The bus to Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh Travel Blog› entry 112 of 126 › view all entries
One option was to take the two day boat/bus trip from Saigon through the Mekong Delta up to Phnom Penh. I made the trip once before and it was well worth doing again. But the extra night in Dalat put me behind schedule, as if I had one. Well, I guess I actually do since my Vietnam visa expires today. I don't know the penalty for overstaying and didn't want to risk the possibility of being denied a future visit, so booked a bus for the run to Cambodia.
I chose the Kumho Samco Busline for its 09:45 departure which allowed plenty of time for a leisure breakfast followed by a final iced coffee at a sidewalk vender. It's always nice to watch a city or town stir into a new day. Saigon's streets rumbled with the usual parade of motorbike commuters while venders shuffled carts and baskets into strategic locations.
The orange bus with gray and white trim had more legroom than any I had ridden before. Two Swedes and myself were the only foreign passengers on board, the rest being locals. There were several vacant seats and one was next to mine which made the ride all the better. By noon we reached the Moc Bai border crossing. A bus attendant collected everyone's passport and handled all immigration formalities, including visas for Cambodia. Normally those cost $20 for a 30-day stay but the attendant charged $25 which seemed fair by the time and hassle saved. Instead of waiting in a long line, I enjoyed a leisure smoke with a traveling monk in orange robes.
The highway in Vietnam was lined with shops, businesses, or houses all the way to the border.
The $10 ride to Phnom Penh took six hours and terminated near the national soccer stadium. I rode a tuk tuk taxi to the riverfront area and checked into the Tonle Sap Guesthouse. I stayed there before, in July, just around the corner from the Paramount bus station and my next ride to the Cambodian coast.