Sunday, February 5, 2012

Paramount Buses

We were waiting outside our hotel for a 9am pick up. Nothing appeared and we were just beginning to speculate as to what our plan B should be when an already full and clapped out minibus appeared bearing the logo Paramount Angkor Transport Company. We piled in and were taken to the company's office in Siem reap centre. Some time later a coach arrived and all assembled bundled on. We had thought from the picture that the bus would be a fugitive from the X77 to Ayr run. It was somewhat less grand and almost as clapped as the minibus. Actually it only took us to the bus station on the edge of town where we all transferred to yet another even more clapped bus. It did however have air conditioning but this appeared to be at the expense of one of the gears. There was an interesting arrangement of chains under the front of the bus which appeared to be holding in place a vital part.

Thanks again for the tip Jane which got us seats at the front. When we set off the bus was full but it then made several other stops picking up locals (without livestock) who picked up a stool on entry and sat in the aisle. The noise was pretty deafening with everyone shouting either to someone further back the bus or into their mobile phone.

For the most part the roads varied from poor to nonexistent. We did have a rather "interesting"" experience when the driver, despite intensive use of the horn, slammed on his breaks and was forced to pull on to the verge to avoid an errant motor cyclist. We bounced along for what seemed like a few minutes to the accompaniment of shouts from the locals sitting beside the driver and complaints about the suspension from those at the rear. 

En route we also discovered the secrets of Cambodian pig transport but I'll leave that hanging.

We had a 15 minute stop half way and arrived safely in Phnom Penh after 6 hours and about 300 kilometres. 350 if you allow for all the swerving to avoid potholes.

Now in our spacious, clean if somewhat minimalistic room. Have just skyped Jenny which was lovely. Now shower then dinner.


  1. Could you use your bus pass?? sounds like an intresting journey.. Fiona and I are off to a girls day at the shops she is going to buy a sander and I am getting wellies for Dylan we are traveling by car so not as exciting as the bus but first stop coffee at M&S - you will be about to have your evening meal as if I have calculated right you are 7hrs ahead of us ...

  2. The coach obviously looks better than it was. Not quite the new Luxury Glasgow to Inverness service then!