Border crossing from Hell
Trip Start Sep 15, 2012
129Trip End May 01, 2013
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Where I stayed
We made it to the Cam/Thai border and decided that we would carry our own packs across No Mans Land rather than hiring one of the many cheeping boys armed with a trolley and charging silly money for the priviledge.
We stamped out of Cambodia relatively easily but having reached the Thai side border control we were greeted with a long, winding queue just to get into the borde control building and it wasn't moving!
Vikki tried to find out what was going on but was told nothing was wrong - "It just takes time...". Two hours later and still barely moving Vikki decided it was time for some 'Gung ho' action surging ahead when the queue finally moved and by the time Paula returned from a water run to the shop Vikki had advanced their position by some way. It was hot, frustrating and tempers were starting to frey. We resigned ourselves to the fact that we would undoubtedly miss the train to Bangkok.
After the best part of three hours we finaly got across the border and received our stamps allowing us a further fifteen days in the land of smiles.
Having convincingly missed the train we went searching for alternative transportation and settled on a minibus at 10 USD per head and were told it would depart in half an hour. While we waited we chatted to Miguel and Paloma (the only other westerners on the bus) - very nice Spanish people - and after an hour and a half of waiting and the spaniards demanding a refund the van was finally filled with Asians (who came from nowhere....) and we were underway.
We asked to transit straight to Bangkok - no stops - and this was agreed. However, two break stops later Vikki and I were dropped at the side of the road somewhere near the location of our hotel for the night and, after walking aimlessly for a bit, we managed to flag down a taxi who took us to the delightful Hotel Rama (with it's 4 Star dance school and 'villa style' bungalows) where a golf buggy took us to our self-contained chalet. Nothing, but nothing, could have prepared us for the decor.
As we slid open the doors we were thrown back in time to Butlins in the sixties. Overwhelmed by teak claustrophobia, we ventured deeper into the pre-fab engulfed by velour, blown glass lamps, irridescant veneered vases, chintz bedspreads, unecessary wooden panelling, a holographic picture of Victoria Plum which shimmered as you moved around the room, yellowing light switches - the only thing that was missing was a set of lace doileys on every conceivable surface and a Bakelite ashtray on the coffee table.
We noticed, with some amusement, an Emergency button on the wall above the bed and agreed that it was probably to call for help if you went into cardiac arrest, the onset of an epilectic episode or just suddenly became overwhelmed in the night by the Retirement Home chic...
Following a quick trip to the 7-Eleven we returned with a couple of well-deserved cold beers and settled in after a tiring and frustrating transit day...