I stayed up all night in Guangzhou on New Year's Eve, but I didn't even see the countdown. I spent the afternoon buying a stolen camera, and then having some delicious Turkish food for an early dinner.
I decided to go and buy some presents for my couchsurfing hosts. I found some cheesy magnets and chopsticks and then proceeded to wander around. There were about 12 hours still before my flight to Phnom Penh.
Almost immediately, I saw a big group of people milling about in the park. I asked if they spoke English, and lucky enough, it was a huge gathering of an English club. They invited me to stay with them and of course, they broke out thousands of glow sticks and light up bunny ears and devil horns. We all walked down the river together where they planned to perform some music. Almost as soon as they put down their speakers, some bylaw officers came on scene to break it up. I guess it looked too much like a protest. There were some words exchanged and the group members were very agitated by the whole thing.
"It's always like this, we can never do anything fun," one of them said to me.
Oh well, we walked back to the park and they had their concert there instead. I had to go at 11:30 p.m. because I didn't want to miss the last subway to the airport. I saw the countdown for NYE by looking over the shoulder of a teenager sitting beside me as he watched from his cell phone on the hard metal seats.
I waited around the rest of the night in the departures lounge, where I had to wear every single piece of clothing, not only because I wanted to make the 5kg weight restriction, but also so that I didn't descend into hypothermia.
When the plane finally came I was dead tired. I slept the whole way to Phnom penh and bought my visa on arrival.
As soon as you walk out of the airport, a hundred pushy taxi drivers try to get you to give them $10 for a taxi ride. Ummm, no. So, I just started walking, I turned right, and there was a city bus stop not too far away. Not a mention about this in my Lonely Planet. Less than 50 cents fare, and I found myself in on the riverfront. I tried to find one hostel, but it didn't exist, plus it was a street full of sex workers filled with those gross old men we know all too well. Hunched over, balding, with leathery tanned skin, looking for their next young opportunity (victim?). Awful.
So I walked till I found another hostel $6.50 for a bed at 88 Backpackers near the US embassy. Not bad. I snoozed all day and went to Mok Mony for some betel leaves stuffed with beef. Delicious, but I think it caused my intestinal tract to explode the next day. I had some beers and some morning glory later, so it could've also been that. My money's on the meat though.