Borders with Cambodia
Entering Cambodia If you are crossing from Thailand to Cambodia, you can directly buy your Visa at the border with your passport. You do not have to purchase them in advance despite what some Thai tour operators may tell you. The official cost of a 30-day tourist visa is 30US$ and 35US$ for a business visa (multiple entry which can be easily extended). You can pay in Baht but will get a better rate if you pay in US$. Some ASEAN nationalities are visa-exempt. You can get your evisa in advance at www.evisa.gov.kh, it's $30 plus $7 processing fee. Any other websites offering an evisa are a scam, so don't use them. The Thai side of the border will just stamp you out no problems if your Thai visa is valid. A few days overstay is not really a problem, just a 500B per day fine that caps out at 20,000B, payable at the border. The Cambodian visa form is easy to fill in and available next to the visa counter to collect yourself. Touts may be at hand to try 'help you' at various points but you really don't need their help. Two passport photos are required for the visa. A 100B fee applies if you don't have a two photos. Also note that money changers at the border claiming there is nowhere to change money in Siem Reap / Battambang / Koh Kong are not correct, and give you a poor rate. Border 1 - Hat Lek (Thailand) / Cham Yeam (Cambodia) - Open 6:00am - 10:00pm Unless you have a prearranged ticket to Sihanoukville or Phnom Penh, you will need to take a minivan to the border from Trat Bus Station (which has connections to Bangkok, Pattaya, Chantaburi, Ko Chang, Ko Kut, Ko Mak and Ko Wai). The fare is 120B per person, and the journey takes approximately 1 hour. There is an ATM in Hat Lek. From the Cambodian side, it's only a 10min drive from Koh Kong town centre to the border. You can get a moto for around $3 (100B), tuk-tuk for $7 (400B) or taxi for US$10; all include the 1,400 Riel toll. Entry into Cambodia - Cambodian immigration at Hat Lek here was renowned for attempting to overcharge up to 1500B (US$45). These days they seem to go for a US$5 'express service'. At peak times of the day, non-express service can take hours. If you paid for an e-visa online, there is a US$7 admin fee anyway. If you do not have a photo, they can charge you a 100B 'fine'. If you're polite, keep smiling, say hello in Khmer (sue-saw-day) when you arrive and are persistent with the correct money (i.e. don't hope for the right change from a US$50 bill), you should eventually get through without paying any extra. You just might have to wait a while. They are paid to be there so have all the time in the world, if you arrive late in the day and are likely to miss an onward connection, you may struggle even more to avoid the extra fee. Alternatively just pay it and you will stroll through no problems. Border 2 - Ban Pakard (Thailand) / Phsa Prum (Cambodia) One of the easiest border crossings and the recommended route if you are coming from / going to Battambang. Unlike the Poipet crossing, it's just an easy stamp out and 5-minute walk across the border, no queue, no bribes, no hassle! On the Thai side, there is a tourist office saying you need to buy Cambodia visas from them at inflated prices. Ignore that and just walk to the border to get the visa yourself at the official price. The Cambodian side is a 30 min ride from Palin, but there isn't much going on in Palin. You should be able to get a taxi direct from the Phsa Prum border to Battambang for around $8 each. Border 3 - Aranyaprathet (Thailand) / Poipet (Cambodia) - Open 7:00am - 10:00pm Simply put this can be one of those nightmare borders, as Poipet is probably the worst town in Cambodia, be careful with your bags and mindful of pickpockets. Its location means it's also the most popular route between Thailand and Siem Reap. If buying an end-to-end ticket, we would advise arranging transport from a reputable company (Asia Win Alliance, Mekong Express and Giant Ibis) to help avoid issues. When crossing the border you will need to change buses, ignore claims from other drivers your bus isn't coming, and it's good to have a contact number of your travel agency to call if required. Coming out of Cambodia it's around a 2.5-hour drive between Poipet and Siem Reap. The bus will make a pointless stop at the bus station just before the border, a back-hander to the driver in the hope you will buy some food. When at the border you’ll be given something like a sticker, ticket or ID card saying what your final destination is, don’t lose it! Once you get to the border, you will need to queue to exit Cambodia, and then queue at the Thai immigration office. This can take anything from 20 minutes to 2 hours. After you are through immigration, just walk about 50m and you will see minibuses waiting on the left. Someone will approach you, if not just ask one of the drivers and they will point you in the right direction. There is an ATM if you need one about 100 metres away, past Cross Café. Coming out of Thailand it's about a 3-6 hour drive between Bangkok and the border. The usual deal for tourist buses (bought from a travel agent) is you get dropped off at a restaurant with inflated prices, given the visa forms to fill in and a price for the visa that is $5 over the official price. If you don't want to pay the extra, politely and quietly refuse by saying you are going to do it at immigration yourself. In which case just walk down and meet everybody else on the other side. Don't kick up a fuss about it. Even if this bit doesn't happen, you will still have to run the gauntlet of people saying you need to get a visa from them for whatever reason. Simply put, you get your visa from the Cambodian Immigration desk after you have stamped out of Thailand. ANYTHING before this is just trying to rip you off. If you came by local bus to Rong Kluea, it's a 1km walk or moto to the border. You will see a 'Visa Centre' which you can ignore and get your visa from the Cambodian Immigration office for the correct price as just mentioned. Once you pass through Cambodian Immigration, you will see the 'Free bus to Bus Station' hall. The buses here take you to the Poipet International bus station, which is 7km away. If you have a through ticket, your connecting bus won't usually be there (it may eventually come). What they are hoping for (and quite likely) is that you give in and pay for another bus to your destination. Buses to Siem Reap from here are $9 (4 hours) and drop you at the bus station or a shared van/taxi for around $12 (3 hours). Note that the buses often drop you at Siem Reap bus station which is a bit outside town, see the Siem Reap Info section for more details on that. A cheaper alternative is to walk straight past the 'Free bus' 500m along the main road, then past the big roundabout where you will find guys at tables with signs displaying transport costs. Here a Siem Reap bus/taxi is $5-$7, Battambang the same but you may have to wait a while.
x Borders with Cambodia x