Living Like a Hobbit In the 60's....

Trip Start Jan 21, 2013
Trip End Mar 16, 2013

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Flag of Cambodia  , Khétt Preăh Seihânŭ,
Tuesday, February 12, 2013

We decided to opt for the 1 hour flight to phnom penh in Cambodia, instead of the 12 hour bus ride, it seemed like wise choice. Travel in foreign countries isn't easy, and especially in Cambodia where the choices are limited, there isn't a railway service as of yet, and the choices are to fly, take a okay bus, take a less than okay bus, or sometimes a boat, but that entirely depends on where you want to go. And finding out how to get there isn't a walk in the park either, so welcome to Cambodia. We land and go thru customs to get our 30 day on arrival visa, we come prepared with our passport picture, the next guy in line, gets the " where is your passport picture...hmmm, you don't have it, that will cost you extra" He frowns. It always pays off to do a little research first. We discover right away that Cambodia is not the land of smiles...very stern and serious faces greet us as we approach the counters to get our passport stamped. This country has been thru alot, and the wounds are deep, and it still shows.Our journey starts right away as we get into our cab. " Bus station please" our driver.."Yes, Yes, I know.." i feel confident and pleasantly surprised how smooth our day is going so far. 15 minutes later he pulls up in a privately owned bus company with some rickety buses out front and I feel my self sigh and know I have a long morning ahead of me. I say" No, the public bus station please" He grunts and backs off and gets on his phone to talk to his boss, and then hands the phone to me and I try to explain to a man who speaks absolutely no English as well the same thing i am trying to ask my driver. Our driver pulls up in a bus stop that has a night bus leaving at 630 is now 9 am....ahhhh" NO Public bus station...You know?" He says" NO, this is bus station, you get out" I say "No, public station, and don't move an inch out of his cab" Carla by the way is quiet, trying to not laugh, and is swatting small mosquito's which were flying all inside our cab. He is not happy with me..but I stay strong and i refuse to get out. The last thing I need right now is to be dropped off in the middle of Phnomh penh and have to start this process all over again. He finally backs out and drives us to a public bus station. cursing and saying things i luckily can not understand the entire way. I smile and get out, pay him, and grab our bags, and thank him, he seems happy to get rid of us.The bus ride was a mini van, not my favorite way to travel since they seem to love to fill it with about 13 people, and a few small children in a van that is suppose is suppose to seat about 10. and of course their is no bathroom, and he will stop when he is good and ready to stop, usually about 30 minutes before you are almost at your destination and by then, whats the point., and they play Asian videos so loud that sleep is not an option. But other bus was full! This was it. Luckily our bus that day was only filled with 11... Our 4 1/2 hour ride took 6, that actually sounds about right, if you traveled here before you know exactly what I'm talking about...nothing takes the time you are told it will. Traveling is the best lesson in patience who will ever be taught to learn.we will be spending the night in small beach town called Otres Beach, which is about 15 minutes south of the much busier,and seedier big town of Sihanoukville. We will spend the night and take a boat to our first island , Koh Rung about 2 1/2 hours in the Andaman sea south of Cambodia, towards Vietnam. This island is known for being like Thailand used to be on its remote islands..quiet, inbuilt up, and beautiful white sand beaches surrounded by that turquoise blue water,,,yes, that is what i am always searching for.Our accommodations for the night are bungalows across from a beach shaped like mushrooms, yes, mushrooms in a garden with trees and little private outside bathrooms shaped like baby mushrooms too. Everything has a mushroom theme, including the shape of the bar stools, the lamps, and yes, even the menu. It was like living like a hobbit in the 70s. Our hobbit bungalow had a circle shaped bed, so it fit perfectly in our mushroom house, and covered with a large mosquito net . A little shelf around the bed for our belonging to keep them off the floor to prevent any unwanted critters from catching a ride in our backpacks.This whole beach area had a great vibe, and had a great hippie feel to it. The beach had choices of great places to chill out with lounge beds and hammocks, and restaurants and bars with all day happy hours offering beer for .75 cents, off from the regular price of $1 a beer, and joints that you could buy for $1.50, along with happy herb pizza. mushroom shakes, if you really wanted a mellow day. Don't worry mom, your daughter still gets drug tested at work, so I'm passing and choosing the banana shakes instead.We have a BBQ seafood dinner on the beach at the mushroom restaurant, with our feet in the sand and lanterns in the trees above our heads. The chairs are round , the bartender is shirtless, only wearing some beach shorts and a braided beard. The music is mellow, just as a mushroom place should be with a Cafe Del Mar theme soundtrack, and a waiter that sits down in one of the chairs beside us to take our order. Things are very mellow here. We order two Angkor Beers in Toast....We are in Cambodia .
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Sarah on

The story about the cab driver is hilarious! I can only imagine trying not to laugh while listening to you tell him that it's not the right place. The mushroom theme is so cute! So very hippie too! I bet you have a wonderful tan going on right now! I am as white as a ghost! Love you!

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