Ride to the Border
Ha Tien Travel Blog› entry 34 of 126 › view all entries
My Lucky Bus Service mini-van ticket from Sihanoukville to Ha Tien was a twenty dollar mistake. It would have been much better to read my own review from last year and take the $7.50 ride to Kampot then find my own transport from there. Fortunately two couples rode all the way to Kep so the three of us heading to the border at least got that close before being passed on to a tuk tuk.
That ride seemed somewhat smooth along the narrow black-top road but was painstakingly slow. Our advance was delayed further by several unscheduled stops.
I was surprised that the driver turned off of the main road to follow the back-country short-cut that motorbike taxis normally used. The graded gravel road was smooth at first but quickly changed to mud and water-filled ruts as we bounced, swayed, and wound through a couple of small villages and around rice paddies, salt farms, and mangrove swamp.
I checked into the Thien Long Hotel where I had stayed last year. The family was thrilled that I returned and went out of their way to make me feel welcome. Their English-speaking daughter was still up in Ho Chi Minh City attending university but her younger brother, about thirteen, had a good grip on the language and got me checked in. Prices had gone up from 100,000 Vietnamese Ðong for an air-conditioned room to 120,000, still a bargain at about US$6.65.