Britt's Southeast Asia Summer Adventure 2004 travel blog

Britt sharing food with Local Village Kids

Preparing to depart via Speed Boat

From Siem Reap we took a bus bound for Phnom Pehn. Enroute we met a group of 5 students all getting their MBAs in Singapore. They too were headed for Laos so we got off the bus a little over half way and made our way to the Lao boarder as a group of seven: 3 Portuguese, 1 Isralli, 1 Italian, and now 2 Americans. This was definately not the typical route for most backpackers. We managed to get a ride to where we wanted to go. Ry shared the front seat of the "Asia" van with the driver and a Cambodian mother who spent most of her time nursing her baby, or sleeping against him. Meanwhile, everyone else was crammed in the back with a few Cambodians even hanging out of the open side-sliding van door because we were so packed. We thought for sure the driver was going to either bury the van in mud or one of the wheels was going to fall off. One stretch of the road we were literally going 5 miles an hour for over an hour because the potholes were SOO monsterous; we could have run there faster. It was a blast though. We spent one night in Kratie and the following morning took a speed boat to the Laos border.

The boat trip was intense. Three hours in the fetal position flying up the Mekong as our boat planed the riverwater beneath us. We were both pretty nervous for the first half hour (and Ry's very comfortable with boats and the water). I was sure we were going to sink or flip, but afterwhile we felt pretty comfortable with everything. We flew by trees and all kinds of other obstacles that protruded from all parts of the river. Every hour or two, we'd stop on a small beach for a quick bathroom break and to get out and stretch our cramped legs and backs. Usually helmets are provided with such boats, but our driver must have been a pro because we were not given helmets and were short a life vest. It worked out great though, and we're grateful for the experience. It was definitely a thrill.

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