I just came across the border from Laos into Cambodia, stopping for a night in Stung Treng . There aren't many places to get travel advice in ST, so when a Mr Kosal said he could sell me a ticket to Siem Reap via Khompong Cham for $25, I took him up on it. But then it turned out that his "friend" who made the booking had made it from Phnom Penh to SR, so then I had to pay the extra to get from KC to PP ($5). I was aware I was being scammed, but didn't have much choice. I was told that the "friend", a Mr Phanna, would meet me at the bus station in PP and take me to his guesthouse and deliver me to the busstation the next morning for the PP-SR leg. Mr Phanna didn't meet me at the bus station. I made my own way to a guesthouse of my choosing (the Spring GH - very nice) and then contacted Mr Kosal. He told me to go to #10 Lakeside GH and find Mr Phanna and get my ticket for the PP-SR bus. When I got there Mr Phanna was getting ready for a party and kept me waiting for an hour until I bugged him enough and he finally gave me my ticket.
When I got to Spring GH I discovered that the fare from Stung Treng to Siem Reap is usually only $23 US.
Mr Kosal wasn't all bad - he took me on a moto tour of Stung Treng for free and delivered me to a lovely guesthouse (after I said I wouldn't stay in his). But he told me that the only ATMs in the country were in PP (not true) and therefore I felt I had to make the trip there. And he told me he was going to be in the next edition of Lonely Planet. Of course,this scam could have easily been avoided if I'd done some research before, but I'm travelling on my own and you can't research everything.
So just letting you know of a couple of people to be wary of in Cambodia.
#1 tazgirl has been a member since 30/4/2009. Posts: 6
I think the easiest way would be to just to take a bus (Sorya at least does that route) from Stung Treng to Kompong Cham and another one from there to Siem Reap. Unless you want to go to Phnom Penh that is. Either way, you'll probably need to spend the night unless you go for a share taxi, as I don't think there are buses from KC to SR later in the afternoon. In any case, there's no need to pre-book the second leg, just get a ticket when you arrive in KC or PP.
I was traveling this route a few months ago and a scam was running then. If you are coming from Loas, get a ticket to, and stay the night, at Kratie , rather than Stung Treng. It's not a bad place, cheap guesthouses and good food. From here there are daily buses all the way to Siam Reap for 5 or 6 US$. (There is a change of bus, but it all goes smoothly, and you don't have to go to Phnom Penn).
You can even see the dolphins here as well.
The bus drivers on the Cambodia side will try and talk you out of this and sell you ticket to reach SR the same day! Don't do it. All the buses will stop at Kratie for a prolonged lunch anyway.