A Challenging Day – Thailand to Cambodia

15 hours on 2 buses and I was back in Bangkok. My journey to Cambodia needed to start there as I had decided not to visit Laos as originally planned. I resisted the temptations of Koh San Road and had an early night – very wise decision! The following day turned out to be the most challenging of my travels so far:

Starting the day at 4.45am me and Katie jumped in a taxi to take us to Bangkok train station. We purchased our 50bht (£1 approx) tickets for the 3rd class train to take us to Aranyaprathet, the border of Thailand. The journey was supposedly 6 hours but it took 7. The train was clean and all the windows wound down so there was a nice breeze with nice views, just very uncomfortable after sitting on a train seat for 7 hours. Once off the train it was then an 80bht tuk tuk drive to the border. Once at the border we had to go through Passport Control and then it was a 10 minute walk to get our Visas. This cost $20 as expected but then there was a surprise 100bht to be paid, for what? No one that day was actually able to find out! Once the Visa was stapled into the passport it was then a further 5 minute walk to another Passport Control where yet another form was to be completed and finger prints and photo taken. This border crossing on foot took approximately an hour. Finally we were through to Cambodia, but it didnt stop there; it was then an official free bus ride to the bus station. For $10 we bought our bus ticket to Siem Reap and 3 hours later we arrived, but only in the town, it was then another tuk tuk journey to our pre-booked hostel, Mad Monkey. Time of arrival 6.15pm!! The journey ran smoothly thanks to some internet research we did, it was just made tough due to the uncomfortable transport, heat and heavy backpacks.

It’s times like this that make travelling alone rewarding. I treasure and appreciate experiences, whether good or bad and am able to deal with the bad. Travelling alone means you do not have your treasured experiences ruined by someone elses grumbling.

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2 Months, 2 Weeks, 0 days!

Today’s To Do List:

1. Apply for Australian E-visitor – check!

This could have easily been a disaster down to bad planning of mine. As I was in Australia at the beginning of the year, I already had an E-visitor which was valid for 1 year. This visa was due to expire 4 days before I was due to fly out of Australia! I wasn’t sure whether I would be granted another one whilst one was still in existence, so I hit the submit button and waited in anticipation for the email from the Embassy. 5 minutes later, ‘I wish to advise that a visa has been granted’.  Phew!

2. Attend appointment with Travel Specialist for advice on vaccinations – check!

Luckily for me, being the pin cushion that I was last year, has saved me from having to have any further travel jabs. I, along with everyone I know, hates injections so when advised that I didn’t need any I could have hugged the Travel Specialist! But with every ‘up’ there is always a ‘down’ – Malaria! Whilst in Thailand I am at low risk but as soon as I approach the border of Thailand and over into Laos and onto Cambodia I am in a high risk area.

I was given two options of malaria tablets – the cheaper option at 30p a tablet but was told I cannot drink alcohol and skin will be extremely sensitive to the sun – hmmm no drinking or sunbathing whilst travelling, kind of defeats the object!

Second option at £3.20 a tablet! Instantly I turned my nose up at this but the Specialist was keen to tell me that these tablets have little or no side effects, hence the price! Now, as a solo traveller, being sick as a side effect of tablets, drinking alcohol and causing the tablets not to work and therefore a higher possibility of contracting malaria is obviously a big concern and so I took my nose out of the air and I have decided to look around for the same tablets but at a cheaper price. And so, the search begins…

Not bad for half a days work.