“Some people complain about the “dancing road” from Poi Pet (Thai border) to Siem Reap, but my groups so often say it was a fantastic experience of a life time. Yes, the road is bumpy, but have you taken a good look outside and noticed the countryside that you’re passing through?
Have you noticed rice fields, with some being harvested and some being planted? You won’t see this side-by-side anywhere else. It’s due to the extremely fertile land, caused by Tonle Sap River that flows back into itself once a year – a natural phenomena!
And what about the plastic shallow sheeting with water inside? It’s there to catch crickets – a tasty cuisine in Cambodia. You should try some when the bus stops for our next comfort break.
Houses on stilts, you won’t see many of these in the cities. The stilts protect the houses from flooding, but look below and you’ll see that the locals also use the shade underneath the house for storage, husking rice and to relax on a bed away from the glaring sun.
Along the roads, look out for the variety of transport. Trucks crammed with people, family wagons with a tractor engine at the front, motorbikes with sometimes as many as 5 people on them – see how many you can count next time. And motorbikes carrying animals – sometimes two large pigs or nearly 20 chickens hung upside down and strapped across the back of the bike.
Smile or wave to the locals as you pass by and your greeting will be returned by a huge, warm Cambodian smile. Even children running excitedly after your bus will be waving energetically!
So yes, you could take a flight, it’s quicker and convenient, but look at what you’ll be missing out on. A one-off local and cultural experience of country life – surely that’s worth surviving 4 hours on a bumpy road?”
* photo by Dan Whiting – Intrepid Photography Competition