Walking into Cambodia
At the eastern edge of Laos, the bus driver motioned for us to take our belongings and leave. And so everyone who’d been riding the bus, laden with backpacks and other gear, walked across the border into Cambodia. We knew nothing about what was to happen. How would the border police treat us? Would we need to pay bribes? Would our bus be waiting on the other side? No time to question the bus driver, and even if there was, the language barrier wouldn’t allow an exchange of helpful information. Low budget travel in undeveloped countries relies primarily on faith, and a fair bit of optimism.
The twists and turns in transportation through SE Asia led to all sorts of different experiences: being taken in the wrong direction in a truck in Laos for such a long period of time that Liam and I whispered our thoughts about kidnapping (turned out the driver took a far-far-out-of-the-way route simply to stop by home and say “hi” to his kids), riding down the Mekong River in a leaky wooden boat which one man passionately bailed with a tiny plastic pail for the entirety of the 8 hour journey, riding a Thai bus that broke down in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night, and later in Cambodia, 8 hours sitting in a packed mini-bus with a bag of wriggling fish (someone else’s luggage) beneath my feet .
Happy news. The bus was waiting on the other side. It only took a boat ride, a bus ride, a brief walk, another bus ride, a scammy tuk tuk (as if there are any other sort of tuk tuk!), and blamo presto. We were in Kratie, Cambodia.