Two crazy long days of travel to get from Chiang Mai to Siem Reap, Cambodia.
I ended up taking a “local” bus to Bangkok. The travel agents try to steer tourists away from these buses and into tourist buses. The problem was, the tourist buses were all sold out, so I didn’t have a choice, and even though the guy discouraged me from taking the local bus, I made him book it for me!
The difference is, the local bus is usually only Thai people and everything is announced in Thai, and it’s cheaper but a little lower end in terms of the class of bus.
Thailand is definitely a place that can be very segregated. For whatever reason, they don’t like the locals mixing much with the tourists. Anyway, there was me and one other white guy on the bus, and what do you know? They seated us together! This guy was in his 20’s and traveling the world- with NO money! He had a guitar, where he played at markets and street corners to get buy. He would literally sleep wherever he could find a place. Sometimes that means he gets invited to someone’s house, sometimes he’ll sleep on the ground!
For food, he was living on a lot of rice, and even goes “dumpster diving”.
Talking to him was incredibly inspiring to me. He wasn’t worried about school or work, just getting to the next place. He said there’s ALWAYS a way to get somewhere no matter how much money you have. Anyway, one of the more interesting people I’ve met on this trip.
I was super tired when I got to Bangkok, but I ran into my Canadian couple friends from Railey Beach! We had dinner and went out for a drink with a random British girl…it was good to see them and catch up on adventures!
The next day I took the bus to Siem Reap. It’s basically a shuttle bus that takes us to the border, then we go through the bureaucratic nonsense, and get another bus in Cambodia to get to Siem Reap. The story as to what we were doing kept changing (it always does in SE Asia!), and we had to pay an extra $10 for a Visa (the guy told us it was much faster if he did it for us and thus the $10 I guess in his pocket).
Made it past all the checkpoints no problem and into Cambodia. 4 of us decided to ditch the bus idea and get a taxi for an extra $9, and save 2 hours. Got to Siem Reap, then got dropped off and got a tuk tuk ride to the hotel.
The hotel is the Sochhin Hotel. It’s $10/night, nice big rooms, air conditioning, including American breakfast, free bikes to borrow, and SUPER nice and helpful staff. And free wifi and 2 for 1 happy hour drinks!