Tues 29th May: another early get up and somewhat hurried breakfast of scrambled egg and bacon, juice, bread and jam, fresh fruit and tea/coffee. That was all included in the daily rate at Masada of $35. It wasn't bad either! We walked down the track to the main road for just before 8 and naturally the bus turned up late at about 8.45! And the Liverpool/Manchester couple were on the bus tools it had started out in Kampot.
The journey to Phnom Penh was pretty uneventful, just over four hours and some rain along the way. Mostly it was flat and rural with the odd settlement here and there.
At PP we said goodbye to the north westerners and went to the bakery at the nearby Lucky supermarket for lunch, savouries and apple crumble for $1.50 each. Then we got a tuk tuk to our next hotel, the 240 on 240 Street! This is a more upmarket place in a more upmarket area near to the Independence Monument, at the rate of $45 a night, so we're pushing the boat out now! That's $27 a night or $54 NZ!
The room is quirky as the bathroom us up seven steps, so a type of mezzanine level bathroom that overlooks the bed. We've TV, DVD player, FOUR bottles of water this time and the usual air con, fridge, wifi, and also tea/coffee. It's a boutique hotel that was recommended by David at Masada and has good reviews. But we could only get it for two nights so we still need to find something for the last two nights here.
After a shower and generally doing nothing much we went out with our map to look for another place for Thurs/Fri. We have the use of the pool at another 4 hotels close by affiliated to the 240 and I knew one was full already so we tried to find the other 3 to look at! Well, the map we were given is useless, the streets are in the wrong place it don't exist! We looked in the shops etc nearby, mostly boutiques or ethical trade shops, a far cry from the more typical Cambodian shops we've seen. This area is apparently popular with expats and NGOs. We found some dinner options for later too and a fab chocolate shop and French bakery. But we resisted temptation!
We eventually found 2 of the hotels we were trying for; 1 was overpriced and the other didn't have an obvious entrance (we're close to the prime minister's residence and some embassies so some streets have barriers across them with guards and it's not very clear if you can access them).
We are at Freebird very close to the 240 - set out like a bar but with good food (Mac had a big bowl of chilli that came with side dishes of spaghetti, cheese and jalapeños and I had prawns with Kampot pepper and rice for $5.50 each; beer $1 a glass from 3-9). Service was great, we were given big dishes of free nuts and popcorn with our beers. The decor was like a tribute to all things rock, a bit Hard Rock Cafe-ish and the music was rick oriented but low enough to have a conversation. It was a surprise find!
After dinner we found somewhere on Street 19 that had cheap beer so brought some back to the room and watched the last Harry Potter film (again) on DVD.