Hi, I am planning to travel from Kep to Chau Doc very soon and am wondering which border would be better. I've read the info on this site, in LP, and the Canby Publications section. I think we will be getting a taxi from Kep to the border, but its not clear which crossing will have better transport onto Chau Doc. If anyone has done either of these crossing recently, I'd appreciate any info.
Also, I'm assuming that Ha Tien isn't worth staying overnight in, but if I'm mistaken, let me know. (BTW, we aren't planning to and don't have time to) go to Phu Quoc.)
#1 amazon_blonde has been a member since 20/12/2008. Posts: 116
FYI - I just did the crossing from Kep to Ha Tien and onto Chau Doc in a single day. It was fairly straight-forward, but time-consuming. The section from Kep to Ha Tien was very slow but quite scenic. We arranged a tuk-tuk from Kep to the Vietnamese border, which was $15 USD. (Motorcycle taxis still about $7 USD each at the moment. Tuk-tuks from Kampot are charging in the range of $25-30 USD.) The last few kilometres of the road were very, very rough and our tuk-tuk could not or would not go any farther, although we were still a few kilometres from the border. Our driver called two xe om (motorbike taxis) to come pick us up and take us (and our obscene quantity of luggage) to Ha Tien. We paid $5 USD each ($10 in total) for two motorbike taxis from there, through the Vietnamese border, and onto Ha Tien. I think the going rate is about $4 (or maybe even less, as it's only 8km) but our drivers waited while we went through customs and immigration at both checkpoints, took us to the ATM in Ha Tien, then onto the bus station. It's a long walk, hot walk in between the Cambodian and Vietnamese checkpoints, so if your tuk-tuk or xe-om driver offers to call someone in Vietnam to come and pick you up, it's worth it, even if you pay a dollar or two extra.
Mini-buses appear to run fairly regularly from Ha Tien to Chau Doc (and vice versa) and cost 45,000 dong, but this is not a tourist-class service. Be prepared for a jam packed bus and a slow, bumpy, noisy ride. In all, it took us 3 hours to get from Kep, across the border, and into Ha Tien -- even though that's only about 35-40km. The trip from Ha Tien to Chau Doc was just over 3 hours, not counting waiting time at the bus station.
#3 amazon_blonde has been a member since 20/12/2008. Posts: 116
Nowadays it is very simple to go from the Phu Quoc island via Ha Tien to various destinations in Cambodia via the Xa Xia - Prek Chak border crossing. Already before you board thre boat from Phu Quoc, tickets are offered e.g. for $20 to Sihanoukville, A minibus brings you from the ferry jetty in Ha tien to the bus company office, There you pay pay $ 25 or 550.000 VND for a visa (yes, an unfavourable rate) and hand in a photo. After that, everything goes automatic. That is to say, at the border you still have to fill in a zillion of forms, and pay $1/20.000 VND for a health declaration. Have you sneezed? If you are honest, they won't let you into Cambodia.
Bus connections are offered to Sihanoukville and cities on the road there, like Kep, and to Phnom Penh and beyond.
This border crossing definitely is no longer "adventurous". For most people, thay's a benefit.
#4 rbakels has been a member since 17/11/2010. Posts: 16