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Thai/Cambodia border crossing: easiest and fastest option from Ko Chang

  • JuliaMcD

    Joined Travelfish
    29th July, 2012
    Posts: 8

    I guess the title is pretty self-explanatory.

    I am looking for the easiest and fastest way to get from Ko Chang (Thailand) to Siem Reap (Cambodia). Easy and quick, naturally with no gem scam stops on the way. How long does the journey take (more or less), what's the cost?
    Where and how could I possibly organise a visa for Cambodia before crossing? I heard the officials at the border put rediculous prices on visas and that it would be cheaper to organise one prior to entering the country ?

    Thank you :)

    #1 Posted: 29/7/2012 - 18:01

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  • sayadian

    Joined Travelfish
    15th January, 2008
    Posts: 1557

    Obviously the easiest way into Cambodia would be Trat to the Kok Kong border. Minibuses leave more or less every hour.The disadvantages of this are, yes, you will be heavily scammed for visas at Koh Kong and then you'll have to bus it to Phnom penh (6-7 hours) and then onward bus to SR.
    If you take the bus from Trat to Chantaburi (about 1 hour) you can then take a motorbike or taxi th the minibus station where minibuses run north and will drop you near the Pailin border crossing (1-2 hours) there you can get a motorbike to the picturesque and peaceful border where there haven't been so many reports of scams. A motorbike to Pailin and then bus/taxi to Battambang which is only a couple of hours from SR.
    Sounds complicated but it's not so difficult.Maybe somebody who has done this journey recently can chip in with more detail as it's awhile since I did this trip.I think there are also gamblers buses which go from Chantaburi to Pailin as well but maybe someone else can fill you in on that.
    If no one else can help remember half the fun of travelling is doing the less well-trodden route plus this one will save you time.

    #2 Posted: 30/7/2012 - 08:32

  • mikethediver

    Click here to learn more about mikethediver
    Joined Travelfish
    23rd March, 2008
    Location Thailand
    Posts: 205
    Total reviews: 3

    Hi,
    Firstly the visa. Yes there are scams to over charge you at the border, but they are disappearing because of the evisa. The evisa takes 2/3 working days and you apply on line & print out the visa. This cost $5 more than the official visa, but then again you are likely to be overcharged by more than that! The other thing about an evisa is it saves you a whole page in your passport!

    I've done the trip from Trat to Siam Reap and the mini bus started out in Koh Chang, so you should be able to find it on Ko Chang. We left Trat at 9am (I guess it would leave 2 hours earlier from Chang) and arrived in SR around 4 or 5. The journey is fine, but expect to hang around the Thai side as you are expected to buy lunch and then if, like us, the next bus from the Cambodian side to SR is full, you have another hour wait for the next one. It cost 500 baht from Trat. The trip was well organised and we were escorted across the Cambodia border to the free bus to the bus station. You could do it all yourself and if you know what you are doing save yourself a couple of hours.

    It's not a bad trip and I think it will be quicker and cheaper than going via S'Kville.
    Mike

    #3 Posted: 10/8/2012 - 12:42

  • sayadian

    Joined Travelfish
    15th January, 2008
    Posts: 1557

    Mike.
    What route does the bus take from Trat to Siem Reap?
    Also, why would you need to go to Sihanoukville to get to Seam Reap?
    I'm presuming you're talking about the KK crossing on this one and there are buses going directly to PP then on to SR.
    Is this a dedicated bus service to SR which goes via SV?
    Cambodian transport options are moving so fast it's hard to keep up with them.
    What company(ies) are running the buses on the Cambodian side? (sorry to ask too much but be interested in what you can recall)

    #4 Posted: 10/8/2012 - 13:59

  • mikethediver

    Click here to learn more about mikethediver
    Joined Travelfish
    23rd March, 2008
    Location Thailand
    Posts: 205
    Total reviews: 3

    Hi Sayadian,
    From Trat it drives to the border crossing at at Poipet. Despite what others have said on this site I had no problems, we crossed the actual border very quickly (evisa). There are a lot of touts but we were escorted across to the free bus that runs to the near by bus station.

    Also crossed back this way without problems, but that may have been due to a large overstay we had to pay and the immigration officials fell over themselves to take the money & sort it out! He gave us both chairs while he went away with our passports & returned in 5 minutes all stamped - no queues for us!

    Sorry, you are right you do not need to go to SV to get to SR, but I used it to indicate the direction of crossing at KK. Sorry for the confusion.

    Yes there is an advertised over night bus from SR to SV. Not done it that way but did the reverse, but it did stop for an hour in Phom Phenn and we changed buses.

    Can't remember bus company names and although there is a lot of choice in the main towns, from the border bus station you just get the next bus that's leaving.
    Mike

    #5 Posted: 12/8/2012 - 06:00

  • sayadian

    Joined Travelfish
    15th January, 2008
    Posts: 1557

    Thanks for the information Mike.
    I must say I wouldn't fancy a night bus in Cambodia, the driving is atrocious enough in the day :-)

    #6 Posted: 12/8/2012 - 10:52

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