The Trip from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh – 29 December

Some key things I’ve learnt about travelling by car across Cambodia:

  • An ability to horn drive is mandatory
  • Agility and experience with your stirring wheel is essential to meet the ever present need to surf elegantly past pot holes
  • You must accept that the driving experience is not too dissimilar to taking on a principal role in an early eighties computer game
  • Dare yourself occasionally to watch the road ahead as your chauffeur enjoys exceeding the speed limit on the wrong side of the road, whilst taking on the nerves and pluck of the driver of the truck closing in on you – it will only intensify your relief and pleasure on arriving at your selected destination
  • The view from your air-conditioned chariot is so worth making the decision not to fly feel great, for the landscape is expansive and peppered with
    • palm trees
    • exquisitely simple, wooden stilted housing
    • miles and miles of paddy fields – either water-logged, encountering harvest, or having a rest
    • motorcyclists carrying an abundance of cargo – from slightly too many family members, through to home furnishings, to several post-living livestock of the pork variety
    • and waving, smiley people

And finally…the road from Siem Reap for the first two hours is like Heaven, the remaining three hours – Hell.