GWAE
GWAE
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February 27th, 2018 at 7:38:15 PM permalink
Quote: boymimbo

They featured Chaing Mai on the Amazing Race this season and had the contestants doing a health check on the elephants (at the same sanctuary) and they got to ride them after they successfully completed the challenge. They also had to eat scorpions while live ones crawled on their partner's clothing, among other things. The pit stop was Wat Chedi Luang.

Amazing Race recap

Enjoy!



On celebrity big brother shannon elizabeth made a big deAL about the elephants over there and how they are beaten and you should never ride them.
Expect the worst and you will never be disappointed. I AM NOT PART OF GWAE RADIO SHOW
PokerGrinder
PokerGrinder
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February 27th, 2018 at 7:41:49 PM permalink
Ok so for those that don't know Poipet is the Cambodian border town that has many casinos that cater to the Thai because they don't have casinos. It is generally known as a shady town that travelers don't want to stop in because it is scam central. I had no such issues, I just avoided the people that were trying to sell me things or offering me transportation. As far as the casinos I had a general idea of what was there but the information online as to exactly what casinos exist isn't great. I just explored the whole area and went into anywhere that looked like a casino.

I took a bus from Bangkok around 8 am to the border town of Aran (Thai side). The bus was super comfy and empty so I got many seats to myself. The bus took about 4 hours to get to the border town, I watched Netflix the whole way. Once in Aran I paid $4 CAD for a tuk tuk to take me the 6 kilometers to the border crossing. It was stifling hot and so humid, with my bags I was just dripping sweat. I got stamped out of Thailand, then I went to the Visa office for Cambodia and filled out my application. When I went to pay the police ask for the $30 USD for the Visa plus a bribe which I refused to pay, I pointed to the official sign that says how much the visa is. The officer told me to go sit down, normally if you don't pay the bribe they make you wait for 15-30 minutes but the office was empty except for two other people. 2 minutes later the other 2 people got their visas and I asked the officer to take mine which he did and I didn't pay the bribe. 3 minutes later I had my visa and I was on my way. I walked by a few of the casinos to get to the entry area where I filled out my entry/exit card and got it stamped. I was now free to explore!
Thai border

Exit Thailand

Welcome to Cambodia!

I found my hotel just down the street and checked in. It was a pretty nice room for $80 CAD. I changed my shirt because it looked like I had just gotten out of the pool. I then went in search of all the gambling. My first stop was just downstairs in my hotel the Grand Diamond. They have many slots and tables in all these casinos and I didn't care much to see everything they had to offer as I only had one day to hit all the casinos. I thought the casinos would be in USD because that is what Cambodia uses but these casinos used 95% Thai Baht. I went to the cage to change over USD to Baht and although the rate wasn't great as long as I changed it back within 24 hours I would get the same rate on the reverse exchange. I have found this in a lot of casinos in Asia which is handy as the exchanging back and forth would get expensive. The BJ table was full so I played Pai Gow at 300 minimum. 100 Baht is $3.18 USD. I lost about 1500 there and then went to play BJ at 100 minimum when it was empty. I ended up winning 2315 Baht before moving on. I kept 100 Baht chips as most casinos used generic or just plain one colour chips for denominations under 100. A lot of the 5 and 25 Baht chips had nothing on them and looked like chips from a $5 Wal Mart set.

My next stop was across the street at the Golden Crown, I think it was owned by Melcro Crown but I wasn't able to confirm that online. I got them to open the BJ table (100 min) for me and I played one shoe. The staff was very kind to me. The dealer cut off half the 6 decks at the beginning so counting in Poipet is out of the question lol. The dealer would also burn a card before every hand that she dealt. I ended the shoe up 400 before moving on. There was a section of pretty girls dealing in skirts for online gaming, the area was roped off. The Dream World Casino was attached but none of the tables used chips, they all had trays full of cash. Most of the cash tables were in Baht but they did have a handful of cash tables using USD. I have never seen anything like that in my life and I have been in a lot of casinos in many countries. I watched for a bit and the game went so slowly because every time they paid a winning bet they had to spread the cash like it was a buy in. I would never play at a cash table. I saw these tables at most of the casinos, I don't quite get the point of it. Oh I forgot to mention at all the casinos I had to buy chips at the cage before going to the tables.
I got asked a bunch not to take pictures but I couldn't resist.







All the casinos had these arcade fish machines everywhere! I mean some of the casinos had 100 of them. I couldn't figure out how they worked as far as gambling but people were feeding tons of money into them and just pounding away on the shooting button. I was so confused, I wish I could have found someone who spoke English to explain them to me.


My next stop was the Holiday Palace Casino right beside the border where I played 100 minimum BJ out of a continuous shuffler, the dealer burned a card before every hand. I lost 2000 and the dealer and her boss felt so bad every time I lost a hand. I just kept reassuring them that it was ok and I wasn't worried. The dealers in Poipet were all so kind to me. Oh I should mention that in all the casinos that I went into I don't think I saw 10 white people combined, the casinos are definitely meant for the Thai.

