When Good Guys Go to Pattaya

A view of Pattaya
Formerly a peaceful fishing village, Pattaya is now a vibrant seaside town with abundant facilities thanks to its sex tourism. Situated only about 100 kilometers from Bangkok, this town is commonly listed as an excursion of Bangkok tour packages, just like the exclusive tour offered by TRAVELdonk this time. The one-day visit to Pattaya was our agenda in the second day of the tour (for the first day record, click here).

We went to Pattaya by government bus from Ekkamai Terminal. This approximately-2-hour-trip was considered the cheapest and the most convenient way. One-way ticket cost 108 Baht only per person. The bus terminated at a bus station located on North Pattaya Road. Once we alighted there, we ignored the songthaew touts and walked out the station. Just few steps east of the terminal, we found a place like tourist information center where we could ask any questions about Pattaya and get a free map. Then, we kept walking east a little bit more till we found a T-junction with traffic lights. We crossed the road and took a white songthaew running along Sukhumvit Road to the south toward Pattaya Floating Market.

Bangkok the Returns

Selfie with Anggalia, our senior as well as returning customer
Reunion is indeed a nice thing as at that time we would have a chance to meet our old friends, recall old stories and fool around. For a businessman like me, reunion with old customers become a special joy for myself. Someone come to you as a returning customer for a reason, which is satisfaction of your product she/he previously paid for. It was a senior in the university who once joined TRAVELdonk tour to Singapore now traveled with us to Bangkok, Thailand. This was an exclusive tour for her because she was the only person we brought along.

There were two low cost airlines serving direct flights to Bangkok from Indonesia, i.e. Air Asia Indonesia and Thai Lion Air. Both made Don Mueang airport as a portal to Bangkok. This time we had an opportunity to experience flying with Thai Lion Air which was better than Air Asia in some aspects. Some of them were free check-in baggage and snacks on board.

One Day Stopover in Bangkok

A couch to sleep on
Here it comes the very last part of our long journey. A one-day tour in Bangkok became our 'dessert' before going back home. But first, I'm going to share how we moved out of Siem Reap, Cambodia. Around noon we rode a minivan to Poipet border. The minivan picked us up at our guesthouse. It took about three hours, yet I did not feel bored as I was having a good conversation with a friendly local on board. At the border, it was not too late actually to cross to Thailand but we chose to spend a night in a western couple's house. We missed doing this couchsurfing stuff after staying only at guesthouses and hotels all the time during this long trip.
With Andre and Whitney, our host in Poipet

The next morning at 7, we crossed the border. It was so crowded mostly by workers from Cambodia who were going to Thailand. An officer recognized us as tourists soon offered us an 'express service', so frankly! Despite our rejection to the service, we were moved into the tourist line which was much shorter. The immigration line into Thailand was very long as well. So at the border two hours of our time was wasted. If we had made it through the border earlier, we might take the cheap & comfortable casino bus to Bangkok. But now we had to take another option. Walking away the border till 7-11 store, we turned right and many minivans were waiting for passengers there. As these transports were meant for the locals, there was no English writings at all. This was just as I expected.

Angkor by Bike

Welcome to Angkor
Angkor was the ancient capital of Cambodia and now is an archaeological park. It hosts so many historical ruins, some of which are much more popular than the others. The most visited ancient remains is absolutely the Angkor Wat whose name often ambiguously referred to the whole area of the park. No wonder Angkor Wat has become the national symbol of Cambodia and appears on its flag.

It would have been too much time and energy demanded to visit all sites scattered around the 400 square kilometers area, especially because we biked. Consequently, we gotta set up our priorities of which to visit and which to skip. Other than Angkor Wat, we had got two sites listed on our itinerary; Angkor Thom and Ta Phrohm. I'll show you the places one by one later. But before that, some readers might wonder if we could sneak into the archeological park area without paying fees. Once I was also thinking to avoid paying the $20 pass (yeah, i was one of those jerks), but the answer was NO. Every time we were about to enter a site, there was a ticket checkpoint. So, forget about cheating!

OUR TRIPS (Based on Places)