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Back in Phnom Penh

We're staying at the Number 9 Sister Guesthouse this time, same management but less potheads and therefore less noise in the middle of the night. Our original plan was to only stay one or two nights and then go to Siem Reap but we thought we should organise our Laos visa before moving on. Being that its the weekend (who knew!!) we won't get visa's back until Tuesday or Wednesday. So we'll stay here for new years and head off to Siem Reap after that. From there we'll boat to Battambang, bus back to Phnom Penh, then bus up to Stung Treng then Minibus (I think) to the border and then into Laos. We have to be out of Cambodia by 17.01.09 but will most likely leave earlier, so we have more time to get from north to south Vietnam.

The bus ride back from Sihanoukville was accompanied with an hour of cambodain karaoke videos (i didn't know tv could get so bad) and three hours awkward talk back radio and khmer and french news coverage. We stopped for a break and purchased some really awesome deep fried stuff for 1000 riel (.25c) each. We got two banana stick things and two coconut puffy things and man they were awesome.

So far all of my anti-mosquito measures are failing - Paul and I are the only ones getting around in long sleeves at night and bathing in rid etc and I am the only one getting bitten. I have eight bites alone on the lower quarter of my left leg. Damnit.

AH! Nearly forgot to mention that whilst on the beach in Sihanoukville I was coerced (seriously) into getting my legs strung by the crazy ladies that roam the sand offering manacures to tourists. This is a technique of plucking every hair from your legs using a twisted length of string. The pain was something else I tell you. They give you a free demonstration on the toughest part of your leg (front and centre) and you think well that's not so bad. But then they get cracking and bloody hell hurts. Not to mention that my skin, which is prone to coming up in welts when I scrath an itch, turns out this amazing rash. Every hair follicle made a personal protest of being plucked, and I looked like someone with a horrible disease. The ladies are plucking away saying five minutes it will be gone. But half an hour later their talking amongst themselves and glancing at my legs with worried looks. I don't speak khmer, but I know they were saying to each other holy crap what have we done to this poor girl?

So in conclusion I don't recommend this process to anyone, ever, unless they get a serious kick out of suffering.

Will let you know we go with our visas, there's a fifty fifty chance of getting our passports back with visas in them or never seeing them again. Good times!

Bec,
Phnom Penh

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The sale of this tee paid for about two thirds of a night at the following guesthouse.

NHU Guesthouse
Saigon, Vietnam
$8 USD per night

Includes:

A sign!
A precarious three story climb up ladder steps.
Two single beds (can be pushed together!)
Hot and cold water showers
An adorable basin
A balcony
A bird's eye view of the alley
Cable TV
A table!