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Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Ming aka Saigon via overnight bus

Also getting Visa for Vietname from Phnom Penh

overcast 25 °C

You know what no matter how many times I can plan something that can make that 'thing' to be such a simple task something usually happens to put a spanner in the works. We found out we could get a night bus to Ho Chi Minh leaving at 1230am arriving at 6am so all we had to do now was get out Visa. I checked out the prices online and within the local hotels that arrange it so we had enought money. We got up early to do the visa one, now the Vietname Visa is an easy one to get and should be in and out with half an hour. We arrived at 845am dropped off by the tuk tuk about four minutes away the other end of the street. Got into the building and there was hardly anyone there - brilliant - shouldn't take too long I thought. I spoke to the official behind the desk who asked me when I wanted the visa and when I said today he grinned and said $15 dollar extra. Now my research was 45$ for express.....he pointed out a sign on the wall.....60$ he wanted and you do not argue with any government official so 120$ for me and Chloe which meant I was 10$ short. Thats ok, I thought - ATM should b here so off on my ATM mission.

After walking about a mile we had already tried two which did not have a connection - all told it took an hour and another tuk tuk ride to find an ATM. There are so many ATMs in Phnom Penh but none by the Embassy - typical.

The good news was that we got our visas and back in time for breakfast. We then spent the day wandering around the markets until 1230 am when it was time for the bus. By this time we were very tired indeed so we sat patiently on the squished bus where there is more leg room on a Ryanair flight. All our seats were taken by strangers so they weren't impressed when they were asked to move.

By 1am two drunken loud Lithuanian lads got on, we still hadnt left, and sat infront of me. Sometimes I feel like I have a radar on me when using any public transport. On flights - all screaming children sit infront of me and all the loud seat grabbers sit behind me. The guy infront then leant his chair right back banging my knees. Great! I thought - we hadn't even left and I was guessing that I wouldn't be getting any sleep. We actually left at 2am (1.5hr late) and they turned out the lights and the lads infront piped down.

The next thing that happened was the bus drivers associate turned on his walkman phone which not only played obscure music but also every ring tone and message notification tone. I couldn't take it any more and went down to speak with him. "Please can you turn your music off - people are trying to sleep" "No - music help people sleep". Bloody idiot - well he did turn it off - for five minutes then it was back on again with avengence.

The bus had a cracked front windscreen and side windows. Not the best of journeys especially when we arrived at 10am and our hotel wouldn't let us check in.

Today we took a cyclo which is a bike with a buggy on the front. We negotiated a price of 100 for 1 hour then half way round my driver slapped me across my shoulders and shouted "200 1 hour" we had another discussion about the first negotiation. After half hour we got off and gave him 100 which he put in his pocket and pulled out 10 and accussed us of not giving him enough. Getting a bit fed up of all the bartering and the scams people try to pull off here. You really have to be on your toes and be switched on all the time.

A positive note is the food is amazing, there are places to eat everywhere and it is cheap - really cheap and good. The people work really hard trying to get customers and they run across the street to get you to eat in their restaurat. When youre sat down you get approached from book sellers to jewellery sellers trying to earn a living.

One thing I have found most puzzling across Cambodia and Vietname is the amount of women that walk around in the day in their Pyjamas - they do- and it makes me chuckle.

Tomorrow we take the train to Nha Trang so an early morning 6am.

Posted by Vicky Bailey 03:03 Archived in Vietnam

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Pyjamas... hahaha...

by automidori

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