i was just wondering if it was possible to go from si phan don, craoo the border then get down to kratie and if so how long would it take.
i have the impression that there isnt much to do in stung treng,would that be correct
#1 rigo has been a member since 29/8/2006. Posts: 11
Yes that border crossing is open. Trip varies depending on mode of transport (if you take boat or bus from the border to Stung Treng), though in either case you can get from Si Phan Don to Kratie in a day easily.
Stung Treng isn't overflowing with things to do -- though the riverside setting is pleasant enough. Few overnight there.
your a gentleman and a scholar,
thanks for all your help over the last few months
#3 rigo has been a member since 29/8/2006. Posts: 11
I've also been trying to find out info about this route.
somtam, you mentioned taking either the boat or the bus from the border to Stung Treng.....what do you recommend? What is the time and price difference? If buying a ticket in Si Phan Don for the whole trip, which route is used? I'm still trying to figure out of the pay one price trip from SPD to Kratie uses the land or water border crossing.
#4 amz155 has been a member since 30/8/2006. Posts: 111
we're waiting on a researcher's work for this crossing at the moment -- it should be on the site within the next week -- when I get the details I'll post up a detailed story on how to "do" the crossing as there's been a bunch of questions about it of late.
Crossed the border at Dong Cralaw yesterday. We paid $26 from Don Khone to Phnom Penh which included boat back to Don Khong ($2 ea), minibus to border ($5 ea), switch buses at border on to Stung Treng, ferry across river, then onto 40 seat mini bus. 9.00 am departure - arrived in PP about 10.30 I didn't note the costs to Stung Treng, Kratie or Kompong Cham but they seemed pretty proportionate. A good ride despite 2 flat tyres. 2 - 3 hours wasted including hanging around at border for visa on arrival $21 on weekends $2 each side for immigration stamps (can get away with $1, make sure they've filled out the book first), wait for ferry, lunch at Stung Treng etc. All in all no complaints although long day it's one of the best bus journeys so far.
#6 marianwarren has been a member since 12/3/2006. Posts: 270
thanks for the update and taking the time to write this up while on the road. sounds like the trip made for a very long day. good to know that the trip was relatively hassle-free.
how were the minibuses? in hindsight would you have rather broken up the trip in, say, stung treng or kratie?
how was don khon? any suggestions or advice?
#7 amz155 has been a member since 30/8/2006. Posts: 111
The minibuses were great, better on the cambodian side tho the lao ones were fine. Would I have broken up the trip? Personally no after 3 weeks in lao it all starts to look same same - how many caves and waterfalls can one see and we felt cambodia would be much the same. Stung Treng and Kratie looked to be pleasant towns but would there be anything to do? We arrived in Kratie just on sunset so that may affect your decision if you like to find somewhere to stay before dark. The minibus dropped us on the lakeside in PP and we stayed in some dive for the night then switched to riverside which I think is a lot more pleasant - less of a backerpacker scene. We have our 16 yr daughter with us which precludes us hanging in bars until the wee hours. Your circumstances may be very different.
#8 marianwarren has been a member since 12/3/2006. Posts: 270
Forgot to answer 2nd part of question.
Don Khon was very quiet and sleepy - walked to Don Dhet and it was also very quiet, low occupancy rate at the moment. The bungalows on Don Dhet are very close together and there are stacks of them. Seemed absurd to be swinging in your hammock on your private verandah less than 6 ft from your neighbour doing the same thing, many of them are designed for privacy. I like a sense of privacy. Depends on your budget and likes tho. Again we're older and not into the backpacker scene although we're travelling the same way.
Hope that helps
#9 marianwarren has been a member since 12/3/2006. Posts: 270
Sorry - Not designed for privacy
#10 marianwarren has been a member since 12/3/2006. Posts: 270
Thanks for your latest detailed replies. Good advice about Don det, I haven't read that in any blogs yet. Also thanks for the info re lakeside vs riverside in PP.
#11 amz155 has been a member since 30/8/2006. Posts: 111
Any word yet from your researcher making this border crossing? Any tips/updates to be offered would be much appreciated.
#12 amz155 has been a member since 30/8/2006. Posts: 111
we're still tooing and froing with the researcher who's in Pakse trying to nut out exactly what is going on there -- we'll hopefully have a final word on it next day or two, which should be the most concrete explanation of how it works available online -- and will be accurate for about 42.6 seconds given how changeable the situation is.
The long and the short of it is 95% of travellers are doing it overland by minibus -- just as Marian describes above. Boat is expensive and details are very changeable.
Sorry can't give more out just yet, but waiting on another Q&A with our man in Pakse (who feels he never, ever needs to visit the crossing again) and I'd rather wait than post something that isn't correct.
Tks for your patience, and if anyone comes across a frazzled-looking researcher in Pakse, please buy the man a BeerLao!
We've just (finally) put together a round-up on this route -- you can read more on the Lao Cambodia border here -- apologies with the delay!
yay! Great summary on this route. Thanks. Can't wait till Feb 22, departure day!
#15 amz155 has been a member since 30/8/2006. Posts: 111