Sisaket to Anlong Veng

Discussion in 'Cambodia Road Trip Reports' started by Peter Hooper, Jan 2, 2008.

  1. Peter Hooper

    Peter Hooper Ol'Timer

    Mission half done
    I had to do a Visa run last week and thought I would give it a go to cross into Cambodia and visit Anlong Veng to see if I could find any references to Pol Pots presence there for a number of years. I took Gat our office girl with me because she speaks Thai, Lao, English, Suay, and some Khmer.
    From Sisaket it is an easy run along the 220, to the 24, West for 12 km and then turn South onto the 2201 which goes all the way to the border at Chong Sa Ngam. Total 111 km one way.
    Photo; Turn left off the 24 to the 2201.Looking North into Thailand from near the border.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Thai Immigration was pretty relaxed with no waiting and the Thai Customs filled in the Thai “Application for Export Temporarily the Vehicle, Outfit and Passengers from Thailand” export form for the motorcycle and had me sign it and the Register Book signing the bike out of Thailand. (I think it is “outfit”)
    Across on the Cambodian side there was a wait because a tour group had just arrived on their way to Siem Reap. I filled in the form paid my B1000 got theVisa and went over the road where they had me fill out the Arrival Card which was stapled into my Passport. Back over the road to Customs where a bunch of young officials was standing around. One who seemed to be the leader said I couldn’t take the m/c into Cambodia. I asked him why not and he had no answer. I told him my friends do it all the time (GT Riders)and after some to-ing and fro-ing he said Ok you can go to Anlong Veng but not to Siem Reap. Once you are in the country I don’t know what the difference is. I said next year I am going to go to Siem Reap and want to know why not. No answers as usual and I think probably showing off his limited English to impress his friends, possibly also softening up for a bribe as well. I handed in the Thai “Application for Export Temporarily the Vehicle, Outfit and Passengers from Thailand” and was issued with a Number plate sized document with Cambodian writing in red, and signed their Register Book. After some more banter they said I could go. No money changed hands.
    Photo. Thai Export form and Cambodian Import form.
    [​IMG], [​IMG]
    From the border you cross from the dusty immigration and customs area to a very good sealed road and drop down the side of the escarpment that forms the Thai Cambodian border for many km’s, then on 16km to Anlong Veng, remembering to cross to the right side of the road. Anlong Veng is a small dusty frontier town with apparently very little going for it. In the centre of town is a roundabout with a pyramid shaped monument in the middle
    Photos; Looking South into Cambodia from near the Border, Centre of Anlong Veng.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    We had some lunch (which Gat said was not delicious) at a restaurant with a dirt floor in the middle of town and then tried to find Traces of Pol Pot.
    Photo; Rough Restaurant
    [​IMG]
    I thought this would be easy because he is such a notorious figure and because he spent a lot of time there, but not so. Nobody seemed to know what Gat was talking about and so we finally went to the Police station and managed to wake somebody up there and after considerable talking he sent a couple of his minions off on a motorbike to show us the way. We went back out along the road to Chong Sa Ngam for about 2km and turned East onto a dirt road which went for about 500m where we came to the Tourist Office and kiosk
    Photo; Tourist Office & Kiosk
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    This is on the edge of a swampy lake and after paying 20B for Gat and 80B for me we went another 100m to a group of several deserted houses one of which was apparently where Ta Mok lived. There are no signs or anything else to confirm this. It is a pleasant place, quiet with a nice outlook over the lake. The house itself has its interior walls painted with peaceful murals. On our way out we questioned the tourist office man again and he then told us Pol Pots grave site was not there but up near the Thai border. He died in April 1998 of natural causes.
    Photo; Ta Mok’s House, Looking over the lake.
    [​IMG], [​IMG]
    Next quest was to find the grave site so we headed back the 16km to the border as we were told. More confirmation of this by the Cambodian border police at the bottom of the scarpment. When we arrived at the village at the border we were given several different directions and a lot of blank looks to the point where after going round in circles for half an hour we gave up and left it for another day.
    Woody describes the site in his report previous to this but we couldn’t find it quickly so will go back next time we cross over.
    Back at the border I handed in the Cambodian “number plate” and signed my bike out of Cambodia in the Register and was given back the Thai Application to Export form. I handed this to Thai Customs and signed their Register and that was it. I crossed the road to Immigration and had my passport stamped out, was asked for B300 which I refused to pay, crossed to Thai immigration and was back in Thailand, which is always a relief even after only a few hours out.

    I have put the difficulty in finding references to Pol Pot down to the possibility that they want to forget and have moved on. I certainly hope this is the case as he is a grim reminder of a forgettable past. From the outside looking in that’s one of the first things we think of, but living in the country and facing the struggles of life in a poor economy I guess it fades into insignificance.
    Cheers,
    Peter
     
  2. Loading...


  3. burnjr

    burnjr Ol'Timer

    peter,
    nice report /journey...i see u on febuary

    cheers
    burnjr :D :shock:
     
  4. Woody

    Woody Member

    Nice report Peter.

    From Ta Mok's house, the one with the murals you can see an old outhouse in the swamp area, this is apparently where Pol Pot's house used to be but it was completely destroyed by government soldiers some years ago.

    To find Pol Pots Grave site: If you have your back to the timber barricades, go about 500m down the sealed road, take the small dirt road on your left for about 100m, then go left up a small walking track about 20m. It is tucked in behind some house so you can't see the site from the sealed road. Not very easy to find, I had to enlist the help of a couple of school kids to help me out. I had the same problem as you when I asked the older locals to direct me to the grave, blank looks.
     
  5. Bert on the bike

    Bert on the bike Ol'Timer

    Hi Peter

    Nice posting. With regard to the customs in Cambodia I have a question for you since it looks like you have been crossing over more often.

    I have been with a friend (Murray) to Cambodia in October, both of us on our bike. We crossed the border in Poipet. After having done the paper work on the Thai side (which was not too difficult), we got our visa for Cambodia. We did not care about the Cambodian customs and were not pointed to it by anybody as well. We decided to just get on our way to Siem Reap. Just passed the custom house and waived (nobody waived back, probably sleeping).

    We have been driving around for a week and nobody ever asked us about our Thai license plates. Murray has an accident (dog) and had to fly back. I took my bike back to Poipet, got my visa stamped on the cambodian side and nobody from the Cambodia side ever asked something about customs papers. They let me just drive off to the Thai side.

    When Murray's bike came back a couple of week later same story. No Cambodian interest what so ever.

    I have heard that only when you want to exit in to Laos the Cambodian custom papers are important. For the rest you can forget about them. I have not heard from anybody that they had problems with the cambodian customs while going back to Thailand with a Thai registered bike.

    What is your experience?

    Bertil Prins
     
  6. Peter Hooper

    Peter Hooper Ol'Timer

    Hi Bertil,
    That was the first time I have been into Cambodia on my bike, I have been in and out of Laos also but never from Cambodia to Laos so don't know what you might face. You can just ignore customs in some places but in others they are quite strict so unless you are familiar with each exit point and intend to exit and enter in the same place, I would consider it an unacceptable risk to be without legal customs documents, particularly if as happened to you, you have an accident.
    Good Riding.
    Cheers,
    Peter
     
  7. Bert on the bike

    Bert on the bike Ol'Timer

    Dear Captain

    Thanks, the way you describe it is the same experience I had in Poipet.

    Bertil
     
  8. Peter Hooper

    Peter Hooper Ol'Timer

    Captain & Bertil,
    My crossing was on 21 Dec 07 so that is just over two weeks ago,
    Cheers
    Peter
     

Share This Page