Our journey from Vientiane (Laos Capital) to Phnom Penh (Cambodian Capital) was an interesting and frustrating one! On 24th May we had our first experience of a "sleeper coach". These have mock double beds lined along each side of the coach, two stories tall. Unfortunately, there are three of us, and I drew the short straw. This meant 10 hours in a very small double bed with an elderly Lao man, with bizarre facial hair. Mid way through the night, I woke up and he had changed for an overtly gay Lao man. Urgh!
Upon arrival in Pakse (southern Laos), we had a 2 hour wait and then a 3 hour cramped minibus ride to the 4,000 islands - the Laos-Cambodia border. There is only one bus per day from Laos into Cambodia, and it leaves at 8am. Therefore you must stay in one of the tour operators guesthouses on the border…clever eh?
On 26th May Matt, Ian and I left at 8am on a boat to another island, had a 1 hour minibus ride to the actual border and sorted out our Cambodia Visas, at a very informal visa office, which wasn't more than a labelled shed.
It was shortly after this that we began to understand the Cambodian transport systems, which we had read were "unreliable". The whole day was supposed to begin at 8am, and finish (in Phnom Penh) at 5pm. We eventually arrived (with 19 people squeezed into our 13 seater minibus) at 10:15pm.
However, after finding an excellent (and cheap) guesthouse, we settled into a city - and country - that we would enjoy very much…