So i decided to leave Siem Reap earlier than planned as i wanted to go to this amazing deserted island i had heard so much about Koh Rong Monkey Island…..but as luck would have it a few things stopped me…
Firstly i booked the midnight bus out of Siem Reap as it would be a sleeper bus and a 12 hour journey is always more enjoyable when you are sleeping. So we leave Siem Reap at midnight and just as I’m falling into a deep sleep the bus stops at 4:45am and they kick us off the bus saying we have to wait in Phnom Penh for the next bus. It wasn’t that the bus had broken down it was just the fact this bus was going in a different direction and we had to wait for the bus that we would continue our journey on. Needless to say me and the other passengers were not impressed as we had not been informed of this when we booked our bus tickets. What is the point of catching a sleeper bus for 4 odd hours!!!! We were told the bus would arrive in 2 hours. 4 hours later the bus which was a shitty mini van finally arrives but the driver chats away with friends, has some breakfast and finally after an hour of waiting around for him to do his thing we are on the road again. The driver then proceeds to stop at every corner and pick up some maize crop, some heavy duty machinery, some random on the side of the road and after an hour we have not even made it out of Phnom Penh. Everyone in the mini van was getting angry and i knew that there were only 2 boats to my deserted beautiful island Koh Rong per day and i had to make it by 2pm. It was one of the few times i have lost my temper but i angrily said to the driver, why do we keep stopping, i have a bus ticket to another destination and you are going to make me late. He just said “yes yes” the standard reply in Asia for everything even when they do not know what you are saying. We should have arrived in Sihanoukville at 12pm in the afternoon originally….but finally at 4pm we arrived, too late for me to go to Koh Rong that day.
I was mad but what is the point of getting angry so i found a hostel and checked into that for the night planning on leaving the next morning at 7:30am for the amazing Koh Rong….but again luck was not on my side and when i tried to use my bank card it was blocked. This is not a strange thing to happen when travelling different countries, banks just like to make sure you are protected in case its fraud against your account. So i phone the bank and they “unblock it” and tell me i can use it again in 30 min. In an hour i try again and still its blocked. After 4 telephone calls to the bank I’m so frustrated with them but every time i call they say try use the card in half an hour. After the 4th call i decided i decided to go to bed and get up at 6am to see if my card would work and then i could still catch the 7:30am boat out to Koh Rong. But nope at 6am no luck my card was still not operational. I decided if i wasn’t going to get to Koh Rong then i was going to treat myself to my own room with an air con and a pool. So i spent the rest of that day again trying to sort out my card and finally by that afternoon it worked. There was no point trying to make it to Koh Rong after that as i had signed up for a 2 day live aboard diving which was in 2 days so i just spent the next 2 days lying by the pool and enjoying the pleasure of having air con in my room.
Finally the day of diving arrives and at 7am we head out. The first day we did a morning dive, lunch time dive and night dive and the following day only a morning and lunch time dive. I loved every minute of it and i was really blessed to have an amazing group on my trip. I hired a camera to use diving but unfortunately they diving company didn’t bring any new batteries and the camera lasted for about 5 min before the batteries died.
The one thing I’m totally overjoyed with is that we spotted spotted blue rays which i do not think that you get in South Africa.
After arriving back from diving at 2pm i had booked an 8pm bus out of Cambodia and to Thailand. I loved Cambodia and had originally been planning to stay much longer but my cousin was going to be in Koh Tao (my favourite island in Thailand) and i really wanted to meet up with him for a few days.
To sum it all up….i loved Cambodia but if i had to chose between Vietnam and Cambodia i would probably choose Vietnam. This is a question that always comes up with travellers….. Cambodia or Vietnam. I just felt more at home in Vietnam and there was more of a street life compared to Cambodia. Or maybe it was just that i was tired by the time i reached Cambodia. By no means though am i saying i disliked Cambodia….its truly an amazing place and i am definately glad that i was lucky and blessed enough to see this part of the world.
By Cambodia……….. Thailand here i come again 😉
A few diving pictures i managed to take before the battery went flat….