AK880 touched down in Don Muang Airport on time, a rare feat of AirAsia. Thanks to Air Asia, I learn that the word “LaCha” means “delay” from the ground crew when I last flew on Air Asia. I have convinced my wife that I have done my home and Internet work well ahead to know exactly what to do and what to say in Thai, of course. My wife is a “packaged” tourist and is worried of any unplanned things. she is also a city tourist and just back from Osaka and Tokyo. A trip to outback country is something she would least want to try.
On hearing that I am going to AranyaPrathet on a bus from Mochit Bus station, the cab driver tried to persuade me to take a cab direct to AranyaPrathet for 2500 bahts. I told him that I could not afford “Mai mee gern”. Nice try.
The meter in the taxi miraculously did not function. I had to convince the driver that I have been here and that I know how much to pay even though that the meter is dead. Well, I am supposed to have “senuok” (incidentally, the Malay word for fun is “seronok”) here so I paid him 180 bahts he asked for the journey. The bus to AranyaPrathat leave exactly 10:30, 5 mins after we arrived at Morchit.
At AranyaPrathet, we took a tuk-tuk for 60 bahts to Cambodia border, exactly as posted in the Internet. Immigration is OK except I had to pull along my trolley bag on uneven road surface between the 2 immigration checkpoint.
Crossing into Poipet, Cambodia
Poverty is a relative term. If you said Thais in rural areas are poor, you have got to come here in Poipet and see for yourself what poverty really is. For a few Bahts, kids as young as 8-10 years old are paid to pull wooden carts full of luggage to Hotel.
Carts drawn by human power are frequent sights
We checked into HoWah Genting for 600 bahts per room night. HoWah Genting is a Malaysian-owned company listed in KL Stock exchange. Breakfast is included.
There are about 9 casinos in Poipet, I was told. Free flow of food is served to the patron of Casino. There are also many Toyota Camry around to ferry patron between Casinos. Generally the stake can be as low as 10 Baht. As we are no gamblers, we just opt for the easy-to-play Roullete to past time and have some cheap fun and thrills. Time are spent moving around the casinos, eating and drinking. The night ended with a foot massage.
The following day, we went back to Thailand side to shop at the border market and tried some Thai delicacies.
We spent another night in Poipet and lost 1500 bahts on the table, I guessed. As we are here for “Senouk”, we gave trips generously to the croupier when we strike, just to make everyone happy. In Zurich, no one will pick up a one Swiss Franc coin in the street. Here, one Franc will bring a lot of happiness.
We met some Malaysian here and were given food coupons to dine at their hotels. We learnt from the Malaysian that there is bus to Bangkok for only 100 Bahts. It stopped at BangNa and also in the City.
The trip back to Bangkok is more pleasant and took only 3 hours.
In Bangkok, we stayed in Regency Park at Sukhumvit Soi 22 for USD30 booked through the Internet. Shopping at MBK is the part of trip my wife enjoyed most.
AK881 back to KL was a pleasant trip too.