From Otres Beach to Trat and finally to Bangkok

Did get a ticket to Trat in Thailand straight from Otres Beach in Cambodia. So it comes with pick up at the “hotel” and goes all the way to Trat bus station. Now the next morning i had to be out at 6 in the morning – that is not really my time of the day but that is that and i wanted to go to Trat. The taxi to the bus turned out to be a small motor bike and the driver had some problems with my way to big and heavy bag. So i had the bag on my knees and it is quite a long ride to the bus station. After to many minutes at the motorbike we did reach the actual ticket office from where the bus would depart to the border. Still 40 minutes to go so i had a coffee next door. They could not really understand why i wanted a local coffee and not some Nestle instant coffee but then the old woman was convinced with the help of her daughter and i got a nice coffee. Back to the waiting room there was a German couple sitting next to me and it was quite entertaining how they did plan the rest of the day. Even better was a bunch of Russians that a Mini Bus did spit out in front of the office. They where to late for the bus and had to catch a flight from Saigon the next morning. So they had to arrange somehow transportation to the former Vietnamese capital. That did shorten my waiting time a bit. Finally the local beggar did arrive with his woman – mother? She had no shoes and was quite dirty. He did look as he was drinking most of the night. So now she went to everybody that came out of the next few Taxi’s and did try her luck. Walking bag each time to the guy and gave him the money. I hope she gets at last some of it in the end of the day. There was a fat German with his Thai girlfriend and an Italian that could speak German. He gave her all his change and later they did find out that she gave it to the guy. Than the two man did discuss for a while if that was a good idea to give her the cash or if it would be better to get her some breakfast. Well and then with the help of all that people i managed not to fall asleep – the bus did arrive and i went to get a good seat. Which did not work as they filled that bus to the roof. Still it was ok. Turned out that we did stop somewhere for food so the Italian was not happy as he gave away all his Cambodian cash to the lady.

High Noon at the Border

Sure enough the bus got to the border when the sun was blasting down at us and everything was nice hot and full of dust. Out of the bus and the stupid driver managed to park that much to the right that there was only a small path to collect the luggage – even better – they did a good job and all bags on top of each other so it was the usual fight for the bag game.
Than we had to check out of Cambodia – that means walking to the little house and forming a long line in the sun. The usual friendly man did arrive and tried to pull everybody on the side of the house where they offered them “help” with the immigration. That means you give some money and they handle your passport and then you have only to come to the window for the picture and are off. I did not do so and it was quite interesting to see that whole system work. Since they friendly man give money to the immigration officers they had only one window open for the rest of us. Lucky me – i was faster than most and did not have to wait too long. A stamp and picture later i was on my way to walk to the Thai immigration.
Over there two friendly Army guys wanted to check my bag and a minute later i was at the immigration house. Fill out the form – bam – 4 weeks stamp and continue to find my bus. Sure enough the big bus turned into a few different Mini Buses. We had to wait for enough people to fill one of the vans and that took quite some time.
Time to do some more social studies. One guy was in a great hurry as he wanted to go to Koh Chang and was afraid to loos a certain ferry so he could not make it to a certain beach at the same day. So he went back and forth to complain to the guy that did arrange the seats. It is a bit like watching a movie – it was hot and got hotter and so was the temper of the guy getting hotter as well. In the end some did hire a private Taxi for a lot of money which is probably the point of that whole exercise – make some extra Bath…

After a looooong while my Mini Bus finally moved and a few hours later i was in Trat and another Taxi ride later looking for a room. Which took me 20 minutes but i got a nice one with bathroom for 350 after she wanted 450. Why not have some luxury after the few days on the beach in a shitty room.
After the shower i went to find a food place and did run into a friend – what a small world. And i did run into him again next morning on my way to find a breakfast place. How nice 🙂

Bangkok
There was a short window before the sun was down when an army of insects came out of nowhere and attacked the lights outside the guest house. The time of the gecko! All of this was over in 10 minutes and the insects were gone again.

After two nights it was time for the last leg to Bangkok. That was another Mini Bus to the Victory Monument and from there a Taxi to my Guesthouse. We did pass a lot of soldiers and the barbed wired streets where the protest was blocking traffic. I learned later that a few guys did get shoot that day when the police and soldiers tried to clear the roads.

