Crossing into Cambodia
Trip Start Nov 15, 2006
228Trip End Jul 15, 2008
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We crossed the border at Daun-Lem on the Thailand side to Pruhm on the Cambodian side before noon without incident. While we were in Bangkok we were told we could get Cambodian visas on-line. We had spent an afternoon at a wireless hot spot in a mall trying to get Cambodian visas on line. We had to upload a photo of each of us, which we had prepared according to the instruction on the first screen. But when we tried to insert the photos we found out that the photo file had to be over 1000 kb. So we had to reset our camera and find a light background at the mall in front of which to take another set of photos. When we got to the next part of the visa application we had to tell the date we were arriving. We gave up at that point because we didn't know when we'd arrive at the border. Even if we successfully navigated the on-line process we'd still have to find a place to print out a hard copy of the visas
We shared a mini-van from Pattaya with the driver and six men who were making their six month visa runs. All old farangs with Thai wives or girl friends, except one man who was originally from Hong Kong but had a Malaysian passport and a home in the US. You meet the strangest people on the road. There was hardly a word spoken on the minivan. The men just sat in their own thoughts or hung over from the night before. Tour companies in Pattaya run these visa trips; the minivan takes off at 6:30 AM and will return the men to Pattaya with their new Thai visas by 2 PM. We are the only ones on the van who are going to continue on into Cambodia. The men will walk across the border with the driver who will carry all their passports in a bundle. They wait for the driver to get the passports stamped and then walk back across to re-enter Thailand where they are issued another six-month visa. We keep our own passports and get our own visas because we are not part of that program. We were just getting a ride. The cost for the mini-van ride for the two of us was B2000.
Our guidebooks always make the border crossings sound worse than we find them. At this crossing it was ridiculously easy. We didn't even have to stand in line to go to some official looking immigrations officer behind a desk or window