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Laos forum

Pakse to Cambodia bus - watch out!

Posted by davidh on 4/12/2012 at 04:09

Had a very bad experience on the bus from Pakse to Phnom Penh. Not quite a "scam", but really close.

I live in Phnom Penh, and had a perfectly fine ride from PP to Pakse with Sorya bus company. Our travel agent said she couldn't issue the return ticket, and so we did it through the Langkam hotel in Pakse. There was no bus company name on the ticket, just "Pakse Travel Co." - should have been a warning. We were picked up in a mini van at 8am, expecting to be driven to the bus station on the outskirts of town. Instead, after picking up a dozen other people at their hotels, we're driven all the way down to 4000 Islands. There we're shepherded off to a bus stop, wait half an hour, and then cram onto another small bus for the ride to the border. After the crossing, we discover our Cambodian bus is none other than the infamous Rith Mony bus company. Known for their Thailand crossing scam and terrible safety record, we knew never to buy a ticket from them. Of course, they've sold 50% more tickets than there are seats, so a bunch of folks sit on stools in the aisle. As an aside, no one seemed to be checking tickets at any stage of this travel. A bus just showed up and whoever was there could get on.

After lots of waiting around and nonsense, we finally pull away from the border at 1pm. The driver was your typical 22-year old kid with the cool glasses and gold chain; not quite the person you want to trust with the lives of a bus full of passengers. He proceeded to have a lengthy back and forth with a couple of prostitutes seated in the fifth row, his eyes were mostly in the rearview mirror.
At 10pm we're still 50km outside of Phnom Penh, when he decides to pull over and buy some fruit. No hurry, mate.
Instead of taking us to one of the normal bus terminals in town, he drops us on a random street way out in Toul Kork. One single tuktuk was waiting for us, wanted $5 a person (that's what the normal price is for the whole tuktuk). Driver dumps the bags on the street and takes off with the two prostitutes.

I believe there is a VIP bus from Pakse to Phnom Penh, where you're on the same bus the entire time, and hopefully actually brought into PP. Don't buy the random no-name ticket to Cambodia.

#1 davidh has been a member since 4/12/2012. Posts: 1

Posted by captainbkk on 5/12/2012 at 02:34

PP Sorya obviously does not jack off its expensive Hyundai buses in Pakse and they thus also come back daily to PnPn-as also shows their timetable. I guess you had to buy their ticket at that faraway busstation (not sure) or fone them to hear what agent they use in Pakse ''town''.
In fact PPS has an agreement with the luxury sleeperbus Pakse-VTE to offer through ticketing and connections, so that one can book in 1 shot this whole trip.

#2 captainbkk has been a member since 16/2/2012. Posts: 472

Posted by montystefy on 15/8/2014 at 10:37

I would like to share my experience about crossing the laos/Cambodia border on the road from pakse to phnom penh.

I left at 7am from pakse (laos) then 3 hour later we arrived at a old and tiny bus station where we jumped into a minibus that took us at the border.

Then the same old story, a guy arrived, and forced us to give him passport and 30usd (10 more than the visa cost, no chance to argue). Then 40 minutes later this guy came back with our passport with visa and correctly stamped.

Then a bus took us to strung treng, the bus was filled with 40 person, 25 going to siem reap, 15 directed to phnom penh. Apparently there were two or three minivans waiting for us but..........

As soon as we dropped off from this bus (in the middle of nowhere) the guy said that the road from there to phnom penh was closed and so we would have been taken to siem reap, and also we would have to pay 5usd more... Then 45 minutes of quarrels and finally we had to take a little and super scary/dirty ferry to go to the other side of the river, waited one hour, and then the minivan came, and took us almost safely in siem reap.

Guys, an advice, don't feed this mafia, take the plane...

#3 montystefy has been a member since 15/8/2014. Posts: 1

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