Bangkok
The next day i had to go shopping at Pratunam and did cross one of the streets with a protest camp

Bangkok
Well organized! Shaded sleeping area

Bangkok
A small bomb did go off here – could not really find out what was going on exactly

Bangkok
Very well-organized as well

Bangkok
Some guy came up with the idea that a few layers of x-ray film could stop a bullet. So there was a big “bullet proof vest” production tent. Of course that is complete bullshit!
The Bangkok Post did a test of x-ray bullet proof vest’s and they do not work.

Bangkok
The garden next to my guest house

Bangkok
The view from the guest house – nice to have a beer and relax a bit

Bangkok

Bangkok

Bangkok

Bangkok
Had 2 times dinner with my Paris connection Melanie – too bad she is not in Bangkok – no Paris for me this year…

A few Pictures from Otres Beach in Sihanoukville

After a few days in Kampot Maya and Nana went down to the Otres Beach in Sihanoukville. Since i wanted to visit Terry down there i went with them.
We where lucky to find some rooms as everything was full by the time we got there. And we did find the place that was really chilled. The owner was unfriendly all the time and did not really gave a shit about nothing. He was busy most of the time with rolling joints or watching TV. But if you needed a beer he was quick to get you one – at last.
Let me give you an example. We spend most of the day at his place and got food and drinks there – and we stay there! So i got hungry in the evening and wanted to order some food. He was like “No No you where here the whole day and now i have customers and they want food!” Great so i had to wait another hour before i could order food. Even the boyfriend of Maya did complain about him and he is a local.
I guess when you are the only one with a happy menu you can behave as you please…

Otres Beach

Otres Beach
It was my birthday and i could not resist to get a liter of Pastis for 7 US $! How can you go wrong with that?

Otres Beach
I have no clue if that is cheap or not – but it is easy to get at last

Otres Beach
This is my section of the menu

Otres Beach

Otres Beach
This is wired! A joint is 1,50 anyhow so the Magic Mushrooms are free. Strange!

Otres Beach
The girls are happy all day long. Lots of different shopping opportunities the whole day! Plus massage, manicure & pedicure – what do you need more?

Otres Beach
Evening view

Otres Beach
Morning view

Otres Beach

Otres Beach

Otres Beach
That is why i do not want to get married

Otres Beach
Getting there in a few months

 
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Quick Update from the Road

The night bus from Chiang Mai did bring me save and sound all the way to Bangkoks Mo Chit 2 Terminal. Got there at 5:30 in the morning. The bus to Phnom Phen did leave at 8:30 – why oh why so late? Since i am here i would be nice to go at 6 in the morning!
I had a reservation at the Capitol GH for a room so whatever – lets wait and see.
The bus was not the newest but we where only 14 passenger so most of us had 2 seats. Nice!
Border crossing was very easy but took over one hour as they only have 4 immigration officers working on the Cambodian site. And i was complaining about Thai immigration and the 6 people that worked there!
We did arrive in Phnom Phen at 22:40 and than the usual bull shit with the taxi drivers started. It should be something like 1 US $ but of course they do start with 6 and than go down to 4. So i ask the next and he tells me 5. Fuck that shit. I started to walk and after one minute i did approach another one and there was the motorbike taxi driver that said 2 $. Thank you Sir – off we went and the city was almost dead. Not a lot of traffic and almost everything was closed. Strange for a capital but hey – it was Sunday night. Than the idiots at Capitol told me since i did not tell them when i arrive they gave my room away! I did send them a email from the Thai border that i am at the border in the bus from Bangkok – since they do operate a bus fleet as well as the hotel one would expect that they do the math since i have no clue how long the trip takes. Nope – of course not. Took another 10 minutes and i had another room – a bit more expensive: 10US $ with toilet/shower and AC. Than i did send the hotel guy to get beer and he got me 3 warm bottles – sure they did not have ice. Well i had the 3 warm beers a shower and did sleep. Next day i was off with the 13:00 bus toward Kampot. Have a nice room with a big bed, shower and toilet and a fan, table and chair for 6US $. Food is really not as good as in Thailand and i did try a few different places so far. The beer is drinkable and a little bit cheaper than in Thailand. If you make use of the Happy Hour it is much cheaper to drink here.
The last few days i did do not to much. Did meet with Maya and her mother. Did a sun set cruise and walked a bit the streets of Kampot.
Tomorrow we leave for Sihanoukville which suits me fine as i can visit Terry there. Guess at the 16th i start towards Thailand – want to make it to Trat that day. And than back to Bangkok at the 17th. That would leave me enough time for shopping and to meet with another friend that is on the way up from Singapore. Actually she and her friend did surf my couch last year. Small world! I might start the trip one day later – lets see how i like S’ville.