Because we had to…

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We reluctantly left Siem Reap on a Monday morning minivan headed for Phnom Penh. It didn’t matter how many travelers told us to skip the city- we had no choice. For us, it wasn’t about visiting Phnom Penh, it was about visiting India’s Embassy.

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Having truly adored Siem Reap we were entirely uninterested in considering the big concrete city that lay ahead. We put off planning the next leg until the last minute, thus the minivan was all that was available. And so it was- Dave and I and 11 other people stuffed into a small vehicle like a clown circus. Complete with baggage, it must have been quite a site to see us load off the vehicle at rest stops. Inadequate air con, cramped legs, and narrowly escaping Dave throwing punches at the guy next to him, we were dropped off 6 hours later along the Phnom Penh waterfront. The river walk was almost scenic… Not as bad as we had expected.

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According to other travelers, it takes anywhere between 5 and 14 business days to obtain a visa from the Indian consulate. We’d planned this portion of the trip around the worst case scenario– hoping to only have to spend a week here, but prepared if necessary to be attached to the city for two. Perhaps we’re naturals at this, but from the time we submitted the applications to the day we got our visas was four days. Four. Don’t mess with us.

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So the worry over what to do in the city didn’t really effect us. In fact, Phnom Penh gets a bad rap- it deserves a bit more respect. We took the city in with stride, didn’t rush things, and let the place open up to us. For what it was, it was a pleasure.

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