(but the rest of me is!)
Can you believe it took 5 solid minutes to think of an appropriate title? Der...
Anyhoo - 48 year old solo female from Oz.
I have my return flight BNE to BKK booked.
Going to Chiang Mai first for a month, then to Cambodia PNH for 2 months. Where you come in is I have not got the leg booked out of PNH back to BKK as I have a few days to play with between leaving PNH (29 Oct) and BKK (1 Nov). (immig issue at airport coming in is my concern)
Some of the stuff I've read re corrupt practices at border crossings leaves me a little cold - so my 2 questions are:
1. How to get from PNH to BKK (found flight on airasia for US$61 (+taxes+luggage!!) - would you recommend the bus/ train and crossing at Poipet? (ugh?)
2. Would you spend the 3 nights at a beach in Cambodia (Kep?) or in Bangers? (never been there).
apologies for the lengthiness...
thanks in anticipation of genius responses
#1 jazzed has been a member since 25/7/2011. Posts: 7
Thanks Rasheed. Mekong or Sorya?
#3 jazzed has been a member since 25/7/2011. Posts: 7
thanks for the link - seems like a pretty painless way to go (and much cheaper than flying too). Thanks for your responses Rasheeed (3 e's!)
#5 jazzed has been a member since 25/7/2011. Posts: 7
I had to smile at the description of the bus from PP to Bangkok which goes via Poipet being easy.I would describe it as a day of hell but then I hate dirty Cambodian buses,karaoke and stopping every 5 or 6 kilometres to fit in someone who has a bag of rice to transport to the next village.As far as the company goes some of them advertise having toilets on board-avoid them like the plague as the said toilet is about 3 foot high and they often stack up the odd motor bike or two in front of it so even if you fancy crawling into a stinking cesspit on your hands and knees it becomes virtually impossible.
My advice would be take the bus to Koh Kong and have a look at the beach there.It's not so well known but the beach is beautiful and there are some vendors selling drinks and seafood.If you haven't got time take a motodop or tuk-tuk to the border and on crossing you can get an air-conditioned Thai van to Trat , another pleasant little town if you want to stop.From Trat plenty of excellent buses run to Bangkok and take around 5 hours.(this route is probably the quickest from PP to BKK) If you decide to kill time in Koh Kong I recommend 'Blue Moon' guesthouse and Padis pub (He runs both).Padi is a Khmer and one of the nicest guys in Cambodia as well as an excellent cook and host.He'll sort everything out for you.
The alternative is the through ticket from PP to Bangkok.Khmer bus to the border and then an overcrowded van to Khaosan Road.
BTW There are no scams going into Thailand at Koh Kong border. I'll correct that, after crossing I was asked for the van ticket money by a guy who wasn't the driver.Make sure you pay the guy who gets in behind the wheel.
Thanks Sayadian. Plenty of good info there... just have read some horror stories about overland border crossings Cambodia/Thailand ... being a solo female - maybe once I hit the road I'll be a bit more adventurous (not enough to do the horrendous bus trip you describe - I'm no princess but try to avoid 'stinking cesspits'!)
The other issue is will my not having a ticket out of PNH be an issue on arrival (I have the ticket booked from BKK to BNE though)?
Will check out the Koh Kong/Trat route and accommodation recommendations! Many thanks for your informative and humorous response (s)!
#9 jazzed has been a member since 25/7/2011. Posts: 7
'The other issue is will my not having a ticket out of PNH be an issue on arrival (I have the ticket booked from BKK to BNE though)?'
When you arrive in Phnom Penh the only thing you will need is a pen for the visa application normally filled in on the airplane and a photo for the visa.I'm assuming you don't have a visa for Cambodia so when you arrive you will join the scrum at the visa-on-arrival counter, hand in your passport and application and move a few paces to your right to wait for your passport to be processed.They normally shout out the names but the pronounciation is so bad it's worth getting near the counter to see if it's your passport.You then hand over your $20.Nobody asks you for anything.I'm sure that even Osama Bin Laden could have strolled into Cambodia when he was alive without so much as a curious look.All they are interested in is your 20 bucks.Once you get your visa you move on to the immigration line and have it stamped.Outside is the usual S.E.Asian scrum of taxi, tuk-tuk drivers.The main road is 50 metres away suggest you ignore all the stupid prices thrown at you and start walking towards the road quoting $5 as your price to wherever you are going.Before you get to the road one of the drivers will take the deal.
I'm working for an NGO while there - visa will be ready for me to pick up at airport - feeling relieved to know that I will not be harassed for proof of leaving - thanks! (if I do I'll say "but Sayadian said that...!"). If you feel like answering more inane questions, should I pack some snacks for the wait for my visa??
#11 jazzed has been a member since 25/7/2011. Posts: 7
I'm just a citizen who has to get his visa so I have no idea how you privilged NGO's are treated
I suspect that at the pace Cambodia moves at you'll probably have a wait.
But who will you see to get this visa? I haven't got a clue.It might be easier to go straight to Immigration and avoid the scrum .Someone should be able to help you. Although the Khmer are pretty incompetent one thing they are is nice and helpful.
can't wait - I'm getting into SEA 'thai time' mode as we speak - I'm assuming the Khmer are similarly laid back - I wonder if they have their own little phrase to describe this lack of western heart-attack inducing 'efficiency' - in Australia the Aboriginal people work on 'murri - time' - stuff happens or not when it does! Cheers for beers and your help. Thanks.
#13 jazzed has been a member since 25/7/2011. Posts: 7
Jazzed, I got through Cambodian immigration at PP airport with no return ticket & a visa on arrival with a combo of my middle name & only part of last name. Even asked if the name on visa thing was an issue, but got waved through. Really, they just want your $20.
#14 chocgirl has been a member since 9/3/2010. Posts: 21
"BTW There are no scams going into Thailand at Koh Kong border."
Bhaha that has to be a joke. I saw khmers get scammed going through Koh Kong, and of course there are the guys who want to fill out your forms for you and take your bag across. But anyway if locals are getting scammed there surely foreigners are too.
Local scam was "first time to use Khmer passport, need to pay fee".
I don't know how Koh Kong scams got into this but yes, there are plenty going into Cambodia as Voyagner says. Best to take your own pen and ignore the touts, unfortunately you can't avoid the rip-off prices for Cambodian visa.Coming into Thailand I only know of one scam that's the guy who tries to get you to pay him for the van whilst the driver is on break.No doubt if you DO pay him he'll scuttle back across the border with your money and await your departure.Why do theThais let these guys wander back and forth across the border?
I have doubts you saw Khmer getting scammed in Cambodia, maybe they were Thais?.
OP here, thanks chocgirl - comforting to know that there will be *no* issues visa wise - and readers if you are interested in this little fact - I am currently in Mae Hong Son - and based on the two road trips I've experienced in the past 3 days (9 hours from Chiang Mai to MHS - a hellish experience - take barf bag!!!!!!! and a terrific in many ways but horrific travel experience 4WDriving up to the Burmese border today - I have decided to fly PNH to BKK as I will never ever set a toenail in a bus again - ever! Hellish!! (anyway the stuff I saw/experience made up for it!).
Thanks for all the responses. Chok dee!
#18 jazzed has been a member since 25/7/2011. Posts: 7