Koh Kong Trip III: Had Lek Thai Border
As promised here’s the third post installment of our Koh Kong Trip. Previous post – Koh Kong Part 1 and Koh Kong Part 2. Read it or else! 😛 kidding!
You must be wondering why the posts for this trip is long lol! and not to mention it has taken me months to post this one and have 1 more post to go. Its long because well, we went to a lot of interesting places so I got to snap tons of photographs. And since I’m on a blogging and writing mood you’re getting the brunt of it. It took long, well because I’m lazy and it really takes me ages to have my photos organized..
The second day of our trip we all woke up early. Our nieces were buzzing with excitement. So what’s up? Our early morning destination was the market in the border with Thailand. After a quick breakfast and quick exchange of dollars to bahts in the city market, we were off to Had Lek border. The reason why the kids were all excited was that they heard that in the border there is great shopping to be had, hmmm that perked me up a bit!
The trip was really short with nice views on both sides. You can easily notice that you’re nearing the border when you see humongous casinos and hotels like the one above. Apparently casinos are illegal in Thailand so they decided to cram themselves at the Cambodian borders so Thais can also have their little gambling indulgence.
Then we reached a stop with several ‘official’ looking buildings with one on the right marked ‘Cham Yeam International Checkpoint’. Then I just realized, Oopsie! I didn’t have my passport with me! But everyone just told me to zip up, it appears that both Thai and Cambodian immigration offices issue transit permits. I’m not sure how long it lasts and who are entitled to it, coz I was busy keeping quiet and so I didn’t bother asking hehe I was told to zip up, di ba?
After maybe five minutes we emerged from the immigration office with some papers and was told to walk a couple more meters to the Thai immigration office. We got stamped in, then a few more meters to walk..Then, we were told, “The market is closed on Sundays!” Haha! No wonder we can go through immigration that fast! And all we could see were loads of fruits being carted to and from the borders..
If it were just me, I would have been pissed off big time but I have noticed that Khmer’s really are very patient folks. My Khmer relatives were disappointed, yes! but they took things in stride and made the most of what was there. That’s what I have noticed about Khmers and what I have also observed when we took our trip to Mondulkiri. I’m really learning the virtue of patience from them, and instead of me feeling annoyed, I was rather having fun taking photos and observing those carting the fruits! I guess its really all about mind-setting and their being good-natured must be rubbing off me..
So we ended up buying lots of fruits! Can’t resist it actually it was so cheap and lots of fresh choices. And besides fruits are good for us, lol! so we literally hoarded lots of fruits. We even had to rent one cart to bring over the Cambodian side..
It was almost lunch time when we were done with our ‘fruit shopping’ then we were off to Safari World.. More on next Koh Kong post…