We just returned to Cambodia from five days in the overly big city of Bangkok. It is long bus ride from Koh Kong. From the border crossing at Hat Lek it is a one to two hour minibus ride to the lovely town of Trat. Then, in an airconditioned bus, it takes five to six hours to reach Bangkok. There has been flooding in Thailand, and the bus passed through the city of Chantiburi where the water was getting into a lot of the shops. It didn't look certain that we would be able to make it through the flooded streets, but it all worked out.
We went to attend a gem show--my wife is an artist who works with semiprecious stones in her sculpture projects--and to buy some home comfort things not available where we live. Unfortunately, rural Cambodians prefer the cheapest synthetic materials to cotton, and we needed sheets and pillow cases and some other supplies.
This was also an opportuntity to see how our neighboring Thais live. We had only been in Thailand once before, and then for just a few days, and never been to Bangkok. Fortunately, you can fly into Bangkok without ever going there. It is a good distance to the east.
There are many similarities between Thailand and Cambodia. Some of the words are the same in the two languages, unfortunately, "bathroom" is not one of them. The written language has some overlaps as well, and my primitive ability to read Khmer proved useful for finding the right bus. There are many differences as well. Thailand is a much more developed country and therefore more comfortable for foreign travelers. That doesn't mean it is always easy, but certainly it is easier.
Five days isn't long enough to learn much, but this was just our first taste. Bangkok has parts that are as modern as anywhere I've been, and parts that are much like what comes to mind from reading older books about Siam (the Siam area, however is full of high end malls). We enjoyed Chinatown and want to explore it further. It is all good material for the writing.