Friday, October 12, 2012
Grateful thanks to all at Shinta Mani hotel in Siem Reap for looking after my every need for the past couple of days. It's a classy hotel, modern in its design with comfort paramount including a bed to die for. The hotel re-opened just a few months ago after a two-year hibernation and a re-fit. They've done a cracking job. Back on the road after breakfast, by minivan, for the 5 hour drive to Phnom Penh. Sat next to the driver in the front seat, gear-stick between my legs, sun in my face the whole way, no leg room to speak of, hot, sweaty and the driver had that typically Khmer habit of overtaking into oncoming traffic without any sign of fear and his hand permanently on the car horn. I on the other hand could be found winching most of the time. At least we didn't murder a dog this time. The traffic outside of the capital was appalling as everyone was leaving and heading for the provinces to celebrate Pchum Ben this weekend, but the road-widening made it far worse. Great idea to leave the busiest road in the country in such a crap state as the tourist high season approaches. Great planning. I was back at my work desk by 2.30pm, having left Siem Reap at 9am. Judging by the mass exodus, I expect the capital to be very quiet this weekend, as it has on previous bank holidays. It'll be good to have a rest from the incessant seal-style clapping and "tuk-tuk sir" that I hear every time I step into public. Even the tuk-tuk drivers who know I refuse to use tuk-tuks, shout it out. As if I don't know they are there, and as if I'm going to change the habit of a lifetime. Not a hope in hell guys.