Day 25 - Onwards to Cambodia

Trip Start Sep 30, 2012
1
29
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Trip End Jan 09, 2013


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Flag of Cambodia  , Siem Reap,
Thursday, October 25, 2012

No rest for the wicked, they say, so we must be very wicked because today we got a 5:30 wake up call to catch a shuttle bus to the airport so we could climb onto another bus headed for the Thai Cambodian border. Looking a little bleary eyed we got to the airport and hopped onto our bus just before 8. It was a smooth and comfortable 4 hour ride to the border but we both felt a little apprehensive as we drew nearer having read some horror reviews on scamsters waiting at the border crossing for naive tourists.
It actually went really smoothly and it seems both the Thai and Cambodian governments have put some processes in place to assist tourists. Our bus took us almost straight to the border so after only a few metres we were in the Thai departures office getting our stamps. We then walked across to the next building where we applied for our visas. It costs $20 per person for the visa and a 100 baht fee per person for the processing. They were super efficient and we then we headed to the next building for our Cambodian entry stamp. This office was a bit slower and they checked every other visa in our passports so it was a bit of a tiring and hot process at this stage but overall really easy. We then walked across the last bit and hopped onto a government bus that was to take us to the tourist transport centre or something along those lines. We were really amazed to see several enormous casinos in the area between the two border gates. Obviously it's the only gambling spot where gambling in legal.
Our bus took us to the station and during the ride we met a couple that asked if we wanted to share a taxi to Siem Reap, which we did. At the station we payed $48 for a taxi for four people and it was all very official despite feeling a little bazaar. We were all sure we were being scammed.
Anyway we climbed into the taxi and headed off for our two or so hour drive in. The couple were a German and Brazilian living in Munich so we got to hear about the October fest and share travel tales. Great fun and made the trip feel faster. The taxi driver then took us to a "station" which really looked like the outside of a local restaurant or something and said that the tuk tuks would take us to our hotels free of charge. Not a chance, we thought, but as it turned out it was a free ride. The only catch was that we had another guy ride on the tuk tuk with us and try and push us into using him for our Angkor Wat visit the next day. It was a little irritating but at least we didn't have to pay.
Our hotel, the Frangipani Villa Hotel, is lovely and has a very fresh feel about it. When we arrived we realized that in fact they had a double booking for us so that was a bit of an issue so we spent a few minutes trying to get hold of booking.com to sort it out. We're still waiting to hear from them but hoping we can get it sorted out and not have to pay a cancellation fee. Anyway we were pleased with our room and decided to make use of the hotel's spa. The hotel throws in a free 20 minute massage but we decided to spoil ourselves and go for an hour. It really is less than half of what you pay at home for a massage. Super!
The massages were lovely and we both looked seriously spaced out afterwards. Then it was time to feed the belly so we decided to go to a buffet dinner and Show that the hotel recommended. A 15 minute tuk tuk ride got us there and we enjoyed the delicious selection of Asian goodies in the buffet spread. Anton was especially enthralled with the strange jelly desserts and tried a bite of everything although some didn't go down so well. The meal was followed by a show which included traditional Cambodian dancers showing ways of life and some local story characters. The dancing is very similar to Thai and we really enjoyed the lovely costumes and the very controlled nature of the dancers. Then we were more than ready to head back to the hotel for some much needed rest. It's been wonderful being in South East Asia and we are adapting fast to the humidity, deliciously spicy food and smiley people. Tomorrow we head to Angkor Wat, can't believe it!
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Comments

Brother Luke on

Hurro......

When can we skype????

antonmarsh
antonmarsh on

What about tomorrow. We will be back in Bangkok. Perhaps around 1300 your time?

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