Crossing Borders In The Rain


Siem Reap River near Angkor Thom South Gate

We paid for a bus+van transfer from Siem Reap to Bangkok the next day, which was cheaper and more comfortable.

The following morning, we ended up taking a smaller van to Poipet Border (on the Cambodian side). Yet another of that lame service after payment. Lucky for the two of us, we got a better space. Those tall German students had to squeeze themselves at the back.

When we reached the border few minutes before noon, the heavens opened the flood gates. Pulling our bags from the back of the van, swung it on our backs, we ran as fast as we could to the Immigration Office.

The area looked more like a bus ticketing booth than an Immigration Office, located just beside the border gate. Imagine a guard house by the gate, it was similar except that the office is bigger with 3 counters. Thank God the officers were kind and fast. But the problem was everyone was cramping in the area. Those who finished the immigration procedure could not move forward because the road is flooded and the rain kept pouring, making it difficult for the others still queued at Immigration to get their thing done.

As we walked in the rain to Aranyaprathet Border (on the Thai territory) a few meters down the road, I pitied this white woman, drenched, pulling her big, red luggage through a puddle, lifting it up with all her might whenever the rollers get stuck. She was like pulling a whole closet there…in the rain. The woman, whom we shared a table for lunch with later before proceeding to Bangkok, was a Child Psychologist. 

After Thai Immigration, we were squeezed along with our packs into a pick-up truck to the pick-up point of our transport to Bangkok. Again, when you are tired, drenched and hungry, you’ll only think of the fastest way to get out of there to seek comfort.

On a more comfortable van to Bangkok, I was just thankful we crossed the border without major glitches. I plugged my earphones, turned on the music and off I went to lala-land, zapping back to earth twice after banging my head hard on the window. Ouch! I didn’t see a star going in circles though…it was raining and cloudy! (“,)



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