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Kep to Can Tho

  • watchourstep

    Joined Travelfish
    8th May, 2011
    Posts: 3

    Posted from within Vietnam.

    I did this crossing yesterday and I wish I could have found info on it before I did. There seems to be info on getting TO Kep from Can Tho , but not the other way. So here is my experience...


    Our (rather nice) hotel in Kep booked the arrangement forus, so I thought we would be ok in terms of comfort. Hmmmmn. The hotel used RITH TRAVEL (bad news) to book our ticket, they're on the main stripof the crab market in Kep. For $20 USD per person they told us we'd get a minibus to Ha Tien and a bus from HaTien to Can Tho. Not the case. Not even close.

    The tuk tuk picked us up at the hotel in Kep at 9:30. At around 10:15 an early 80's Toyota Camry (the A/C was worse than a barely blowing fan) dropped off another couple in Kep and picked us up, took us essentially to the edge of Cambodia, where we got our exit stamps. From there, 2 motos took myself and my husband bit by bit (on and off a few times) through the border at Ha Tien, then onto the Ha Tien Bus Station (clearly labelled), where we boarded a minibus to Chau Doc . We boarded this bus because through a gestural conversation and using the words "Can Tho" over and over, we understood this was our only option, and then our Moto drivers told us (after we tipped them $2 each) "one ticket. Make sure no pay for second bus." From which we understood there would be 2 busses.



    The bus from Ha Tien to Chau Doc was essentially a cardboard box on wheels, no A/C, which left the bus station around 12 with 7 on boardplus the driver and the "barker" (the guy who picks up local passengers along the way for extra cash in his pocket). At one point on the way to Ha Tien I counted as many as 26 heads in the minibus (meant to hold 15), NOT including the driver and barker. Then it started pouring outside and the ceiling and sides of the minibus started leaking at full force. And the bags were (under a weak tarp) on top of the minibus.


    We got to Chau Doc around 3ish, from where (after some confusion) we boarded another minibus, this time a new Mercedes Sprinter with good A/C, but there was a local smoking inside the closed-window bus! I got yelled at when I opened the window in response, yet once we got on the road, the biggest window was open the entire time so the barker could hang out and attract more people. Again, we clocked in something around 25 passengers at one point during the 3+ hour ride.



    Bottom line: the trip was a nightmare. Far worse than any bus experience in Laos or Cambodia to date. I understand its not entirely unheard of in Vietnam, and I dont know if there's a better way to do it. It is the off-season, so that might mean less tourists which means less tourist busses, but if there is a better way to do this trip, someone should weigh in and save some discomfort for those who attempt the trip in the future!


    Unless you pack patience, a good sense of humor and an iron bladder (no stops for anything other than cramming in more bodies), I'd investigate getting a quote on a private car - it can't be much more than the $40 we paid and it would have been worth at least another $20.


    Also, if you do attempt this trip as we did, RITH will not issue you any hard tickets, just a receipt that says PAID. MAKE SURE it says "Kep>>>Can Tho" on it and "PAID." Another couple on our bus, who had bought their tickets from Mai Linh, did not have a receipt that said Can Tho and the bus company (I think it was Ho'ng Dung) refused to take them any further. When our second minibus departed they were still screaming at each other.

    #1 Posted: 8/5/2011 - 13:34

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  • eastwest

    Joined Travelfish
    17th December, 2009
    Posts: 771

    Sorry to hear about that experience.

    I did make a warning about this but it may have been lost in all the topics. There is NO valid busticket from Kep/Kampot to Chau Doc/ Can Tho/ Saigon.

    People/agents will try to sell it because, partly, their vietnamese counterpart promises to take care of it. I am surprised that your guesthouse didn't warn about it. May I ask which guesthouse it was?

    The only ticket people should book is from Kep/Kampot to Phu Quoc or Ha Tien and take it from there. Perhaps in a few years the route will be travelled enough for a bus company to jump in and really offer this service. Untill then be very careful.

