PHNOM PENH. unless you are keen to learn more about the history of PolPot regime, it has nothing much to offer. maybe i dint give credit to the royal palace, silver pagoda, national museum and the likes. to be fair, we weren’t interested enough to go into any of them. fiona and i just wandered around the city and visited the central market in half a day. we were so bored that we ended up spending hours in a cafe (the blue pumpkin!) with free wifi, connecting with our friends back at home.
our main purpose in phnom penh was to go to TUOL SLENG GENOCIDE MUSEUM, which is well worth a visit. not a highly sophiscated museum. but that’s what makes it so real. just simple and raw – old photos of victims lined up on the wall in the classrooms (used as the torture chamber), skulls stacked in cabinets, simple boards to tell the stories… it’s appalling to see the atrocious acts led by one man whose ideals were so screwed up. torturing and killing millions of his own people for reasons beyond my comprehension in this day and age. such senseless loss of lives. unimaginable. unforgivable. depressing!
so, whats the story with the ride? we had to return to siem reap to catch our flight back home. tot we would pay more for a comfortable night ride. USD15 for a sleeper bus seemed reasonable. the guy at the counter promised us proper bed, blanket, toilet and no stopover (warning: DO NOT go to paramount angkor express bus co.). i’m not a fussy traveller but when we got up the bus, fiona and i looked at each other and burst out laughing, for the condition was a joke.
3 rows of narrow bunk beds occupied the width of the bus. i was assigned the top bunk of the “window seat”. the so-called bed was as wide as my shoulder. had i been any taller, i would have to bend my legs to fit. the aircon was blowing straight at my face the whole night. what blanket?! shivering in my tee and shorts, i took out my clothes and towel, and piled them on top of me. luckily i dint leave my bag in the bus storage. i even changed into my jeans under the towel! in the dark of course. :) last resort – i stuffed a plastic bag in the vent. then water started dripping… i was hanging on to my dear life as the bus sped and bounced thru the bumpy road in the dark night. what sleep?!
the bus stopped so many times along the way to pick up locals who just sat on the ground. i rather be sitting on the ground, to be honest. 6 hours on, i was still hanging on… are we there yet?! this has to be the worst ride of all my travels. never again am i going to put my life at risk like that. to think we even paid premium to travel in style! hah! i’m so glad that we survived to tell the story.
siem reap. phnom penh. cambodia ♥ 15 – 20 december 2011