well i am now safe and sound in cambodia, after a eventful trip across.....
the bus we booked onto basically ripped us off by promising a large air con bus, however we got a small non air con bus packed to the rafters with people sitting on the floor for good measure. the bus took us from saigon to the border crossing. we were first off the bus and grabbed all bags etc and headed off for the visa / passport checks, in an attempt to be first in the line. this plan worked very well and we were through the vietnam side of proceedings quickly enough (10 mins per person) so we set off on the 300 metre walk across no mans land - we werent in vietnam but werent in cambodia so i have no idea where we were. the check point / entry is being built so there is rubbish everywhere and the heat had started to take effect so we were sweating by the time we reached, what can only be described as a 'hut' which was the crossing. after another 10 mins signing various bits and pieces we were in and headed down the dirt track to where we were told the bus would be waiting.
when we got there there was no one insight apart from a friendly taxi driver. the tour guide eventually turned up, minus a bus, and said that we wasnt sure if it was a big or small, with or without air con bus. we had already waited for 45 minutes and still no one had turned up so i asked the taxi driver how much to take us to phnom penh, as a laugh to pass the time. to are complete surprise he said you can rent the car for $10. so we jumped straight in and enjoyed a 2 hour taxi ride straight to the guest house we had been told to go to, all the way in air con comfort and listening to bob marley. last night we saw two people from the original bus to the border and they said that the bus was worse on the cambodian side and that it took almost 5 hours to get here - what a result!
the backpacker area is strange as it is situated around a lake, so when you sit out on the decked area you can forget that you are in a big city as the noise etc doesnt effect you. also the streets are small and close together with a surface made up of rubbish and grit, its a bit like a getto. the first night in cambodia was spent with dans (drunken dan the RAF man) mum who now lives over here. so she showed us round and introduced a few people she had helped and one brillant thing about last night was that the hostel is right on a lake, the west side of which the sunsets over - the colours were amazing and i took about 10 pictures. we stayed in the hostel despite the fact that the first room we rented had a rat in it, so we moved rooms and last night discovered a family of frogs in the bathroom - who strangely enough go mental when you spray them with water.
yesterday has been spent at the killing fields, which was got to on the back of a bike on the worst road i have ever been down, where due to pol pot about 2 million people were killed by cutting there throats. they had skulls piled as far as you eyes can see and it freaked me out abit. all these countries (laos, vietnam and cambodia) have had such terrible war crimes committed against them (all of which involved the good old USA in some capacity) and yet they are all so generally nice people. here they dont even try and rip you off, which is strange and a first on this trip. also it seems that it is more expensive here, you have to pay in dollars so i think its the fact that you hand over 1 instead of say 15,000 so it makes it more real.
i have booked my ticket to go south to Sihanoukville, saving myself a buck by leaving at 6.30 (it all helps) in the morning, so after tonight i will be back to travelling by myself. i am unsue of how long i plan to spend down there but it looks like i can go from there to battambang, thenn to siem reap instead of having to come back to phnom penh and then heading northwest. anyways i will keep you informed.
off to watch the movie - ''the killing fields'' about the war