    #2 Posted: 8/5/2011 - 14:49

  • PoorDelta

    Joined Travelfish
    13th May, 2011
    Location United States
    Posts: 5
    Total reviews: 4

    The trip from HCMC to Can Tho to Chau Doc to Ha Tien and back to HCMC is a bizarre. It doesn't matter if it is private or public transportation. We paid very expensive private car rid for two days. It costed us $350 plus $100 more for driver's boarding and food. We got robbed from a guy name Triet Quang who also sold us a floating market tour.

    The trip is unnecessary. And Mr Triet Quang should be avoided by all cost. Vietnam is too poor and people there only wants to get money. It is no morality in them. It is just one time deal. Be careful to deal with poor people there. One should think of donation in some places else. Not those people.

    #3 Posted: 16/5/2011 - 18:11

  • oasisbarhat-
    ien

    Joined Travelfish
    12th August, 2010
    Posts: 103
    Total reviews: 4

    Posted from within Vietnam.

    Whilst it may be the case that there are some unscrupulous people selling trips/tours in Vietnam, it's not the only country where it happens.It's certainly a good idea to find out something about any tour/trip you intend taking,before doing it.There's certainly nothing bizarre about a trip routed Saigon-Can Tho-Chau Doc-Ha Tien-Saigon.It's a perfectly logical if not mainstream way to travel around the Delta,and see a lot of the region.Your post does not make it clear exactly what was included in the price of 350USD,was that per person,or for 2 people.Did it include meals, accomodation, sightseeing,entrance fees etc?In any case it's not relevant to the OP,so I'm not clear why it's posted here

    #4 Posted: 17/5/2011 - 09:02

  • PoorDelta

    Joined Travelfish
    13th May, 2011
    Location United States
    Posts: 5
    Total reviews: 4

    The $350 we paid for 2 person. It doesn't include anything. We paid extra for meals, accomodation, entrance fee and sightseeing. It turned out to be $450 in the end.

    We certainly know that this kind of people is all over the world. But we got recommendation for Mr Triet Quang from a Can Tho floating market boating trip in travelfish. That post claimed he is an honest man. But our experience with him was that he is one time deal man. The original post is very misleading. I read it again. It seems like that author was a single woman and very self absorbed. She needed attention instead of watching out her money. Mr Triet gave her the attention and charged her extremely high rate for the boating tour. She was not aware that and claimed Mr Triet is an honest man.

    That lady's post is one way to get me involved into 3 deals with Mr Triet. It turned out that we were robbed much more than somebody else.

    Well the route seems OK. But for $450, what Delta can offer? Poor bumpy road. Very hardship for life there. Ha Tien is claimed a resort place. But it is just too dirty. Why on earth people came here?

    Fir the construction, such as the state road as the Delta has, does it worth the money here?

    Certainly $450 is not big money in the US standard. But does it provide any good quality experience as the western country does. The deal itself was very robbery. The thing is that Vietnsmese is too poor. They just try to get as much as they can from tourists. Mr Triet Quang is a one time deal guy. I just alarm people here that one should avoid him in any deal and watch out for him.

    #5 Posted: 17/5/2011 - 16:37

  • oasisbarhat-
    ien

    Joined Travelfish
    12th August, 2010
    Posts: 103
    Total reviews: 4

    Posted from within Vietnam.

