Phnom Penh to Siem Reap

We woke up early in Phnom Penh and walked twenty minutes to this wonderful bakery for breakfast. I am all about desserts and very into baking so seeing everything they had was so exciting!

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We had a filling and sweet meal and even got some snacks to take along for the long bus ride we had to look forward to in a few hours.

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Definitely a delicious start to the morning. On the walk back we encountered some beggars. The city is almost overwhelming with so much going on around you every second, it’s a lot to take in – the scene at bus station was no exception. There were people everywhere, some trying to sell suitcases full of all sorts of things from sunglasses to medical masks (to protect people from dust) to jewelry. Because Emily and I are white girls, we were the first targets of the hopeful salespeople. People pushed by with luggage and packages. Buses came and went as did crowds of people.

I loved seeing this, just how chaotic even the power lines were:

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We used the Capitol bus company for our 9 hour ride to Siem Reap. The bus ride was pretty uneventful except for two stops. The bathroom situation was an adventure with basically toilet bowls on the floor and a bucket of water to clear it out. Lunges definitely came in handy for that kind of low squatting. We also grabbed lunch, which was this crazy spicy curry noodles. The rest of the bus ride we slept, ate snacks, talked, planned, and listened to music. Luckily the buses had interesting music videos from Thailand, South Korea, and Cambodia playing on the TV so we could laugh at the drama within each one.

Some views from the bus:

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As we approached Siem Reap, we asked the driver to stop so we could hop off before we got into the main part of the city because tuktuk drivers overcharge people coming directly off buses at the station. The only problem was that we were then lost. We stood on the side of the dusty road with all our bags, unsure of where our hotel was. Emily waved down a tuktuk driver and asked if he would take us and he laughed and said it was too far – suddenly he was too busy to work. We found a grocery store advertising free wifi but they said it wasn’t working when we asked for the password. The woman working there told us the hotel was close but didn’t know how to get there. This is when the phone number of the hotel would have come in handy, but it wasn’t on our printout receipt, only the address was there. I won’t lie, I was definitely nervous in this moment. Before we got too stressed though, a tuktuk driver pulled over and asked if we needed a ride. He knew exactly where the hotel was and because it was so close, he didn’t even charge us!

The hotel was way nicer than we expected – our room was beautiful with two big beds and it actually had a real shower with a curtain! We got a ride to Pub Street, the big tourist area in Siem Reap that’s full of restaurants, shops, and markets. We had  a delicious dinner, looked at the old market, walked through the night market, and then got a fish foot massage. The fish massage is basically climbing up and sticking your feet into big tanks of water full of these specific kind of fish that eat your dead skin. The fish nibble away and it tickles like crazy!

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Our feet were incredibly smooth after and felt so good, it was definitely worth the tickling. We sat there for 45 minutes enjoying it.

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