The Best-Laid Plans

Andrew and I have been traveling for almost a week now. Our trip certainly got off to an auspicious start when we ended up, our first night, at the wrong island.

Our initial plan was to cross over into Thailand, take a 4-hour minivan ride to a transfer bus station, then an hour and a half minivan ride to the Thailand-Cambodia border, cross back over and arrive for a cozy night at Koh Kong, Cambodia. The purpose of crossing over was to avoid a 15-hour bus ride down to Koh Kong. A 6-hour trip through Thailand seems much more doable, right?


The combination of a much-delayed start of our minivan ride, several extended stops, and a rude van driver who just waved his hand in our faces whenever we tried to tell him where we needed to go and who took us to Koh Chang, Thailand, instead of Trat, Thailand, meant that we ended up on the southern coast of Thailand our first evening traveling.

Yes, Andrew felt just as confused as I'm sure you feel now.

But hey, we can't complain too much about going to the wrong island, when the island is such a beautiful one as Koh Chang. We had visited there in April, so luckily we were familiar enough with it to be able to cross over on the ferry and find a hotel for the night.

The next day, we crossed back over to the mainland and traveled to Trat, where we caught a minivan to take us to the Cambodian border. I had grabbed a couple of pad thais to-go, as we were starving. The minute we opened the containers on the minivan, the driver whipped his head around and almost shouted, "Who is eating?!?!" He stopped the van, got out and opened the sliding door. Pointing at our food and pinching his nose, he commanded us to put the food away. We gave him our best starving-backpackers'-face and told him we hadn't eaten. He said, "Put it away." So I munched on carrot sticks til we got to the border and dreamed about being back in Cambodia, where you could probably butcher a chicken on the bus, and the driver wouldn't bat an eye.

Ok, maybe that's a slight exaggeration.

Andrew was thinking this...

And arrive in Cambodia we did - more than 24 hours after we had departed Poipet. It's funny how a 6-hour trip can stretch into a much-longer one...I don't think I want to even tell you about arguing with the scammers and over-priced taxi drivers at the border who took my passport without asking, filled out my application, then told me to give them money for doing for me what I am so obviously incapable of doing for myself.

But oh, once we got to Cambodia, we really did enjoy ourselves. We spent the first night at the Oasis Resort, which was truly an oasis. Set outside the town of Koh Kong at the edge of the Cardamom Mountains, we relaxed in the pool, gorged ourselves on hamburgers and french fries, and almost forgot about the strenuous journey that had brought us there. We relaxed so much that we didn't even take any photos of the beautiful jungle, the tranquil pool, or comfy bungalows we holed up in for a night.

Next - we conquered the jungle. And picked leeches off our legs. And thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.