Cambodia is an extraordinary country – but let’s be honest, crossing its borders makes you want to strangle people.
For years, corrupt Cambodian border guards and customs agents have hassled visitors to their country demanding bribes for everything from entry stamps to bird flu health forms. Sometimes, requests for bribes are aggressive and threatening. More frequently, requests are tongue in cheek pleas which appear more like jokes. Either way it’s annoying.
For this reason, we were quite happy to see that the Cambodian government’s latest attempts to crack down on corrupt border guards at the Poipet crossing had been reasonably successful. Of course, the guards still demanded a bribe before issuing our on-arrival visas, but when we said no they didn’t fight it. (Hey, that’s some kind of progress, isn’t it?) Sadly, most of the foreigners crossing the border still nervously paid bribes, some stupidly not even realizing they had done so. Oh well.
But our enthusiasm at the government’s modest reforms was relatively short-lived. It turns out Continue…