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Border crossing Chong Chom to O Smach, really easy

Scottish Highlands...
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Border crossing Chong Chom to O Smach, really easy

This week we crossed from Thailand into Cambodia at this underused crossing point. We'd been a bit apprehensive because of previous bad reports - but is was quick and easy.

We took one of the scheduled minivans from Surin Town to the border. The journey took about 90 minutes and was comfortable enough. On the Thai side of the border it took five minutes to get our exit stamp in our passports. One guy in our party had lost his Thai entry/exit form and a Thai official charged him 500B for a replacement. We reckon that was a wee scam, as the form is free isn't it? Then a friendly Cambodian civilian offered to show us where to go for cambodian immigration. He wasn't trying to scam us and we only had to wait some ten minutes for our visas to be granted and stuck in our passports. Be aware though that the Cambodian immigration officer asked us to pay in Baht - maybe he can get a small margin in his back pocket? We told him we only had the required $20 and he shrugged his shoulders and it was all ok. We thought we were through and clear, but our friendly Cambodian civilian told us we needed to cross the street and fill out a separate immigration entry/exit form. Again, he wasn't trying to scam us, and we filled out the second form with no fee attached. He then explained that we'd have to take a taxi to Siem Reap as its too far for songthaews. We'd already budgeted for a taxi fare of up to 2500B so when he got us a Toyota Camry for 1600B we were more than happy.

The taxi ride took us 2 and a half hours, including a fuel stop and the driver stopping to buy some fruit to share with us.

All in all a very pleasant experience.

23 replies to this topic
Florence, Italy
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1. Re: Border crossing Chong Chom to O Smach, really easy

Hello,

Were you coming from Nong Khai (Ventiane) to Surin? Did you have to pay 1600B each or altoghether? Thanks!

Paola

Kurashiki, Japan
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for Kurashiki, Cambodia, Myanmar
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2. Re: Border crossing Chong Chom to O Smach, really easy

Thanks for the report, F-G! :-)

Scottish Highlands...
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3. Re: Border crossing Chong Chom to O Smach, really easy

Hi Paola,

No. We had been volunteering at the Surin Project in Baan Ta Klang, so we travelled from there to the border, not from Nong Khai. The 1600Baht we paid was for a taxi from the Cambodian side of the border all the way to Siem Reap. That was the total cost of the taxi - with four of us and all our bags. Pretty good value for money.

Hope this helps.

Melbourne, Australia
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4. Re: Border crossing Chong Chom to O Smach, really easy

Hi F-G, that's great to hear your post about this border crossing - I'm wondering about how possible it is to travel from O Smach to Battambang via Sisophon? Did you notice any songthaew options from O Smach at all, or were taxis the only option?

thanks :-)

Antonia

Scottish Highlands...
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5. Re: Border crossing Chong Chom to O Smach, really easy

Hello Antonia.

Good news. There are lots of Songthaews waiting once you get across into Cambodia. We saw something like ten to twenty waiting for business in the open area just beyond the official checkpoint. We chose the taxi option because the songthaew drivers told us the trip to Siem Reap is too far for their vehicles.

I don't know how long your trip to Battambang via Sisophon is; maybe the best option is to ask a songthaew driver first and see if he can do it. If not, take a taxi. Normal rules apply - make sure you agree the price upfront. We were pleasantly surprised by how easy the crossing was. We were totally on guard against touts etc trying to rip us off. Everyone was genuinely helpful on the Cambodian side. Perhaps you can provide some feedback on here once you make the crossing?

Arlesheim...
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6. Re: Border crossing Chong Chom to O Smach, really easy

Hello,

i plan to use this same Border Cross next year in early August, with my parents ( 80 and 70), 3 Childrens, my Thaiwife and i. ( 7 people)

Questions :

Did you really payed only 20 UDS per pers. for your Visa ?

Part of Taxi's did yo see any mini van ? so that we could travel all together ?

How was the road to Siem Reap ? good conditions ?

Did you see any check points ?

Any problems for Thai people to pass to Cambodia ?

thank you for you repport and for answering my questions.

Knd regards

François

Edited: 14 November 2013, 08:15
Scottish Highlands...
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7. Re: Border crossing Chong Chom to O Smach, really easy

Hello Francois,

It sounds you have a lot to organise!

Yes, we only paid 20USD Per person. The rules are clear, and anything else they try to tell you is potentially some type of scam. They tried to insist that we paid in Baht, but each of us confirmed that we had no Thai Baht, only US Dollars. (If we had paid in Baht it was more than the equivalent of 20USD).

Sorry, but we didn't notice any mini-vans. There are a lot of vehicles/taxis on the Cambodian side, and I reckon there probably will be good options for you and your family. If you don't see one, I recommend you ask one of the drivers. They are very helpful.

The road to Siem Reap is in good condition. There were only a couple of short sections of up to 100metres where the surface was poor. Nice and smooth the rest of the trip.

The only checkpoints were on the Thai side on the way to the border. We were stopped once, but only for two minutes.

There were large numbers of Thais crossing into Cambodia when we were there. They seemed to have no difficulty in getting through immigration.

The only additional recommendation is to make certain the non-Thai people in your group have their Thai official 'departure' paperwork ready. You must show this at the Thai side of the border. One of our group couldn't find his document and had to pay a 500baht penalty for a replacement. Also, be aware that this particular border crossing seems to be very sensitive - in 2012 the crossing was closed due to friction between the two countries. You may wish to research this nearer to your date of travel. It was perfectly ok when we crossed. People were all very friendly.

Good luck.

Sangkha, Surin...
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8. Re: Border crossing Chong Chom to O Smach, really easy

This is a friendly crossing and the 500 Baht you paid is the Falang price. My Thai wife also had to pay when she lost hers ... 100 B for her.

The Cambodian civilians who help you there make their living out of it. I hope you paid your helper. I pay 100 Baht a time to Mr Sim! Very helpful as he does all the writing, knows all the officers on both sides and knows most of the rules. He's also got connections with drivers and hotels!

Buriram, Thailand
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9. Re: Border crossing Chong Chom to O Smach, really easy

I am in Buriram with a 90 day report due in mid May. I'm thinking of heading to this crossing in next few days ... quick exit and re-entry to reset my 90 days. I have multiple re-entry permit for my Thai visa.

Is this possible? How long should I stay on the Cambodian side? Can I take in my Thai motorcycle and return an hour later?

walsall
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10. Re: Border crossing Chong Chom to O Smach, really easy

I have just realised I am going to overstay by one day is it worth doing a visa run or just hope they let me through with a fine

I have a home in Nong khai so if I have to do a border run for one day is it worth going or take a chance

Edited: 11 February 2015, 16:16
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