Broken promise of the one-day bus ride.
Trip Start Jul 13, 2009
36Trip End Ongoing
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Where I stayed
The bus driver's friend's guest house I think.
I had considered taking a flight from Pakse direct to Siem Reap for around $120. It would have been only a 45 min flight. But I met a couple girls that were taking this same bus trip for only $30, so I decided to "earn" at least $70. (you have to add-in food costs, etc. on a long bus ride)
So now, I'm in the only internet room in town. They close around 7pm. I've got nothing better to do. I posted some replys to comments and questions on this blog that were asked. I've got pictures from the bus ride and crossing the border, etc. But the internet is so slow, and they are packing up to close this place, so I will post pics another time.
Crossing the border was no big deal. The guidebooks say that it costs $20 on the spot for a visa to Cambodia. As always, the price has gone up. $23 now. And they prefer U.S. dollars. Knowing that, I had made sure I had about $30 on me in US currency. The exit stamp from Laos customs cost $1. The "health check" entering Cambodia cost $1. And the entry stamp cost $1. So all together (for my fellow travelers who may need to know) it was $26 US.
Now that I'm in a new country, I need to learn my 2 essential words: hello & thank-you.
"soys-dai" and "aw-gun"
Thats my personal theory, by the way. That you can just about get by with knowing only 2 words.
People selling stuff usually know what "how much" means. And if they dont know what "toilet" means, you can act it out. It may be embarrassing, but its a bit funny sometimes.
So I'm in this guesthouse that the sneaky bus coordinator picked out. (he had the bus stop there, etc) We suspect that he is getting a cut of the action, as he seemed really familiar there and helped check us in as well. The room has a fan (no a/c) it has a tv which all the channels are fuzzy; it has a bathroom, but only cold showers; a toilet with no toilet seat or cover...and the sink drains to the floor, splattering at your feet. So its a bit overpriced at $5 per night. But I've had worse, so I can deal for one night.
When I get off the internet (the family here is about to eat their dinner in front of me as I type), I'm gonna meet up with Daniel and Jasmine for dinner. Tomorrow we are supposed to leave around 7am to continue our journey.
Well, I got up early, showered & packed for the 7am big bus to pick us up as promised by the polite but shady coordinator. Instead of a bus, we only found a note saying that, "The bus has to pick up more passengers at the border first, then it will come back to pick you up at noon. I hope this does not make you mad." Mad, you ask? I'm bordering on violence! What a joke this is.
So I decided to walk to town to look for other busses heading my way. Lucky for me, there was a bus just about to leave at 7am with a couple seats left. Unfortunately, I would have to pay an additional $14 since it was a totally different bus company. I had about $20 U.S. in my wallet, so I paid, and hopped on board. I didn't want to risk more delays from the original bus company. As the bus journeyed south towards the capital of Cambodia, we picked up more and more passengers until the isle was full of passengers on little plastic stools. (I'll upload pics eventually) I did eventually get to Siem Reap by the end of the day. I have no idea what was the fate of the other Westerner and his female friend.
P.S. I better not ever run into that sneaky bus coordinator or there will be hell to pay.