It’s Friday and today, we’re heading to Vietnam. We rush down breakfast and say goodbye to the FCC Phnom Penh. A minibus takes us to the Giant Ibis Cambodia office, where we transfer to a air-conditioned coach. Once settled into our seats, the attendant gives us a Blue Pumpkin pastry and a Giant Ibis branded bottle of water. He double checks our passports.
We sit in the city’s congestion for well over an hour. As concrete morphs into rice paddies, we pick up speed. I close my eyes and avoid watching vehicles chaotically overtake one another.
At precisely the two-hour mark, we cross a cable stay bridge over the Mekong River and pull into a petrol station. The town’s called Kompung Soeng. Stuffing a note into the clear plastic box outside the toilets, we then compete to get to a cubicle first. The petrol station only has squat toilets, with buckets of water to scoop from and wash down your business once you have finish. A communal sink stretches the length of the outdoor cubicles and offers harsh, industrial soap to wash your hands.