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A Note from the Border

No intimidation, no scam. None, from either both sides, Cambodia or Thailand.

View SEA Trip by Any Means on automidori's travel map.

P.S. (Pre-Script):
The letters on top of the word "DEPARTED" looks more like "Poipet" than "Pailin". I've emailed Capitol Tours, but have got no answer. But my next stamp from Thailand said "Aranyaprathet". So I think this was at Poipet, that notorious border.

Poipet, September 5th 2011

Before I left for this SEA Trip, a friend of mine told me that she had heard that the border of Cambodia and Thailand is not quite safe. "Don't cross the border at night," she reminded me.

I told her that I had booked a bus ticket from The Sinh Tourist, a travel agency that I've been using quite frequently. My bus would leave early at 6:30 AM from Phnom Penh, so I don't think I would be at the border at night. I'd be in Bangkok already by that time.

"That's good," she replied.

Yes, if you go through just the internet, discouraging stories are here and there. However, to my experience, I was just fine, as you can read at the end of my previous post. Yes, there was a time when I was told to wait while I didn't understand the purpose and it seemed so long for me. Well, feelings are not always correct. I checked the exif data of the photo I made before I got at the immigration counter of Cambodia to have my passport stamped for check out. The time in the exif data says "2:25 PM". And then when I was already out of the immigration of Thailand, I made another shot with the same camera. The time in the exif data says "3:01 PM". That means that all process starting from getting a stamp for check out from the Cambodian immigration, entering Thailand immigration, having documents checked and passport stamped, baggage check (manually!), altogether only needed 36 minutes. That already included walking from one immigration office to the other.

Since I got off the bus at the Poipet border, walked to the immigration office of Cambodia, and then to the immigration office of Thailand, until I got into the van that brought me to Bangkok, nobody, except for the agent who gave the name tag, approached me. No one persuaded me for a ride, a service, ask for money, etc. Nobody. Even the agent who took care to show me the way, did not ask for anything.

I read that if you don't get at the border early in the morning, you would have be in a long queue. I didn't experience that either. At the immigration of Cambodia, there were at least 2 officers for foreign passport holders. So was it at the Thai immigration office. Therefore, it didn't take long, really. It didn't just happened to me. So was it with the other travelers.

My story in previous post ended at the Thai immigration office. Since this is still about Cambodia, I have to put this note first before I proceed about my journey entering Bangkok. Anyway, I just want to ensure you that I arrived in Bangkok safe and sound. No intimidation, no scam. None, from either both sides, Cambodia or Thailand.

Those who looked like foreigners in my bus happened to be only me and the Japanese guy who sat next to. However, at the border there were plenty of tourists. I also didn't see them being followed, being begged for something, or such. Everyone seemed to be occupied with there own business.

If you wish to travel Cambodia - Thailand overland, I suggest you take a bus like me. You can book through The Sinh Tourist, or to Capitol Tours. According to my experience on September 5th 2011, it was completely safe. I didn't have to spend anything more than the money I paid to The Sinh Tourist.

Oh ya, I've also read that taking Capitol Tours' bus, you'll be dumped into their restaurants. According to my experience again, we only stopped for a meal twice. The first one was very brief. The second stop was at 10:20 AM and we never stopped for a meal again since then. I even had to skip lunch! We arrived at the border at 2:25 PM as mentioned above. Between that were only several brief stops for a chance to go to the rest room and once for picking up passengers.

I'm sorry I cannot tell about visa application, because I'm a Indonesian passport holder who doesn't need a visa to enter Thailand.

Posted by automidori 04:45 Archived in Cambodia Tagged border the_sinh_tourist capitol_tours

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