Sometimes you just need a holiday.
It seems so odd, living in Cambodia, to think that we might need a holiday. I guess because Cambodia is the sort of place we might go to for a holiday………but in reality day to day living in Battambang is just like day to day living anywhere in the world (OK maybe a few things are different…).
So we decided we needed a holiday at the beach. The closest beach to us in Cambodia is either Sihanoukville or Kep / Kampot. This is not the easiest of journeys and would mean for a weekend away you would spend a lot of time traveling. We were keen for easy beach access and relaxation only – so we decided to go to Thailand.
To get here we crossed the boarder at Pailin about 90 mins drive from home. The boarder crossing is pretty straight forward and easy going. I used it a month into my stay to go and change my visa from a tourist to work visa. The catch is I have now used up my two free entries this year so will need to investigate options if I want to return. The Pailin side has a busy little town with eight massive casinos. We didn’t test them out. You then take a short little walk across the river (through no mans land) into Thailand.
There are heaps of differences between the two countries. The quality roads, the gentle driving pace, slightly less trash lining the roads and so on. Its like….. well a whole different country!
Once in Thailand there is a sandwich board quoting all the taxi prices from the boarder so I guess you are less likely to be ripped off. It is definitely cheaper (ie 2,000 Baht compared with 4,000 Baht we were quoted) to just pick up a taxi at the boarder.
Then another 90 min drive to the coast. The journey is much further than the travel within Cambodia but the roads are so much better, it takes half the time. And the journey is not quite so stressful.
On the way we made a quick stop to the local Tesco (yes Tesco) to buy cat food which is a lot cheaper than it costs in Cambodia.
Chao Lao is great. We didn’t find it in any guide books as its really just a holiday spot for local Thai people. We have seen so few westerners here, hardly anyone speaks any English (google translate has been an awesome help) and several eateries only offer their menu in Thai. Its a great find. There are other people here but as its the low season we have found the pool empty at times and the beach has swung between deserted and packed with picnicking local families.
Sun, sand, cocktails, good food and awesome company – what more could I ask for. We have enjoyed doing very little and are ready to get back to reality tomorrow.
Yep sometimes you just need a holiday!