Getting from Vietnam
As described in our Vietnam entry we travelled from Saigon to Phnom Penh via the Mekong Delta. Our boat brought us to the border crossing at Vinh Xuong–Kaam Samnor, it took about an hour to get everything sorted - we didn't have to do anything as the guide took everyone's passports to get stamped. We did have to provide 20 usd each and a photo. We had heard reports that when crossing it's not unusual for the fee to be quoted as 25 usd - if someone asks you to pay more they're pocketing the difference no matter what bollocks they tell you about fines or fees or charges - if you firmly state that the fee is 20 usd they usually back down. Once our passports were stamped the boat brought us a few hundred metres further up the river to a checkpoint where our passports and visas were checked again. I'd imagine the lads here had just made an impressive customs seizure as there was a large raucous group of Cambodian border guards sitting around a table passing around several bottles of Johnnie Walker black label! After another hour or so on the boat we pulled in and transferred to a minibus for the rest of the journey to Phnom Penh.
When we arrived in Phnom Penh we were dropped on a street where a few taxis and tuk-tuks were waiting, we seemed to be in the middle of nowhere which made it hard to gauge a fair price for the trip into town. I asked one of the drivers if he could show me on my map where we were, he pointed at a location about 10km out of the city centre. On the basis of that we agreed a price and set off, however given the trip only took ten minutes he'd clearly been a bit creative with his cartography, but it was cheap enough anyway.
Phnom Penh stretches along the east side of the Mekong river, along the banks there is a long promenade with numbered streets radiating eastwards, most of the good spots to eat and stay are along the river or not far away. We'd booked a room in a hostel which shall remain nameless as a token of good faith. The place had just opened, but had an existing branch just across the road, unfortunately though the place itself was nice there was a fairly major problem with cockroaches - possibly due to the recently completed construction. So I spent a lot of the visit nailing the bastards using assorted heavy items. Some of the hoors were big enough that you could hear them run around, they're also surprisingly intelligent when it comes to avoiding Lonely Planet guidebooks descending on them at pace. That unpleasantness aside the place was nice, and I have a feeling they were working on all these things, hence the not naming and shaming. Let it suffice to say that if you're considering staying somewhere and they have another branch directly across the street consider staying in the older branch.
We were well aware before coming that Cambodia is significantly poorer than Vietnam so had braced ourselves for that, however Phnom Penh itself was a bit of a surprise. The feel is different to Vietnam, the streets are broader and less congested, in many places the paths and other amenities seemed newer, the city really was surprisingly breezy and pleasant to walk around. Looks can be misleading though, every day we encountered tens of children begging or selling things. They often wander into restaurants with trinkets or other bits and pieces (I wont soon forget a boy that looked about 5 asking me if I wanted to buy marijuana!). Many travelers seem to think the best plan is to take pity on the children and buy something, you should never do this - all it does is encourage the practice of sending unfortunate children - toddlers in some cases - out to wander the streets putting them at constant risk. There are a myriad of charities who do excellent work in Cambodia and your money is much better spent with them. We also began to encounter older western men with young women or girls on their arm wandering about or eating in restaurants, I'd almost imagined this to be a figment of people's imagination but it's very real and extremely offputting and seedy when you encounter it.
There's little point in trying to summarise the catastrophe of Khmer Rouge rule in Cambodia in the 1970s, the brutality, calousness and utter depravity of the regime is well documented on wikipedia or if you feel like getting the lowdown on yer telly watch The Killing Fields. The government systematically destroyed urban society, massacring many millions either by bludgeoning them to death (to save bullets) or by overwork and famine. Phnom Penh was completely evacuated of civilians within hours of the Khmer Rouge seizing it, the entire population deported to forced labour camps. Many thousands were seized and marked for torture and execution, most for no greater crime than wearing glasses (a sure sign of "intellectuals"), having worked for the previous government, or being educated beyond the most basic standards. To ensure no one was left to avenge their deaths their families (including the very elderly and infants) were seized and condemned also. Those who were arrested were tortured in a former school in Phnom Penh (renamed S21), then trucked out of the city to the killing fields where they were beaten to death. These two sites are incredibly powerful to visit and can easily be seen over the course of one day. It's easy to hire a tuk-tuk driver to bring you to both and wait while you visit each site, the cost is about $15.
