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On the day of the journey from Koh Rong to Siem Reap I woke up feeling a bit sorry for myself, with a bit of a chest infection and the prospect of a twelve hour bus journey ahead that night.

As usual I was a bit anxious packing and checking and rechecking my bag, I have some OCD.  I wasn’t as anxious as usual about needing a wee, I think the more buses we’ve done, the more it’s been okay, they always stop, we’re always okay, that has gotten me used to it.

Indian sleeper buses have singles down one side, doubles down the other.  This bus had doubles down both sides.  This meant that the corridor was very narrow and the sleeper compartments were very cosy.  Still, it was nice and clean, with a pillow and a good heavy cotton blanket each.

The walls at the ends between the sleeper compartments were open for the last bit at the top, meaning you weren’t totally private from your neighbours.  We heard our young neighbours chatting excitedly and sending pictures to their mums, before they settled down to watch separate things on separate devices.  One of them had downloaded several films and I think they were disappointed when their friend said actually I’ll watch my own thing instead.

We didn’t watch anything together either though.  We sat/lay top to tail for more space.  As soon as we got into our space I felt myself relax, and I spent a long time just sitting and noticing and enjoying that feeling.

Every now and again I had to deal with coughing/trying not to cough, AC doesn’t help with that, whilst not drinking more than miniscule amounts of water, and sucking sweets.   I did lie down and sleep for some of it although it was a bit squashed even for me (I am short).  Once we stopped for the loo, and then the bus arrived two hours ahead of schedule, at 6am.

We hung out at the hotel cafe and had breakfast while we waited for our room to be ready.  We’d thought we might have to wait hours, but it was ready surprisingly fast.

The mattresses of South East Asia are not known for being always comfortable for soft Westerners.  So to arrive after a long night journey in a room that is clean, with white sheets, duvet, four squishy pillows, two cushions and a comfy mattress.  Oh, and hot water.  And towels.  Well, it’s a little slice of heaven.

There’s even a 7/11 nearby where I bought myself a facepack for some pampering.  I might even get myself a massage before we go, now my cough is getting better.  Siem Reap is lively and interesting, with pretty lights and good places to eat.  I have a writing desk in the room and a good work ethic.  Next stop Vietnam!

Thank you very much for reading

For actual photos of the trip see Instagram travelswithanthony