My next stop was the Poipet Casino which is owned by the same people that own the Grand Diamond that I was staying at. Sadly this casino uses chips that aren't their own. I played 100 minimum baccarat and broke even and kept a chip that says Koh Rong International Club on it.

Next up was the Tropicana Casino where I played... you guessed it 100 minimum BJ. I won 1200 and ducked out pretty quickly. I then went to the LA Grand Victor which is now closed, oh well. Next up was the Orchid Casino but they didn't have any tables with chips, all their tables were just cash so again I passed through without playing.

I then got lucky and found a new casino that I hadn't heard of while researching, the Lucky 369. The casino was quite small but really fancy. I played 100 minimum baccarat and won a whopping 80 Baht over a few hands. I left because the old Asian guy who was betting a decent amount was getting annoyed that I was there. This casino had one of my favourite chips that I have collected, it was new and shiny.

I then walked about 20 minutes into the town to go to Star Vegas Casino which is the biggest casino in Poipet. I lost 1900 playing 100 minimum BJ. A couple things about this game, the dealer deals his own hand right to left instead of the normal left to right. It was very weird to see and I never did get used to it. The other weird thing which I don't think I have seen before was when I split I was given a card on both of my hands before I was allowed to act on the first one. Has anyone seen this before?

I then took a walk about ten minutes further into because google maps said that there was a casino called Star Paradise, when I got there it was a casino called Winsor. This casino was owned by Star Vegas, I am assuming they changed the name recently. This casino was beautiful and looked brand new. I played 100 minimum BJ and won 500, the dealer dealt his hand out backwards just like at Star Vegas. The chips didn't say Winsor on them, they said Star International or something like that. (I don't the chip with me right now)

I then walked another 15 minutes into town because I saw lights that looked like a casino but it ended up being a live band at a bar. I turned back and walked back to the main strip about 30ish minutes away. This is where I found some luck. I ducked into the Crown Casino to get out of the heat, my plan was to walk through the casino in air conditioning. The front door said "Welcome to Crown Casino" but when I went in I didn't recognize the casino. I looked around and found out it was the Ho Wah Genting Casino that I had heard about online. I stopped in and played baccarat at 200 minimum to collect a chip, I won 60 Baht. The dealer on one hand where I bet player, he dealt out the first two cards for each and then offered me what I think was insurance. Well this is what he called it, Player had 5 and Banker had 1 so I was the favourite to win. He offered to pay me half my bet without drawing any more cards or that is what I think he was offering. He was definitely offering me half my bet but the language barrier made the explanation tough. I ended up just getting him to finish the hand cause we couldn't understand each other. I ended up winning the hand.

All told I kept 900 Baht worth of chips from Poipet and I won 655 Baht. I was able to get all my USD back from the Cashier and won a few spending dollars or Baht lol for when I need to get to the airport in Bangkok in April.

The next day I went to the non scam bus station about 15 minutes away from the casino area. I walked half way when a tuk tuk offered to take me the last half mile for $2 which is absurd for around here. I offered 20 Baht and he said no, drove away and then pulled up less than 20 seconds later and said get in lol. The ride was less than two minutes but in the heat it was well worth 60 cents USD. I got to the bus station where I planned to take a bus for $5 USD because a taxi is supposed to be about $40. A guy offered me a taxi for $20, I countered with $10 and he immediately accepted. I was so confused and I kept on waiting for the scam but he drove me the 2 hours to Siem Reap and dropped me off no problem. I really don't understand why he charged me so little but I won't complain about not taking a bus.

I am currently in Phnom Penh and we are going for Shawarma for lunch. I plan on doing the write up for Siem Reap and Phnom Penh today or tomorrow...or next week lol. Thanks for listening to me babble :P
You can shear a sheep a hundred times, but you can skin it only once. ó Amarillo Slim Preston
PokerGrinder
PokerGrinder
Joined: Apr 30, 2015
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February 27th, 2018 at 7:44:09 PM permalink
Quote: GWAE

Quote: boymimbo

They featured Chaing Mai on the Amazing Race this season and had the contestants doing a health check on the elephants (at the same sanctuary) and they got to ride them after they successfully completed the challenge. They also had to eat scorpions while live ones crawled on their partner's clothing, among other things. The pit stop was Wat Chedi Luang.

Amazing Race recap

Enjoy!



On celebrity big brother shannon elizabeth made a big deAL about the elephants over there and how they are beaten and you should never ride them.


