OMG! I have the most amazing story to tell you! Prepare yourself for a hell of a ride..
On Monday, I decided to go to Cambodia. Booked the shuttle, packed my things and on my way. It was a long drive, but nothing serious really. By lunchtime, we arrived at te Cambodian border and stopped to get something to eat. Suddenly, two other girls and myself where asked to come with this lady - she was bringing us to another bus, because we booked with another company.. On my way, walking to the other girls, one of them came up to me and said: "If they ask about your visa, say you already have one. This is a scam, but we have been warned and know what to do." Being A little bit shocked, I agreed and we drove to the border post. She was right. They asked us to come inside and fill in some paperwork, but most importantly, they wanted us to pay a 1000 baht - the equivalent of 25 euro. While the visa will normally cost you 20 US dollars. So after a huge discussion, for some reason they did not like our decision to donit on our own, we walked to the real border post. We spent 15 minutes inside and walked right across the border.
All of this could happen, because the girls met somebody who told them exactly what to do. Honestly, I don't know what I would have done if I did not meet them... Scam number one, check!
Of course we could not take the bus we came with to the city, so we had to arrange other transport. A free bus to the station and a minivan later, we arrived at the busstation in Siem Reap. From there we had to take a motocycle to our hostels. We get in this motocycle, tell the driver the address and wait. Mr. Driver had no clue where the place was.. After asking around, he decided to just drive. Not even two minutes later, he pulls over the motocycle and tells us that he doesn't know where to go and that we have to pay. We paid more at the border to be driven to our hostels, so we were not paying again. He told us he never saw any money and if we would not pay for the trip, we would at least hire him the next day for an Angkor Wat trip. Also not going to happen! This heated argument took us about 15 minutes, when he finally decided to go.
In the middle of nowhere, he stopped and said we had to find our own hostel. We asked him how we where supposed to do that and he said we could just walk! No way! We asked around, because he would not do it, and finally somebody decided to help us. A phone call here, a phone call there. Again, 15 minutes later we were on our way again. He found the place and finally we were where we wanted to be. Scam number two, check!
This was only my first day in Cambodia.. Luckily, the next was awesome. I found a buddy to cycle to Angkor Wat. For your information, Angkor Wat is one temple, but in that area there are dozens of temples. You can buy a 7-day ticket to see everything and you probably have to be really fast. We are saving the best for last! So yesterday we only saw some less important, yet not less impressive, ones. It was already amazing, so I am wondering what the main attraction is going to be like. We will see tomorow, because we are taking a rest day today.
That means that I will keep you posted!