01.04.2009 - 01.04.2009
I got a fright when I woke up. It's 6:30a.m.! I jumped out, got dressed and quickly checked out. I am supposed to reach the bus company 15 minutes before 7a.m., so no time for breakfast! I bought newspapers from a walking vendor, thus I am left with 55k Dong as memorablia.
The bus that transported me to Cambodia.
The bus tour guide.
I boarded the bus and was asked to fill in the embarkation card for entering Cambodia, when I realised I lost my pen again! The bus ride was interesting enough, with a guide introducing some of the places that we passed by. But what's even more interesting is the immigration clearance. After 2 hours or so we arrived at the Vietnamese customs. We took down all our luggage for scanning. Seems like the Vietnamese does the scanning of luggage for the Cambodians. After checking our bags, we pass our passports to the guide, and he passes the whole stack to the officer at the counter. The officer will then chop the whole stack of passport without even looking at us and then return the passports to the guide. The guide will then call our names one by one, return our passports, and get us back onto the bus.
And with that, we officially say bye-bye to Vietnam.
Then, at the Cambodian border, we alight the bus, bring our passports to an officer standing by the side of the road. He looked at our faces one by one, then looked at the passport, and then let us pass. He will then bring the passports somewhere to be chopped, return them to the guide, who in turn return the passports to us. Amusing. Just hope that the guide is not a crook.
And with that, we officially say hello to Cambodia.
Scenes along the way to Phnom Penh...
Another 3.5 hours and we reached Phnom Penh. Just like Vietnam, many motor riders crowd up immediately to get passengers. I went over to the office to get a ticket to Siem Reap on Friday. Then I walked to the missionary home, which is where I will be staying for the next two nights. Its location is very near the city centre, and quite easy to find as the streets in Phnom Penh are quite organised. On a map, the vertical roads are all odd-numbered, while the horizontal ones are even-numbered.
Welcome to Phnom Penh!
I reached there around 1p.m., and Vern showed me to my room. Very nice place! There are 2 kingdom halls downstairs, and they are going to have chinese meeting tonight! So finally I can hear some Mandarin! Had some lunch and went out for walk around 3p.m. I walked past the royal palace, and strolled along the water front. After that just wandered around the city, tried some local snacks, and made my way back after 5p.m. to prepare for 6p.m. meeting.
TV show recordings at the water front.
Streets of Phnom Penh...
Does this look like Digi?
Surprise, surprise! The chinese congregation is made up of 100% Japanese. Despite not all of them speak good Mandarin, it is much easier to understand than the Vietnamese I have been hearing all week! Had a nice chat with Vern and Rossana later at night, and then its bed-time.