Shake, Rattle and Roll

Trip Start Mar 14, 2006
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Trip End Mar 15, 2007


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Flag of Thailand  ,
Friday, June 16, 2006

Another early start to catch the bus to the Thai border at Poipet / Aranyaprathet but for once the bus was actually early which also meant the hotel staff offering to bag my breakfast to take with me which I wish I'd accepted just to see what a tomato omelet looks like sloshing around in the bottom of a plastic bag.

As if the early start and the prospect of a long, hot bumpy bus ride was not painful enough the bus driver in all his caffeine fuelled wisdom put on some sort of Cambodian soap opera at 7am which appeared to be a cross between Neighbours and Benny Hill, thwarting any foolish notion of sleep.

The road to the border was not as bad as expected in the end although the final 30 minutes did produce its fair share of seat leaving butt bouncing with a half dirt, half cement all pot-holed road.

With a swift border crossing I took a moto to the bus station in the hope of finding a direct bus to Khorat and praying that there would at least be one to Bangkok to save me having to spend the night in a border town which never get a mention in the must-see section of guidebooks for good reasons. In saying that though Aranyaprathet did at least appear less crass than Poipet with its casinos attracting many Thais over the border to part with their Baht.

Luckily the traveling gods were smiling today as I arrived to find (ok, was shown) a bus to Khorat almost ready to go. With me now well honed 6th 'traveling' sense still in overdrive I asked another couple on the bus if it was in fact the right one to Khorat figuring that it had all been a bit too easy up to now. Not speaking any English but understanding where I wanted to go they began pointing to another bus just opposite so I hopped off the bus and quickly asked the people outside again who replied that it was the correct bus so I hopped back on the bus to the bemused look of the others onboard. Luckily again (those traveling deities must be having a party or something) another passenger spoke a little English and explained it was the correct bus but I had to change buses further down the road so I at least had half a clue what was going on now.

Finally landing in Khorat around 8pm I got on the dog and bone to Pen the co-coordinator of the volunteer English teaching organization I was here to work with who told me to take a tuk tuk to the hotel near their HQ - my first tuk tuk ride! :-)

The hotel appearing way to swanky for the likes of my unshaven haggard looking self still treated me like an honored guest making me feel even more guilty when just asking to use their phone.

So one last journey and I at last finally arrived at the HQ 36 hours, 5 buses, 1 river crossing, 2 motorbikes and one tuk tuk journey after leaving Saigon.
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