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Published: October 31st 2009
Typical transport in Cambodia
That woman is NOT driving. She's the passenger.
After a few amazing but exhausting days, we leave Siem Reap, Cambodia and head towards Chiang Rai, Thailand. We start with a 2 hour drive back to the border and the uniquely distasteful city of Poipet, Cambodia. I hate to be disparaging of other cultures but this town gives me the creeps. It's just a dirty slimy lil craphole. It's just an overall feeling of "confuse then screw the tourist".
The car trip back to Poipet though was uneventful and beautiful ride through the countryside. That's all due to the road from Poipet to Siem Reap being completely surfaced now. Just 6 months ago, it was still a dirt road with potholes that swallowed trucks alive and took about 6+ hours to reach Siem Reap (on a good day- heaven forbid it rained and turned it into a mudhole too).
The border crossing into Thailand was a piece of cake compared to entry into Cambodia. Once we walked across the "no man's land" bridge between the two countries and into Thailand, we took a tuk-tuk to the bus station and took an uneventful 3 hour bus to Bangkok Airport. Arrival at the airport was smooth compared to our arrival from Singapore
Typical sight in Cambodia
Our taxi driver says these type of cows think they are "King of the Cows" since they just wander into the road and expect you to go around them.
a week ago. We didn't tell you about the "pile up" on the travelator (it's like an escalator yet it's a moving sidewalk but at a 30 degree angle down to the lower level). A couple loaded down with about 500 pounds of luggage tipped over their trolley cart and caused the couple behind them to tip theirs over. Rick and I were next in line and started back pedaling up the travelator until we couldn't go any further. It was about to be a serious mass of bodies piled on one another when they managed to kick their luggage to the side. Would have been great video for America's Funniest Videos.
Once at the airport, we had lunch in a Japanese soup restaurant which was really good until it came to the part of them losing our money that we'd just paid the bill with. They were so confused, they had to call an airport restaurant manager to count the register. We made known our displeasure and they were quite flustered and apologetic about the mixup.
We then took a short flight to northern Thailand and the beautiful city of Chiang Rai. After 14 hours of travel and it
Typical Cambodian traffic
Sometimes you just look away and pray.
being 10PM, our lovely guesthouse and hostess was a welcome sight. We are staying at Baan Rub Aroon guesthouse and are guests of a wonderful lady named Nong. She is delightful and she and Tammy have been acquainted for many years.
Tammy (I) visited Thailand for business purposes roughly 6 years ago and Nong was one of the nurses that I worked with during my fabulous stay. She and all the staff of the Chiang Rai Health Clinic were so kind to me and we all worked really hard starting up a clinical trial involving HIV positive women. After all the clinical trials were finished about 2 years ago, the house which contained the staff offices was available to buy. Nong, being the adventurous woman she is, bought it and turned it into a beautiful guesthouse- Baan Rub Aroon. It is in a fabulous location and the property is overflowing with garden greenery. Being a nurse in her "former" life, Nong holds up a high standard of cleanliness and efficiency in her guesthouse. It is a joy being here. Very relaxing to hear the tropical birds and smell the flowers. Ahhhhhhhhh....finally a little relaxation but just a little as we're
off to the next temple or two tomorrow,
P.S. I've loaded videos to a couple of previous blog so don't forget to check out Ta Phrom and Tonle Sap Lake.
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