ChristianPFC

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About ChristianPFC

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  • Birthday 07/27/1980

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    Bangkok

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  • Location
    Bangkok
  1. Taking a Thai car into Cambodia (Mon 5jun2017) Farang friend FF owns and drives a car in Thailand, which we took into Cambodia. This was possible without much delay or bribes or documentation, but can only be done at two border crossings: Hat Lek (Trat province) / Cham Yeam and Kap Choeng (Surin province) / O’Smach (information from internet). Taking the car back to Thailand should be possible at any border crossing, however upon entering we learned that we have to come back to the same place (Hat Lek, our place of entry), recent regulation. If I had known that before, I would not have gone. In addition, you are only allowed to drive in the province of entry, but we kept the red number plate they gave us (to be displayed behind the windscreen?) in the glove compartment as to not draw attention, and drove all over Cambodia without being stopped. I entered separately from FF as a pedestrian, and taking car in took about 30 min longer. Here what he told me: red number plate costs 1000 THB, an obscure fee 100 THB for stamps and documents, a tip 5 USD for a taxi driver who led FF to the various offices. Going back into Thailand on Sat 10jun2017 we did together, and indeed from their pile of documents they (Cambodian customs?) picked out the one relating to FF’s car, for him to present elsewhere at the border.
  2. Visa on arrival at land border scam When we arrive at Hat Yeam Mon 5jun2017 shortly after 8 am, already busy with locals crossing (but only short queues). Opening times 6-22 are posted at the border crossing. Stamp out Thailand 8:11, stamp in Cambodia 8:30. I was aware that there are scams running, but didn’t have details. When applying for visa on arrival at Cham Yeam (in a room with table and chair, whereas the arrival/departure form and passport was handed through a window while I was standing outside), I was asked for 1600 THB (47 USD), and without saying a word, I handed them 30 USD. Then I was presented with an officially looking document (about A4 paper laminated, with signs of wear and tear), that said something like “Ministry of …, Announcement on …, Visa is 30 USD + 7 USD processing fee, stamp, signature” which I was not prepared for. The idea to ask to take a picture came to my mind, but I dismissed it. I should have asked to take a picture! And show them my old passport with previous visas from Phnom Penh airport with 30 USD stamped in. But I was flabbergasted and handed them a 50 USD note and received 13 USD change. My visa sticker does not have the price stamp.
  3. Money exchange ATMs have a fee of 4 or 5 USD, in addition I don’t know until later what rate my visa card gives. For Thailand, I found bringing cash is the most efficient way. Apply this to Cambodia. Following this lead http://www.khmer440.com/chat_forum/viewtopic.php?t=30992, I searched for the place recommended and walked along street 51 (Pasteur) from south to north and checked banks and other places along the way for exchange rates to exchange EUR to USD. Tue 6jun2017 around 9 am on xe.com 1 EUR = 1.12635 USD. Most banks don’t have exchange rates displayed, but if you ask they will tell you their exchange rate (not my style, skip). A place Wing (green, street 51 diagonally opposite Heart of Darkness disco) 1.08. Lang Daro pawn shop (green, near st 144) 1.105. Somnea (gold shop, st 136 between st 51 and st 53, south-east corner of Central Market) 1.121. Or Sovann (gold and jewelry, across st 136 from Somnea) 1.121. Exchange there.
  4. More recommendations for exchange EUR to USD, please. I remember, last year I had run out of USD and urgently had to exchange EUR to USD to pay for bus ticket, and two money exchanges near bus tation did not take my EUR. My home currency is EUR, so I guess it's better to exchange EUR to USD in Cambodia than EUR to THB to USD in Thailand (where I'm now).
  5. No Chili Con Carne in AEON/Maxvalu Harbor Mall Pattaya or Big C Pattaya Glang, but finally found even two brands in Friendship supermarket: Felix (Sweden?) 560 g for 395 THB and Dewhurst (USA?) 390 g for 122 THB. (One of my rare visits to Pattaya, and passing these places anyway I had a look there, but the hunt in Bangkok continues.)
  6. My friend lives in Soi Ngamduplee (between Sathorn Soi 1 and Rama 4 road) and I live nearby. He does his grocery shopping at Foodland Patpong, so I assume they don't have CCC.
  7. It's not for me. It's for a friend who has limited mobility. I'm out and around all the time, but do all my shopping in local Thai markets. I haven't set foot in a Tops/Villa Market/Foodland this year before his request. So I'm looking for recommendation which particular market and branch has chili con carne, so I pass there on occasion.
