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Insta-Q&A: A Nip, a Tuck and a Tuk Tuk in Bangkok

Scott Vogel

Welcome to the inaugural edition of Insta-Q&A, where you can both pose questions to the Travel section, and also help out fellow travelers with your own answers to their queries. Our first question is one we didn't get a chance to answer during this week's chat (it's every Monday at 2, by the way).

If you have some advice for the questioner, feel free to post a comment. If you have a question yourself, e-mail us at travelqa@washpost.com.

I'm going to Bangkok in April for a little nip and tuck, and I'm interested in visiting Angkor Wat in Cambodia while I'm there. How can I get there without flying?

A devotee of historic preservation, aren't we? The great palaces and temples of Angkor are reachable via the Cambodian town of Siem Reap, which lies a bit more than 250 miles from Bangkok. The journey over land is a complicated one, however. You can take a bus or train to the Thai town of Aranyaprathet and then a, um, tuk tuk (motorized rickshaw) to the border town of Poipet. There you'll need to get a Cambodian visa and a lift (yes, another one) by taxi to Siem, a trip that takes a few hours. Try to find other travelers with whom you can share cab expenses.

Has anyone else done this trip and have some ideas?

By Scott Vogel |  January 30, 2008; 7:57 AM ET  | Category:  Scott Vogel
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I met some people in Angkor Wat who had come over land from Bangkok - I thought they'd taken buses the whole way. (This was a few years ago, though.) But, man, I would *not* recommend a trip like that when you're recovering from surgery, if I'm understanding what the questioner is planning. I would stay close to the doctors in Bangkok. If you have some kind of post-surgery complication...Siem Reap would not be my first choice of a place to get emergency medical care.

Posted by: h3 | January 30, 2008 10:18 AM

I too have seriously investigated a nip/ tuck overseas-- India, Thailand, etc. It appears to be very legit BUT: all good docs will tell you to take your vacation BEFORE your surgery. You need to completley recover post-surgery for a couple of weeks near your medical center before cosidering further travel or even traveling home. Also, get to your surgery destination with plenty of time to spare to relax, so you are not going in to surgery while you are jet-lagged. If your overseas docs have not advised you of this, go elsewhere!

Posted by: Nip/Tick wannabee | January 30, 2008 12:04 PM

You must be coming to Bumrungrad in BKK. Just fly to Siem Reap from BKK. The overland route is not worth the sacrifice in time unless you have a thing for discomfort. Once in Siem Reap, rent a car and driver so that you can take in some of the outlying temples as well as the main complex.

Posted by: C.C. | February 4, 2008 8:19 PM

Do not go overland if you have just had surgery. The road from Poipet to Siem Reap is notoriously bad.... for 4 hours. There are no smooth stretches..... none. It is tough on the bodies of regular travelers let alone someone who has just had any surgery. The whole overland route is actually quite a pain, which is why it is mostly done by backpacker types trading off discomfort in order to save money.

Assuming you are flying to Bangkok, why not fly to Cambodia? I flew from Bangkok to Phnom Pehn just this past December. Stayed two nights then I took a bus to Siem Reap. for a 7 night stay. The direct flight from Bangkok to Siem Reap is in the area of $350 return.

Posted by: kis17D | February 18, 2008 3:36 AM

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