    Whilst I do sympathise with you about your experience,it really should serve as a warning to people not to believe everything they read on an internet forum. Unfortunately it is quite common(especially in Vietnam) for unscrupulous businesses to place fake reviews on sites such as this in order to generate custom.Sometimes it's so obvious as to be laughable.I'm not saying that is necessarily what happened here,because I haven't seen the original post you refer to,but it might be.As for what you paid for,and received,it's not cheap,but on the other hand,if you had a private car and driver for two days and covered probably 6-700km,it's not outrageously expensive.The only thing I have to take serious issue with you is your statement about Ha Tien being dirty!.I live here,and have done so for almost a year,one of the reasons we came to live here was the fact that it was so clean,compared to a lot of other places in the area.It's marketed as a resort town for the Vietnamese,but not,as far as I am aware,to Westerners.Although many Westerners come here,they generally do so as a jumping off point to or from Phu Quoc Island,and the Cambodian coastal towns.Ha Tien is a very picturesque and pleasant,(if quiet ) coastal Vietnamese market town,conveniently placed for traveling around this area,with dozens of cheap (and reasonable quality) hotels.There aren't a lot of major tourist attractions here,but plenty of things worth seeing,and increasingly many people coming here decide to spend a few days here looking around and just relaxing.And-referring to the O/P and E/W's quite correct reply,yes,if coming here from Cambodia,get a ticket to here,and then when you get here arrange transport onwards to Chau Doc,Can Tho or Rach Gia,it's easy enough,cheap and hassle free.(Not forgetting to spend a night or two here as well!)

    #6 Posted: 17/5/2011 - 17:44

  • somtam2000

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    Regarding the Can Tho post, I'm assuming @PoorDelta is referring to is the one by chergood at the bottom of the Can Tho page. I believe it is a legitimate post -- at a glance it looks like she paid $20 -- not unreasonable.

    @PoorDelta, while I'm sorry to hear of your experience, writing off Mr Triet on every contribution you make (and I think you've tried all angles now) to the site isn't the solution, nor the purpose of this site.

    #7 Posted: 17/5/2011 - 18:09

  • watchourstep

    Joined Travelfish
    8th May, 2011
    Posts: 3

    Posted from within Vietnam.

    eastwest and oasisbarha-tien, thanks for the info, and the sound perspective :-)

    but the very specific part that i was having trouble with is still unanswered, which is:

    when trying to figure out how to best navigate the kap-ha tien-can tho route, 1. where exactly should i have gone in ha tien, and 2. once there, what exactly should i have done to make sure i did not wind up dealing with the minibus fiasco?

    obviously its a little late for me now, but the route itself is a good way to get from cambodia to southern vietnam without having to retrace steps into major cities, so i think it would be so handy for others to know where to get a motorbike to, exactly, and how to get on a real bus (any specific bus companies?) so as to avoid the circus i endured!

    also, for what its worth, from can tho to hcmc we took a PHOUNG TRANG bus and it was awesome! clean, good a/c, a kung ** movie on moderate volume as opposed to the usual blaring karaoke, reserved seats, free water & wipeys and a good (bus company owned) rest stop. highly recommended. wish they went from ha tien to can tho!

    #8 Posted: 17/5/2011 - 18:28

  • PoorDelta

    Joined Travelfish
    13th May, 2011
    Location United States
    Posts: 5
    Total reviews: 4

    While the floating market tour can be asked at any price. As long as you accept it, it is legitimate no matter what.

    However there is always better deal if one looks around. There are $5/1 person/8 hours tour all over.

    I believe that this forum is for people to get advise and not paying for unnecessary amount of money. All the tour Mr Triet Quang offered are more expensive than others. I want to tell people on this. They can get much better deal without him.

    $25/2person/3hours' boating, what does it offer to us? A rundown boat with high motor noise. A polluted river? Poor rural life? This is not a resort place. There is no fiberglass boat as one can see in all western countries. With a nature like this and the annual income of a farmer $300, should we pay this $25?

    Again, it is legitimate if Mr Triet charge $1000 as long as you accept it. Is it the site's purpose to promote it? I believe we should seek fairness and reasonable. I don't see any deal with Mr Triet is reasonable. Sorry Vietnam is poor. It is not our fault. We are not responsible for it. But, it is very unpleasant to deal with poor people whoever just wants to get as much as you can from you.

