Our trip into Cambodia

Trip Start Nov 20, 2010
Trip End Dec 01, 2011

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Where I stayed
Backpackers Hostel

Flag of Cambodia  ,
Monday, December 13, 2010

We got picked from our hotel in the morning by a mini bus; it was nice because there were only six people on the bus so we got to stretch out and it wasn't a problem. We drove for about three hours until we got about 5km from the border where we stopped for a bite to eat and so that they could check our visa's into Cambodia (we had been told that we could get visas at the border so we didn't get them earlier; what we were apparently confused about was where to get them; the people taking us across the border said it was where we stopped to eat). We ended up paying around $50 each when we could have gotten them earlier for $25 in Bangkok, ya we were not very happy. After waiting about an hour to get them we were taken to the border where we found a sign to the place you are suppose to get your visas on the spot for $20 each!!! (mad again).
We waited in line for 30 min to get through customs just to wait for another bus about 30 min to take us to the taxi station where we would be taxied the rest of the way to Siem Reap. At the taxi station our guides told us that we should convert our Thai money into Cambodian Riel and pay with that because using American currency (which Jackie had read before hand was just as acceptable in Cambodia) would mean they mark everything up, so you end up paying more than you should be. Even though we were very skeptacle of this we exchanged some money; but not a lot cause we weren't 100% convinced.
We failed to however find out what the exchange rate was before switching money and lost about $30 due to the fact that they were using a very highly commissioned exchange rate (although the guy also said we need to exchange thai to riel instead of canadian to riel because there is no commission, how dumb are we!). Also we are sure this particular place was not in fact a licensed exchange premises (meaning that the more tourists the guides get to exchange money the more commission they get; thats our assumption anyway) because we didn't even get a receipt!
By the time we got to our hotel we felt pretty dumb and completely furious! Right off the bat this Thai guy had dampened our experience in Cambodia and left us wondering now if the detour from Thailand for Angkor Wat was even worth it.
We also realized when we go back to Thailand we were booked to stay another 17 days, although our visa would only allow 15. So we e-mailed our travel guy we booked with to see what we should do (and to also let him know we were mad about the place in Bangkok).
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The Badrys' on

Hope all your troubles continue to be small ones. Sounds like lots of fun! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!! We will eat lots of cabbage rolls and perogies for you! LOL

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