|Mass graves in the Killing Fields|
The Killing Fields lie about 10km out of Phnom Penh down a bumpy dirt road crammed with traffic and hemmed in by little markets. There are no original buildings on site - the locals destroyed them when the Vietnamese invaded to overthrow the Khmer Rouge. On entering be sure to get an audio-guide - they're really excellent and provide a thorough description of the site both from a historical perspective, and also using the testimony of witnesses and even former guards, many of the stories are utterly heartbreaking. The first major stop is a large glass tower containing skulls of those killed on the site. Some might think it improper or disrespectful to display these, but it is done in such a powerful manner as to give the victims a voice from beyond their death. The tower is narrow and tall, with a corridor leading around just wide enough for one person at a time. Inside tower more than 9000 skulls - many marked by fractures and punctures from the victims torture and bludgeoning to death. We then walked along the path which winds through the site. All around there were fields of flowers and grass filled with butterflies and punctuated by trees. Large depressions and holes, now covered with vegetation mark the sites of mass graves. Not all the graves have yet been completely excavated, such was the random brutality on the site that as you walk around fragments of the victims clothing still come to the surface in places, accompanied by fragments of bone and teeth, these are collected periodically for storage. At the site of one mass grave stands two trees, from one a loudspeaker once blared patriotic songs throughout the night to drown out the cries of those being massacred, against another infants were swung by their feet - dashing their brains on the trunk before being thrown in the grave. When the site was liberated the tree was covered in the fragments of skull and brains. The path winds around a large pond which stands on the edge of the site, you can sit alongside and listen to victim testimony on the audioguide. It's a surreal and terrible to contemplate such horror occuring in a place so peaceful and beautiful now.
|Clothing of those killed in Killing Fields still coming to the surface|
After this we traveled back into the city to visit S21 - the former secondary school which the Khmer Rouge converted into a prison where detainees were tortured to madness before being killed. The site is divided into seperate buildings, some housed detainees of "special" value - much like the Soviet regime many of those who led the Khmer Rouge fell victim to its own madness in purges and were themselves killed. The cells are preserved much as they were when discovered by the Vietnamese on liberating Phnom Penh - the walls are adorned with photos taken at that time. The site was found by the stench of rotting bodies of the last few prisoners kept there - each of the cells contains a bed and alongside an ammunition box which the prisoners used as a toilet. The photos show the rooms with the decomposing bodies of those who were found there chained to the same beds, alongside in some of the rooms lie, as they were left, tools which were used to bludgeon these last prisoners to death. Needless to say the pictures are extremely disturbing.
Like other regimes the Khmer Rouge were meticulous in documenting their brutality, one room contains photo portraits of thousands of those killed on the site. Some are already battered and bruised, many are young children, some are women clutching their infants. All were murdered. To look into the eyes of these people facing an abyss of terror is truly horrifying, we both felt utterly sick for a long time afterwards. The guards saved some prisoners with useful skills - the photos were all taken by one prisoner who was a gifted photographer.
Other rooms contain preserved cells, there are still bloodstains on the floors. In another there are the instruments of torture which were used, as well as paintings by another surviving prisoner (spared for his artistic abilities and put to work painting portraits) of the horrors undergone by himself and others. We were interested to see alongside devices for tearing limbs and pulling off fingernails a bed on which prisoners were "waterboarded" which we're informed nowadays isn't torture at all. In the end as the Vietnamese approached Phnom Penh the last of the prisoners were murdered, and the special few kept for their skills were hurriedly trucked off to the Killing Fields. Miracalously on the way the convoy was attacked by the Vietnamese and the prisoners managed to escape. By this stroke of luck the world gained a great insight into what happened in the Killing Fields and S21 - in particular through the horrifying paintings of Vann Nath. At 3pm a film is shown in the site chronicling the history of the Khmer Rouge as told through the story of a couple caught up in the chaos. The documentary also shows incredible footage of the painter walking about S21 with the former chief, his arm around him, questioning him and asking him to admit that what he has depicted in his art is not a lie, but the truth.
Visiting these sites in Phnom Penh is I think a life-changing experience, these events happened not far away in the past but at the time that my parents were our age, many of those you meet in Cambodia lived through these horrors.