    #9 Posted: 17/5/2011 - 18:28

  • eastwest

    Joined Travelfish
    17th December, 2009
    Posts: 771

    @ watchourstep

    There is no simply easy way in Ha Tien to get further.
    The whole border crossing there is quite new and things just aren't organized that well at the moment. Taking this border crossing involves a bit of "travelling" and there is no simple "buy-a-ticket-and-go" option here. There is a little travel agent in Ha Tien but I personally wouldn't recommend it because they offer the same attitude/greed as their Cambodian counterparts and they work together on the whole 1-bus ticket to Saigon scheme

    What I would advise people is to try to get to Rach Gia which is a further 2 hours away from Ha Tien by either tax or (mini)bus. In Rach Gia there is a bus terminal of Mai Linh (mini) bus company and they have a pretty decent organisation and buses. From there you're "safe" on a bus to any destination.

    #10 Posted: 17/5/2011 - 21:16

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  • watchourstep

    Joined Travelfish
    8th May, 2011
    Posts: 3

    Posted from within Vietnam.

    thanks eastwest! i think that is pretty sound advice until they work out the kinks going through ha tien.

    #11 Posted: 18/5/2011 - 10:34

  • oasisbarhat-
    ien

    Joined Travelfish
    12th August, 2010
    Posts: 103
    Total reviews: 4

    Posted from within Vietnam.

    I'll try and address the OP's original point.The best way to get to Can Tho from Cambodia is; Firstly take a bus/minibus run by either "Virak Buntham" "Mattom" or "Kampot Tour and Travel" from either Sihanoukville,Kampot or Kep,depending on where you are.All these services are reliable,I have used them all.The price and departure timings can vary,so it's best to check.As a rough guide,S-ville to Ha Tien 15USD,Kampot-Ha Tien 10USD and Kep -Ha Tien 8USD.This includes transit through the border and to Ha Tien town .You can book directly with them or through a travel agent.Make sure it's with one of these three companies.Normally,all these services take you through to Ha Tien in the same vehicle,either to the travel agent mentioned by E/W,or to your hotel or wherever else you want to go.Occasionally,if the Vietnamese police are being extra vigilant,they won't allow a Cambodian vehicle driven by a Khmer to travel into Vietnam,so the company arranges a change of vehicle at the border.This doesn't happen very often.Once on Ha Tien,you have two main choices.1)Go to the travel agent "Ha Tien Tourism" and get a ticket from them. Now, they are a travel agent,and they are there to make money,so you may well get a service bus ticket,which they have marked up in price by a few dollars.There used to be a proper tourist coach operating via them,but I don't think it's running any more.The advantage is,they speak English a little,and can give you information about other routes,hotels etc.OR-2) As E/W suggested,get a Mai Linh express minibus ticket to Rach Gia ,and from there to Can Tho.(It may well be possible to get a ticket from Mai Linh in Ha Tien straight to Can Tho, albeit via Rach Gia,and probably involving a change of vehicle there,I've never done this,but I don't see why you can't)The bus station is about 1km from Ha Tien towards the border, and the bus from Cambodia will drop you here if you ask the driver to. No-body at the bus station speaks any English at all,unfortunately, so that's the downside of this method.But Mai Linh is a huge company that's present everywhere I've been in Vietnam,and is generally reliable and safe.Their logo and vehicles are all some combination of green and white.Some of the office staff in Rach Gia speak a little English as well.If there's any more information you need about this journey,please ask.Cheers.(Oh and by the way,Ha Tien is actually a very nice,picturesque quiet town,so you could always consider staying a night instead of just zipping straight through!)

    #12 Posted: 18/5/2011 - 11:33

  • Wozzer

    Joined Travelfish
    23rd January, 2010
    Posts: 24

    I've done this trip a couple of times. I used Mattom Travel, the lad picked me up at my G/H in Kep and took us through the border and on to Ha Tien bus station.That was $10 in a shared van.

    There are Mai Linh 'buses' (actually 15 seat Mercedes Sprinter vans) and they have an office in the bus station.

