Motorbike mayhem and a room without a view

Trip Start Sep 15, 2012
Trip End May 01, 2013

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Where I stayed
Royal Inn Boutique Hotel

Flag of Vietnam  ,
Saturday, December 22, 2012

Taxi picked us up at 4.45am and sped to the airport in fifteen minutes so we were there in plenty of time (usually takes forty minutes).

Another sober plane journey which was uneventful apart from Paula trying to subdue Marcus's stories of plane cabins. We soon arrived in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) with a couple of hours spare until our bus transfer to Cambodia, or so we thought. Over a breakfast of Vietnamese soup we discovered we had to be at the bus office for 10am (to collect our reserved tickets otherwise they'd be cancelled)  and it was now 9am and we were sitting in a restaurant at the airport arrivals lounge.

Outside Vikki negotiated a fare with a taxi, in we got and towards the city we sped, unfortunately straight into major traffic, gridlocked! We arrived fifteen minutes late but apparently that was good enough to collect our tickets and with three hours to kill we went in search of a bar, dodging guys selling city tours and a tuk-tuk; we'd just had a drive in a taxi and Vikki had to show him how to use his Visa machine.

On our 70's inspired coach, with iridescent peach pelmetted curtains adorning the windows, we were served non-vegetarian food - Paula had double (keep counting those calories Tash) and when we reached the border we regretted paying an extra $5 each to be fast-tracked through immigration as the process actually took longer than it should have, we watched average Joe go through the line as we waited, bemused.

Cambodian visa obtained, we crossed the border and stopped for a mid-afternoon snack, only we weren't hungry and we needed cash. Directed by our tour guide towards two awaiting motorbikes, we jumped on the back to be taken to an ATM, only our riders took us to two separate ATMs and Vikki had a small panic attack when Paula didn't show up after her. Paula, carrying all of the bank cards, managed to do everything wrong. Without Vikki's astute guidance, she used the wrong cash card and only withdrew a paltry sum, thus incurring the maximum possible bank and ATM charges humanly possible from one machine transaction. Meanwhile Vikki had been abandoned by her motorcyclist, who had rode off, and was stood with no money and no means of getting any. A short while later Paula showed up on the back of her motorcycle and Vikki's driver returned to an irritated welcome.

Back on the bus, and after a short time we arrived in Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, and soon realised that our hotel was at the other end of town to our drop-off. At this moment Mr Bora stepped in; $4 for a tuk-tuk to our hotel and $18 to hire him for a whole day of touring tomorrow, deal done!

Checked into the hotel and discovered our room had NO WINDOWS whatsoever, despite the cell like qualities we settled into watching the Muppet Christmas Carol and all was good with the world............
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annewardell on

Sounds like great fun was had by all!! xxx

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