Border crossing Trat - Koh kong

Trip Start Feb 26, 2006
Trip End Sep 16, 2006

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Flag of Cambodia  ,
Sunday, April 30, 2006

We've finally crossed into Cambodia, and to the border town/island of Koh Kong. We have arrived in the late afternoon and from here your options are taxi or speedboat. Cambodia is well known for having some of the worst roads in southeast Asia, so taking the boat for us was a no-brainer despite the fact that the set price of the ticket seemed grossly inflated ($15 for a 4 hour ride on a busboat not dissimilar to a garbage scow.)

Some initial impressions of Cambodia--
1. There does not seem to be any formal public transportation, only private motorcycles/boats/Toyota Camrys, all too willing to give you a ride for hugely inflated tourist prices (these informal motorcycle taxis are called "motos" or less commonly "motodops"). While I was arguing with someone over their quoted price, Eva became quite industrious and negotiated our way onto a vegetable truck for $1.00 to cover the 7 minute ride (which the motos wanted to charge $3.00 for.) Before you say anything, let me remind you that we are in Cambodia... policemen make $25 a month, so $3.00 for an 8 minute motorcycle ride is pretty much highway robbery. It's very hard to explain how your relative sense of value changes when you live in a vastly different economy.
2. The place definitely feels much poorer than Thailand. Koh Kong has one small paved road that rings the city, but all the interior roads are dirt, filled with potholes. We do feel a little more nervous in this new environment as we'd heard many stories of bag snatchings and crime here, but these stories are largely limited to the cities of Sihanoukville and the capital of Phnom Penh. Still, we are cautious.

We're spending just a quick overnight here, as the fast boat to Sihanoukville departs only one time at 8:30 am. Hope we remember to set the alarm clock.


Eva's note:
1. Mangos are much cheaper here and I can buy them with Thai Baht, American dollars or Cambodia Riel.

2. There are a lot more New Zealand guys I met here, mostly old, very talkative and always seem to have Cambodian/Vietnamese/Thai girlfriends. I feel like we are back in Pattaya.

3. This is the first time in my life I got "attacked" by a guy, even though just got a grab in my waist. Adam and I were walking down the street when a young guy grabbed at my waist and ran away! I was still feeling dizzy after having taken a motion sickness pill. So when I realize what just happened to me, I threw some rocks at him. If I had been my normal self, the guy will definitely know my Chinese kung FU!!!!!!!

4. The street is much dirtier than in Thailand. People throw trash everywhere, so it's hard to tell where is trash box or not.
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wallawa on

Koh Kong
We were in Koh Kong for 7 days in total 3 on our way to Phnom Penh and 4 on the way back to Thailand. Yes there is a paved road and the side streets are dirt, but you have to remember you are in Cambodia. You would be aware that in almost every country there are workers from a near by country do the work no one else will do. Ever wonderd where it stops? Well it's here.
There are Motos (motorbikes) Tuktuks and taxis at the border all to willing to take you to Koh Kong and the guesthouse they get a bonus for taking yu there. The prices for the ride from the border crossing to the town of Koh Kong is still about $3 - $5 US but barter with them. They will take Baht, US$ and Reil. I found it easier to stick to one currency once I worked out th exchange rate.
The guest houses are all much the same,althought there are a few more up market style rooms there as well. We paid $4US for a room wih 2 double beds, fan and electric and shared toilets and cold showers. A great place to chill out for a few days or go camping n a near by island or in the jungle, go for a dirt bike adventure ask around for Nick.
If you are relying on using an ATM in Koh Kong you can only use visa at the only ATM in town. Use the ATM at the border on the Thai side. You can go to the border and go through to use the ATM and back again at no charge, they will hold your passport until your return.
There are buses, speedboats and taxis to the main places in Cambodia from Koh Kong. About $11 by bus to Sihanoukville and $25 to Phnom Penh. Everything seems to leave in the morning.
Just remember Cambodia is new to all us tourists wondering around their beautiful country there are still a lot of Kamer that have never seem a foreigner. Giv them time they are very friendly and all to willing to open their doors to you in the different villages through out Cambodia.

Bule on

Thoughtless of people to spoil your trip by being old, isn't it?

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