Trip Start Apr 16, 2009
124Trip End Ongoing
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Where I stayed
Arun Garden 2
Not a lot to say about Aranyaprathet, on Thailand's border with Cambodia. We arrived in the dark, checked into a cheap, clean motel and wandered up the road for some fried rice. Hit the sack nice and early ready for our border travails the next day.
Armed with reams of internet tips about successfully and economically navigating what sounded like a scam infested frontier, we set off early via stretch tuk-tuk to the border. We warned the driver to go to the border, go directly to the border, without passing go, or he would not be collecting his 80 baht. On the way we nevertheless pull up outside a building with an official-looking sign outside saying 'Royal Cambodian Consulate', but it was no such thing. "You get visa here?" he asked, rather sheepishly it must be said.
Things got a lot better from here, all scams done and dusted we settled back in the taxi, chatted with the Aussies that we were sharing the taxi with, and watched the lush green, and very, very flat Cambodian countryside zip by. Like Laos, the villages were often entirely made up of stilt-houses, for the flat ground was obviously prone to flooding, and we saw men wading waist-deep through ponds out in the paddy fields, some casting nets about for fish. For some reason every town and village seemed to have a rudimentary volleyball court with groups of men enjoying a game. Look out for Cambodian volleyball at 2012, you heard it here first.