My last day in Cambodia was a tough challenge because we had to make our way back to Phnom Penh. We went to the bus station in Siem Reap and waited for vans to take us to a location big enough for the actual buses to wait for people because the station in the main part of the city doesn’t have streets around it big enough to support the chaos of multiple buses. Once we found our bus, we got our seats and were happy to find it comfortable considering we were going to be on it for almost ten hours. This bus ride was harder for me than the last because I still wasn’t feeling so well, better than the night before, but definitely still sick – never good for a day on a bus. It was relaxing though and felt like a final goodbye to drive through the country and see everything one last time.
On the bus we met a nice guy from Holland who was traveling alone around Southeast Asia and had just come from Thailand. He talked with us a bit and identified with us more than others on the bus because we were really the only other westerners on the bus. When we stopped for a lunch break, we all ate together. I stuck with plain white rice for this meal to keep my stomach at ease. We stopped again a few hours later at the same place we had on our way to Siem Reap – it always feels good to return to familiar places. Though after that stop, the ride seemed to drag on and on as we got more delayed with traffic. I don’t usually mind traffic too much, but after feeling sick on the bus for close to ten hours, I was more than ready to get back on land and have some time to hang out before going to the airport.
Eventually we made it to the station in Phnom Penh and it felt good to be back there too. We took a tuktuk to our hotel – Emily bargained hard with the driver for a low price. We went back to the hotel where we had stayed our other nights in Phnom Penh because although I was going to be leaving, Emily and her friend Alice would stay there that night. The three of us decided to walk to dinner at a cafe we had gone previously. The walk was stressful because a lot of traffic surrounded us in the darkness and crossing roads in those circumstances creates a challenge. The scariest part of the trip happened during this walk when the three of us crossed a less busy road and suddenly a motorbike swerved in front of Emily and me, almost hitting us, and then Alice screamed behind us. My first thought was that she had been hit by the motorbike driver and I turned around nervous to find out what had happened. The driver hadn’t hit her, but he had tried to steal her iPad right out from her hand – the iPad that also held her passport. He had grabbed it, but luckily in the struggle dropped it, causing it to land on the ground in front of her. Unfortunately, the screen did crack some, but nonetheless it wasn’t stolen. Phnom Penh has such an infamous problem with theft, so you have to be careful. Alice said she walked around with her iPad out instead of a purse because she thought not having a purse could make her a less easy target, but maybe not.
We made it to the cafe and had a quick dinner. I barely ate anything because I felt incredibly sick at this point. I was ready to go to bed and sleep it off, but I wasn’t going to be seeing a bed for a long time. We went back to the hotel and I packed up everything one last time as we hung out and joked about things on Facebook that people posted. Emily got us a tuktuk to take me to the airport – the ride felt significantly longer than I had remembered going from the airport to the hotel the night I arrived. We found my airline and I checked in, I was happy to have the premier line because of my status. Emily and I said our goodbyes and hugged before I went to security. We were both sad I was leaving because the trip had been so fantastic for both of us. Because of my status with Star Alliance, I was also able to go into the Asiana lounge, making the airport visit much more enjoyable. I took a nap in there (by accident) because my flight kept getting more and more delayed. Though, eventually some time after midnight I made my way to the gate and was greeted by an airline representative who asked if I was me, I said yes, and he handed me a first class ticket! I love free upgrades!! The more you travel, the more perks you can get from traveling.