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

Posted by JuliaMcD on 29/7/2012 at 18:01

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 JuliaMcD has been a member since 29/7/2012. Posts: 8

Posted by sayadian on 30/7/2012 at 08:32

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 sayadian has been a member since 15/1/2008. Posts: 1,557

Posted by mikethediver on 10/8/2012 at 12:42

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.

#3 mikethediver has been a member since 23/3/2008. Location: Thailand. Posts: 206

Posted by sayadian on 10/8/2012 at 13:59

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 sayadian has been a member since 15/1/2008. Posts: 1,557

Posted by mikethediver on 12/8/2012 at 06:00

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.

#5 mikethediver has been a member since 23/3/2008. Location: Thailand. Posts: 206

Posted by sayadian on 12/8/2012 at 10:52

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 sayadian has been a member since 15/1/2008. Posts: 1,557

Posted by ondoheer on 3/12/2014 at 09:51

Hi Mike, Sayadian and Julia

i'm about to apply for my evisa to Cambodia, since i wanna go from Koh Chang to Siem Reap. But in the process i have to mark in the application where will i cross the border. Here you say you can cross through Cham Yeam (Koh Kong) or Poi Pet (Banteay Meanchey)
But what would be better to get easier and faster to Siem Reap? I guess if you have the evisa you save money and time avoiding scams, so will it be a matter of better roads?

Could you help me decide? Are the costs any different for the 2 options? And maybe sharing a taxi could be a easier option? We would be trying to leave early in the morning of January 30th. At what time you think we would get to SR?
Thanks so much

#7 ondoheer has been a member since 20/9/2014. Posts: 11

Posted by mikethediver on 3/12/2014 at 12:14

If you are taking the minibus to SR, it is the driver who will pick the crossing place and it will be Poi Pet.
The mini bus will take you to a holding place near the border and we had to wait at least 2 hours to get across, and that was with hassling them frequently! Again we arrived in SR at 4 or 5, but without the unnecessary delays on the Thai side & the missed bus in Cambodia it could have taken 3 hours less. But, hey, delays like this are going to happen traveling around Asia. I only saw one taxi being offer to SR, but I wasn't looking as I already had a bus ticket. Doing the whole thing yourself could save money and a bit of time, but then again it may not!

(Although you can reach SR from Koh Kong having to go through PP will, I think, add hours to your journey and would be more expensive.)

#8 mikethediver has been a member since 23/3/2008. Location: Thailand. Posts: 206

Posted by ondoheer on 3/12/2014 at 15:06

Thanks Mike! so Poi Pet it is!
i will buy the evisa and hope everything turns out alright!

#9 ondoheer has been a member since 20/9/2014. Posts: 11

Posted by captainbkk on 4/12/2014 at 21:19

Do it yourself will LOOSE you hours of time at Thai side, as there is No direct bus/van-except for the described pore-arranged one. Its different at the Khmer side-but varies with border. ODH: you ask way too mcuh and things that noone can ever answer right. In Asia it about always works that cheaper options will eat hours of extra time. It may also depend on your general expreience in transport here-which you seem to lack.

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

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