Don Det was where we said farewell to the StrayAsia tour guides. From that point onwards we’re reliant on public transport.
We travelled the first leg of the journey (a mere 12 hours) with two Kiwis – Bin and Diborah (translation Ben and Deborah) and Louise who was from Sweden (no translation needed). We stopped for lunch at a roadside diner where we were offered a choice of dishes each of which was simmering away in a large cooking pot
Chicken with rice had been a firm favourite on our travels so that’s what we chose again. After a couple of spoonfuls I discovered a couple of surprising ingredients, namely a mosquito and a chicken foot! Still lacking the courage to try these local delicacies I stuck to the rice
We arrived in Phnom Penh around 10:00 p.m. and then began our quest for accommodation. After a tuk-tuk tour of three different guesthouses we asked for one with a pool. The tuk-tuk driver took us to another guest house which had no pool but instead had a pool table, I guess it’s the thought that counts. We ended up heading back to the first guesthouse where we booked in for three nights but only stayed for two after witnessing a travellers’ nightmare, the theft of a gold necklace
Bin and Diborah headed out for breakfast and returned to discover that Diborah’s gold necklace had been taken from her bedside table. At first the hotel staff flatly denied it until Louise found it in a bucket full of cleaning materials in the hotel laundry. To make matters worse this all happened on the morning of Bin’s birthday and they’d arranged to spend the day sightseeing but didn’t get out of the hotel until lunchtime and still had to find somewhere to stay. Ironically one of the activities Bin had lined up for his birthday was firing some heavy duty machine guns, so he’d got rid of some of his aggression by the time we met up in the evening
Not surprisingly we checked out as well and headed to Hotel9. What a difference. So much so that we’ve just booked ourselves in for another week!