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Friday, October 14, 2016

Indochina Solo Trip Overland Part 5: Thailand (Aranyaprathet-Korat-Udon Thani-Nong Khai)

Continued from Part 4..

From Phnom Penh we go directly to the Poipet Border...Van made few stops. I hardly opened my eyes.. (can't believe I can sleep in that condition) Until its 5.30am, we reached the Mekong Express office in Poipet. I didn't see the border so I thought we might need to walk or find tuktuk to go to the border. I choose to go to washroom here. During my trip I only pee at the bus office and restaurant because its surely clean and got water hehe. Then we were asked to fill in the immigration card. We took about 15 minutes to half an hour here,I think.

Charge my phone while waiting haha.

Suddenly the guy called me, I suddenly get nervous. Apparently he's having problem filling in my immigration card haha, he couldn't tell which is my first name and which is my surname haha. I thought its because of my visa or something. I shouldn't have visa problem in Southeast Asia,except if I'm going to Myanmar/Burma.

After that we entered the van again and they stopped about couple of minutes later,ok,this is the border. We stopped again at another office, and I took the chance to charge my phone again haha. 

I don't know what's taking so long, and suddenly the guy asked me to pay 150 baht. This is to speed up the immigration process. I think this border is quite hmm dunno to describe it. Its very dusty here, and there is no official building office for immigration officer. There is a building, a table in front, and people queuing up. But no signage or whatsoever. I've been to few borders before, Singapore,Brunei,Sadao/Bukit Kayu Hitam,even Cambodia/Vietnam yesterday, so this is very confusing for me. So I just follow my other vanmates. When the guy asked me for 150 baht, I think I need to change to baht first. There is a money changer just beside the office, and I think the rate is ok. since I got 1400baht for $40 (I just calculated roughly); $40 is about RM166, and now baht rate is 10baht=RM12.

I was thinking to buy sim card there. I owned a Thai sim card from my previous trip to Krabi,but I think its expired already since its near a year already. But then I think I'll just buy it later. And I'm going to be in Thai for few days only.

So after that we walked to Thai immigration office. Ok this is real office. And its very long queue. Me and other 2 vanmates suddenly become a small group, we went everywhere together haha. 1 is the girl sit next to me in the van, I think she's Cambodian. She speaks good English and quite friendly. I think she reminded me to my ex's girlfriend, so I avoided her at first haha #weirdo me. The other 1 is a Japanese guy,he's very tall and he sit next to the van door, so I noticed him. Aku kat bawah keti dia ja k haha. He looked a little like L character in the Death Note and the way he sit and all, so I quickly assumed he's Japanese. Yeah, I'm right hehe. 

After that we didn't know where to go, so we just walked and I saw the Aranyaprathet town. I've read about it, Aranyaprathet has many local outdoor goods with good quality. I already told my friends about it, they got an outdoor shop and we will meet at Bangkok later because they want to add stocks for their shop. So I proposed them to go there,but I think they're not interested huhu. Its far from Bangkok,but they got many direct buses between the two towns.

The Cambodian girl asked her friends and apparently we went the wrong way. I was confused actually, because I just want to go to the border, why still need to be in group huhu. But since they gave a tag before, I think its just to re-collect the tags. 

Apparently, all my vanmates are going to Bangkok. Thats why we were given a tag. So I told the bus operator (not the Cambodian one) that I bought ticket to Poipet only. He said, its ok, u can buy here. I replied, no no no, I dont want to go Bangkok, I want to go to Nakhon Ratchasima (Korat). Oh, you can't get bus here. You need to go to bus station. Take tuktuk go there.

Ok fine. Tuktuk costs me 100 baht, its about 7-8km as I've been told. I can walk,if I want,yeah its quite far, but its just down the road. So I won't be confused with directions haha. 

Tried to selfie with the border gate but failed haha,thats the Cambodian girl and the Japanese man.

Thai tuktuk is quite different from Cambodia

The bus schedule. I'm waiting for 8am bus. It came 8.30am++ huhu

The bus station

View along the journey

My seat behind bus driver. The ticket didn't have seat number btw. I asked him what time we will reach Korat and he said 1 erm erm,i thought it means 1hour haha. Apparently he means 1pm. Aiyoooo. The bus fare is 150baht.

I kept everything nearby so I won't forget anything hehe

Korat bus station..finally.. and its raining hmm. Luckily I just transit here. Since here is the nearest bus hub. I quickly looked for ticket to Nong Khai. 

I got another free mineral water here with a bun.

The ticket hehe. I dunno what it indicates. Its 300 baht.

I think we departed from Korat around 2.35pm. I kept getting asleep along the journey. I think its because I didn't take bath for more than 24hours now haha. Sorry if I smell. Luckily I travel alone so nobody knows lalala.

During my journey I found out that my bus shows it heading to Udon Thani only,because I saw another bus with label Korat-Nong Khai. Ah I hope I won't get stranded at Udon Thani. I just wanna reach Nong Khai as soon as possible. I was just too tired at that time. And I didn't changed for more than 24hours. 

The bus made frequent stops, so it took longer than usual to reach Udon Thani. I only ate a muffin in the morning,and the free bun in Korat. That was the only meals I had throughout the day. Sun sets earlier in Indochina so its already pitch black when I reached Udon Thani. I think its about 8pm. Or later than that. Some people were in front of the bus stairs asking where to go,but of course in Siamese language. I was blur at that time and just tried to get down,but I missed the stairs and ooops,I sprained my ankle. Arghhhhhh. Disaster.

They tried to lift my orange bagpack but I quickly grabbed it. All my valuable things were inside. U cannot trust anyone. But I quite regretted my action because they are actually just want to help me. Sorry.

I asked for Nong Khai and the guy showed me to a van. It costs me 50 or 80baht. I want to  enter the van when the driver keep asking me something. He repeat his question when I didn't reply him,I think he thinks that I didn't hear him. Then I said I dont understand u. He slapped his forehead haha. Then he asked are you Philippines? Haha, why, only Filipino speak English meh? And I'm wearing scarf some more.

I told my mom about this,how locals always mistaken me as locals and all,she laughed and said, yeah you look like them. Pfffft I got this look from you mom. If I can speak local language then I'll be very happy to be one of them. Then I can go everywhere peacefully,and get local price too *evil grin*

It took about 1hour to reach Nong Khai. Its 9pm plus. The town look modern,much much better if you compared to Aranyaprathet (I make this comparison since both are city at the border,even Sadao/Dannok also dont look like Nong Khai). I asked the tuktuk guy to take us to nearest hotel. I told him,I just want the cheapest room. Oh, I said us since there's another guy in the van who's looking for a room too.

The cheapest room is 500baht,hmm its RM60 and was the most expensive room during my trip. I asked the tuktuk guy if there is any hostel here but he said no,its the cheapest u can find. I dunno if he lied,and I couldn't search using Internet. So I had to agree to this room. Plus my foot already swollen. I just want to rest....... Btw the tuktuk costs 100baht. Hmm

The hotel is quite nice, thick bed,got a TV,wifi quite good,and nice bathroom too. Quickly took a shower and did my prayer. Since my foot is swollen I could hardly stand up :(

Luckily I brought a bandage, antiseptic and minyak gamat (ointment) so I didnt have to go to pharmacy or clinic for them. I knew I will get sprained somewhere haha. 

So, good night...Zzzzzzzz

To be continued....

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