  8. Where in Bangkok can I buy canned chili con carne? There was none in Tops Silom Complex and Tops Robinson Bangrak when I checked this week.
  9. I'm planning to cross into Cambodia at Hat Lek / Koh Kong on 5jun2017 (then travel one week in Cambodia and leave via Pailin). What is the current visa-on-arrival situation, do they accept 30 USD or want a bribe or request to pay in THB at a rate that is much more expensive than 30 USD? Some of such scams are mentioned in this thread posts 12 and 35. Alternatively, I could go to the Cambodian embassy in Bangkok (far out, but I know my way around), where I would either have to pay express or come back the following day (huge waste of time and transport costs). A friend has been recently and said he paid 1100 THB for the visa and 100 THB for express (10 minutes wait) and 200 THB for a passport picture. But the visa he showed me says "30 USD" (currently 1021 THB). Side note: I couldn't find a website of the Cambodian embassy in Bangkok. At least opening times and comments (mainly about rude service and overcharging) on google maps. I don't like the idea of e-visa (and with processing fees and exchange rates - my credit card is in EUR - it might cost even more than VOA with all bribes, and I rather wait 30 min at the border than fumble 30 min on the internet - and then go somewhere to print it out). My experiences Hat Lek from Cambodia into Thailand were positive:
  10. I just notice this thread is misplaced in Can a moderator move it wherever he thinks it belongs?
  11. Any recent experiences (current law and how it's applied)? Plan to travel with a Farang friend who wants to take his car from Thailand (bought there, all documentation, driver's license, taxes, insurance) to Cambodia for about one week (probably enter and leave via Chantaburi and/or Trat province, travel in Battambang, Siem Reap, Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville), and then back to Thailand.
  12. I finally bought the Canon G7Xmk2 and have been happy with it since. I don't know if the multiple issues my Sony RX100mk2 has are due to poor manufacturing or wear and tear (after 3 years and about 30,000 pictures, with me in dust and rain, and a lot of sweat either as water vapor or touching my sweat soaked clothes). So try something new, and the Canon is cheaper than the current Sony. Some observations: I like that you have to open the flash manually. I want full control over flash. The Canon comes with a charger, only in a footnote in the manual you find it can be charged over USB. Big issue for me, I have only one battery, and I don't want to be stranded during a trip with empty battery because I forgot to charge it, in such an emergency I can charge with power bank that I always carry with me. On the Sony, when the picture is reviewed, I can instantly zoom in to check. On the Canon, I have to hit the review button first. Internet gives 1 inch sensor size and 13.2mm x 8.8mm sensor size, but this is nowhere near 1 inch diagonal! When I have the camera hanging on my neck and it is on, accidental touches of my abdomen on touchscreen performs operations that I don't want. How can I easily disable touchscreen so I can leave the camera switched on, hanging on my neck between shots?
  13. I have hitchhiked myself in Thailand many times (around 50 times between 2013 and 2016) and see nothing wrong with it. Granted, the first case was because being dropped off at the wrong spot by a Thai friend, I was waiting for bus there were none! Always positively received by those who stop (you could imply negatively received by those who did not stop). But I speak Thai and know my way around. If someone comes here without local knowledge and without money, that's strange.
  14. I very rarely have this problem with big bus or taxi. I remember only once a big (local bus in Bangkok) bus stopped for petrol, and once a taxi driver stopped for a pee. But those vans Bkk-Pty stop every time. I could understand if it was halfway between Bangkok and Pattaya (but even then, I wouldn't need that stop), but a 15 minutes stop, 15 minutes before reaching the destination? The most plausible reason so far is: rather waste all passengers' time than doing a re-fuelling trip with an empty van.
  15. Why do vans stop at petrol stations during the ride? (Technically not a petrol stop, as they all run on LPG.) Whenever I travel by van between Bangkok and Pattaya, it stops for petrol. Going to Pattaya, the stop takes 15 minutes and is 30 minutes before reaching Pattaya. Does the LPG in the tank not last longer? Do they need the fare paid by the passengers to pay for the LPG? Is it just poor planning, wasting passengers' time, not to do it before or after the trip? Is there only on LPG petrol station between Bangkok and Pattaya (actually two, one for each direction)? I find it annoying and a waste of time, 15 passengers x 15 minutes = 3.75 man-hours, half a working day! I certainly need neither a cigarette (I'm a non-smoker anyway) nor a toilet nor a food break between Bangkok and Pattaya.