Entering Cambodia - ADVICE!

Poipet Travel Blog

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So we entered Cambodia and got our visa on arrival as we thought, proving the Thais were lying and trying to get an extra $20 out of us!

Next problem: the Cambodian border staff try to get a 'processing fee' out of you. We paid over our US$20 each for our visa, plus one passport photo. The bloke then asked for 200 baht as an 'express' fee. We said no, we will not pay anything extra as the fee is $20 and that is it. We said we don't have any baht left as we had just left Thailand (OK we lied). He then asked for US$5 for the 'express fee' if not we would have to wait a long time for our visa. We asked for his name so that we could take it to the tourist office in Phnom Penh and report him. He refused this of course, as well as refusing to give us a receipt. He then said 'OK no problem', and our visa took 2 minutes like everyone else!

So, you can either hand over 200 baht or $5 and save a bit of a verbal battle, or you can very calmly refuse to pay anything extra and politely ask for their names and do the reporting threat. Up to you, but we didn't pay anything extra and still got our visa in minutes.

Next challenge: getting to Siem Reap. We took the advice from websites and books and took the free shuttle bus, but this took us a minute up the road to a private taxi firm. We were with another couple by this point and they wanted US$15 per person for a share taxi to Siem Reap. We thought it should cost about $45 for the whole car but they wouldn't come down on the price. I think that there maybe taxis around the border but we didn't see any. In the end we took this cab with the other couple for $60 between the 4 of us. Not sure what the alternative is. Another group paid 600 baht each so think we got a slightly better deal.

Good news is that the road is paved nearly the whole way and not too bad at all so it only took 2.5 hours. The driver said the bus takes about 6 hours! Although not sure where the bus goes from?? The taxi driver did pay for a tuk tuk to take us to our hostel - agree this with the taxi people in Poipet that you want to be taken to your hostel as part of the price.

Good luck!!

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photo by: iMush