The route: Ask the bus driver
The chat: So, we’d heard the 145km road was battered and amid repair (it was), that there was barely anywhere to eat en route and nowhere to stay (pretty accurate) and that the route was pretty soulless (true). We also wanted time in Stung Treng for a spot of kayaking and Em was starting to feel that one of our forays into the market food stalls had caught up with her. The various good reasons for taking a minibus came thick and fast, but we were still left with a vague guilty cum shameful cum embarrassed feeling as we stepped off the bus, that persisted for the rest of the day. We swore that replacing riding days with alternate forms of transport were strictly for emergencies only, and enjoyed a tranquil Mekong kayak with ludicrously small paddles (see photo) and a beautiful sunset to complete our last night in captivating Cambodia. The rustic chic pleasures of the Meking Bird Lodge where we slept were something special; far more rustic than chic, the last occupant’s underwear, ‘prophylaxis’, beer bottles and soap were left as leaving gifts, and a never seen but very noisy rodent with a penchant for peanut brittle kept us up most of the night).