Yes GWAE a lot of the elephant places are like that sadly. The place I went is a sanctuary where they rescue the elephants from circuses and work camps. You can't ride them and I wouldn't want to cause it hurts the beautiful animals. They are so gentle and kind, why would anyone want to do anything that could hurt them?
You can shear a sheep a hundred times, but you can skin it only once. ó Amarillo Slim Preston
AB21
AB21
Joined: Dec 2, 2012
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February 28th, 2018 at 2:30:23 AM permalink
Thanks PG for the update on your adventure - it was worth the wait!
The elephant experience sounds amazing. Going to add that one to our bucket list. I know my wife would get so excited she would pee her pants.
I assume the weight loss is due to all the walking you are doing as you donít seem to be eating diet food or skimping on portions lol.
Very weird about the cash tables. I canít understand why they would do that as the game would be so slow. Something to do with superstition maybe?
GWAE
GWAE
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February 28th, 2018 at 2:45:07 AM permalink
Quote: PokerGrinder

Quote: GWAE

Quote: boymimbo

They featured Chaing Mai on the Amazing Race this season and had the contestants doing a health check on the elephants (at the same sanctuary) and they got to ride them after they successfully completed the challenge. They also had to eat scorpions while live ones crawled on their partner's clothing, among other things. The pit stop was Wat Chedi Luang.

Amazing Race recap

Enjoy!



On celebrity big brother shannon elizabeth made a big deAL about the elephants over there and how they are beaten and you should never ride them.


Yes GWAE a lot of the elephant places are like that sadly. The place I went is a sanctuary where they rescue the elephants from circuses and work camps. You can't ride them and I wouldn't want to cause it hurts the beautiful animals. They are so gentle and kind, why would anyone want to do anything that could hurt them?



What is it that hurts them? Surely a 200-300 pound person on a 2000 pound animal can't be that rough. Or is it the taming of them to allow them to be ridden?
Expect the worst and you will never be disappointed. I AM NOT PART OF GWAE RADIO SHOW
NokTang
NokTang
Joined: Aug 15, 2011
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February 28th, 2018 at 6:37:24 AM permalink
Quote: GWAE


What is it that hurts them? Surely a 200-300 pound person on a 2000 pound animal can't be that rough. Or is it the taming of them to allow them to be ridden?



I've lived in Thailand for over ten years and never heard about riding elephants hurting them. Yes, there is animal abuse in Thailand, but I just don't believe the riding aspect. People ride horses and mules and donkeys all over the world and I'd believe those animals would have a bigger complaint. Riding elephants has long been a tourist activity in Thailand, most parts of same.

PG was lucky to avoid the scammers in Poipet. Hope he fares as well in Phnom Penh. He might enjoy the Chinese food in Phnom Penh, I can personally recommend "SamDoo" to him, which is near the Central Market. Pharmacy needs are also very inexpensive in the row of Pharmacies near this same market. Be very careful with "happy pizza"s on the Riverfront. I won't interject any more. Have a nice visit.
FleaStiff
FleaStiff
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February 28th, 2018 at 6:49:26 AM permalink
Quote: NokTang

. Pharmacy needs are also very inexpensive in the row of Pharmacies near this market.

I'm sure the packaging is impressive.
MrV
MrV
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February 28th, 2018 at 7:17:17 AM permalink
Quote: GWAE

What is it that hurts them? Surely a 200-300 pound person on a 2000 pound animal can't be that rough. Or is it the taming of them to allow them to be ridden?



I understand two factors contribute to their misery.

First, an elephant must be "broken" in order to be ridden with qualm; typically this involves penning them in while very young, hurting them, doing what is necessary to make them docile and obedient and to lose their "wild side."

The second factor is physical exhaustion; a daily regimen of transporting tourists is much more taxing than living life in the wild; many wear out and die young of exhaustion.
"What, me worry?"
NokTang
NokTang
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February 28th, 2018 at 9:33:42 AM permalink
Quote: FleaStiff

I'm sure the packaging is impressive.



Most of the drugs come from India. I've never had a problem such as counterfeited drugs. What I've bought has had the desired effect. This includes blood pressure meds, sleeping pills, antibiotics, recreational erectile drugs, etc.. India doesn't honor copyrights or patents, and neither does Cambodia or Thailand for that matter. Health is more important to them than pharmaceuticals profits and the US Congress people on the take.
FleaStiff
FleaStiff
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February 28th, 2018 at 10:26:16 AM permalink
Quote: NokTang

Quote: FleaStiff

I'm sure the packaging is impressive.

Health is more important to them than pharmaceuticals profits and the US Congress people on the take.

The Baht, Dollar or Peso is more important too. In Mexico its counterfeit drugs on the cheap. In Thailand, its probably that counterfeiting the drugs is unnecessary, sort of akin to counterfeiting a one dollar bill.

Elephants: In Thailand I believe elephants are lead onto a platform and condemned prisoners are crushed underneath it.

I believe the Thais have an expression.... as graceful as an elephant.

It is likely a myth but I'm told that young elephants are restrained by an ankle chain and learn not to try to move when one is around their ankle and that afterwards the ankle chain restrains them solely because of the memory.

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