Pride and Prejudice

Poipet Travel Blog

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no one's really going to believe i was sleeping

I wanted to take the train with a scenic view to Aranyaphratet, the border to Cambodia of Thailand, but Kuya Chok insisted that we should take a bus instead because he told us that the train with the scenic view also comes with not so scenic smelly people.  I tried to argue but my friend Eka here, being all quiet and shrugging her shoulders about it, wasn't helping so I gave up and agreed with the bus. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that Kuya Chok isn't a nice guy because he is a nice guy, nice enough to help us carry our bag up the 2nd deck of the bus and when the bus suddenly took off he had to yell at the driver, who didn't know he was only going to drop us off, for five minutes to stop before we even end up in Aranyaphratet. Kuya Chok's alright, they dropped him off in some highway a thousand miles away from where he parked the car, bless him!

It was probably 5-ish in the morning when we got on the bus.

Cambodian kids
The seats were reclined to about 178 degrees and you have to have it like that unless you want some sleepy head down your lap.  They gave us some oily bread for breakfast, probably made to be that oily so you wouldn't want to have another one. Everyone slept, including me, but after an hour I couldn't sleep anymore after waking up from a series of dream where I kept bumping my head into the window of the bus.

I listened to some music then got really bored. I then had an awesome idea of taking pictures of people sleeping, i.e., my friend Eka who didn't want to take the train with the scenic view.  I had to wake her up when I couldn't hold my pee anymore because she was on the aisle seat. On the first deck of the bus, everyone was sleeping everywhere.

it was more than an hour of painful bumpy ride. this is what we looked like when we found out we weren't even halfway to Siem Reap.
I don't even remember seeing any seats reclined to about 178 degrees.  You definitely didn't understand what I meant so let's just move on to the story where I had to pee and almost banged my head on the toilet wall because the bus was so wiggly.

Arriving in Aranyaphratet we only have a small idea on what to do and that is to find that entrance to the border of Cambodia. I saw these bunch of people coming from somewhere and I was so smart to figure out that those might be Cambodians who just crossed the border.  Kuya Mon (I now know Kuya #2's name... with the help of Eka actually. It's unbelievable she can remember names, I even have to give her the credit for telling me Chok's name or else I would have called him Kuya #1)... anyway as I was saying.

it's not like we had a choice
. Kuya Mon told us to be careful of Cambodia, everything there is about money.  Don't talk to anyone and just be really careful as well with the water and food.  

Eka and I got a tiny bit scared about the warnings we ended up bringing two gallons of water with us and when we where finally in Cambodia, I didn't look at anybody and walked extremely fast (well, not very fast. keep in mind 2 gallons of water!).  I thanked the heavens once again for having two passports that I am able to save money in traveling. When leaving the Philippines I use my German passport to avoid paying the Filipino Travel Tax (about 40$). This time in Cambodia I used my Philippine passport so I didn't have to pay 20$ for visa. Genius.

Internet said that as much as possible take a share taxi instead of a bus to Siem Reap but we didn't know how to find the taxis.

thought it would be funny to make fun of our sufferings
We found some cars standing by and people getting on it so I thought those were taxis. I asked one of them if they were going to Siem Reap and the driver said "No, Casino". So.... there's a Casino there? Two guys approached us and asked if we needed help but I was trying to be smart that I tried to avoid them and walked around and around Poipet instead bringing 2 gallons of water and our clothes with us.

Another guy approached us and said he's working in the government and of course, my dear people, what bad thing can they do, it's the government for goodness' sakes. We went with the guy and told us that he will take us to the taxis. We got on some bus with only me and Eka there and some three guys who probably works for the government as well.

somewhere in Cambodia
They dropped us off in some office and told us how much the taxi was. I said that we needed a shared taxi then he said that 2 Koreans were coming to join us but they're still in the immigration.

I was suspecting there were no Koreans but still hoping that once in my life I will be wrong. While waiting for the koreans I did some calculations on how to out smart the guy by paying in bahts instead of dollars but it was useless because he had this ridiculous exchange of bahts to riels to dollars that I completely forgot about how I came up with my calculation.

The Koreans arrived and we got on the taxi. It was a very bumpy ride.  We had two stops before we reached Siem Reap and it took us nearly five hours to get there.  Four out of those five hours we were driving through a very rocky, sometimes muddy and very dusty road with no scenic view.

somewhere in Poipet
Eka and one of the Koreans were able to sleep and were saved from the horror of witnessing this one moment where we plunged into a deep and wide hole along a road filled with brown water. It was horrifying and the driver thought it was funny. The other korean joined him with the laughing.  What a great day.

Finally in Siem Reap we were dropped off to some random road. We talked to a tuktuk driver and some guy to take us to our hostel. I was again suspecting them but just a few minutes later we were in our hostel. They told us that the ride was free and there will be a free tour of some temple up a hill that afternoon for free as well and for 12 dollars they will take us to Angkor Wat the next day. We agreed since it didn't sound so bad. Checked in our hostel and then looked for a place to eat.

some guys in Poipet, Cambodia

Looking for a restaurant was a challenge. We couldn't find a place where we were ready to eat some random food but after walking around with empty bellies for an hour we finally settled to one place near our hostel. We got some Japanese food for lunch in a hostel for Japanese people. Some Cambodian guy who works there thought I was cute when he told his Japanese boss that I was cute in Japanese. And from then I started giving the Cambodians a chance. They might not be so bad as we were told to be after all.

irwint says:
so we need visa to cross the border from Thai right? hmmm couldn't get enough of information from, someone please do enlighten me. sharing is caring
Posted on: Sep 19, 2011
the_bloodsucker says:
i will be doing this too, hanie! thanks for the story. :D
Posted on: Aug 11, 2008
aswold says:
What a vivid blog. I felt like I was there with you.
Posted on: Aug 04, 2008
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photo by: iMush