Phnom Penh – Ko Kong – Bangkok

March 26, 2009 at 8:45 pm 2 comments

On Tuesday we left Phnom Penh. We took a tuk-tuk to the highway, about 14 kilometers from the center of the city (a kilometer or 2 past the airport). We began to attract a crowd as soon as we got off. Our “no” to the usual question “bus?” resulted in much perplexity among the moto taxi drivers who crowded around us. They may have been trying to help us but their presence was not conducive to hitching.

A young woman on a moto showed up and asked us if we needed help in good English. No we explained but could you ask this crowd of men to disperse? Her reaction to hitchhiking in Cambodia was typical. A friendly but negative “You can do it in your country but people don’t do that here, it won’t work, people won’t understand.” One foreigner said to us when he heard that we were going to hitchhike: “You’re just being rude. Khmers pay for everything, even the poorest ones.” Afterward he admitted that he too had tried to hitchhike in Cambodia whilst unsuccessfully because only the mini-van taxis stopped for him.

Hitchhiking from Phnom Penh to Kampong Cham and to Phnom Penh from Sihanoukville with 4 people was not really a problem. Dmitry has hitchhiked all the way from Moscow and has been relying on this method since the beginning. Our Ukrainian friends are hitchhiking back to Ukraine. And so we decided that rather than wake up very early in the mornign and catch the bus to Ko Kong – we’d rather wake up later, eat breakfast calmly (we’ve been buying fresh bread, butter and fruit and taking plates and utensils from the guesthouse) and have time to say goodbye to my friends. By noon we were ready to go.

The trip to Ko Kong takes about 6 hours by bus. And 6 hours is how long it took us to get there by hitchhiking. (The busses travel at a slower speed than cars do) Beyond freeing ourselves from the contraints of the bus schedule, hitchhiking also frees my ass from the confines of the bus seat and the cold stale dirty air. One of my favorite things (if experience can be classified as such) is the feeling of wind pushing against my bod. This is why i love motorcycles so much and loathe tuk-tuks. If i ever own a car of my choice, it will be a convertible.

Most of the cars that pick us up are small trucks or vans with space in the back or on the roof. If it’s not too dusty, these are the best seats in car.

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I think Ko Kong is the most beautiful province in Cambodia…

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At noon on Wednsday we checked out of Cambodia. Between the Khmer and Thai borders there is a space of about 50 meters where there is just beach. We dropped our bags on the sand and went swimming. Dmitry joked that we were going to be shot. But no one cared =)

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We made it to Bangkok by the end of the day. We caught our last ride in Chanthaburi. It was a professional Thai man on his way to Bangkok and we had a lively conversation on the way about politics, economy and travel. In Bangkok we ate together before he left us.

No we are staying on Kousann Rd, the most touristic place in Bangkok. I’ve never stayed here before because last time i was here i couchsurfed. There are 3 vegetarian restaurants within 100 meters of my guesthouse and i am drinking the best banana shake in the world as i write this…

We gave our passports to the Burmese embassy today but we still need to buy our flight tickets. We still don’t know if we can return to Thailand by land through Mae Sai or if we can skip Thailand all together and go to China through this route. I avoided asking these questions at the embassy, fearing that they’d refuse me a visa if i was too entusiastic about non-touristy routes. There is so little information avialable on travel in Burma!

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Entry filed under: travel. Tags: , , , , , .

going to Myanmar Ton Sai

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. dina  |  March 29, 2009 at 12:22 pm

    You have to a had to hide your face from the Sun. It is important for your beauty!

    Reply
  • 2. Yelena Shuster  |  March 29, 2009 at 5:40 pm

    My face likes the sun.

    Reply

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