My First Cambodian Night Bus Adventure

First impressions of Cambodia: it’s pretty, drinks are cheap and they have lots of Western food options (a god send when you’ve survived on noodles and soup for the last 2 weeks).

After leaving Myanmar I was sick of site seeing and incredibly, insanely sick of temples (yet I chose to arrive in Siem Reap, land of the famous temples…). All I wanted to do was…nothing…just nothing. So, for a good 4 days I spent my nights on Pub Street and my days in the pool and it was glorious. Day 5 I ventured to Angkor Wat, which of course was impressive and beautiful…but I knew it would be and you knew it would be so I won’t bore you with the details. Here’s some photos.

What I WILL go into detail with is My First Cambodian Night Bus Adventure because it was…well…memorable.

I’d heard horror stories of close sleeping quarters and tourists spotted with broken collar bones post-bus ride so was relieved to have a Stranger Friend to travel with. Unfortunately, I had to postpone my bus ride due to an untimely case of food poisoning (nachos in Cambodia was not the smartest life choice) so I embarked on this adventure solo.

I clambered (yes, clambered…the aisle was so small you had to slide through sideways) onto the bus and made my way to my bunk. I had the top bunk which was about shoulder height…with no ladder.

Now, anybody that knows me or has attempted to take one of those “artsy” jumping pictures with me knows that I cannot jump. At all. However, I somehow managed to Kungfu Panda my way up there to find a Cambodian man in a SARS mask. Oh hey cuddle buddy. The bunk was the size of maybe 3/4 of a single mattress so me and Cambodian man (Cuddle Buddy) were shoulder to shoulder, hip to hip on our little bed. He seemed comfy enough but of course my head was pressed right against one wall with my feet halfway up the other. Apparently I’m too long.

I managed to fall asleep but was woken up by the driver slamming on the breaks and driving over excessive amounts of potholes. I should add that there was no side rail on this bunk of mine so I was being aggressively (very aggressively) tossed about, holding onto the mattress for dear life so as not to be flung to my death into the aisle or into my sound sleeping Cuddle Buddy.

To further add to this adventure, let me describe our first bathroom stop (because pamphlets describing toilets on buses lie). It was THE. WORST. BATHROOM. I have ever been in. I’ll admit I sometimes exaggerate but I am in no way exaggerating when I say there were HUNDREDS of giants moths and grasshoppers swarming the thing. In the air, on the walls, on the floor, in the squatter toilet…Everywhere. I tried to…you know…be brave and just pretend they weren’t there so I squatted to start peeing.

THEY FLEW ON MY LADY BITS! all up in there!

Oh Hell No

I couldn’t handle it. So, (I’m slightly ashamed to say this but actually not really) I stood up and just peed on my feet. Flip flops n all. And that, my friends, was My First Cambodian Night Bus Adventure.

–Update: I am not the only one with night bus concerns. Here’s a photo of some Australian Stranger Friends demonstrating their similar sleeping arrangement.

Australians Cuddling

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