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Koh Chang to Cambodia via Hat Lek

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It was the day we'd been dreading; the day our visa ran out and we had to leave Thailand. We were excited about going to Cambodia, but we were not excited about getting to Cambodia- via the border at Hat Lek.

I'd done a lot of online research (typical me!), and it became painfully clear that this journey was going to be difficult. 'The Hat Lek crossing is the worst!' and 'be prepared for SCAMS!', read the advice.

I wished we could just stay in Thailand, but we'd already extended our tourist visa and our allotted 3 months was up. We had no choice but to leave, and Hat Lek/Cham Yeam was the closest and cheapest crossing.


Scam #1:  Evisa
After reading about the 'visa on arrival scam', we decided to purchase a Cambodian evisa online. But this was still troublesome; there were quite alot of people on TripAdvisor who reported that they had never received their evisa after their online payment had been taken!

We decided to take a gamble, as the visa on arri…

A Week on Koh Samet

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This was our first trip to a Thai island and we were excited to get away from the big city of Bangkok with its heat, noise and confusion. 



We disembarked the ferry from Ban Phe to be greeted by a gigantic bronze mermaid statue emerging from the sea (Read more about our journey from Bangkok here). This mermaid has quite a look about her...pretty terrifying! 


Our hotel, Runa Runa 'the best guesthouse' was located in Samet village, easily walkable from the ferry pier. Luckily, we travel light (with Osprey Farpoint 40 backpacks), so walking was fairly easy. We immediately noticed the small, family-run shops and restaurants, and many, many mopeds! No high-rise apartment blocks so far, which was worlds away from where we'd come from in Bang Na, Bangkok. The climate was tropically humid and we soon worked up a sweat trying to find our guesthouse, which was surprisingly hard to find.

We followed our offline map to where we thought it was but ended up in a local's garden! Luckily…

The Unicorn Café, Bangkok

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The Unicorn Cafe, Bangkok 

Have you ever dreamt of a world full of pink fluffy clouds and rainbow glitter? How about a side order of multicoloured ice cream with that? Who knew that your dreams could come true at the Unicorn Cafe in Bangkok!



We decided to go for afternoon tea (of sorts) here after getting vaccinations at the Thai Red Cross Society travel clinic. I've always been fanatical about unicorns and believed they were real for an unacceptably long time (Father Christmas was a fallacy way before the unicorn!). After discovering that this cafe existed from watching vlogger Krysti Jaims take a trip there on YouTube, we just had to go. It looked too ridiculous not to!
We decided to walk from the Thai Red Cross Society (it was a 30ish minute walk), which was an interesting and entertaining experience. We passed sprawling street stalls, men selling oranges out of the back of trucks with loudhailers advertising their wares, and curious buskers playing instruments we'd never s…

How to get from Koh Samet to Koh Chang

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I looked into many different ways of doing this journey, including getting a bus to Rayong from Ban Phe, then catching government buses to take us to Trat, and then somehow getting to the pier for Koh Chang from there. It turned out government buses only ran once a day, so we opted for a much simpler journey instead. By minibus!

It was very easy to book. You'll see adverts for transport to Koh Chang in various shops and restaurants in Koh Samet village. In the end, we decided to book through the guesthouse we were staying at (Runa Runa 'The Best Guesthouse'...I'm not sure it was 'the best', but it was pretty good budget accommodation!). Turned out it was best to book through our guesthouse, as we'd be leaving early in the morning before their office opened, meaning that we had to get our deposit back from them the night before. They were very trusting with this; we got our deposit back with no problems, and we left our key in the room on departure.

The mini…