Feeling bored and a little disappointed with Phnom Penh, we booked a bus south to the coast with a firm called Giant Ibis. A roomy and pleasantly chilly bus collected us from our hotel, and after a few more pick ups, we were on the road toward the coast.
Many people had suggested Kep as a rustic chill out, and a little research recommended us a French-run lounge bar, to stay at for a few days. Unfortunately the businesses that are run by expatriates, seem – more often than not, to be there only to support their permanently stoned existence, rather than provide for the traveller.
Rooms were filthy and a problem with the plumbing meant we were stunk out early in the morning. Mozzie nets were torn, and for the price we expected a lot more. The staff seemed more intent on lounging around socialising, which we should have been doing, rather than having to hassle them.
Kep was nothing special, fairly grubby along the front we weren’t really taken with it. Even so, it still afforded some nice views out to sea. Disheartened with our accommodation we booked the first bus out of there, ignoring advice to avoid local buses in favour of foreign run firms.
Our driver turned out to be a lunatic. Twenty minutes out into the countryside, he took two calls on two different phones at the same time! This led him to use his elbows to steer the minibus which was screaming in second gear. The other passengers looked on in shock and silence, so Nicole and I shouted at him to put his phones away.
Our angry outburst shocked him into dropping his phones on the floor, and for the next ten minutes he ranted from the front seat, no doubt cursing us in Khmer.
Finally we jumped out at Sihanoukville, and strode away vowing not to take local buses again.