As said in my past blog entry, we arrived Ho Chi Minh via Cebu Pacific at around 2.30am. What we did in our hotel for was just sleep for the night and to shower. We also had time to avail our free breakfast buffet in the morning, then off we go to the bus station going to Cambodia.
The difficulties of the trip started the moment we checked in our hotel. We have to pay extra because we only booked for 2 persons online--which is something typical here in my country. Here, we can book for two, and just force four or five of us in one bed, or sleep on the floors (haha)! But in Vietnam, they were strict with the policies. So those were excess money that should have went to my food, just went down the drain since we checked out as early as 7am! ;p
Second difficulty encountered for the trip was talking to the cab driver/s. They couldn't understand where we wanted to go to (Bus going to Cambodia)...Good thing there were kind citizens who butted in our attempts, a kind Vietnamese guy who can understand English served as our interpreter. Booking for bus tickets weren't a breeze also, since there were schedules for each trip. My friends were good with these things, they handled everything while I watched out for our belongings (which were also a difficulty to lug around ;p)...and also people watch! :-)
Everywhere, you can see people wearing their salakot, a cute triangular hat that looks like a house roof. =) And the streets were flooded with motorbikes galore! Even ladies in skirts ride their bikes! :D It was hard to cross the street, but they always give way! =)
Bus ride was ok, since I was prepared and I expected the 12-hour trip. But what made things uncomfortable was, in the middle of a cool bus ride, the aircon just broke down! We traveled a loooong heated hell-hours of a journey. It was traumatizing!!!!
If you noticed in the last photo ^^^, I already removed my skirt-turned dress! ;p It was so hot we all put our hair up, I even spread Pau Liniment, a liquid topical solution used for headaches and muscle pains, on my head and neck. Instant aircon! ;p Haha!
Our bus also rode a roll-on roll-off thing to cross a body of water, along with other people and vehicles. We also crossed the borders of Vietnam-Cambodia, and had to go to their immigration. It was a big hassle, actually, because of the heat that shamed my dear ol' Manila's. Our patience was put to a test! ;p
When we finally reached Phnom Penh in Cambodia--we had a break in an airconditioned restaurant (although with the heat, they have lots of restos that weren't air conditioned). We fell in love with the Mermaid restaurant, because of the server's hospitality, the good food, plus you can even smoke inside! :D Monkeys and elephants walking around the streets became instant entertainment, too!
Through another bus ride to complete the expected 12-hour travel, we reached our destination late night time already. Siem Reap Cambodia was love at first sight. Our tuktuk driver became our regular driver for the rest of our stay there, and our hotel (Somadevi), became my favorite amongst the 4 hotels we stayed for this trip. :-)
Late late dinner for hungry girls! :-)
Oh the sanctuary a hotel offers. :-)
Nice bath + Good food =The Good Life! =)
For the rest of our stay in these countries, IndoChina proved to be a haven for the foodies (and coffee-addicts like moi! =)).
PS: Will leave house again today to watch Dashboard Confessional concert tonight. I am totally broke I want to cry, but then I received these e-newsletters I subscribed to:
GodWhispers via Bo Sanchez:
Don't give up. Life rewards those who persevere.
I promise you that if you don't give up, ultimately, you will find that open door. It has been waiting for you.
Your Door Opener,
P.S. When the going gets tough, the tough get going. Ana , I made you tough.