Worst border crossing experience ever! (Padang Pesar to enter Thailand)

Yesterday I travelled from Penang to Bangkok and the Padang Besar border crossing to enter Thailand has been the worst border crossing ever!

Horrible experience.

Ironically it should be a super easy crossing point as you only need to show up board your train to BKK. I’ve read quite a few reports by my fellow Chinese passport holders online and reckoned it should be OK, many mentioned everything went smoothly, some mentioned you have to brought enough cash (10000 Thai baht) to show to the customs, that’s it.

I guess Padang Besar is also a border for a lot of people staying in Thailand with tourism visa to extend their visa every 3 months, so normally should be quite OK in this case.

There are two Padang Besar train stations, one at Malay side one at Thai side. The train to Bangkok passes both station but nowadays you can just board the train from Malay side, easier to connect your previous train from Malaysia.

When I tried to board my train as any other people before me, I was stopped after the customs saw my passport. I was actually quite prepared for the hassles at any border nowadays because of my passport (probably you already know, my passport is among the worst ones). So I tried to be polite and asked what the problem is. Customs woman looked super annoyed with me even though I didn’t do anything, she said you don’t have a photo which I don’t see any of the previous passengers before me gave them either. I told her you have a camera here, if she can help me make me one or find a photo booth then in this case. (I think that’s logical, visa on ARRIVAL right). Plus, I’ve read reports before, some saying no photo needed to show, so it’s apparently not necessary.

kinda hate this place now lol

So wtf is this? They just wanted to make my life difficult.

I asked again where I can take a photo nearby to can they let me through. She became very angry, saying there’s no way. I have to go cross the border by myself and take the train at the other station, they are closing now so I can’t just take a photo then return and take my train directly from there. Seriously wtf.

I was too tired to argue anymore after a long trip. There is one hour difference between two countries, but I was so busy can’t think about it at that moment. All I had in my mind is to find a photo booth, go to the two borders myself and stamp the passport, find the train station at Thai side and not to miss my train.

The customs woman doesn’t speak much English and I guess she’s too retarded to express everything in English. So better just to figure it out myself, I then walked a long way to reach the Malay border office downstairs ask them to help find a photo booth and Thai border.

This was the time I realised luckily I’m doing backpacking with a small backpack, because I could easily catch a motorbike ride, from border to border and then to the Thai side of train station, so I didn’t have to walk all the way in the 35 degree tropic sun.

To issue the visa on arrival at Thai border was also a hassle, it was another terrible woman, with again an annoyed face. I mean if you aren’t happy, then why should you still work there and make other people miserable? The woman at the visa office didn’t make much sense, she took my passport then she couldn’t remember where she put it, then it became that she already gave it back to me, but of course she didn’t. She insisted saying so until she found it, of course no apology, they are the boss 😉

What an idiot lol, I guess maybe she was too stupid she also forgot to charge me for the visa, of course I’m not gonna ask to pay… for such hassles they made for me? Unless I’m also an idiot. I asked that’s it? She said yes, and gave me a dirty face wtf, she said now go take your train. OK, fine, I don’t mind free visa then, even though it still didn’t compensate all the hassle I went through.

But really, f*ck it, Thai border at Padang Besar! And f*ck you, “Go cross border yourself” woman!

I was in a hurry to take some pictures of them, words can’t really describe how terrible they are, when you see it you understand better!

I mean, I love travelling, seeing people and learning their culture, which has absolutely nothing to do with how their government and authority is. I’m always a supportor for the borderless and cruelty free world, probably because of all these silliness and the stupid authority pride in all these places I’ve seen during my past travels.

Now enjoy Songkran in BKK.

Karaoke Fun Time

Who doesnt like Karaoke?

I haven’t done the Asian style Karaoke for long. Karaoke bars are so different in Europe haha.

Why was I singing Japanese song then? Because it’s a karaoke opened by Japanese and normally only Japanese customers go there.

Then why was I there? Here is the story, I thought kinda funny.

I was drinking my ginger lemon tea at this cafe in HCMC on my last day there.

Then an older Japanese guy and a young Japanese girl came in the café, I was taking this pictures with my tripod, feeling so kinda embarrassed doing such thing in a café, I smile at them. Then they started talking to me in Japanese, thought I was Japanese or smth.

Turned out the café is at Japan town in HCMC, there are more than 1 million Japanese living there, I’d never thought there were so many.

Momo was kinda interviewing the guy, I didn’t know what the guy does of course.

Then we started talking a little bit. Momo told me Ken san is super nice and famous, he’s Toshi, the lead singer of X-Japan’s brother. I was kinda surprised, because even though I don’t listen much to Japanese music these days, X-Japan must be at least used to be famous because even me heard some of their songs haha.

Ken opened a karaoke bar many years ago in HCMC, so that’s why they took me there after the café since we don’t have much to do.

Of course the karaoke has nothing to do with Toshi and even Ken doesn’t really see his brother much these days, still quite interesting I thought. He sings super well, me and Momo were quite impressed haha.

That was my last day in HCMC, never thought I’d do Karaoke in Bui Vien street though haha!

Market Friday!

Yo yo, it’s market Friday again? Exciting, because I always take so many pictures in all kinds of markets! Here are some more photos taken in the markets from my West Africa trip!

Above is the chicken market. I don’t know why I made such a face, wasn’t I supposed to be happy to see chickens? Chicken is very, very important in West Africa. Be prepared to eat chicken every day if you plan to travel there!

Ice cream, to be more specific, frozen yogurt, because it’s literally frozen yogurt.

Busy busy market street!

Fuel bottles for motorbikes.

So, tell me, how can I have hair like theirs?

I constantly heard people saying “Chinois, Chinois” when they saw me. (But shouldn’t it be Chinoise? lol)  I normally get pissed off when I heard “nihao”, “ching chong” or things like this in Europe, but oddly enough I was totally fine with it in Africa, don’t know why… Anyways, they wanted me to take a selfie together with them, so here it is! This happened a lot in places like Colombia, CI or Iran. Nice to visit those places where Chinese tourists are not everywhere yet!

Next time I think I need to start a Polaroid fundition project or something, so that I can give out photos directly to them! If they want of course… (Polaroid films are expensive!)

Do you dare to eat these? I didn’t, coward! Wait, is it really for eating though?

Sandwiches you get in the market, they use newspaper to wrap food in Africa, which is not bad, hygienic enough? At least I survived! One of those moments I’m glad that I have a strong stomach, trained by eating street food for years in China ^^ Oh and you can read while enjoying your food.

:p

Bear market now, no more taxi, take DalaDala instead, 40 times cheaper!

DalaDala is the minibus in Zanzibar, like many countries that work with minibuses, whenever the car gets filled, it leaves.

Picture above was insane, I know. It reminds me of the tuktuks in India or those colorful chicken buses in Tierradentro, Colombia.

Luckily the one I took from Stone Town to Jambiani wasn’t filled that bad.

Bus station in Kerekwek, a town outside Stone Town, I first took a minibus there.

In KereKwek you can find many daladala to the Southern coastal villages.

Driver were filling the top of the car with luggages, I was soon amazed by how much it can fit. Seems people from villages all come to Stone Town to buy fruits/flours etc even eggs and take back home with DalaDala.

Anyways, I got a seat for 2000 shillings (less than 1$) to get to Jambiani. Oh forgot to say, you always pay after the trip.

It can get really full for part of the trip.

Scenic ride.

Fruits looking good.

Actually lot of times I prefer those crazy local public tranport even if it’s not bear market. It somehow adds fun to the trip.