A Travellerspoint blog

On the road

overcast 30 °C
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After spending about 15 hours on the road, a new personal record of some sort, I'm feeling a bit tired to say the least. The original plan was that I would be in Siem Reap at 17.00 but as expected things didn't really go as planned. The train ride from Bangkok took a little bit longer and additionally the train was filled to the brim, probably because of Songkran aka the Thai new year. I got lucky though when a Thai guy drag me into the seat next to him when I got on the train, otherwise a would probably had to stand most of the trip. One couple got unlucky and had to stand for 3 hours with their backpacks on until enough people had gotten off. However, I met some American girls at the border who took the same train who stood for 5 hours straight in the train. After hearing this I felt a little bit bad when I had complained about the benches being so uncomfortable. Well, the price was 50 baht so the cheap price overrides all the bad stuff.

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After going through the border procedures with relative ease and meeting quite a lot of different people, one Dutch fellow who was here 21 years ago during the war as a UN soldier who came to relive (?) some memories, he was really proud of pointing out how much had changed especially at the border. After getting to the transport center for tourists, which is apparently run by a large cartel, I managed to barely miss one bus which meant I had to wait for 1½ hours until the next one finally left after it had filled up with enough people. The seats were more comfy than in the train though, however after 1½ hours on the bus the driver insisted that we would have an one hour pit-stop at some small road side diner, conveniently equipped with a money exchange counter, overpriced food and children who could speak fluent English and tried to sell some bracelet. It was so apparent that this is common practice with this cartel. Well, once again the price was cheap enough so I wasn't too bothered with it.

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Driving to Siem Reap in a bus when it's dark was quite interesting. There are no traffic lights and flashing your lights frenetically to the traffic coming towards you is common practice to indicate that you are overtaking someone and probably have a larger vehicle than you so you better beware. The trip even got better when a storm was brewing right when we arrived to Siem Reap with lightning in the sky and as icing on the cake it started pouring with rain just before I got to the hostel I'm staying at which resulted in me getting a little bit soaked.

Anyways, I'm here now and tomorrow a day of temple trekking awaits.

Posted by balloonimal 21:50 Archived in Cambodia Comments (0)

@Hua Lamphong

overcast 27 °C
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Not so many updates this week yet but this is due to the lack of events at Rangsit, the days have just consisted of school, sleep and making preparations. As I write this I'm currently in Bangkok next to the main train station Hualamphong in a hostel conveniently named @Hua Lamphong. The standard of the hostel is surprisingly top notch, however it is also a bit more expensive compared to the standard hostel rate here in Thailand. But for 400 baht, or 10€, I can't complain if I compare it to the various hostels I've stayed at in Europe for twice the price. The hostel is situated right in front of the train station which also makes tomorrow's early activities more convenient. At the moment I have the room I stay in all for my own benefits but I would be very surprised if someone doesn't show up at some point this evening. Enjoy the pictures of my room and the view from it, Thai graffiti and some pandas enjoying an evening meal.

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Tomorrow morning at 6am I'll leave for a small vacation to Cambodia. I'm equipped with my computer so I will be able to give you daily updates as long as there is an internet connection available, which shouldn't be too much to ask for.

Posted by balloonimal 19:28 Archived in Thailand Comments (2)

Weekend

sunny 35 °C
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The aim of this weekend was to recharge my batteries, this is why I didn't have anything planned for it and to some extent I managed to achieve my goal. On Saturday a couple of us went out in the evening, started off with some friendly games of beer pong at our place and then moved the party to Bungalow, where some played pool and then later four of us went to Virgin. A great evening with some nice pictures but you'll have to settle with these.

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Yesterday was spent in the bed with the AC on whilst I was recovering from the evening before. Nothing special happened, except that I started to plan for my trip next week, which I have continued with today since today is a public holiday of some sort. Have also started to look through what to pack since I aim to only pack the bare minimum, mainly because I'm only away for approximately 10 days but also to save weight since I plan to take the bag as carry-on luggage when flying back to Bangkok.

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Later on in the evening I'm planning on watching the two new episodes of Mad Men that apparently aired yesterday.

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Posted by balloonimal 15:21 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Immigration bureau

semi-overcast 32 °C
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So today me and Anneli went to the immigration office in Cheangwattana to sort out our re-entry permits to Thailand. Woke up early to try to get there as soon as they opened, but since we got stuck in traffic we arrived a bit later than planned to the governmental complex. The building that the immigration bureau is situated in is ridiculously huge and could easily fit a couple of soccer fields, felt a bit spooky at the same time since there weren't a lot of people there walking around either. Anyway, the process was quite easy and even though we arrived a bit later than planned we were lucky enough to not have to wait for too long in a queue. This is of course how you look at it since the whole process still took two hours, when I got my queue number the one going next was number 8 and I had number 46. Could have been worse though since if we would have arrived when we left , we would probably have had queue number 120 or even higher.

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Later in the evening we attended a soccer game where some of the guys from our group played, they even won 2-1.

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No plans for the weekend yet but I guess something will happen in one way or another.

Posted by balloonimal 23:20 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

International day

semi-overcast 33 °C
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Today the school had arranged an international day where the different nationalities attending school here in Rangsit participated, well almost everyone I guess. The event started with some monks blessing us with some chanting, moved on to a water ritual where the younger generation pays respect to their elderly, to presentations given by representatives of each country, a buffet with different kinds of national dishes and last but not least some countries performed their traditional dances and showed of their countries traditional clothes. Quite an interesting day where you got to see what kind of nationalities actually go to school here.

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Afterwards we had our Thai culture class where we got to both try and see how a traditional Thai dance is performed. The professional dancers could bend their fingers in quite an impressive angle, looked a little bit unnatural though. After this we also got to have a look on some traditional Thai instruments and how you play them.

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Today I will go to sleep early since I plan to go to the immigration office early in the morning to sort out my re-entry visa to Thailand for my trip to Cambodia next week.

Posted by balloonimal 21:11 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

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