Poipet Border control...

Poipet Travel Blog

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Preparing to leave Thailand

On the bus to Cambodia.

Aim of the day? To try and get a visa for as close as possible to $20 (the official fee) and avoid being cheated by the Poipet border control officials. Once that is out of the way, grab a taxi to Siem Reap.

After 6 hours on the bus from Thailand, we hopped on a pick-up taxi at Aranya Prathet and headed towards the border a few kms down the road. We cleared the Thai side easily and walked straight onto a muddy road. In front of us, a gate with an large Angkor Wat carving and a 'Welcome to Cambodia' sign. But the border control office was nowhere to be seen..

After practically walking under the gate and into the country an official asked us to follow him to the visa application service.

First site of Cambodia - got to get a visa though!
He carefully avoided to take us directly to the office window and sat us down asking us to pay 1000Bahts ($30) for the visa. The reason? The office window clearly states the visa costs $20 so they were trying to make a hefty 50% profit on that. Thankfully I had done my research and headed towards the official desk. Of course that didnt improve things much. The guy claimed that the sign was old and that they didnt accept dollars, which we knew was a lie. Once I refused to pay the money, he closed the window and we both started playing the waiting game... Since I was not willing to spend the rest of my day in limbo, I finally presented $25 and got the all-important sticker! Cambodia, here we come!!

Next step was to walk along the muddy road and try to find out where we got the bus or taxi to siem reap.

"eh, it says $20 up there..."
We finally hopped on to a free shuttle bus and reached the "bus station" which is operated by a private company. On the way there, we were given a lecture about how amazing the cambodian government is for offering us free shuttle buses and how we should boycot thai products...

Once at the bus station, we were lucky enough to find two girls to share a taxi with. We only had to wait for around an hour (!) for the taxi to appear and by 3pm we were on our way. Two girls, two boys, the taxi driver and his wife - all in a 5 seater Toyota, in what was one of the most bumpy drives!! The road has no tarmac for the most part of it and there are more holes than you can imagine a road would ever have. We ignored all that by playing 20 questions and had a great time! On the way, we met friendly cambodians who waived at us and immediatelly proved that the border patrol officers do not represent cambodian attitude.

the road to Siem Reap!

At the point when we all started wondering whether we would ever get there, the road drammatically changed into a modern dual carriage way, with neon signs all over the place -  we thought we had entered a new world, the world of Siem Reap.

We reached our guesthouse at 8pm tired and hungry but it was worth it. Earthwalkers, a guesthouse on route 6, situated between Siem Reap, Angkor and the airport has it all; friendly people, good food, a very relaxing atmosphere and a pool shaped like a foot!!

What an amazing experience.

Biedjee says:
whahaha, that is exactly what happened to me when I tried to get my Visa at the border - everybody was trying to apply a surcharge!
Posted on: Nov 16, 2008
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Preparing to leave Thailand
Preparing to leave Thailand
First site of Cambodia - got to ge…
First site of Cambodia - got to g…
eh, it says $20 up there...
"eh, it says $20 up there..."
the road to Siem Reap!
the road to Siem Reap!
doesnt really get any better...
doesnt really get any better...
but there are parts that are beaut…
but there are parts that are beau…
shop on the way. Provides drinks, …
shop on the way. Provides drinks,…
and ran by friendly cambodians.
and ran by friendly cambodians.
photo by: iMush