A stopover at the Mad Monkey in Phnomh Penh, Cambodia

After another draining and unanticipated day of travel via a morning ferry from Koh Rong to Sihanoukville and five hour bus back to Phnomh Penh (complete with me JUST making the impatiently waiting minibus), I jumped in a tuk tuk toward my destination – the other Mad Monkey hostel. The tuk tuk driver was very friendly and offered to take me to see the killing fields the next day. I would perhaps have accepted – but I was only going to be in town for the absurdly short time of one night due to my abrupt new plan to go to Thailand. I also found the streets to be pleasant enough and not the hectic mayhem I had expected – but that night I would only have time to enjoy my comfortable private room for a brief nap before joining everyone in the busy hostel bar.

Despite this evening being another case of absolute exhaustion (day after day of constant travel had provided me with no opportunity for energy recovery), I had accidentally timed my stay well as it was a Thursday and so the night of the weekly pub crawl that raises money for Cambodian schools. I ended up having a very merry time with the travellers there at the several bars to which we went and was somewhat sorry to only be staying one night.

The next morning I woke with an upset gut and feared that this would be this trip’s bout of illness. But I managed to consume some delicious banana pancakes for breakfast at the hostel’s restaurant, and by the afternoon was feeling almost right again; the bout was blessedly short-lived.

As I checked out, the folks I had met the night before were there and ready to relax by the pool. A German I had been hanging out with the night before greeted me, and with the news that there had been a bombing incident in Thailand, where I was about to unexpectedly head! Not much I could do about, I said – I had just booked all my flights and changed all my plans to go there! It also transpired that one English gentleman was on my flight to Bangkok, so we shared a taxi to and from the airport (and a painfully long wait in the queue at Bangkok airport – not helped by that day’s lingering stomach upset).

My stay in Phnomh Penh was brief but the hostel delightful and the travellers seemingly more down-to-earth than most I had met in Siem Reap – although this was surely luck. The door was certainly left open for my return some day soon, as well as to properly explore the city.

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