Bill and Sue-On Hillman: A 50-Year Musical Odyssey


Gallery 1: PHNOM PENH I
Road to Phnom Penh ~ Tsubasa Bridge Across the Mekong
(Continued from Vietnam 39c)
On our way to Cambodia's capital, Phnom Penh, from Vietnam we were looking forward to be some of the first to use the new 2.2 km Tsubasa Bridge across the Mekong River. It had opened a few days earlier. Previous to this, the Mekong River had to be crossed via ferry -- a very time-consuming process. The removal of this bottleneck promises to greatly enhance travel between Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand -- the 1,000 km southern economic corridor. The US$150 million bridge had been over 10 years in the making and the project was mostly funded by Japan. In fact, the Japanese word tsubasa implies "two birds spreading their wings and holding hands." A beautiful structure, and there were people walking on the bridge to enjoy the view.

But first, approaching the Vietnam/Cambodian Customs, the bus attendant in charge of the passengers collected our passports, along with $35.00 each for the Cambodia visa. We waited in a holding room while he took them into immigration to have them put onto onto our passports. It was very confusing -- there were rows upon rows of people waiting in queues. 

We were advised to use the toilet facilities before we returned to the bus. The toilet fee was 2,000 dongs for a pee and 3,000 dongs for a bowel movement. That, of course, included a small wad of toilet tissue (think crepe paper) LOL! 

We finally were directed to pass through security when those of us with big backpacks were shouted back to the scanner. Those of us who did this didn't see anyone at the scanner so we carried on. Was it remote control? Big Brother watching from somewhere out of sight? All the security personnel sounded a bit nasty.

Returning to the bus got our passports back only to give them to the manager yet again as we drove over to the Cambodian border. The manager sat on a bench inside to fill out our arrival / departure cards and gave them back to us as we lined up for security check. Some had their pictures taken and finger prints scanned. By he time the customs guy got to us, he didn't bother to scan our hands. Just said "No problem" and waved us through. 

We drove a few meters and then stopped at a "restaurant" for lunch. Beam warned us about eating the local food -- not safe as it had probably been sitting for some time. She suggested instant noodles! Imagine... coming all this way to have ramen, but it was a good choice -- followed by cold drinks, beer, and ice cream. A 20 minute stop, then another few hours to Phnom Penh.

Before the bridge, the source of income was mainly farming: rice fields in rotation, vegetables, plant nurseries, fruit, and most interesting, were the kilns for making bricks! That's a main building material here. Piles of wood, of all sorts, is used to fuel these kilns.

Once across the bridge, we saw more commerce, well, banking anyway -- mostly financed by foreign countries. There are many banks along the road. very modern buildings in between ramshackled huts, traditional homes, and small shops.

Click for larger full-screen images

Crossing the Mekong -- again -- this time via
the newly opened Tsubasa Bridge on the road between Vietnam and Cambodia


Roadside Views
. .

Nearing Phnom Penh
. . . . . . . .

Related Alternate and Outtake Photos at:




Road to Phnom Penh
Tsubasa Bridge Over The Mekong

INTRO: Page 1 :: Alternates/outtakes

Copyright 2015
Bill and Sue-On Hillman