Monday, 11 June 2007

4th June – Leaving Cambodia – Journey from Siem Reap to Bangkok overland

Taxi arrived at 8am for the trip to Poipet. When I had read about this trip previously I knew that it wasn’t a good road, unpaved in parts and pot holed. The reality was a four hour ride over what must hold a record for the worst road in the world. How the car was still in one piece and driveable was a complete mystery. It ranged from just very bumpy to total bone shaking madness.
The guide book had said that the best thing about Poipet was leaving it and it was totally correct. Dreadful place and thankfully all customs and departure stuff was dispensed with quickly and it was a short walk in the crushing heat, laden down with backpacks and souvenirs, to the Thai border. We had never crossed a border on foot before so it was quite an experience.
We managed to get a tuk tuk to Aranyaprathet for the train to Bangkok. There were only two 3rd class trains a day to BK and when we arrived at the station it was like traveling back in time to the Victorian era. The train was another story also, as how do you describe a six hour train journey on wooden bench seats?! The open windows provided great air conditioning and we certainly got to see a great deal as we inched slowly towards Bangkok. We met a nice Belgium guy who was a professional photographer so chatting to him passed the time somewhat. By the time we arrived at 8pm we had been travelling for 12 hours and looked and felt like it. Arriving at the Hotel de Moc (our home in BK!) felt wonderful and so civilised.

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