It was a hectic week in Asia, it doesn’t feel like its going too fast and we have seen a lot.
Starting in Bangkok:
After a full day of travel we arrived at ‘Mybed’ hotel at 3am. We slept until 8.30am before we got up to explore. Our hotel was nice but nothing fancy. 3 nights for 100NZD – pretty good price and it was clean with a free breakfast of toast and tiny bananas.
We soon figured out we…okay, me….had picked a hotel half an hour out of town. OOPS. We stayed in Sathorn, the business district. Our first taxi ride into Kho San Road was full of traffic. I thought Auckland was bad but they have nothing on Bangkok. We didn’t ask for the meter so we were charged 200B for the trip. We later found out we got ripped off as it should have been around 150B but hey, now we know.
Upon arrival into town we found out it was national buddha day and all the temples and attractions are free for that one day! Even the tuk tuk prices were 40B for the whole day ( thats about $1.60NZD). The government gives them fuel vouchers if they take tourists to see specific tailors and attractions. We lucked out big time and saved some dosh.
Thank you Thailand.
Our first driver tried to get us to pay 80USD to go on the floating market water ride which we weren’t keen on and didn’t want to blow the budget for a dirty water ride. Instead we found a little restaurant on the pier and told the driver we would eat there instead, He packed a shitty and we later realised we had been ditched! Served by a very handsome lady (if you get what i mean) we drank beers and Shaun had curry- as usual. I just had ice-cream which she thought was very weird and made a point of telling me. We found another driver and continued on our way. Shaun found a tailor who is making him a cashmere suit and two cotton dress shirts for the equivalent of 240NZD.
We spent the following days eating street food, getting massages and walking markets.
Sadly it was time to leave,which brings me to the HARDEST DAY SO FAR!
We caught a taxi to the sky train, to a taxi to the bus station where we arrived an hour and a half early. I spotted a massage place so we went there. The massage went on so long that we missed our bus… After the first lot of tears, and the silent treatment we were on a new bus to the boarder of Cambodia (5hr trip).
We reached the bus station and everyone was ushered off to get in the back of a pickup truck with seats. Nearly at the boarder crossing Shaun realises he doesn’t have his passport- We had to pull them out numerous times on the way for them to check.
The panic set in… we needed to get back to the bus! The driver of the pick up truck made everyone get out and took us back to the bus station.
The bus was gone…
After many phone calls the guy said the driver of the bus couldn’t find it but we didn’t believe him. We asked to get taken to meet the bus. We paid 200B from what should have been a 5b ride to get there, money didn’t matter at that point, I was visualising being stuck in the town by the boarder that I didn’t know the name of and it smelt funny. We reached the bus, Shaun checked his chair pocket…nothing then checked mine… BAM its there. He’d put it in mine for some reason(obviously because he can’t be trusted). Feeling relieved we made our way back to the border crossing.
Backpacks on the back, day packs on the front we walked..
We made our way through scooters, people pulling carts of everything you can possibly think of, up the million stairs through the departure of Thailand another 200meters to an office where you pay for your arrival visa. We got scammed again but there isn’t anything you can do about it. They added money onto the visa, because they can… we left there and walked another distance to the arrival of Cambodia checkpoint. Waiting in the line, I went first, every thing went very smooth.. Shaun walks up and gets ushered to the back of the line because he wasn’t standing behind the red line ( or at least thats what we thought). He was losing his cool, after the day we had just had, this is the last thing we needed. I kept saying “be nice, just smile” it worked, he got through but was raging at this point. We stepped out into a swarm of people. Like mosquitos to my skin they wouldn’t f*** off.There was a sign saying ‘free bus’ above us, we had read it was a scam. I pointed to it and out loud Shaun said the word “SCAM”… Hell broke loose, the Cambodian man standing in front of us let rip at Shaun..”you come to my country saying scam, all big and mighty, you use those words again , you will never speak again”. Im very proud that Shaun stayed calm and followed me out of the crowd. He ended up saying yes to a driver to take us to Siem Reap for $30USD(Yes that is a lot, but we needed out of the situation and an end to a hard travel day).
I have never seen anything like the driving in Cambodia. SOOOOO DANGEROUS, they overtake people with oncoming traffic, they use their horns a lot. Scary is an understatement but it seems to work for them. We made it to Pub street where we sat and had a beverage and used the wifi to look up hostels. ‘Onederz’ was close, we followed our map and arrived to a buzzing hostel. $22USD a night for a private room with an ensuite and aircon, the place had two pools and an awesome hangout area. Probably a tad expensive but we didn’t hesitate.
We made it. We slept.
To read about Cambodia keep following, thanks for reading.
Elle and Shaun ❤