What do you mean the bridge is out??!!

Trip Start May 18, 2005
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Trip End May 18, 2006


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Flag of Cambodia  ,
Monday, July 4, 2005

The journey back to Bangkok wasn't something we were looking forward to, especially after the journey to Siem Reap was so awful. When we eventually got out of bed we found a taxi rank in the centre of town full of touts trying to rip us off for the journey back. We managed to bargain down to a reasonable $25 for the journey, which is what it should cost anyway. Its funny that no matter how much you try to negotiate directly with a driver there's always a tout there to hop in and try to take over by intimidating you and the driver. Apparently the touts are all part of some kind of Cambodian Mafia and the drivers are afraid of them. They have to give them a percentage of every trip they get. Terrible really.

So we started off on our journey at about 10.30, expecting to get to the border at about 2ish with a bit of luck. The road was as bumpy as we had remembered, possibly even worse, and without seatbelts in the back we kept getting our heads bashed off the cieling which was fun. It was a nice day though, in the 30's, so there wasn't as much mud as last time which meant we could go a little faster. We were doing good time until about half way into the journey. A big traffic jam appeared up ahead and nothing was moving. Our non-english speaking driver got out and went to investigate, but since he couldn't explain to us what was going on we went to check it out for ourselves. We had read somewhere that occasionally on this road the bridges can be out, there's about 20 odd bridges on the trip. Turns out we read right.

As we got closer to the bridge we could see a huge articulated truck had managed to get stuck. Its back wheels had fallen right rough the bridge, which was barely wide enough for it, and there was no budging it. There's some photos of it attached here if you want to look.

Anyway, this was obviously bad for us as we were nowhere near where we wanted to go and there was no way we were going back to Siem Reap. Some pick up trucks were chancing a go at the river which was only about 4 feet deep. Some made it across and some got stuck and blocked others from crossing. Carnage. Our Camry, as well as it could handle the fantastic roads, would never be able to cross the river. So we had to come up with something else.

We made our way across the bridge, squeezing past the truck, and started looking for another camry. Maybe we could swap with someone who was coming in the opposite direction. And thats what we did. We found this Thai bloke with a bit of English who had come from Poipet in a taxi and was heading to Siem Reap. Dead handy. Since we were half way and had both agreed the same amount for the trip it was easy to sort things out. Although he did try to say that he had traveled further and should pay less. No chance boss!!

So we set off again in a slightly more comfy car this time, with seat belts, and got to the border about an hour later than we had planned. Not bad going really considering we spent at least an hour at the bridge. The border crossing was same as last time, nothing too stressful. Now we just needed to get to Bangkok where luxury awaited!!
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