Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Rendezvous-ing in Phnom Penh

No handgun allowed on buses... thank goodness!

The 830am bus ride from Siem Reap was arduous, no thanks to some sections of the highway that disintegrated. Reaching Phnom Penh at 3pm, we all were so glad to get out of the coach and into our comfortable hotel - The IndoChine2 at Sisowath Quay. As we had a total of 7 bike boxes/suitcases, we took 2 different bus companies so we would not have to pay ridiculous surcharges of US$5 per box.

It was really nice to be welcome so warmly once again and Miss Yabee saw to it that we were properly and comfortably settled in. Chris and Coleen arrived from Singapore earlier and it was great to rendezvous with them at the hotel. What I love about IndoChine2 is how bike friendly they are. There is safe parking at the back of the hotel and our boxes/suitcase are stored in their huge store room. The hotel rooms too are very clean though simple. At US$25, its unbeatable value for money. O yes, breakfast included too.

The excitement of the upcoming ride got everyone attending to the most important order of the day - assembling our foldies. All of us wasted no time to do this and some preferred to do so in the streets. Needless to say, this attracted lots of attention. I was the last one to put together my Bike Friday Expedition but then again, I have had lots of practice so it was no drama.

We met my lovely young Cambodian friends for dinner and we ate together at the riverside restaurant, Titantic. They offer the best views! It was nice to catch up with these kids who I have known for the last 10 years when they were poor orphan kids. Now, they are bright university students who are so full of life and vigour. They brought us to the Night Market and more of their friends joined us!

All of us went on for a pre-trip massage in anticipation of the long and dusty ride ahead to Takeo tomorrow. The Islands Spa never had so many people come at the same time, more than 17 folks - our team + extended family and friends.

It was great to rendezvous in Phnom Penh and most of us could not sleep well due to the excitement of the start of our epic ride!

Photo credits - CW

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