Riding shot-gun again
Ha Tien Travel Blog› entry 91 of 126 › view all entries
My Cambodian visa expires today but it was an easy run from Sihanoukville to the Vietnam border at Ha Tien, also on the coast. (Ha Tien is the stepping off point for Phu Quoc Island - Vietnam's finest.) I bought a $12 mini-van ticket and got to ride shot-gun to Kampot, first and longest of the 3-leg jaunt at about an hour and fifteen minutes. One European traveler and I were dropped at a small ticket office to wait for our onward ride while the van delivered the other passengers to various guesthouses or hotels in the quiet town. Then a gray mini-van arrived from Phnom Penh with only two of its passengers headed for Kep. The four of us finally boarded another for Kep, about half an hour further east.
At the White Horse Monument, instead of continuing straight to the border we angled right, toward Kep. We dropped the English couple off at the Veranda Bungalows which had spectacular views of the Gulf of Thailand from a tropical hill-side forest. The other passenger, a Frenchman, was dropped at a seaside resort. Now I was the only remaining passenger and riding shot-gun again.
Surly they would not dispatch an air-conditioned, four wheeled vehicle out to the border with one measly passenger. The driver made several calls on his cell phone and I was certain they were to line up a motorbike taxi.
I was prepared to accept the fate, knowing well that it would be a terrific off-season adventure but the van climbed a rough and dusty road to another hill-side resort to pick up an Aussie couple. They were headed to Kampot and I was thrilled when the driver told them we would be stopping at the border first. Back out on Highway 33, he hooked a right at the giant White Horse and we sped to the border. I hired a $2 motorbike taxi at the Cambodian check point. He drove me to the Vietnam check point, waited for the half-hour formalities there, then delivered me to the familiar Thienh Long Hotel - four hours after leaving Sihanoukville. It was nice to be back in Vietnam.