Monday, December 14

Overland Border Crossing: Bangkok to Siem Reap

I think it was a wise decision to go to Siem Reap from Bangkok over land. I was unable to try out the trains of Myanmar so I really hoped to have at least one train ride in our two-week journey. And going back to Thailand gave me that opportunity.

It was also the cheapest. We only paid THB 48 or Php 68 per person for an ordinary ticket from Bangkok to Aranyaprathet, the station nearest to Poipet (Cambodia) border. It was supposed to be only for six hours but our trip lasted closer to seven. I thought the train was a bit slow. But then again, I did not have a prior train ride to really compare it to.


It was hot and humid and I got bored at times but I enjoyed the change of scenery once we hit the provinces. Fresh air greeted us and the slow life of ordinary people reminded me that in every place we go to, there is really a wide gap between the rich and the poor. It was a sad thought.

Once we reached the border, we hired a tuktuk for THB 100 and arrived at the immigration offices about ten minutes later. It was my first time to visit Cambodia and I was really anxious to cross over the soonest possible time. Well, that was impossible then as it was pretty chaotic. We had to line up in two offices: one for the departure stamp (Thailand border) and the other one for our arrival stamp (Cambodia side). 



After passing through both immigration, we waited for the free shuttle which took us to the bus terminal. It was located a further 1600 meters from the border. There were food stalls and a booking terminal as well. Prices were okay but if you can buy your meal outside then do so. 



We chose the bus for it was cheaper than the van. Though we were told that the van would arrive earlier, we observed most travelers chose the former so we opted for the bus too. 
I stepped foot in the Kingdom of Cambodia!


After more than two hours, we arrived at the drop-off point. By this time, we made friends with two lovely girls, Sarah from the US and Jessa who was also from the Philippines.

We bid adieu to Sarah while Jessa shared a tuktuk ride with us. We dropped her off at the end of Pub street since she will proceed to Phnom Penh later that night. My friend and I proceeded to our hotel and decided to just rest. We were eager to see the town the next day.

_______  
Other Parts In This Series:

Bagan Lodge:  A Grandiose Gateway to Bagan's Noble Past 

A Delightful Stay in Hotel by Red Canal Mandalay 
Once Upon A Time in Soria Moria Boutique Hotel
Tranquility and Nostaglia Equals Pavillon d'Orient 

A Surprise Malaysia Visit
Burma: An Untouched Gem 
Yangon is Yielding
On the Way to Bagan
Bagan is Beautiful
Biking in Bagan
Hello Mandalay!
Pretty in Pai
Overland Border Crossing:  Bangkok to Siem Reap
Finally, Siem Reap
Saigon aka HCMC
Indochina Trip Itinerary and Expenses


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