Well, we have already managed to break one of the 10 Commandments of travelling in SE Asia- 'thou shalt NEVER travel in a mini van or bus unless it belongs to one of the Top 4 Bus companies' !
We unwittingly allowed our guest house manager in Sihankonville, to book us a trip from there, through to Kampot, which is about 2 and a 1/2 hours away. As it's low season, the larger buses are not plying this route, so a minivan is the most common transport, due to lack of passengers.
We check out of our guest house and climb into the most unroadworthy looking van ever! No problem I think to myself, this is just the 'run around' that is tasked with collecting passengers and bringing them to the main depot.
We continue all over the place, and end up with 4 of us onboard and we continue to travel over pot holed roads, in and out of dodgy beach areas, looking for strapped backpackers, who can only afford the $5 fare to Kampot using this questionable company. The aircon is not working, sweat is starting to drip off me. Finally we make it onto what looks like a major road and yes, you guess it, we turn right heading to Kampot!
There are no actual words to describe road travel in Cambodia, so I began hyperventilating and hissing to Mr Wombat, that this is NOT good and we need to get off. Where? He says, in the middle of a highway? How could we have been so stupid?
Well, the next 2 hours passed in a blur of prayers, closed eyes, white knuckles and by the end, dismal resignation that this heap of rust and it' s driver, that looked like he was 12 years old, was going to be the last thing I would ever see. We spent more time overtaking into oncoming traffic than I care to remember, and after a lifetime, the minivan from hell begins to slow down as we trundle into Kampot. I briefly open my eyes as we enter the outskirts of the city and notice a brand new hospital and make a mental note to tell whoever pulls me from the inevitable car crash, to please take me there!
We eventually pull into a side street, the van rattles to a stop, doors are open and we tumble out.
Yep, we learned our lesson the hard way and will never make that mistake again!!
I had snagged a great deal on Agoda for a deluxe room at a brand new hotel, well, we are the first guests in this room! Beautiful hotel on the river, easy walk to town, lovely and attentive staff, as well as free breakfast each day, bargain!! The trick is to wait until 1 -2 days before your arrival, then you will snap up the best bargains, as rooms are totally discounted in order to fill them. No, this won't work for everyone, especially if you have a favourite place you like to stay, but if you don't care and are willing to wait until the last minute, it is totally worth it.
As a control freak I have struggled a bit with the concept, however, I am absolutely tuned in now, as the savings to be had by doing this are amazing.