It's fair to say we both were left dazed by the things we'd seen in Phnom Penh, but we had ahead of us a bit of break. When we'd originally been planning out our trip we knew we wanted to throw down somewhere nice and sunny for 2 or 3 weeks around Christmas. For both of us Christmas is a huge affair at home that we look forward to all year long - not just as a break from work but a time when all of our families are gathered together. In Sarah's case visiting family or having lunch in the pub or in ours gathered about brainstorming over the inevitable malfunctioning outside light or overflowing septic tank before retiring for a few pints at night in the pub in the village! Knowing we'd miss out on Christmas at home for the first time ever we really wanted to be sure we'd be somewhere we could relax together. We had thought that by mid December we'd be in Thailand and could make for a quiet spot on one of the islands, but as we made our way through China and into Vietnam it became increasingly obvious that we'd have to rush through Cambodia to make it there. So we changed our plan, having heard great things of the beaches around Sihanoukville in Cambodia we decided to head there. Sihanoukville was just 4.5 hours from Phnom Penh, we went with Sorya bus and it was grand.
There are a number of beaches (Serendipity and a few others) on the outskirts of the town, a few kilometres out is the furthest: Otres. Otres beach is quiet and beautiful - white sand and azure seas stretching out into the distance, the road from town is a bumpy dirt affair but an easy trip by tuktuk. Along the beach there are a bunch of bars ranging from chic beachside affairs to ramshackle setups, they're all great fun and packed with a brilliant crowd, alongside the bars are an assortment of places to stay with mostly consisting of bungalows. Needless to say like everywhere you should never bring valuables to the beach, as we were told people aren't thieves: they're opportunists!
We had heard great things about Mushroom Point on Otres - it's a small little place with beautiful round bungalows and a great bar and restaurant set amidst a lovely garden shaded by banana trees. It's important to book in advance especially at Christmas and New Years - we booked about a month ahead of Christmas and still had to move rooms once because of the bookings. The place is just beautiful with a really great common design running through everything, food is great, all the staff are wonderful - not a day goes by we don't pine to be back there swinging in our hammocks or sitting up at the bar chatting away with Irie, Spidi and Nick with the Mushroom Point dogs Link and Chi wandering about or sitting at our feet. Halcyon Days my friends, sigh... some day we'll return!
On our first night in Otres we wandered down to one of the beach bonfires and had a beer by candlelight, we found ourselves sitting next to a lovely Australian couple - Jesse and Sarah - who were also staying in Mushroom Point, we had a great chat and got some savage advice on the highlights of Otres' bars and Mushroom Point's menu! We had such perfect relaxing days on Otres, up early and sitting at sunrise in our hammocks listening to some music or reading, eating up our brekkies with a nice fruit salad and lashings of coffee, out for an early swim and a spot of frisbee in the sea, wandering along the beach. At night the bars along the sea light bonfires and serve drinks, there's everything from the maddest sun and drink fueled sport you could possibly imagine to chilled out candlelit nightcaps. It was certainly a strange feeling to roam along the beach on Christmas, some tinsel for a belt visiting the bars and chatting away with everyone and exchanging Happy Christmases with the tuk-tuk drivers; we had a great time. Our old friend Calum of Vietnamese hangover fame even showed up with some great people he'd bumped into, we had a great big Christmas eve feast with Calum, Dave, Mel and Joel as well as some excellent frisbee in the sea and pints at various hours of the day. We even arranged to intersect Calum again after Sihanoukville in Siem Reap.
If you're feeling like a little entertainment you can head into town and rent a cinema! Top Cat cinema, and one or two other spots, have a pile of rooms with projectors or big screen tvs and savage sound systems and will play just about any film they can bit-torrent! Not only that but they'll even order up a pizza for you to eat while watching it. I'd like to say we sat rigidly being educated by some classic of cinema, but The Inbetweeners film will have to suffice. A good time was had by all.
New Years was a giant party on the beach, we started the day by sharing a few warming Jamesons pre-breakfast with everyone in Mushroom Point, and the craic went on from there. At midnight the beach was packed with people swimming or just paddling in the dark, all the bars were letting off fireworks and the horizon was alight with more being fired in the town and down on Serendipity. It was a great feeling standing there up to our knees in the sea shaking hands and clapping backs with everyone around! Many a person welcomed the new year through an uncompromising hangover. Alas the time rolls on, not only our trip in total but our time our relaxation time in Otres. As a sign of our time advancing my hair had at this point attained afro-like proportions of rotundity, having last been subjected to a haircut you could set your watch by by my Dad in Turkey way off 6 months before when we left. So off I set into town to acquire a haircut, figuring that if the last had done me for 6 months this one would serve me admirably till we got home. For $2 I got a finely shorn and shaved leaving me good as new and looking quite a bit less like a degenerate member of the Taliban. And so the sad last day came, we said goodbye to all of our great friends in Mushroom Point, mounted a tuk-tuk and with heavy hearts we were off to Siem Reap.
