Happy Chinese New Year, Phnom Penh

Trip Start Jan 02, 2011
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
Top Banana Guest House

Flag of Cambodia  ,
Monday, January 31, 2011

Another restless 12 hour bus journey. The red dust and dry air from the buses conditioning system constitute to an unhappy morning! The toilet breaks were by the side of the road for everyone to squat in fields. Slightly nervous and excited about Phnom Penh, it has been 3 weeks since we were in Bangkok, our last major Metropolis.

Made it to Top Banana, a great Guest House! There is a really good rooftop bar with nice views of the street below. Straight onto the beers to unwind after the journey, and that was the pattern for the rest of the evening! Freddie and Maria, who were already in Phnom Penh, came to meet us along with Lee, Michelle and a Scotish lad called Rickle. This would turn out to be our Phnom Penh crew.

Luckily Jamie woke up early as there was a deadline for Vietnam Visa applications at 10am because of Chinese New Year. Lee and Michelle had to backtrack 12 hours to Phnom Penh from Ban Lung to find an ATM before entering Laos, decided to alter their plans and come to Vietnam with us. The 2 had become 4! We chilled at the Guest House enjoying the luxuries of a city.

Jamie suffered during the bus journey and was in need of a massage so he went to 'Seeing Hands', which is set up for blind people to train and earn money through massage to keep themselves self sufficient. It was an amazing massage for a worthwhile cause and would recommend it to everyone. Went to the russian market to purchase some new replicas and later Lee shaved Jamies head (not too short thankfully)! Our crew went clubbing Cambodia style ending up at 'Pontoon' and 'The Heart of Darkness', terrible music but an interesting experience! Got talking to a bar maid during the evening and she told us how she supports her family through her job on only $60 per month, when she ideally needs $10 a day so her younger sister can go to school. Its heartbreaking considering she is probably one of the majority in Cambodia in a similar situation.

Lara and Michelle chilled at the guest house and the neighbouring swimming pool whilst Jamie and Lee ran some errands in Phnom Penh. They had a great time exploring the city by simply drifting around. Just 2 guys on their own, they were offered sex multiple times. When interrogating the perpatrator they discovered the girls were only 16 years old; a very sad and frustrating fact.

Later that night we endulged in a takeaway pizza and watched a film in the chill out space at the guest house. We also sorted out our transportation for the morning to Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam. We said our goodbyes to Maria, Freddie and Rick and were sad to leave Cambodia behind. It has had a lasting effect.

31/1/11 25 quid
1/2/11 38 quid
2/2/11 35 quid
3/2/11 32 quid

We have been away now for 1 month and have worked out our budget and savings to be:

Total Spent 998 quid
Total Saved 72 quid
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Bethan on

Can't believe you've replaced me with another Ginge!! Ha! I miss and love you as always xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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