According to my GPS, we've arrived at the road leading to Vietnam: it is a dusty red track with no signage whatsoever. Feeling dubious about this intersection leading to an international border, we ask a nearby food seller for directions. I'm expecting he'll point us further down the road, or maybe back the way we've come.
Instead, he smiles and points at the desolate, rutted path we were considering moments ago.
Alright then, off we go!
Down the red dirt road, villages become sparser, as does the landscape. We're still feeling a little doubtful, but when we ask a few more people about the way to Vietnam, they all assure us we're headed the right direction.
At the edge of our last Cambodian town, we take a break to capture this brightly-colored wedding tent. It is rare that we've passed a village of any size without seeing one (or two or three) of these, clashing in the countryside with their garish hot pinks, fluorescent yellows, and neon greens.
With this final iconic image of Cambodia collected, we're almost ready to say goodbye. But first, I want to record the ominous music emanating from within. I only manage to get a minute or two down before we are accosted by a strange, intellectually impaired man.
We steer clear of the barbecued gosling(?) for now…
…and settle on a place that serves phở. After trying about five different pronunciations, (fo? phOh? fuu? feh? fuh? fUh?, yes fUh!!) I finally manage to be understood, and soon receive a steaming minty bowl of noodle and chicken soup. It definitely does not rate high on my list of tasty flavors. Something about it reminds me of Christmas in a not-so-pleasant way.
Tara winds up with a delicious place of rice and barbecued meat, which I covet and steal several bites from.
On our way back to the hotel, we receive our first broad smile, as a mother and her children stop to ogle the strange white people in their small town.
At the moment, I am missing Cambodia. Vietnam is loud and in-your-face by comparison, and if today is any indication, communication here is going to be very difficult.