Monday 14th March
First of all, this border was as easy as you like. No queue, no hassle, no corruption. (Time of crossing: March 2016.)
We pulled up to the building. The staff members indicated that we should leave our bike outside. As there was almost nobody else there, it felt fine to do so.
We needed a visa on arrival, so we collected a form from the guys on the left of the door. It’s very simple to fill out. We handed in our form and passport, paid $35 each, and hey presto… one month tourist visa! (Though if you are from the Middle East or Africa check the Cambodian Embassy website – it isn’t as simple for some countries in these regions.)
We headed over to the other desk, filled in an arrival card, and after a lot of stamps on passports, and a little bit of stapling, we were good to go.
While here we met a Norwegian cycle tourist, also heading to Kep. This means that the only two times we have met another cycle tourist in Vietnam is the day we entered and the day we left. I would have liked to have met some more, but I cannot deny the pleasing sense of symmetry this gives me.
Dazzled as we were by Ha Tien Vegas, we resisted the bright lights and hit the road.
What does Cambodia look like? Good question.
Apparently there’s also some beaches and temples and things.
I have heard from several people that Cambodians are a lovely bunch, and indeed there were many big smiles and “Hellos” from local people.
It wasn’t a long way to Kep, but Eric, who has a bad cold, was really feeling it. I had to keep patting him on the back and saying “Nearly there.” Poor Eric.
I successfully withdrew some cash from an ATM just before we reached our hotel – always a bit of a relief when this works in a new country. Do you know what I learned last night? Cambodia has TWO currencies which it uses interchangeably: the riel and the American dollar. The exchange rate is 4000 riel to $1. Dong was hard enough Cambodia, dong was hard enough.
After finding the hotel we had booked, the Champey Sor Guesthouse, Eric was at last able to collapse onto the bed with a cry of “Uuurggggggghhhhhhhhhhh…” spending the next hour giving his nose the attention it deserved.