pulled in to Phnom Penh, and we took a Grab taxi to take us to Vacation Boutique Hotel, our home for the next 4 nights. After checking in we relaxed in the room for a couple hours before taking the long walk down to reception to get some dinner at the hotel restaurant.
The next morning we enjoyed a bit of a long lie and headed out to explore. First stop was Yeay Penh (Lady Penh) Statue.
Our final morning in the Hari Residence & Spa was spent lounging in our room, enjoying the space and comfortable surroundings. After checking out and enjoying lunch at the hotel we took a taxi to the bus station and checked in. At 14:00 we set off to Battambang, the journey took 4 hours but we did stop after an hour and a half to have a Cornetto! We finally rocked up to our hotel, The Royal, at 18:15 only to discover that they only had a twin room available. The staff assured us we would be moved in the morning so we unloaded our bags and put our big girl pants on!
As we left Myanmar behind we touched down in Bangkok for a 4 hour layover before flying on to Siem Reap. It was a bit of a penny dropping moment in regards to Coronavirus as hundreds, if not thousands, of Chinese people were in the departure lounge. Most of them were flying to China for New Year and were wearing the surgical masks, we hoped they would be effective as we started to wonder where we could get some from! The flight on to Siem Reap took under an hour and then we were on our way to the hotel for the next 4 nights (we know, 4 nights! That's practically an age compared to 2 nights everywhere in Myanmar!), Hari Residence & Spa. After settling in to the room, we headed upstairs for an early dinner, on the rooftop bar, before heading to bed for our early start the next morning.