Siem Reap & Angkor Temples
Siem Reap lies to the north of Cambodia, the town itself is well-developed and a pleasant place to stay - but what draws most visitors is the incredible array of Angkor ruins spread about the surrounding countryside, culminating in the world famous Angkor Wat complex.
It's an overnight bus to Siem Reap, we ended up changing bus in Phnom Penh but it was no great hassle. On arriving in Siem Reap we headed for Yellow Guesthouse - Mel had stayed here recently and was full of recommendations and Calum had arrived there a day or two before us. We'd highly recommend anyone heading for Siem Reap stay in the Yellow, the owners and staff were incredibly friendly and helpful. The hotel has its own tuk-tuk for hire to visit the temples in whatever order you want (about $20 per day), alternatively they know the usual routes backwards which is a great help for those who haven't done their research! Not only that but there's always a tuk-tuk waiting outside to give guests a free lift into the centre of town!
As mentioned above the main draw to Siem Reap is the enormous number and variety of temples in the surrounding countryside. Before I start going through our itinerary and trying to put words to the sights I highly recommend taking on our friend Calum's blog entry on the temples. He has brilliant descriptions of their layout and detail which I'm not going to attempt to match in precision or scope!Everyone has an opinion about how long to spend seeing the temples and in which order, we spent three days and followed the itinerary that the hotel suggested. On our first day we traveled 50 km out of Siem Reap to Beng Melea. One of the really interesting things about the range of ruins on offer is the widely varying standards of security and upkeep. Some of the temples are as tightly controlled and managed as we'd expect ruins to be at home - guard rails and ropes to guide you about, strict rules on where one can and can't go. Beng Melea on the other hand was about the closest you can get to childhood fantasies of clambering about exotic ancient ruins. The buildings have in many places collapsed completely, leaving corridors that end in piles of intricately carved rubble, you can duck and slip through little gaps and windows, exploring dusty rooms with shaft of light illuminating the dusty air.
We clambered up metres of rubble to stand atop precarious ancient archways, along ledges and walls gripping the roots of trees which wrap around and through the stonework. And all of this while the worst for wear from the night before. But it would be hard to let anything distract you from the beauty and majesty of these ruins, sitting there amid the forest, slowly being taken apart, like something from your imagination. Beng Melea is an absolute must see in our opinion. After Beng Melea those of us who were feeling capable had lunch and we went on to see the temples of the Ruluos group: Bakong, Lolei, and Preah Ko. Each of these consists of crumbling temple towers, their tops pared back to the brickwork and falling away, beneath are beautiful engravings and reliefs. Around these towers stand guard wonderfully carved lions. The temples are all worth seeing as part of a tour, but I'd be lying if I said they weren't struggling a little to compete with the morning spent clambering about Beng Melea.
We had spent the first day sharing a tuk-tuk with Calum, he'd been out exploring the day before we'd arrived also and this would be his last day, so we decided to head out for one more day with him which meant seeing Banteay Srei and the world famous Angkor Wat. The next day Sarah and I would go see the remainder of temples in the vicinity. Banteay Srei is a small but stunning complex with incredibly well preserved and detailed engravings, I wont even attempt to describe them - I only hope the photos do them some justice.
After Banteay Srei we went to visit the Cambodian Landmine Museum. Cambodia still suffers enormously from landmines and unexploded ordinance - even now more than a hundred people are killed per year and many more left crippled for life. The museum was set up by a former child-soldier, Aki Ra, who having once laid landmines now dedicates his life to disarming them - often at great risk to himself. The museum has information displays on bombing and landmines, as well as hundreds of disarmed devices on display. Outside they have a small patch of fenced off land with disarmed landmines planted to give some idea of the difficulty of noticing them until it is too late. Inside there's a shop selling incredibly reasonably priced bits and pieces (I got a t-shirt for 5 dollars) the proceeds of which help the work of the museum. It's well worth a visit while seeing the temples.
