Friday, January 14, 2011

Made it to Cambodia

We fought our way through the enemy lines and crossed the trenches that make up the gauntlet one must pass to enter Cambodia from Bangkok. We heard and read stories about the treacherous crossing where the locals, mostly on the Thai side create an intricate web to collect as many dollars as possible when you leave.

In Bangkok, the agencies try and talk you into getting visas for five times the normal cost. After the four hour bus ride just before the border, 8 kilometers (too far to walk), we are dumped off for lunch where the bus quickly disappears. A very welcoming man then tells us we all need to give him our passports so he can get our visas for three times what we know it should be. We were a crew of ten, four Brazilians, two British, a gal from Argentina, another guy from Colorado and us. We decided to resist as a group. The happy welcoming man stopped being so nice. He had our travel tickets that was supposed to get us from the Cambodian border to Siam Riep and he would not give them back saying we could go to the border ourselves. After all the bluffing a small minivan picked us all up. We were taken to the second test, the Cambodian consulate. Someone in our group had read that they would also rip us off and we told our driver to take us to the border. When we got 100 meters we were dropped off where hoards of tourists were getting their visas. We all ended up to succumbing to the 200 bhat fee so they could basically run them down the sidewalk for us. We still all got ripped off, but only a handful of dollars.

After waiting in hot lines to get out of Thailand we got to wait in hot lines to get into Cambodia. Upon entry we were placed in a staging area to queue up for the shuttle bus that takes us to the main bus station where are jump on another pubic bus that takes us to the final destination... I think... I'm writing this on the bus so who know what comes next. Laughing at the chaos the whole way through.

Location:Poi Pet Cambodia

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