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Phnom Penh from Siem Reap

By boat!

We decided to go to Phnom Penh by Speed boat, which infact was more like a fast long boat but what a journey it was fantastic! It wasn't cheap in relation to other modes of transport but if you've got a 6hr journey ahead would you do boat or bus?

We got picked up from our hotel at 6am by a mini bus for 9 people and there were two seats left in the front and two in the back, perfect for the four of us, I joked to the guy next to me that we could fit two more in....famous last words!! We trugged along the dusty pothole road for five minutes and stopped where we saw two huge stocky guys with bags to match waiting......for our bus. We wondered who was going to sit on the roof or if we had to sit on each others laps. I think the guys were Polish and they were not impressed at squeezing into the bus with no seat to sit on only the metal floor.....seriously - this happened. After a few more minutes and some moaning from everyone inside we stopped 'ok you get food now' we were told and a girl came to the bus asking what we would like to buy. The Polish guy started to shout at the driver "WHY ARE WE HERE?" With no response he shouted again. Nothing happened we were left at the cafe for 15 minutes.....until a Chinese guy arrived who had also booked a ticket. He had to get in as well, talk about sardines in a can- it was really cramped and the driver knew it - he kept getting out and checking his tyres! We arrived for the boat at 830 when we should have caught the 7am!

We arrived safely though and the journey was soon forgotten when the boat started. We sat on the roof and the boat picked up speed - I have to say it was brilliant - the wind in your hair and the hot sun dampened down by the breeze - I thought this will give me a good tan!

We passed lots of water houses and locals fishing in their boats with their children who waved with enthusiasm as we passed. I can't say enough that this was the best way to get to Phnom Penh despite one muppet who blogged it was too expensive and boring! Rubbish!

When we arrived we all looked like we had just been frazzelled .....major sun burn! Maggie had a burnt face and knees, Chloe had a burnt face and Ellen was like a lobstar! I moaned at Maggie 'you should have worn suncream' I told her but I hadn't put any on myself. I put on a brave face but to be honest my knees were burning and so was my face! By the evening we all, except Ellen, had swollen faces from the burn. So it was an early night with lots of after sun and Maggie had a wet towel on her head like a turban.

In the morning I went to reception to make a phone call, I managed to get through to the guy to organise a trip with Blazing Trails a Quad Bike firm but couldn't focus as a fat old London English guy was shouting to the receptionist "THE GIRL I HAD IN MY ROOM LAST NIGHT THAT I SLEPT WITH - ROOM 202 - HAS TAKEN MY PHONE!' Due to the language barrier he had to repeat this again and again with hand signals.....hands together by the ears for sleep -- not hands by hips girating-- and finger and thumb for phone. Girl was a gesture of long hair....but I had the man on the phone trying to talk to me so he had to keep repeating what he said. Anyway it turns out the London guy had booked a prostitue for 7pm to 8pm - one hour - no love you long time - and she nicked his phone while he was alseep. Hilarious! Now I saw the girl the night before and she was young! I can't say how young because the girls look young here anyway, but there is a lot of child exploitation. So I figured - in Cambodia - not with an English Law head on - maybe this guy deserved what happened. There was no shame of shouting about the prostitute he had, more upset that his phone contacts were gone. How is this - so its common knowledge about the sex trade in Cambodia, there are signs in the hotels not to exploit but this guy is upset he can't call .....god knows! Another thing is the staff knew who she was but kept their mouths shut. It was quite funny really and went on for a long time.

We made our way to Tuol Sleng Museum where 17000 people were tortured between 1975 and 1979 and an estimated 3 billion murdered at the Killing Fields. I couldn't take any photos there it was so sobering and didn't seem right. There were photos of each person taken to there and pictures of them after they were tortured. I won't go into detail but it was really shocking and sad that this happened not so long ago.

Tomorrow we are going to the Killing Fields.

Sunburn has gone down now and so has the swelling. However, I have to mention that Chloe and Maggie have the best goggle marks I have seen for a long time! Mind you if Chloe reads this, which she will, she will put on here that I have a Homer Simpson vest now so I have put it on for honesty. If you don't know what that is - im not explaining it!

Posted by Vicky Bailey 09:15 Tagged sea boat sunburn tuol_sleng_museum

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