A hell of a bus to Phnom Penh
9 Jul 2006
|Crossing the Border to Cambodia
We were scammed. Sylvein (Frenchman) and I left Don Det with $22 tickets all the way to Phnom Penh. Departing 7:30 and arriving 9pm. The trip was to be in new air conditioned mini vans and a couple of short boat trips. We doubled checked that the mini vans would be good quality and were assureds that they would be.
We expected to be held up at the both Laos and Cambodia borders and to have to pay Bribes to get through but that was OK. Cambodia must be the most corrupt country on earth.!!
We had a good van until the last boat crossing and then the bus that was to take us the next 9 hours arrived. It was disgusting, dirty, broken and had no air conditioning
unless you count the doors that fell off when opened
and the uncontrollable windows.
The seats were broken
and the back door held on by tape and rope.
We were not happy!! It was not that we couldn't handle a ride in such a vehicle as most of us were seasoned travelers who had done worse. The issue was that we were promised a good bus. We had bought tickets from a number of different agents on the Islands so they all are at fault. There were 12 of us.
We protested and got told to stay behind if we didn't like it. So having no choice we climbed into the van with a few locals thrown in the back and on the roof.
The road was bloody awful, full of potholes that you could lose a small cow or large pig in. We were bumped and battered around for hours in seats that had come completely off their mounts. At the dinner stop the only thing available to eat was boiled eggs. Not Happy
At 9pm we arrived in Kompong Chan and were told to get out of the van as it was still 3 hours to Phnom Penh and the driver would not take us there. We had to stay at this Guest House. Ones temper cannot last much longer than ones bum and mine was sore. So with some very assertive bargaining we managed to get agreement for a free bed, taxi to the bus the following morning and our bus ticket to Phnom Penh paid for.
I was tired, grumpy and filthy. Look at the state of my blouse
We found a restaurant that was open so we ate and the English owner told us that we had been taken on the back road and that there was actually a sealed highway all the way from the border. They take us that way because it is shorter distance but takes 3 hours longer and they then don't need to take us all the way to Phnom Penh. I'm not sure of the logics of that. But I was not very happy. And the French lost the football that night so my French mate was doubly unhappy.