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Bangkok and the border crossing to Siem Reap

By juliesams, 06/18/2010 - 07:44

Our Thailand tourist visa was fast approaching it’s expiry date by now (nearly 60 days in Thailand!), so once we had the all clear that Mark’s leg had healed, we quickly set off to Bangkok to continue our travels.

We took an overnight bus to Bangkok, where we stayed for a couple of nights to see and do a few things that we had missed out on our first visit there. We took a boat down the river, taking in the sights along the way, walked up and down ‘backpacker central’ Khao San Road and surrounding area (jury is still out for me on that one, although the world cup party was entertaining), and we had dinner at the top of the Baiyoke Tower with some great night views over Bangkok. All in all though, we decided that Bangkok wasn’t that amazing, and certainly didn’t fall under it’s spell like so many other travellers do. Maybe it was because we didn't party there, trawl the sex scene, or perhaps it was the contrast from rural Chumphon, but it just simply didn’t appeal to us.

From Bangkok we were Siem Reap bound. I should point out here, that having been ‘stuck’ in Chumphon I had had plenty of time to research the journey. I now wish I hadn’t wasted so much time.

Again and again I read travellers horror stories of this particular border crossing. So much so, that we contemplated flying instead just to avoid it! However, as Bangkok Airways have a monopoly on the Bangkok-Siem Reap route and overcharge considerably, this would have set us back about £350 – needless to say this was well over our budget! So instead, off we set overland bracing ourselves for the much talked about nightmare.

We left our Bangkok hotel at 6.30am, and by 3pm we were checked in at a guesthouse in Siem Reap, both grinning from ear to ear and wondering what all the fuss was about. The journey was smooth, the border crossing itself straight forward, and what’s more it only cost £27 in total for both of us door-to-door! Moral of the story? Don’t believe everything you read on the internet.