This city was mostly our entry and exit points throughout our travel in IndoChina
We arrived in Bangkok new airport at 12:40am from the Philippines
, and as Canadians
, we got a 30days automatic tourist visa. We got an arranged cab ride from outside the airport to Soi Rambuttri for 450BAHT. We spent our first night/morning at
My House Guesthouse.
Soi Rambuttri may be a smaller version and (maybe not so much) quieter version of Khao San Rd but it still is very popular to travellers. This small road is packed with vendors. The food is cheap and spectacular.
We spent 4days walking, sightseeing, eating, napping in bangkok before we continued our journey to
. Our bus would leave at 6:30pm for an overnighter, so we had a little more time to wander some more.
We took the ferry on Mae Nam Chao Phraya River to China Town for 13BHAT. We then visited Wat Traimit on our way back.
We left Thailand for this part of the trip through Chiang Mai to enter Laos
. We came back again after going through Laos
, and Cambodia
Cambodia to Thailand
We booked our bus back to Bangkok from Cambodia for $10/p. We were picked up by a mini bus at 8:15am for a 6hr rough ride to Phoipet (border). The road there had mostly rubbles and potholes and a few unfinished bridges. We had three short breaks including a bus transfer form Poiphet town to the border. After checking out at the Cambodian immigration, we walked over to the Thailand immigration for our automatic visa and to check in. Nobody in our group knew what to do next because our driver went AWOL. We all wandered outside of the immigration office hoping to catch some attention. A Thai gentleman started waving at us yelling "Khao San Rd Bangkok!" We didn't know if it was our ride but we followed him anyway. He then collected all our tickets and oriented us about our remaining journey. He told us to buy food and snacks for a 4hr ride because we wouldn't be taking any stops. He might've gotten a good commission from the restaurant we were at because we all got fooled. Our 4.5hr smooth and comfortable ride went for a total of three short stops for bathroom and snack breaks. Most of us already bought food and already paid to use the bathroom at the border.
After hearing about and actually experiencing tourist scams here in Thailand and in Indochina, we were sadly expecting another scam. *Although what happened could have just been a simple case of miscommunication*. #1 - In addition to our rest stops, our driver kept pulling over - mostly in an unsafe part of the highway, and kept asking us randomly to grab our bags from the back and switch seats with others. He did this a few times and I remembered a scam involving wasting time and tiring people up so when they drop us off at their chosen stop, and it's usually an allied guesthouse, it may be too dark already and we may be too tired to shop around for different guesthouses. Then the driver would get a commission if we stayed there.
We first stopped at an expensive looking hotel... here it comes. But it turns out it wasn't our stop. There were a couple of Thais with us and it was their stop. There were also a couple of older Japanese with us and they got of the bus too thinking it was their stop as well. Our van started driving away slowly, then yelling in three different languages came after. The Japanese couple couldn't speak english and neither could the driver. We didn't know what was going on but we wanted the driver to stop the van. Sign language finally saved the day. The Japanese gestured "backpack". Their backpacks were still in the van. The driver still wouldn't stop and kept yelling at us. We finally decided to pull the Japanese couple back in the moving van, then the driver sped up. The driver then pointed at the cops and yelled "5 minutes, 400BAHT!". We guessed if he stopped for more than 5mins he would get a ticket.
#2 - We just passed Rambuttri and Khao San Rd. Were were supposed to be dropped of there but the driver wouldn't stop. A couple of other travellers with us noticed it too so they freaked out. They thought maybe the driver was gonna take us somewhere else so they kept yelling at the driver to stop. The driver also yelled "No! I'm not taxi!". The placed still looked familiar to me so I kept myself calm at that point. The driver wanted to enter Rambuttri from another side so he could be safe and away from the cops.
We all got out of the van, grabbed our packs then the Japanese couple initiated a calming, smiling goodbyes to everyone. Cheers to them for being such a good sport. We checked in at
for the night and took a long rest.
We went to Siam area to shop for a bit the next day. From Khao San Rd, we walked to Phra Arthit ferry station and took a cruise to Sathorn station for 25mins, 18BAHT/p. From there it was just a short walk to Saphan Taksin of Bangkok Skytrain. *I was questioned there by one of the guards for taking photographs of the train*. We then took the train to Siam St. and walked around to find some cheap stuff. Nothing was cheap there. The best place to shop cheap really are at the markets, and the good ones unfortunately were only open on weekends. We ended up going back to Khao San Rd and harrassed the vendors there instead. After a few Bahts spent, we got ready for our ovenight trip to