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Caroline and Andy’s Travel Diary

Tuesday, 27 Feb 2007

Location: Bangkok to Siem Reap, Cambodia

MapArrived at the guest house late this evening, about 10pm, after having left Bangkok at around 8am. We knew the bus journey was going to take a while, as its a bit of a scam, but it was cheap - so ho hum. 6gbp for the whole trip.

Basically they make the journey take longer than it should, so that by the time you arrive and they drop you at their guest house, you're so tired and dirty that you don't want to search around. Pretty clever idea if you ask me!! If only you could do that in Edinburgh!

We had a nice air conditioned bus from Bangkok to the border, then we walked through the border (signs showed pictures for pedestrians and carts - rather than pedestrians and car). They dropped us off at a restaurant for lunch while our passports were processed (again spending money at their chosen restaurant) - then after the border we were all loaded onto a smaller bus, with no air con, so we had to keep the windows open. They put us on the bus, then chucked our bags in, which filled up the aisle of the bus (so you had to crawl over them). The roads from this point on were shocking, but again we were expecting this, so no nasty surprises. The lonely planet refers to this drive as the Boulevard of Broken Backsides, and alledgedly a large international airline pays a political party an undisclosed sum each year to ensure the road is not improved, so that people choose to fly to Phnom Penh and get a bus from there. We also broke down twice on the drive, adding an extra 30 minutes to the journey. While we stopped, some people used the opportunity to go to the bathroom (the field), although you're advised not to stray far from the road edge incase of landmines - I just held it!

Anyways, we arrived late covered in red dust, Andy actually looked like he had ginger hair! We took the room at the guest house we were dropped off. (Is a scam a scam if you know its happening?). We got an air-con room for slightly cheaper than normal, but we are a little distance outside of the centre of Siam Reap, but we get free travel by motorbike to and from the centre from the guest house, and everyone is really friendly.

Yesterdays journey took 14 hours all in all, and although it was pretty shitty, it was an experience which I'm glad we did. We got to see more of the countryside as well - most of the houses are wooden and on stilts with palm leaf roof's. And dogs everywhere!!

Watched a video on Angkor Wat, had a couple of beers and then it was off to bed for us.