    I paid 110000 VND for a through ticket Ha Tien > Rach Gia (change bus) then on to Can Tho .
    I left Ha Tien at 1.30pm and arrived into Can Tho around 7pm. (bus change in Rach Gia was around 45 mins)

    I think there's also a departure at 11am.from Ha Tien.

    My tip would be to leave Kep earlyish (if poss), go across the border an onto the bus stn and book in advance for the 1.30 bus. Then take a moto and go around Ha Tien for a few hours.. there a a number of things to see:- The cave pagoda, boatyard, temple on the hill (can't remember the name). Andy at Oasis Bar gave me this little route - well worth spending a few hours there.

    Best seats on Mai Linh are 5 and 8 (aisle seats by the sliding door) - back row seat 15 has more leg room (on the little aisle) but is bouncy because it's behind the rear axle - and the wheel arch is in front of you.

    If you're a bit early back at the bus station, there's a decent little cafe next to the Mai Linh office - grab some lunch while waiting.

    #13 Posted: 25/5/2011 - 16:53

  • Wozzer

    Joined Travelfish
    23rd January, 2010
    Posts: 24

    I've done this trip a couple of times. I used Mattom Travel, the lad picked me up at my G/H in Kep and took us through the border and on to Ha Tien bus station.That was $10 in a shared van.

    There are Mai Linh 'buses' (actually 15 seat Mercedes Sprinter vans) and they have an office in the bus station.

    I paid 110000 VND for a through ticket Ha Tien > Rach Gia (change bus) then on to Can Tho .
    I left Ha Tien at 1.30pm and arrived into Can Tho around 7pm. (bus change in Rach Gia was around 45 mins)

    I think there's also a departure at 11am.from Ha Tien.

    My tip would be to leave Kep earlyish (if poss), go across the border an onto the bus stn and book in advance for the 1.30 bus. Then take a moto and go around Ha Tien for a few hours.. there a a number of things to see:- The cave pagoda, boatyard, temple on the hill (can't remember the name). Andy at Oasis Bar gave me this little route - well worth spending a few hours there.

    Best seats on Mai Linh are 5 and 8 (aisle seats by the sliding door) - back row seat 15 has more leg room (on the little aisle) but is bouncy because it's behind the rear axle - and the wheel arch is in front of you.

    If you're a bit early back at the bus station, there's a decent little cafe next to the Mai Linh office - grab some lunch while waiting.

    #14 Posted: 25/5/2011 - 16:54

  • Wozzer

    Joined Travelfish
    23rd January, 2010
    Posts: 24

    I've done this trip a couple of times. I used Mattom Travel, the lad picked me up at my G/H in Kep and took us through the border and on to Ha Tien bus station.That was $10 in a shared van.

    There are Mai Linh 'buses' (actually 15 seat Mercedes Sprinter vans) and they have an office in the bus station.

    I paid 110000 VND for a through ticket Ha Tien > Rach Gia (change bus) then on to Can Tho .
    I left Ha Tien at 1.30pm and arrived into Can Tho around 7pm. (bus change in Rach Gia was around 45 mins)

    I think there's also a departure at 11am.from Ha Tien.

    My tip would be to leave Kep earlyish (if poss), go across the border an onto the bus stn and book in advance for the 1.30 bus. Then take a moto and go around Ha Tien for a few hours.. there a a number of things to see:- The cave pagoda, boatyard, temple on the hill (can't remember the name). Andy at Oasis Bar gave me this little route - well worth spending a few hours there.

    Best seats on Mai Linh are 5 and 8 (aisle seats by the sliding door) - back row seat 15 has more leg room (on the little aisle) but is bouncy because it's behind the rear axle - and the wheel arch is in front of you.

    If you're a bit early back at the bus station, there's a decent little cafe next to the Mai Linh office - grab some lunch while waiting.

    #15 Posted: 25/5/2011 - 16:55

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