Our morning started with breakfast at the Pavilion. Uncle was waiting for us when we emerged with our bags in tow. He had been so patient and accommodating that we thought it fitting to give our business to him on our last journey.
The journey to the bus station though turned out a little more harrowing than expected. One moment we were trundling merrily along Sisowath Quay, the next moment traffic came to a halt and a figure of authority in uniform waved us into a side road, along with other vehicles. There was obviously some kind of public event up ahead. What would happen to our bus ride?
I called the bus company on my mobile phone and got Uncle to speak to the staff. He eventually explained that the bus to Phnom Penh would depart from another location nearby and that, under the circumstances, the bus company would wait for latecomers. Despite the reassurance, I had my reservations. The smaller side roads were jam packed with all manner of vehicles trying to escape the road block.
through the streets of Phnom Penh
glitz amidst the muck - Phnom Penh in a nutshell
two's company, three's a...
Finally, we pulled into a carpark of sorts where the Mekong Express bus was waiting. As it turned out, we weren't the last to arrive which was a relief.
Uncle and his chariot
We transferred our luggage into the underbelly of the bus, said our goodbyes to Uncle (and greased his palm of course), and still had time to twiddle our thumbs and take in the view, such as it was.
reading the papers
We finally got underway, 45 minutes late.
inside our lunchboxes
the host with the most
The journey was a comfortable, uneventful one, punctuated only by a meal or two.
Arunras Restaurant in Kompong Thom
the lunch crowd
We stopped at THE restaurant in Kompong Thom, the pitstop de rigeur on Highway 6, and had us a bowl of pork noodle soup each.
pork noodle soup
Some of our fellow passengers though had other ideas. They went next door to the local provision shop and bought themselves local treats instead.
Siem Reap and The FCC Angkor
By the time our bus drew into the Siem Reap bus park, we were at least an hour late. We had a free pick up by our hotel of choice, FCC Angkor, and the friendly member of staff was beside herself, waiting for the bus to appear. We were whisked off to the hotel, courtesy of the hotel van, and one welcome drink later, safely ensconced in the Tamarind Room.
ooh, comfortable bed
royalty on our walls
spot our welcome drink
oh that bathtub
even the laundry bag was cute
DIY name cards
FCC Angkor came highly recommended by an architect friend and we could see exactly why she liked it. It was designed. Take the bathroom for example. A twist of the handle and water gushed down the black wall in a waterfall, right into the tub. Neat.
Dinner at Khmer Kitchen
Dinnertime found us back at an old favourite.
lemongrass tea, hot and cold
pork larb, if I recall correctly
yet another baked pumpkin
After dinner, we did a spot of shopping before stopping by the Blue Pumpkin for some masala chai and coconut sorbet and ginger nougatine.
traces of Angelina
cashing in on the postcolonial experience?
a Tony Bourdain-inspired scene?
not enough tourists perhaps
goodysaurus, what a name
Our evening ended in style, with a dip in FCC Angkor's super stylish pool.