After taking advantage of the hotel pool for an hour or so, we ate lunch at a local restaurant and boarded a Giant Ibis bus towards Kampot. We were heading to Southern Cambodia to the coast.
There are several means of transport, from moped and motorcycle, tuk tuk and taxi, minibus and coach. We had decided on the coach to Kampot, a three hour journey from Phnom Penh where we were spending a night before continuing on to the coast.
The bus was a good call, plenty of room, air conditioning, water and a snack all for £10 each. We sat back to enjoy our first sights of Cambodia beyond the city.
It took about forty five minutes to get out of Phnom Penh and once we were out, the true sights of Cambodia began to emerge. It reminded me of travelling through Central America as the road was lined with small shops and eateries.
The road was busy and driving seemed a little chaotic as honking was used frequently as a warning to overtake or to move over or just because.
Before long we saw a duck truck, a truck crammed with ducks heading off to market. The ducks (like the local dogs) looked quite healthy and happy despite their inevitable fate.
Following the duck truck we ran into rush hour, Cambodia-style as we passed by a factory which we assumed was creating fast fashion for European markets, my reality.
Truck after truck of workers standing in open pens were leaving the factory. Packed head to tail, it was reminiscent of the tube in London rush hour as the workforce funnel in and out of the city.
These workers wore Fendi, LV, Gucci, Burberry in a variety of hues as they stood in the afternoon sun shielding their eyes. It was a far cry from the predominantly black palette of London workers.
Of course it opens the debate about cheap labour, living wages, fast fashion and sustainability. None of it is ideal but I wondered what these people would be doing if they weren’t working in the factory so perhaps providing work is valuable to the local economy as long as they’re paid a fair wage.
We continued on arriving into Kampot in the early evening where we checked into a hotel in an converted Art Deco cinema and had a chance to explore a little of Kampot by night.
Kampot had a vibrant backpacker youthfulness about it as European expats had arrived and never left.
We saw the Durian roundabout (an homage to the most horrible smelling fruit with an acquired taste) before discovering a multitude of charming cafes and restaurants along the riverside.
And then, with another adventure ahead, we called it a day.