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Koh Kong route

Cambodia borders on Thailand, Laos and Vietnam, three of them it has two lands border open between Thailand and Cambodia. One day I hit on a plan to visit Myanmar through Bangkok via seaside border Koh Kong. I left my house in Phnom Penh by 07:15 local bus (12,000r : about 4US$) to Sihanoukville on the end of January 2002.

Sank pier in Sihanoukville

Sank pier in Sihanoukville

There is one cruise for every day from Sihanoukville to border town Koh Kong. As we forced waiting for more than 30 minutes for engine trouble of our bus I caught the 12:00 boat (15US$) barely.



motorboat

Changing to speedboat (costs is depends on your negotiate)

We took speedboat at the village of Pak Long, just before Koh Kong.



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Thai border Hat Lek

Thai border Hat Lek

Thai border Hat Lek

After 30 minutes cruise our speedboat landed on a small shore where taxis and motos (motorcycle with driver) waiting. We took taxi with share the cost and at last we arrived at the border at 16:30. It took 10-hours from my house to the border.



Thai border Hat Lek

The border open at 07:00 to 17:00

I enter Thailand at 16:50, and took minibus to Trat where local bus service to Bangkok. Last bus to Bangkok (4-hours ride) started at 19:00. My long day was end at hotel in Bangkok just before midnight. From Phnom Penh to Bangkok, it took 17-hours and costs about 36US$. It was excited and exhausted experience for me.


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Aranya Prathet

Thai-Cambdia border

Thai-Cambdia border : Aranya Prathet

One month later in the end of February : I was back to Bangkok after 3 weeks trip of Myanmar. This time I decided to return Cambodia via another land border Aranya Prathet (Thailand side) to Poi Pet (Cambodian side). I bought a tourist bus ticket to Siem Reap at Khao San Rd in Bangkok. How wonder it was only 150B (about 3.5US$), it is cheaper than local buses fee to the border. I suspect there's some underhand trickery involved in this cost.



Thai-Cambdia border

Thai-Cambdia border

Immigration of Thailand

Anyway we started with comfortable air-condition buses at 07:00 in the next morning. After lunch (of course it was own expense) we arrived at Thai border Aranya Prathet at 13:00. There were many travelers walk to the border like crowd to refugee camp. There was no problem till here. Secret of cheaper ticket will bring to light be later at Cambodian side.


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Poipet to Siem Reap

Border gate of Cambodia

Border gate of Cambodia
Children

Children

I didn't know why but we divided into each country at the border by guide of travel agent. It took long time to entry formalities of Cambodia I waited for more than 1 and half hours till all Japanese finished. We were led to a pick up truck waiting at the circle.



Night fell while we were on our way Siem Reap. I thought the truck must stop at the town but it went direct to in a guesthouse where some men waiting. They surrounded the truck and began to unload our backpacks without our permit. I noticed they share the cost of tourist bus for force to stay their guesthouse.

To Siem Reap

We had 3 and half hours ride To Siem Reap by this truck

I guess the background of this unpleasant affair is increasing guesthouses of Siem Reap shoot up like mushrooms after a rain. The opposite direction there is a tourist bus too but cost is 13US$ it is normal price. Be careful cheaper bus ticket from Bangkok to Cambodia.

"All is well that ends well".


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to Siem Reap


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