Back to Bangkok, and then some…
Poor old Bangkok has been used and abused by us for it’s cheap flights and accommodation, but this time we were leaving for good. After flying back from Laos, of course!
Day 292 – Friday 10th March 2017
We had everything packed and ready by 11:00 this morning when we had to check out of our hostel, then waited until around midday before taking a tuk tuk to the airport. The flight back to Thailand was ever so slightly delayed, but pleasant enough. It all sort of went downhill from there though!
First it took us what seemed like forever to get through immigration – we got stuck behind a group of maybe thirty or forty others who were completely unprepared, clearly didn’t meet the countries entry requirements (some sort of visa issue I think) but argued with security anyway, for a good hour, before giving up and letting us go ahead. Then, when we were finally good to go, it took our taxi took almost two hours to drive five kilometers because the traffic was so bad. That’s just the start of it too!
We headed for Yoo Yen Pen Sook Hostel because it’s the only one even relative close to Mo Chit Bus Station, and I planned on using my amazing ‘barter the price down by showing up unexpectedly’ trick when we got there, but that failed completely. The lady on reception couldn’t speak a word of English, had a piece of paper with a price written on it, and that was just about the best we could get out of her. She couldn’t even direct us to the bus station, regardless of the fact that it’s probably her main selling point! Luckily she had space for us to stay, but we had no chance of getting a bargain, or any information in fact, which was quite disappointing.
We ended up walking to the bus station because it wasn’t worth wasting money on a taxi or tuk tuk to sit in traffic and take just as long (if not longer) to get there. Despite the fact that only one company sold tickets to where we wanted to go, they were actually quite reasonably priced, so we didn’t think twice before booking ourselves on to the 09:30 bus for the morning.
It wasn’t until nearly 22:00 that we realised we’d missed dinner, but of course most restaurants were closed by then, so we picked up a few bits from 7-Eleven, had a quick bite to eat back at the hostel, then jumped straight into bed. Usually, that would’ve meant going straight to sleep and getting a good nights sleep, but no. Not this time!
Day 293 – Saturday 11th March 2017
So it turns out that Yoo Yen Pen Sook Hostel has a twenty four hour front desk, which means that anybody can check in or out at any time, making it super convenient for those who arrive particularly late or leave particularly early. Though that suited us for the fact that we had to be up and out by 08:00, it also meant that there was always something going on and the lights were switched on almost all night too. By 07:30 when we had to get up and go, there’s no way that either of us had slept for any more than about two hours.
It was a far from perfect way to get our day started, but then things took another turn for the worse. I’m blaming the pre-cooked beef and rice that I had for dinner (because it’s the only thing I had that Abbie didn’t) but as soon as I got out of bed I was violently sick. Thankfully I made it to the bathroom before throwing up, but still, things weren’t really looking up, especially with an eight hour bus ride ahead of us.
I don’t remember much of the journey because I was so zonked out, but after about five hours we crossed the border into country number fifteen of our trip – Cambodia. We each paid $30 for a visa upon arrival, along with $3 handling fee, which was a blatant scam and clear sign of corruption, but one that we didn’t have the energy to argue over. I think a couple of people actually stood their ground and refused to pay anything more than $30, but it meant protesting in a hot and sweaty room full of people for maybe ten or fifteen minutes, during which time we were sat back on the air conditioned bus. In our eyes, the $3 extra that we spent was worth it for comfort alone.
I felt a bit better as the day went on, but still not great. We arrived in Siem Reap around 17:00, checked into The Siem Reap Hostel, then had burger and chips at the bar because there was no way I could have stomached anything else! Unsurprisingly I was out for the count sooner rather than later, but that was for the best really. I just wanted whatever was wrong with me to be right again, and getting sleep seemed like my only hope at that point.