I was looking down from the window of the plane,
and saw little bright stars scattered on the ground.
I had good memories in this country, people I've met.
Suddenly, I felt nostalgia seeping in.
Since there is no direct flight from Manila to Siem Reap we had to enter Cambodia via the Bangkok route. There are other routes (via Singapore or via Kuala Lumpur) but this one suits us well since we opted to travel by land.
This is my second time in Thailand. The first time was during the last quarter of 2005 wherein I had to attend a two-week training cum study tour on rural agribusiness at AIT. Since it was a study tour, we practically covered a lot of provinces from Kanchanaburi all the way to Chiang Mai (700 km north of Bangkok).
On the way to the immigration inside the Suvarnabhumi Airport.
Getting our luggages at the baggage claim.
We took the red eye flight to Bangkok, which is a first time for me since I usually take the morning or late afternoon flight. We arrived at the Suvarnabhumi Airport around 12:35 midnight and had our passports stamped at the immigration after 15 minutes (or more). Right after we got off from the airport, Oki and I met our friend, Lyn who would be joining us to our trip in Siem Reap.
From the airport, we rode a taxi to the Morchit Station and bought bus tickets for the Bangkok-Aranyaprathet route (300 km). We got to the bus station at around 2:30 am.
A man sleeping at the station. Looks uncomfortable to me.
Queue at the ticket counter.
They opened the ticket counter at around 3:35 am (25 minutes earlier than scheduled). It took us a few minutes more before we got our tickets as we had to ask the lady at the counter to explain to us some of the Thai calligraphy written on the ticket like the seat number, the bus number, time of departure, etc. Most of the writings in the station are written in Thai. The bus left 30 minutes earlier than scheduled. Yipee.
This is the (government service) bus!
The bus is nothing fancy but if you're used to the aircon buses in the Manila, I guess it will definitely do. It has tv set inside but it's turned off the whole time we're traveling. The bus ride took us 4.5 hours. We got off at Ta Phraya, wherein a line of tuk-tuk (ตุ๊กตุ๊ก or ตุ๊กๆ) was waiting to take us to Poipet border.
Tuk-tuk at Ta Phraya. The took off point to Poipet border.
The road to Poipet was a no-hassle drive. I enjoy riding the auto rickshaw. I love jeepneys and all but there are times when I wish we also have tuk-tuk in the Philippines. It's definitely a better ride than the tricyles and pedicabs.
Our tuk-tuk driver is the king of the road!
The road to Poipet.
Alas, we arrived at the border. Or does it say, Border 500 km more?
We need to fill out the embarkation card.
Reading from various literatures on the Internet about the travelers’ bad experiences while traveling by bus to Cambodia and how they were required to pay more than the right amount, we have expected the worst from this travel. Lucky for us, we didn't encounter any bad experience. The bus ride was smooth and safe (considering we chose a government service bus company). The stop over is inevitable. We've gotten used to it. It really helps to do some research before traveling.