Guidebook paranoia

One of the most popular travel guidebooks for south east asia is the Loney Planet. I see it hanging out of backpacks in busses and planes all over the place here.

It’s got this big warning about the border crossing from Thailand to Cambodia at Poipet telling you there’s scams and that you’re going to get ripped off and to be oh so careful.

We did this trip a few days ago and it’s kinda true. Bussing from bankok to the border was dull but absolutely ok. However we knew about the fake visa people and went straight to the official border. All passed with no problem and everyone was real nice. Sure, we might have paid $1~$2 dollars above the official odds but i’m not even sure of that.

Once on the cambodia side though there’s not official transport and all you’ve got are touts. And here’s the thing.


At worst, you’ll have a longer trip and end up paying maybe $5 dollars more than you absolutely have to. But that’s it. No need to get angry, upset or insulted. This is the most commercialised route in cambodia and you’ve got themoney t0 spare. If it’s that big a deal, approach a taxi tout directly and haggle. Don’t take offical looking passes as officail, They have laminators here too.

We ended up following some guy onto a bus which led to outside town and took a $9, 5 hour trip for what could have been 3 hours. But it was fine except that I was paranoid because of all of the dire warnings in the guidebooks. relax, it’s your trip and lonely planet is not the bible. make your own….

god that got preachy at the end didn’t it.

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