Before I go into details about my travel to Cambodia, I have to tell you about getting my Minibus ticket.
At the only street vendor who sells minibus tickets to Cambodia, I ask if they go to chem seiam border. I show the girl on a map where it is, and also show her google maps, which shows the translation. It takes a few minutes, but finally I think we are talking about the same place. She first kept thinking I want to go to siem reap because that is where all tourist go. I am NOT a tourist!
Anyways, she makes a few calls, and says, she has 2 seats open for tomorrow. This is great, the price is 550 baht ($20), which includes the ferry to the mainland. Remember, I am still on an Island.
So, all is good!
This is where the story actually begins.
7 am and I am at the vendors desk waiting for the minibus. It is a really nice day, and to top it off, a Monk is walking by and says, “Good morning” in English to me. This has made my day. I am all smiles.
Not long later the Minibus pulls up and says, “Siem Reap” and I thought I heard him wrong, then he says, “Cambodia” in broken English. I am like, yes, yes. I show my my ticket and he loads me in.
As we are driving, a girl around my age is in the seat in front of me and I notice she is fucking CRAZY! She is singing, annoying the driver, calling a local crazy. What is wrong with her!
A guy behind me says, he thinks she is drunk or just losing her mind.
This gives us all something to talk about, and I find out the other 4 guys on the bus are from Germany and going to Siem Reap.
WTF! Ok, maybe after the ferry, we all go to the bus terminal in Trat, and where we go on different buses?
We arrive at the ferry and I ask the driver. He tells me this is for only Siem Reap. My ticket is written in Thai and he tells me it says Siem Reap, not chem seiam.
At this moment, I am thinking, “what are my options?” I can go there, or I can get a ride to the Trat bus station. I ask him if he can drop me off there. He says, he is not allowed, but tells me he can drop me off at another minibus location. He calls and confirms they have a seat.
This is OK. I have the ferry ride to think it over.
I really want to go to chem seiam, so I decide to take the other minibus.
The other minibus wants another 400 baht, but I give my sad face and show her I already paid 550 baht to another company who took me to the wrong place, and she gives me a new deal, 300 baht ($11 CAD). I say, Yes. Still a great deal for a 2 hour bus ride.
A little while later we arrive at the Cambodian border and we all walk across. I leave the group from this Minibus because they are tourist, and tourist normally act like dicks, and ask to many questions.
Even though I know all the scams, and I still get caught in one. A taxi driver tries to tell me to follow him. I do not and go towards the arrivals office, but as I am going up the steps, trying to avoid scammers, a guy who looks like an immigration officer says this way. So I walk over to him. He points a heat gun at my head and pulls the trigger. It reads my head temperature, and then he says, “20 baht!”
This is a health check scam! And I got caught.
I tell him it is a scam, but another guy blocks me from leaving, and I just decide to pay the 20 baht, which is less than a dollar.
Another guy calls me, and I ignore him as I see the actual arrival window. I walk over, they give me an immigration form. I fill it in and hand it back with my papers. 2 minutes later I have a passport stamp and I am on my way through the border.
I get harassed by many locals for taxi, and other things. I finally decide to take a car taxi to 99 Guest House. I bargain down to 350 baht ($15 CAD) for a 26 km ride. I know I can get it for $5 from a motorbike, but I am tired and just want comfort.
It all goes great, and I am now in Cambodia. My room is really nice, and it only cost $10 a night.
Hello Cambodia! Check out my first Cambodian beer with a pull tab for 80 cents Canadian.