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Mat and Vendy's travels

An afternoon in Battambang

CAMBODIA | Monday, 17 August 2009 | Views [1178]

On our way to Thailand we stopped in Battambang, which is not a very interesting place but is the first time we have seen a bit of real Cambodia. We took the opportunity to explore the countryside by motorbike, and saw how the people live, as well as seeing how rice paper, fish sauce, rice noodles (and i'm sure there were other things too!) are made. Then we had a look at the bamboo train, which is a small train which is disassembled when it meets a heavier train going the other way! There is one line and trains go in both directions! It's a strange system but it seems to be working. We didn't go on the train as the rain clouds were rolling in, and the last km back to the hotel we got our first drenching since being out here! An incredibly hard rain fell for about 30 mins, forcing the drivers of our motorbikes to find cover - except for my driver and 2 others who braved it til the end!

Next day we got up and took a bus to Thailand. Unfortunately for us, on arrival at the border Vendy was told she needed a visa - which we were expecting, as on the net we read that she needs to fill in a form at 'point of enrty' and went to get the form but our guide looked very shocked, as you cant get a visa at the border here but only from an airport. After trying to get around the problem by trying the thai side first we were told to go back to Siem Reap and fly to Bangkok where she could complete the visa forms at the airport. It was a frustrating experience but Intrepid helped us out as much as they could, and we took a taxi back to the hotel in Siem Reap where we got lunch and bought our plane tickets for 8.30pm that evening. We sat at the hotel pool and read our books and then we decided to leave a bit early for the airport.

When we arrived we asked if there were any places on an earlier flight and the man said 2 passengers hadn't arrived and asked us to wait for 7 minutes which we did. Noone arrived and to our relief he called us over and checked us onto the plane. Finally we were off, and out of Cambodia.....

We had less than half an hour to wait for the flight and going through the security checks we had to throw out our insect repellant and my dad's army knife, which I'd forgotten was in my bag in all the excitement (sorry dad!). Our big bags were with our group in the mini bus to Bangkok, so with no further ado we left on the short flight.

At the airport we filled in the visa form, waited less than a minute and all the days problems were gone. We were free to go to our hotel and meet the group.

I'm sure there is a moral to this story......

Tags: airports, bangkok, battambang, thai visas

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