Angkor Wat is by far the most famous of the sites around Siem Reap, the Cambodians are so proud of it it's even featured on their flag! However as sympathetic readers will know by now we've come to see that often the "star attraction" sights underwhelm a bit, part of this is the hype surrounding them, part maybe that their status attracts such crowds as to make it difficult to quietly experience and absorb the sites. Anyway, we made our way to Angkor Wat in the late afternoon, planning to spend a few hours around the complex and then watch the sun set behind it. The complex itself - and surrounding landscaping - are large and merit a few hours wandering about. Inside the temple are long corridors and galleries adorned with bas-reliefs, the centre of the temple consists of a set of courtyards and rooms raised above the rest of the complex along with the iconic towers, to enter there is a queue to climb the stairs. It's worth noting that women need to cover their shoulders before being allowed up which nearly scuppered us until we remember that we'd just bought a new tshirt in the landmine museum which could cover Sarah's obscene upper arms (sigh). You're supposed to stay in the upper section for only 15 minutes, we wandered about then sat in in the central courtyard taking it all in. It really is true to say that the real majesty of Angkor Wat lies in its enormous profile which really is best viewed from outside, so we retired to the gardens behind and lay in the grass watching the sky turn to gold and rendering the famous silhouette black in the evening sky. Wandering back around to the front we were assailed by vendors selling tacky ornaments and poor children begging.
We started our final day in the enormous complex of Angkor Thom. We entered this ancient walled city through the imposing stone gates and proceeded to the Bayon. This beautiful site is really one of the highlights of the entire Siem Reap area. Inside are twisting and cavernous sets of interconnecting rooms, towering over these are enormous towers culminating in carved faces. These huge serene faces are intended to be those of the bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara, however it's said that they were made to resemble the king who ordered their construction: Jayavarman VII. We spent a fair while wandering about the Bayon trying to decipher the emotion and meaning of the carved faces, I also used my journal and a crayon to make a few rubbings of the intricate engravings that adorn the walls. Afterwards we walked to the nearby Baphuon which is a towering stepped complex which commands impressive views across Angkor Thom. Much of the site is in pieces however, during the process of the reconstruction the Khmer Rouge came to power and records of the original position of stones were lost. As you climb about walls just end or door frames stand isolated. Perhaps someday the pieces will finally be reunited with each other.
From there we walked across through the complex of Phimeanakas, and it's raised Terrace of Elephants. The ground here are really beautiful, the open space gives way to trees and great walls, collapsed in places, opening onto old ponds which reflect the forest around, we wandered on to the deserted Preah Palilay, the across to Tep Pranam and the Leper King Terrace. After wandering about the scattered towers of Suor Prasat which stand in the grass to the east we boarded the tuk-tuk again and left Angkor Thom through the east gate, we stopped to explore several smaller temples before reaching Ta Keo with its four intricate towers. Interestingly the construction of Ta Keo was never completed, it's said the building was struck by lightning and this was taken as a bad omen leading building works to be abandoned.
Finally we arrived at our last stop: the atmospheric and enchanting Ta Prohm. This large complex of buildings is slowly being reclaimed by the jungle around, enormous trees sprout from the roofs of temples, their roots, winding and bifurcating down tearing at the stonework, penetrating windows and squeezing walls as they seek the earth. The roots seem like enormous muscles, great serpents probing each gallery and building and enveloping them. People with an interest in the arts will recognise Ta Prohm as a filming location of such great cinematic works as "Tomb Raider". Joking aside the place is beautiful and impressive. The only pointer I would give is it would be worth trying to get there early, it was packed with people when we got there which made it hard to get photographs and also to just find a quiet spot to sit and absorb it all. And thus ended our time exploring the Angkor temples surrounding Siem Reap - a highlight of any trip and worth spending several days to cover as much as possible.
On our downtime from Indiana Jonesing around ancient temples we had a great time relaxing around Siem Reap. The city is pleasant to walk around with a good mix of places to restaurants, bars, cafes, good streetfood options and several large markets. For somewhere that could have descended into tourist freeding frenzy chaos given the popularity of the Angkor ruins it's really not all that bad.
One place that deserves a "special" mention for those home-food hankerings is the Blue Pumpkin cafe. Situated right in the centre of town the cafe is awash with well put together western food options, and has an excellent bakery, great coffee, as well as milkshakes and air conditioning which makes refrigeration almost unnecessary. We had a pleasant afternoon snacks with Calum there after hard days temple hopping. They have a good wifi connection too so handy for quickly googling stuff while out and about.
