Break for the Border (8th and 9th January)

Trip Start Jan 01, 2008
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Trip End Dec 29, 2008


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Where I stayed
Arun Garden Hotel

Flag of Thailand  ,
Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Nearly 6 hours on a crowded train from Bangkok right up to the border town on Aranyaprathet on our way to the Thai-Cambodian border.  Good value at about 80p a ticket.  Lots of countryside, villages and a few towns to see.   

Aranyaprathet is nothing special -  just a place that people pass though.  Stayed at the Arun Garden Hotel  (No garden!).  Tuk tuk driver initially took us to another hotel and consequently the room rate doubled to include his commission.  Grim hotel really  -  see photos -  but not much choice in this border town.  We used our sleeping sacks.......(at this price, you only get a bottom sheet on the bed).  

Next morning, another tuk-tuk to the border.  Avoided several visa scams at Thai side (Some we we warned about, another by gut feeling).  Spent most of the day queueing at the border control and waiting to cross from Thailand into Poipet, the town on the Cambodian side

The border guards tried to con us into believing that we hat to pay the immigration fee in Thai Baht at 4 time teh rate in US$.  When we declined his kind offer, he promptly ripped up our immigration forms and made us fill out new ones.  Haing got our passports stamped we headed of to the border crossing and something made us look at the passport entry and compare it with a previous entry to the country 8 years previously. He had not put i the date stamp. Back to immigration a third time!!

Once through immigration we walked accros the order to Poipet where the transport we had arranged was, of course, no-where to be seen, so we waited and waited in this terrible town.  (Think of the Wild West, during the gold rush......).    Would not recommend this route into Cambodia from Thailand for inexperienced travellers.    The only fun is playing the game "avoid the scams".  


Several phone calls later we located our ride to Siem Reap and, 6 hours later along what must be one of the dustiest roads in the world, we arrive at our guesthouse and are pleasantly surprised to find it close to teh cnetre of things

 
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