The road from Siem Reap

Bangkok Travel Blog

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Traffic jam on the highway to Bankgok - yes, this is the main road

I'm back where it all started for me in SE Asia.  The bus journey here was a test of one's endurance.  I already mentioned how corrupt the Cambodian government is, but I got to see how bad on the way to Bangkok.  This route is well-traveled, especially by tourists who fly into Bangkok and want to do a quick trip to see Angkor Wat.  You would expect such a road to be nice and well-maintained.  Well, not in Cambodia.  One of the airlines has been bribing the Cambodian government to keep the roads basically crap so more people fly.  And boy are the roads horrible!  We ended up having to cram in the back of a truck, about 10 of us, to drive to the outskirts of town to get to the bus because it was stuck on the road.

Just a little trench in the road
  When we arrived it was utter chaos.  Cars and trucks just piled everywhere on the road.  The road by the way was actually clay mud.  I know they can pave roads here.  I've seen them, but not on this stretch.  We had to get out with our bags and walk through the muck, around two big holes in the road, to reach the bus.  The bus, itself, was a big mud pit as well.  We got on, sweating and muddy, and prayed we would not get stuck along the way.  We were fortunate in that the road had mostly dried from the daily rain, but it was dirty and bumpy.  Everyone had a layer of dirt on their bags and themselves after about a six hour journey.  At the border town Poipet, we suffered through the holes and bumps to stop at the border.
It was a muddy walk around to get to our bus
  After we went through the border crossing, you would've thought we reached road paradise.  On the Thai side it was nice, paved streets and the bus was nice, clean and air-conditioned.  I still really dig Cambodia, though!

Tomorrow night I set off for Colombia to begin a two month tour of a few countries in South America (and finish my trip boohoo!).  My flight will take me through Seoul and Los Angeles, with long layovers in each city on Saturday.   I get to live Saturday twice in two different parts of the world!  That will screw the head up.  That also means I will hit U.S. soil for the first time in almost a year.  It will be strange, although short-lived.  I eventually arrive in Bogota Sunday morning after traveling pretty much half way around the world.  Until then, I plan to eat all the pineapple I can stand while it's easily available on the street, and maybe pick up a tattoo!

 

worldcitizen says:
That's interesting to know that the road is purposely being kept in poor condition. It seems like people have been expecting it to be completed for years.
Posted on: May 15, 2008
ratu says:
Surely me too!

Great! I like adventures!

JC
Posted on: May 09, 2008
darlingwish says:
oh i see there's still no improvement! shame. but i'll be crossing that road again this august. ^^
Posted on: May 08, 2008
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Traffic jam on the highway to Bank…
Traffic jam on the highway to Ban…
Just a little trench in the road
Just a little trench in the road
It was a muddy walk around to get …
It was a muddy walk around to get…
I couldnt believe the chaos
I couldn't believe the chaos
Bangkok
photo by: Deats