Thursday, July 2, 2009

19-21 June – No Man’s Land

The road through southern Laos was much better than expected. Our temple visits rained away, so we went to see the Khong Phapheng waterfalls instead.
After only two days we had reached the border to Cambodia, formerly the death camp of the communist Khmer Rouge. We were speedily stamped out of Laos, and presented our documents to Cambodian immigration and customs.
Immigration said welcome. Customs said ’NO! GO BACK LAO!’

At some point we will tell the whole insane story about what happened over the next 48 hours. The summary is that we refused to bribe the Cambodian customs officer, he refused to let us enter with our car, and we refused to leave and camped in the middle of the road in front of the border gate for two days.
The Swedish Embassy tried to intervene but was interrupted by the weekend. Finally, through the brave intervention by provincial tourist manager Theany (a wonderful young lady with strong integrity), the vice minister of tourism in Cambodia heard about the Swedish family who was kept hostage at the border. He ordered that we should be released immediately. His will be done.

1 comment:

Livet i gula faran said...

Ni är hjältar! Helt rätt att skippa mutorna! Vi som tyckte 3 timmar vid tullen i Ukraina var tufft... och vi var stolta att klara oss utan mutor där. De enda vi mutade var barnen - med chokladkakor för att stå ut med väntan. Vi följer er med spänning!
/Familjen Hägglund från Gävle