Aranyaprathet... or Armpit?

Trip Start Jan 05, 2010
Trip End Apr 24, 2010

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Where I stayed
Aran Gardens 2

Flag of Thailand  ,
Sunday, January 10, 2010

For the uninitiated, Bangkok is exhausting – the constant crowd surfing and frantic racing from place to place takes its toll. Rather than rush through a 1-day trip to Siem Reap, Cambodia, we decided to sleep in and use the afternoon to make the half-day trip to Aranyaprathet on the border with Cambodia. A comfortable, air-conditioned 4-hour bus ride from Morchit Station took us through countryside we described as a combination of KZN South Coast vegetation (palm, lychee and banana trees) punctuated with rural Mozambiquan-style villages. Despite the sleep in, both of us snuck in some shut-eye on the bus trip so our coverage is admittedly patchy!

We took a tuk tuk from the bus terminal to Aran Gardens II Hotel where we made the amateur backpacking mistake of paying before seeing a room. Relieved of B370 (approx R85) we were shown to our room which was not quite the Arabella Sheraton, but was at least clean. The room was our first with a television and we were super-excited to discover channel 47: KaraokeTV – Richard romanced Melissa (and the neighbours) by belting out some superb ballads in his best Thai!

During the stroll to find a dinner venue, we decided that Aranyaprathet is far too difficult to pronounce and would be far better served by the name Armpit. I suppose border towns are like this in most parts of the world, I doubt travellers have a better experience of Komatipoort?

Delicious pad thai dinner with beer followed by cocktails (all for R80) we headed back to the hotel. On the way, Melissa grabbed my arm and says "Look, an elephant!". Convinced she had drunk too many cocktails I took little notice, until a trunk reached for my hand and we were standing face to face with a baby Asian elephant in the middle of the street. We purchased a bag of food from the handlers which he was very eager to take from Melissa's hand. What a strange and wonderful experience in the middle of town! We watched him stroll on down the road and then retreated back to our hotel for the night...rock hard mattress, rock pillows and 3 billion mosquitoes – long night ahead!
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Michael on

Haha nice! But seriously the moment you guys hear the melody of squeaky hot white beach sand, I want to know where hehe. keep enjoying!

Theo on

Hi guys, Great to see you guys enjoying the travels. Keep up the updates.

Nick on

We love Komatioort!

r.m.heslop on

Hehe, should I ask why you like it? ;-) Only ever appealed as a pitstop to grab a cold beer on the way into Kruger!

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