Well, This won’t be a long post as I don’t want to fill this blog with negativity in general.
The bus ride from Otres to Battambang was was pretty horrendous from start to finish. We arrived at our bus station from Otres to find a completely different bus style to what we expected (and paid for). We expected a “hotel bus” which was sold to us as a bus that has a large double bed style seat, flat with a curtain to allow sleep and comfort. When we arrived the bus was old small and a tightly packed night sleeper (more similar to what we had been used to in Vietnam however MUCH WORSE). Our first seats that we are told to go to happened to be the first two seats on the bus. This seemed an issue as they actually sat on the wheel arch of the bus so the seats lost about 6 inches of headroom (as they were on the lower bunk). The result of this was, my head was about 4 inches away from the roof, this was the first issue. The other issue was a complete lack of window (again due to the placement of the seats) so our entire window was about 2 inches of light just under the seat above.
I never really have suffered from claustrophobia, nor do panic attacks regularly come up, however, both these things hit me hard whilst we debated if we wanted to stay on the bus or not. I was about ready to get off and just figure something out (after being told that the bus was the only bus we could take) until the women in charge finally told us we could have some upper-seats. This seemed to be a much better option, as we had a bit more headroom and I was able to feel like I could breathe again.
The rest of journey wasn’t great, a slow ride with a two hour stop in Phnom Penh being told that we were on the wrong bus. I want you to picture being woken at 1 am with a light in your face, a Cambodian man who speaks no English telling you that you are on the wrong bus. He kept giving me his phone to speak to whomever it was on the other line. Even though we were on the right bus he kept assuming we weren’t!
To cut a shit long story short, when we arrived at Battambang we got off the bus and arrived at the hostel (15 hours later) all we wanted to do is relax. The kicker of the story which I have left out was probably the worst and most lasting issue we had. On the bus, I (not Alex) got bitten to shit by bedbugs. It was pretty much the worst trip I have ever been.
Oh well we arrived in Battambang, so yeah… silver lining
P.S moral of the story do not use Virak Buntham to travel from Sihanoukville to Battambang…the worst.