Crazy to think that’s I’ve already done a whole days’ worth of stuff and it’s only 10am!
To read about what I did before 10am, click here – you’ll want to read it, it’s much more exciting that what I did after 10am!
So, it’s 10am and I just came back from temple hopping for 5 hours.
I was hot. I was sweaty. And I was smiling ear to ear!
Especially considering the rough couple days – hell, the rough couple of weeks really – this morning was the perfect thing to snap me back out of it.
After a quick breakfast I headed back upstairs to get ready for my 11:30am departure.
I purposely gave myself ample time because I knew when I’d get back I’d be all hot and sweaty plus my stomach was still doing, ah, things.
I took care of both counts and by 11:30 I was fresh and ready to get on with the next part of the day – getting to Phnom Penh.
Phnom Penh is just over 300km away and even though Google says it only takes 4 hours to get there that’s not even close to being accurate.
The travel time I was quoted was 6 to 8 hours. I love how there’s a two hour window in there. You see, the road between the two cities is almost completely under reconstruction.
It’s almost an entirely dirt road with potholes and every once in a while we have to maneuver through a detour because of a half installed new sewer pipe in a big hole in the middle of the road.
God knows how long the construction has been taking place but I will say it doesn’t look like it’s going to be done anytime soon.
I chose to travel via VIP bus on the Giant Ibis bus lines for $15 instead of the other options at $7 and $10.
The bus line delivers wider seats with more legroom, free wifi on board (although ours never worked), movies playing non-stop on the big screen up front, air conditioning and a couple of pit stops (one half hour and the other 10 minutes).
It was actually a pretty comfortable ride considering the condition of the road and I was very happy with the decision of bus I had made.
They even sent a shuttle van to the different accommodations to pick us all up and bring us to the bus station. The bus wasn’t scheduled to leave til 12:30pm but the shuttle van picks up anywhere from an hour earlier so I had to be ready and waiting in the lobby by 11:30.
The shuttle finally came by just after noon and whisked myself and 4 others from our hostel to the bus station.
Sadly the four others were four of the people who were in the dorm room I had left a day earlier because of their trolldom (new word!) I was just praying for two things – not having to sit next to any of them on the bus and please, oh God, please, don’t be going to the same hostel or, even worse, same dorm room as me in Phnom Penh.
I was fine with the seating but the guy from Canada was going to be staying at the same hostel. This is the same guy who was complaining about how much Sihnoukville is just a party town for 18-20 year olds and then proceeded to go out drinking with that aforementioned group every night while in Siem Reap.
Whatever dude – you suck.
We arrived in Phnom Penh at 8pm after 7 hours on the road.
Now onto the fun part of the evening…
In just over a year during about 6 months of travelling I’ve stayed at 66 different accommodations – a mix of hostels, guest houses with a couple of hotels thrown in.
Tonight I stayed in two more.
The first one lasted about 20 minutes…
I had booked and prepaid for two nights at Me Mates Villa hostel here in Phnom Penh for $20 total. The place has a bar/restaurant in the front lobby and right next to it are two doors labelled 101 and 102.
I remember thinking I better not be in 101.
Well, you know what happened…
After taking forever to check me in and me having to repeat every question I asked because he wasn’t paying attention, he led me through the door labeled 101.
The room was 12ft by 12ft and had 3 bunk beds in it. No room for anything and I was also assigned a top bunk which I really, really hate. Oh, and there was no power outlet near my bed so I couldn’t charge anything.
After he left I sat there in my bed, the only one in the room, and I instantly starting playing through my options.
If I left here I wouldn’t be getting back my $20 as I had prepaid and there was a 24 hour cancellation policy. Did I really want to leave a hostel and search for something else at 9 at night?
I decided I would tough it out – after all, it was only for a couple of nights.
And then the booming music from the bar came booming through the walls.
Ah, no – this ain’t gonna happen.
I quickly logged onto Hostel World, checked other places here in Phnom Penh and packed everything up. I went to the front desk, told them I didn’t like it here and I was leaving. I collected my $10 room key deposit back and left leaving a the guy at the front desk literally speechless.
I grabbed a tuk tuk and went to my new home – Camory Backpacker’s Hostel.
While I was still in a top bunk the room was spacious and there was no bar on the other side of the wall.
I met a french man, Antoine, and we went downstairs to the restaurant to have dinner together. It was actually nice talking to him because it gave me a chance to practice my rusty french and he had a chance to do the same with his English.
Our conversation was kind of funny because I would speak to him in French and he would answer in English.
I opted for another popular Cambodian dish – the, ah, pork chops with apple sauce, vegetables and mashed potatoes.
Ah, authentic Cambodian cuisine…
Before I knew it, it was on verge of 11pm and I was one tired puppy as I had been up since 4am, done 5 hours of temple hopping and ensured a 7 hour bus ride. Yup, it was a long day, but well worth it.
Now, about the rest of the trip…
Originally when I had set out on this adventure I had planned to return at the end of April. In fact, the tagline 101 days in Asia at the top of the page is the number of days from when I left til April 30th.
Of course as the trip progressed I slowly expanded the trip and for awhile now I had kind of set the end of May as my ending point instead.
Well, I found out this week that, Amy, the girl who has been subletting my place in Vancouver has possibly found a place of her own with a roommate for May 1st.
What does this mean? Well, it means I won’t have anyone paying the rent for me in May and if I want to travel for that month it will cost me alot of extra money to do so.
I’m not mad at her. In fact, I’m very happy for her. She’ll finally have a place of her own and sure she technically has had her own place the last few months but it isn’t really your own place til you sign that lease and move in your own furniture.
I can’t really blame her for looking for a place, especially since she has a roommate lined up as well. It’s not fair for me to keep her hanging on waiting for me to say – okay, I’m coming back now – get out! If the roles were reversed I would have done exactly the same.
So, here’s what’s going to happen…
I’ve cut out the planned stop in Sihanoukville I was going to go to in a couple of days and, instead, I’m going to fly straight to Bangkok.
And then I have just over a month til I return home.
In the next few days I’ll figure out exactly where I’m going to spend the next 4 weeks and the timetable I’m going to be on.
Off the top of my head I see Bangkok, Phuket, Bali, Kuala Lumpur and Japan in my future.
Not a bad month!