In the centre of Siem Reap there's a pedestrianised street of bars called, imaginatively enough, Pub Street. There's little to say about it except I highly recommend never going to "Angkor What?" bar, and if you do I even more highly recomend not drinking buckets of long island ice tea. Especially the morning before getting up at 7 to get into a day of driving between temples in a tuk-tuk. I need say no more...
However one good aspect of Pub Street is that it serves as a handy marker for the street food spots. There's a corner opposite the end of the street with a ton of little stalls and tables serving up excellent and cheap food for dinner - about one-tenth the price of the "normal" restaurants and absolutely delicious.
Throughout the centre of Siem Reap the streets are lined with large glass tanks filled with teeming shoals of small fish. For the princely sum of about a dollar you sit on the edge of the tank with your feet in the water and the fish swarm about and in eat the dead skin off your feet for 30 minutes. Yes this is every bit as disgusting and unpleasant as it sounds. It seems that with every business once it becomes at all succesful hundreds of impersonators pop up and so it is with this, the whole fish-feet thing being a bit of an institution we gave it a go and while haggling the guy running our tank insisted he had originally come up with the idea and now everyone was copying it. But of course there's some innovation - the copycats decided the process itself wasn't that much of an attraction so now offer a free beer too. Our despondent entrepreneur had bowed to this market wisdom and gave us beers too, so for the princely sum of about two dollars each we sat there for 30 minutes squirming and yelping in horror. Some of them are a fair size and a man would nearly be in fear of losing a toe. For some reason they particularly liked Calum which gave myself and Sarah some respite.
So with several days in Siem Reap under our belt, and a Cambodian visa that was about to expire we decided to head for Thailand. Calum had similar plans so we decided to all make for Bangkok.
Now just a note here, previously when describing crossing borders I've had a habit of dividing the details between two entries, but it's occured to me that it's probably not the most helpful way to go about it, so even though some of the following actually happened in Thailand I'll leave it here in the Cambodia entry where it makes the most sense.
Heading to Bangkok
Getting from Siem Reap to Bangkok is simple and not expensive, but for some reason the entire process gets built up into a frenzy of worry and speculation on internet forums and guidebooks. This left us a little anxious that there might be some problems or difficulties but it all went fine.
It's possible to book a bus all the way to Bangkok, but we'd heard that once across the border there were excellent Thai government buses and trains to Bangkok at a reasonable price so decided to just take a bus to Poipet at the border then head to Bangkok using those. We booked a minibus to Poipet through our guesthouse, the company was called Hang Tep. We set off about 7am and reached Poipet around 10am.
People with onward tickets to Bangkok were gathered together to complete the border process, we hit off ahead on our own. Poipet itself is pretty horrendous so under no circumstances would you want to stay a night there. The bus left us as a roundabout leading to the border itself. There are clear signs to Cambodian border departures office. Once through that with our passports stamped for exit we walked the short distance to the Thai immigration office. For us it wasn't necessary to have a Thai visa arranged before arriving (obviously not necessarily true of other nationalities). Alas the visa-waiver obtained on the border is just for 15 days, if you arrive in Thailand by air the waiver lasts 30 days. This was fine for us as we planned to visit Bangkok and then go to the north and cross into Laos in about two weeks, if you need longer it's worth arranging a visa beforehand or at least investigating the extensions process.
With our passports stamped and fingers printed we were out and into Thailand! There are only a few trains to Bangkok per day, as we'd managed to make it through the border more quickly than we'd expected we decided to take a government bus to Bangkok. There were atms just outside the immigration office where we stocked up on some Thai baht, then we took a tuk-tuk to the bus station (just 10 minutes or so). The bus was ready and waiting, it was extremely comfortable and we even received a free fruit juice and muffin! We've heard some real horror stories of people getting terrible buses or transport between Siem Reap and Bangkok but really it couldn't be easier. We definitely recommend just making plans to get to Poipet then take the government bus or train.
The bus left us at the north-east bus station in Bangkok. It's possible to travel into town by skytrain (elevated rail) but we as ourselves and Calum were headed for the same spot we decided to split a taxi. Everything was very organised at the taxi rank, we were in a taxi in no time and on our way. The journey was about 20 minutes but very reasonably priced. So! That's Cambodia done, and us into Thailand - what next for your bold protragonists? What twists, turns and adventures? Tune in next time and see!