Poipet Border crossing
Trip Start Oct 21, 2010
10Trip End Dec 09, 2010
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From everything I read, Poipet was the most dreaded and sketchiest place I'd go through. A shady border town were even the "officials" charge illegal “stamping fees”. Add to this all the taxis and buses out of town are controlled by a local mafia of sorts. Any freelancers are chased away thus bargaining was dramatically lopsided. These are the things I read.
Per usual, the things you worry about most turn out to be… not so bad. We still woke up early in order to go through the border as it opened, hoping to avoid crowds, which might help our position slightly
We were few foreigners among many locals. After we got through the official procedures surprisingly without any extra fees we had to arrange transport…
I instinctually hemmed and hawed at any initial offer as I pretended to “weigh out my other options”. Hands down Caty speaking Thai turned out to be the real winning ingredient. Even so I think we paid 1,500 baht which now I realize is $50! Way too much! Which, as I sit comfortably on a bed am slightly angry about. But being there physically and thinking back on it is a different thing… plus we did get our own taxi with air con. Compared to the previous day I would happily accept again.
I slept the whole 2 hour way to Siem Reap. Woke up with a nudge from Caty and begrudgingly exited taxi into a new town/city, once again confused and unfamiliar. “Siem Reap?” I said to Caty and taxi driver both separately. Confusion wasn’t completely done as this wasn’t actually “Siem Reap”. This was just outside Siem Reap at a Tuk Tuk trade off station. Reading about this scam previously I specifically said like 10 times in Poipet, “no tuk tuk stand! You take us straight to guesthouse!”. I think I forgot to mention the English speaking guy got out in Poipet and left us with non-english speaking driver. Tuk Tuk driver assured us that taxi couldn’t go into town and there was no charge, to take us wherever we wanted to go… Suspect to say the least, but he did take us to a couple different places free of charge and just wanted us to choose him for the Wat tour (including Ankor) the following day if, “by chance we were there to see the “8th wonder of the world…?" Nah we just happened upon this place, “you mean you have an attraction?”
The rest of this day descended into Caty and I deciding to go our separate ways, which meant I would find another guesthouse, so I can only guess that “Chucky” was a good guide.
p.s. I added first hero cam video. It takes a long time to render and edit, add traveling and it's extra difficult. There's no sound but i did speed up footage so you can cross the border with me, kind of, sort of. Hopefully i'll get quicker and can put up some better examples in the future.