25 Dezember 2007

Christmas is for everyone!

We did it! We reached Cambodia!
After our trip back to Trang, we spent the day in a cafe next to the railway station and waited for our train to depart. One at a time had the opportunity to stroll around, shop some stuff and have a closer look at the market - the other one guarded our luggage.
That train was unexpectedly cheap (20$ for a 16h-ride) and comfy: We had booked a sleeperwagon, so at 7pm our seats were transferred into a bed, in which we slept brilliant until the next morning. I was the last one in the wagon to get up, and short time after we arrived in Bangkok.
A nice woman from the visitor information advised us, that there was a train leaving towards the boarder at lunchtime, so we stored our backpacks near a bench and played the same game as in Trang: One guards our stuff, the other one discovers the surrounding.

The train to the boarder was pretty crowded, 3rd class. No worries, we survived it, and found a nice guesthouse in Aranya Prathet, the boarder village. In fact, a tuk-tuk driver found it for us.
Tuk-Tuks are motorcycles towing some sort of wagon, in which the tourists are seated, and are called tuk-tuk because of the wicked sound of their two-stroke-engines. Tuk, tuk, tuk, tuk, tuk...
The drivers either take you to the guesthouse you tell them, or they drive you somewhere, where they get the highest commission for doing so. You always end up somewhere, and usually the place is clean and cheap.

The lady from that guesthouse arranged a bustrip for the next morning, to Phnom Penh, capital of Cambodia. So we stood on the street in time, but waited for the bus for maybe 20 minutes, until it pulled up. We went to the embassy, to arrange our visa, and then straight on through the boarder.
In Cambodia, our nice lady told us, that the bus was gone. She threw us into a tuk-tuk, with which we tried to catch the bus... but no chance. After 15 minutes, we pulled over, our driver gave up. Another travel agent arranged a taxi for us, more expensive, of course, but - did we have a choice?

Well, not too bad, the two of us and the driver in this taxi to Phnom Penh. But I thought wrong. After 2 minutes we parked near a cafe, and waited. Why? We didn't know, the driver didn't speak English, and it was a long struggle to tell some salesman to ask this driver what we were waiting for. He told s something with 6 people, and a painful light began to dawn...
Correct - we were waiting for 4 more passengers! 7 persons and their luggage squeezed into this little car, we had a pretty uncomfy ride to Phnom Penh and were glad to reach it safe, after our driver had shocked us with some damn dangerous overtaking maneouvres.

Another tuk-tuk brought us to another random guesthouse, which accommodated us for 2,5US$ each. The staff was friendly, we had satellite TV and the food was really yum - we decided to come back after Sihanoukville.
But first, we went down to the beach, the next day. This time we reached the bus in time, and had a carefree journey to the Sihanoukville bus terminal. This time it was a motorcycle, which found a guesthouse for us, and we knew: This would be the place where to spend christmas.

Next day, we explored the market, and afterwards, while I was reading DaVinci Code, Isabel prepared our room for the evening - with palm leaves! Oh, it looked so lovely, once she had finished, the presents wrapped up in the leaves as well. Terrific, for those limited possibilitys she had!

In the evening, we went out for some noble dining, and after our return we unpacked our gifts, were happy and tried to feel like on a christmas evening. Hard, when the fan is humming and the sweat running.

We decided to stay up a little longer, to call our familys at their christmas eve, which happened to be at 2am the next day here in Cambodia. Unfotunately, we had to experience, that a 24hr-internetcafe isn't open at 2am in the morning! Weird. But well, so we did it the next day. No worries.

Sitting out on the veranda, we mixed a beans-corn & tuna salad, and feed the rest of the fish to the guesthouse cats - christmas is for everyone. Merry Christmas!

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