Trip Start Aug 12, 2010
135Trip End Sep 23, 2011
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Where I stayed
We were only in Bangkok for one night before going onto Cambodia so we didn't do anything to be honest. We plan to return to Bangkok before our flight to Hong Kong and we will be staying in the infamous Khao San Road - oh the joys - and will visit all the sights of Bangkok then.
But a piece of advice for anyone planning to travel to Cambodia - do not organise the border journey with any tour agencies. It is perfectly simple (and cheap) to do it independently. At first, we asked local tour agencies to help us with transport crossing into Cambodia and we were quoted prices ranging up to 900 baht (approx £20). We decided to walk to the local minibus station on the corner next to Victory Monument and we got a bus for 160 baht (approx £3) to take us to Aranya Prathet (the border) with the locals. We walked across the border to Poipet, Cambodia and then caught a bus to Siem Reap for £7. A little bit of a rip-off but the tourist bus station is in the middle of nowhere and you have no choice basically; and there is no sight of any local transport.
Tourist trap: Before going to Cambodia we had read every website possible on crossing the border. You basically cross the border yourself and pay $20 for the visa (in dollars, not Thai baht). The border posts, first one is leaving Thailand in Aranya Prathet, the second post for entering Cambodia is in Poipet are only a walking distance of 100m. And most importantly you get the visa yourself.
However, upon arriving at Aranya Prathet we were approached by men with lanards saying they worked for border control and took us to the 'border post' where we get our visas. They informed us we needed to pay in baht and cannot enter Cambodia without a visa first. The visa costs 1400 baht - he insisted that Lonely Planet was wrong and the regulations had changed. This sounded very strange but unfortnately we fell for it and decided to change all our money back to Thai Baht. Luckily we bumped into some tourists coming from Cambodia and they told us we should carry onto the real border posts further along as we do not get our visa here. In the end we made it to the real border posts, shunned the con artists in Aranya Prathet and only lost a few dollars from exchanging our money a second time. But basically, the moral of the story is do not listen to anyone, Lonely Planet in this instance is correct!
We finally made it to Siem Reap later that afternoon.
See you there next time
Love Hollie and Thomas x x x