Destination Bangkok

Trip Start Jan 10, 2005
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Trip End May 10, 2005


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Wednesday, February 23, 2005

We had the choice of paying $160 for a plane ticket from Siem Reap to Bangkok, or $10 to take the bus, so we took the scenic route. We took a mini-bus from our hotel to catch the larger bus to the border where we had to unload to go though customs on both sides to get a truck to catch a different bus . . . you get the picture! The whole process took 14 hours. The price of flying was beginning to look not too bad in the end.

The road from Siem Reap to the Thai border was particularly bad. Where it was paved, it was full of holes; where it wasn't, it was very dusty and washboard-like. We could seldom travel more than 25 km per hour. There was a thick coating of red dust on everything. In the rainy season, much of the road would be impassable.

It was rather confusing when we finally arrived at the border. We unloaded, grabbed our bags and, like a herd of cattle, passed through security first on the Cambodian side, then on the Thai side. The problem was that there were no signs or no one directing you as to where you should go. Thus, there were a lot of foreigners wandering around looking lost. Poor Martin carried both our backpacks, while I struggled with the two extra bags. We were exhausted and soaked with perspiration once we finally got to where the truck picked us up for the final leg of the trip.

The Thai bus seemed a luxury compared to Cambodian buses - and the air conditioning worked! One of our fellow passengers on the bus was a Cambodian-Hawaiian who took us and another couple to his hotel where he knew we could find rooms. Rescued by another Cambodian! It was extremely nice of him, particularly when he was also looking after his wife, two-year-old daughter and a mountain of luggage!

We spent today confirming our flight to Singapore, getting laundry done, having showers (my hair is clean again!), enjoying Thai food and doing some last-minute shopping along Khao San Road. We noted that there were still some posters of people who were missing from the tsunami posted in various restaurants and shops. (The walls of many places were covered when we were here in January.) Hope remains eternal.
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