Stories about travel and more!
Cambodia, Cambodia, Cambodia.
Well, finally, hands reached the story of our three-week trip to Cambodia. We went there after the New Year holidays, held on the Thai island of Koh Chang. Here they bought a bus tour to Sihanoukville, paid a visa fee and costs. In the agency we were given identification stickers and assured that the assistants will take care of everything on the border and nothing to worry about. This is what happened.
– Be careful with the guitar.
“Okay, sir, I’m careful.”
We go through Thai passport control and a 100-meter neutral strip: local crowds scurry back and forth with goods, it seems that they do not have passports at all. At the Cambodian post we are greeted by a crowd of “helpers” and collecting documents:
“Have you already paid?” Right? Good.
And the agonizing expectation began in the midday sun.
There are a lot of us, mostly young people: English, Finns, Swedes, but there are middle-aged and older: Italians, Swiss and a bald European of undefined nationality. There are Khmers, they offer blocks of cigarettes. Carts, cows, chickens.
After a while, they bring up things, they call to pick them up. I come up one of the last.
– What? I paid for everything.
“I will not pay, and I’ll take the bags.”
We are waiting on, do not return the passport.
– This way! Come here! – We approach the window, where fingerprints are taken and passport checks are checked.
“Will it be yours?” – asked Irochka the officer in bad Russian, modestly smiling at the same time.
All this time “pomogayki” rushes from the window to the window, arguing with each other, with the officers, in general, busy with business. Someone gets documents with a visa, they get seated by cars. It’s encouraging. We do not give passports.
“Hey, you, come here!” – waving to us another pomogayka.
We go to the man sitting at the table in uniform. He brings an infrared emitter to our faces (“People in black”, I swear to God). A short signal.
– Pay the doctor $ 20 for the survey and advice on insurance.
Nerves can not stand:
– That. What,. examination. What,. doctor?! I’m a doctor myself, I’ll deal with my health. And we have our own insurance! .
– Okay, show .. well, you can not pay, – was upset. We are waiting for more.
Oh, a miracle! We bring passports with visas!
“Pay me a tip, sir, 100 baht.”
– I tried for you, 100 baht.
“I’m sorry, but I’ve already paid everything to your company and I will not give you any more money.” Where should we go?
– There, – indifferently waves in the direction of the road. The cars have parted, and to the bus stop in Koh Kong ten kilometers.
“All right, we’re going,” Irochka says, “there’s no strength to talk to them.”
Come on. A minute later, two motorcyclists rush:
– Where are you going? A bus to Sihanoukville? Let’s go – departure at 12.00! (half an hour on the clock)
And we rushed along the empty highway: the speed of 70-80 km / h, the squall wind – the ears fall off. We pass a three-kilometer bridge.
“Pasha!” Cried Irochka, “where are they taking us to?”
– To Cambodia. Do not be afraid!
We come to a stop – no buses. A short dialogue in the Khmer. Not that. Turn around, go back.
– Pasha! Do they know the way? Are we going the right way?
– I do not know, – with an idiotic smile, – relax!
Uh, lucky! A bus was waiting for us at the turn. We give motorcyclists 100 baht each and climb to the salon. I catch the sympathetic glance of a bald European:
“It’s not as simple as it seemed, mate?” Smiles, “Everywhere you have to pay!”
And we, blessing, go to Sihanoukville ..
For example, an apartment or a house for a month can be rented for $ 100-150, and a double room in a guesthouse not inferior to a good hotel for $ 7-10 / day (with a hot shower, TV, refrigerator, free wi-fi and bicycle) . Dishes in restaurants 1-3 $, for 4 $ barbecue from sea fish or shrimp with baked potatoes and salad, and a glass of beer (330ml) – 0.5 $! Excise on alcohol is either low, or there is none at all! Therefore, a bottle of imported alcohol (brandy, scotch, tequila, etc.) will cost only 6-8 $. Prostitution is also developed: before our eyes, a minor girl for $ 9 sat in a tinted car.
If to speak about minuses, the main problem is stealing. It is not necessary to leave removable dwelling without supervision – they can endure everything. Value with a better not to take. Distributed moto-theft, when patsy on bikes are torn from the hands or bicycle baskets of bags. We have been ripped off a package with beach reasons and a volume of Leo Tolstoy.
The city was located on the bank of the river of the same name, among the palms, hiding behind the high blue hills of Bokor. Local dishes – curry and amok – are fragrant and tasty, and the Khmer people are nice, smiling and a little thief.
With its unique charm, Kampot is indebted to France: since the colonial times, typical architecture has remained here, and in French cafes, where fresh crisp baguettes are served for breakfast, to this day French speech sounds.
Of the sights worth noting the zoo, where in close cages languish charming animals, the ruins of the colonial station on the top of the hill and the thresholds of Tek Chou, where the Khmers come to rest and wash.