Red lights in Phnom Penh

“We’ll be staying in Phnom Penh’s Red Light District,” announced our guide Zoom Zoom with a suggestive raise of his thick, black eyebrows.

Zoom Zoom’s words weren’t immediately made clear in my travel addled brain. After nine hours, two squatty potties, and 320 km of jolting across pothole-ridden dirt roads to make the trip from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh, all I wanted was a hot shower and a nap.

The public bus which boasted an on board karaoke set up pulled up at one of the city’s transport terminals. Stiff bodies unfolded after hours of being crammed into seats and dozens of feet scrambled to escape the metal box full strangers’ stale breath.

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Cambodia: Angkor Wat at sunrise

I make an effort never to rise before the sun does. I could definitely be a morning person if the morning happened sometime around lunchtime; that would 100 % be my absolute best life situation. Alas it does not so I am doomed to forever stumble downstairs just after 11am, reaching blindly for some form of cereal while simultaneously attempting to wipe the sleep from my eyes.

So it is easy to imagine my displeasure when my Cambodia on a Shoestring tour guide, Zoom Zoom, announced that we would meet in the hotel lobby at 4.45am to make it to the Angkor Temple Complex to see the sunrise. Continue reading