Bangkok to Battambang

Trip Start Jul 12, 2003
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Cambodia  ,
Tuesday, August 12, 2003

After hearing about the scams involving Khao San Rd minibuses heading over the Cambodian border we decided to do our own thing - this probably proved equally as dodgy, as the border crossing has to be one of the scariest in South East Asia. The Thailand side was fine - a local bus on a normal road and all pretty civilised - until we walked over the border to the town of Poipet. If you're reading this and planning to go to Cambodia PLEASE try and avoid Poipet if at all possible!! It was a dirty, dusty, crowded town full of begggars and con artists in every shape and form, and not a great introduction to Cambodia. We ended up catching a taxi to Battambang, it was either that or sit in the back of a pick-up truck on sacks of rice with too many people crammed in and get rained on.

During this ride we experienced the horror and chaos of Cambodian roads - crater-like potholes, trucks, motorbikes, bicycles, horses and carts and all sorts of home-made contraptions veering all over the place with the larger vehicles honking their horns non-stop to make everyone move out of their way. We still cannot believe we made it to Battambang safe and sound! The town itself was set on a river and had some old colonial buildings, but not much in the way of things to do. After spending a bit of time here though, we quickly came to realise that not every Cambodian was out to get us (as we felt in Poipet!) but were in fact very polite, friendly, hospitable people and the kids in particular so cute and excited to yell hello and get a wave and reply back.

The local beer (Angkor) is really nice, and there's lots of fresh fruit around and tasty dishes with lots of lemongrass, fresh herbs and ginger used. After calming down a little in Battambang it was time to head on to Siem Reap via boat to visit Angkor Wat...
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