A Day in the Life,  Cambodia

22.5 People + Cargo in an 11-seater Van

Having not had the Internet for the past few days, we didn’t research our next leg from Sihanoukville to Kampot very much. After the 2.5 hour boat ride we had a Tuk Tuk driver pick us up and we told him to take us to the bus terminal for buses to Kampot.

Once we got there, he drove us straight up to a minivan. We read about these “milk run” vans before and were instantly hesitant. It was awkward as we really didn’t want to buy the tickets and no one spoke good English. Emma went to check around the terminal to see if there were big buses to Kampot – usually safer and more reliable than the mini bus. Turns out there really aren’t any just like they told us. The Tuk Tuk driver asked us why we didn’t believe them just as I was thinking that the presence of corruption makes visitors paranoid and distrusting of even the nicest people.

After deliberating, we reluctantly bought the tickets at $6 each. Then we had 2 hours to kill or so we thought. We bought some cup noodle soup and after an hour and a half in the smoldering heat, a minivan arrived.

Emma waiting in the heat

This was our bus! Yay, it wasn’t a scam. There were two seats and he packed our bags among some durian and fish in styrofoam boxes.

The journey should have taken two hours. After 45 minutes of driving around Sihanoukville and picking up more and more people and random goods, we wondered what we had signed up for. Once there were 17 people and goods stuffed anywhere, everywhere, we finally seemed to head out of town.

The driver was on the phone, then some quick exchanges in Khmer and the van did an 180 degree turn back where we came from. At a service station we stop to pick up three more people; tourists with huge backpacks.

The guy starts unloading the back to fold down two more seats and then begins to tie rope through the shoulder straps of everyone’s bags. It is now that we decide to get out and grab our bags to put on our laps instead of leaving the TWOGREENBACKPACKS fluttering in the wind hanging on a rope. Finally we leave Sihanoukville a second time, this time 20 people and a baby in a 11 seat minivan.

On the way to pick up 2 more people.
On the way to pick up 2 more people.

Believe it or not about 20 minutes into the journey, we pick up one more guy, then sacks of bird food, then a woman, then boxes of stuff, until finally we are 22.5 people in a minivan with no A/C heading East to Kampot.

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