July 14, 2017, Friday
Woke up at 5:00 in the morning to prepare ourselves, packed our things and had our last breakfast at Meraki Boutique Hotel. Then, we went to the office of Giant Ibis to wait for the bus which will take us to the Vietnamese border and then to Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Our departure is scheduled at 8:30 am and we met fellow tourists who will be boarding the bus with us.
On our way, upon nearing the border of Vietnam and Cambodia, the bus attendant asked us to pay $3 for the processing of our passports for the Vietnamese border exit – so we don’t have to go to the queue ourselves. After waiting for almost 30 minutes, the bus attendant returned our passports and we were ushered out of the building.
Since part of the bus fare is our snacks – the bread and bottled water seemed to be sufficient for us, so we opted not to leave the bus when it stopped at a nearby restaurant. It was really hot outside so enjoying the AC of the bus seemed to be the best choice during this time.
Afterwards, we traveled to another building where our passports will be stamped upon our entry to the Kingdom of Wonders – Cambodia. Then we continued traveling to its capital city – Phnom Penh.
We reached the capital at 3:30 in the afternoon. And the following sights greeted us, as we arrive at the capital.
We were hoping to reach Phnom Penh before 12 noon so we can board another bus to Siem Reap – our supposed destination. But since we arrived way past the supposed time, we have decided to stay at a nearby hostel so we can travel early the next morning. We booked our tickets for the next day and then decided to look for a hostel where we can spend the night. While looking for options, a message came and we were informed that Tita Magda’s daughter will fetch us from the bus station so we can stay with them for the night. It was an unexpected blessing. 🙂
We had a 30-minute ride in a tuk tuk (the basic form of transportation in Cambodia) and we have seen both paved and unpaved roads. Heavy traffic is usual in the roads and streets of Phnom Penh since traffic rules are not followed. While traveling, we were enveloped by dust because of road constructions underway.
All our worries and tiredness disappeared when we entered and toured the villa where we will stay for the night.
While touring the villa, we met Kuya Paul and Ate Ianne , a missionary couple working in the spiritual field of Phnom Penh. It was nice to hear stories of their missionary work and tips on how to stay and live in Phnom Penh so we can avoid accidents and scams.
We were really blessed to stay at Tita Magda’s house in a secured villa for the night. We met fellow Filipinas who are English Teachers in the different schools in Phnom Penh. And we enjoyed their funny and challenging experiences in teaching the English language to Khmer students. It was an enjoyable night full of laughter and stories.
The next morning, we woke up early so we can travel back to the bus station for our journey to Siem Reap.
It was time to bid Tita Magda goodbye. Even though it was our first time to meet and see her and her family, we really felt welcome and at home. We are really grateful to have met her during our brief stay in Phnom Penh and her generosity will forever stay in our hearts.
The next blog diary is about our trip to Siem Reap.
Photos (c) are from the fb pages of the tour members.