Culture Shock!

Bangkok Travel Blog

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Siam Square at night

There are many regional variations where transport is concerned (some better than others) eg. we only came across 'cyclos' in Vietnam.  In and around Siem Reap and Battembang we have discovered yet another way of travelling: the share taxi.  This morning's share taxi to the border was quite comfortable, with only four of us in it.  The two westerners we were sharing with told us about a share taxi they had been in where there were four people in the back, two on the front passenger seat, and even someone sharing the driver's seat with him!  Crazy stuff.  They are also a bit scary, as the driver indulges in off road racing, determined to wreck all his wheels and suspension. 

We survived the journey and reached the border early at 9am.  There were hundreds of Cambodians sat on the floor waiting and clutching documents - they seemed to be waiting for a decision as to whether they could go through to Thailand - it was all a bit chaotic.  We went through the passport control, and caught a tuk-tuk to the Thai border town on the other side, from where we got on a bus to Bangkok.  The difference between Thailand and Cambodia was immediate and stark.  A bone rattling ride on an excuse for a road, and then we are gliding along on well organised, tarmaced roads.  We didn't really appreciate last time we were in Thailand just how westernised and developed it is.

We had picked a guesthouse in the Siam Square area of Bangkok, the main shopping area, and obviously much more suited to pedestrians than the area we had stayed in last time.  The GH was not great, but we may change tomorrow.  We set out to explore, and ended up in a glitzy shopping centre full of designer name stores, where we had a sandwich and a coffee.  Only that morning we had been in a country where there are still horse-drawn carts,  and it was a bit of a culture shock.

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Siam Square at night
Siam Square at night
photo by: Deats