Saturday, February 24, 2007

Anlong Veng Border Crossing

Sometimes when you start moving it's hard to stop - Ryan and I had planned to ease our way across NE Thailand, but yesterday we just kept catching buses until one dropped us in Chiang Mai at 4 in the morning.

We crossed into Thailand from Anlong Veng, where Pol Pot died of old age. There isn't much information about this crossing available online - so here are a few tips.

First off - the crossing is about 16 kilometers North of town on top of a ridge. The road is in great shape, new pavement, built by the Thais. A fair moto-price would be around $3 or 100 baht. The last bit is a steep climb.

A new border post on the main road is not yet finished - for now immigration is on a dirt track. This is the quietest border I've ever crossed. No touts, no beggars, nothing but a couple of sheds and chirping birds. No onward transportation either, which was a somewhat disconcerting surprise. Apparently pick-up taxis are around sometimes, but we ended up getting a ride from the Thai immigration officer.

Pol Pot's old house is up near the border, but my guide told me that he really lived 10 km inside Thailand, a fact which just about everyone has an interest in keeping hush-hush.

Brak Sareth is an Anlong Veng moto-driver who speaks excellent English. His phone number is 012-182-0503.



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