We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Border Crossings

Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
1 post
15 reviews
Save Topic
Border Crossings

Be warned, if you are taking a bus across the border into Cambodia, don't forget to have a copy of your passport photos. ALSO, there is no need to hand in your passports to the tour guides or bus drivers to gain quick access across into Cambodia, they will charge you way over the amount which is around $26 us. The bus drivers & their workers will try to hurry you, saying the bus leaves soon, hurry hurry, & charge you for everything. You just say no, we do it on the border, it's simple. Most people in 2 buses they bought to the border were scammed, then we had to wait at the border crossing for 3 hours, them fit 2 bus loads into 1 bus, people standing for hours, I'm sorry to say but this was the biggest rip off since arriving in Asia, & oh boy, the bus ride from hell, told we would arrive at 3, arrived at 7. Everyone got told lies about everything. Otherwise, loving Asia.. :) happy travels.

Mentioned in this post
Asia
Asia
World
Angkor Doors
Sightseeing Tours, Archaeology Tours, Cultural Tours, Historical & Heritage Tours
Keath Angkor Tours
Private Tours, Motorcycle Tours, Sightseeing Tours, Cultural Tours, Archaeology Tours
Kampoul Adventure Tour
Sightseeing Tours, City Tours
Angkor Tour Services
Sightseeing Tours, Cultural Tours, Historical & Heritage Tours, Private Tours, Day Trips
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
14,403 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Border Crossings

Hello Doerdeb,

The fee for a Cambodian Tourist Visa is currently US$20 and payable in USD but is about to rise to US$30. So always have exact USD money and avoid all scams.

Anyone who pays in any other currency is going to be paying way over the official Visa charge rate.

Best regards. Ian

Torre del Mar, Spain
Level Contributor
3,001 posts
37 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Border Crossings

I crossed the border on a bus from Ho Chi Minh to Phnom Penh last January and had no trouble at all. It took as long as it took and the guide was there to see we had no problems.

Mentioned in this post
Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh
Cambodia
London, United...
Level Contributor
54 posts
97 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Border Crossings

Doerdeb,

Thanks for that. Sure this warning has been posted many times, but no one reads it. I have done the trip from BKK to Siem Reap by bus and have seen the same scam. You stop at a restaurant or business and they pressure you to get visa there. Most people pay it. Everyone has to wait for the same bus on the other side. When I say no, they separate me from the group and send me to border early. Means I have to wait longer for people who overpaid. Bus is usually running late on other side. I find the food at these restaurants are over priced. Bring your own. Avoid eating at international bus station (new one outside town on Cam side). Prices are high. Bus makes one stop at a restaurant or store to Siem Reap, which is also a little expensive.

2 posts
1 review
Save Reply
4. Re: Border Crossings

just arrive to cambodia, siem reap, and sadly i read this now too late.

this was also for me the biggest scam ever happened to me. so here i write in short:

1. they ask us for 1200 baht for visa per person (so thats about 37 dollar). the price should be about 20-27 what i read so far.

2. they tell you to exchange money at the "official government bank" for a rate of 102 riep (combodia currency) per thai baht. that means about 3000 riep for each dollar, instead of 4000. so this was actually the biggest rip off.

additionally they are very much about telling you, that its possible to exchange back on the way back to bangkok (no commission, same rate), and ask to exchange everything you have. furthermore you get pushed to do that.

3. we got asked to take a taxi, for extra 400 baht each, with direct drop off at the hotel. so the taxi driver asked us to leave quite distanced to our hotel and we got charged again for tuktuk.

so we arrived now to cambodia, and feel like leaving again straight. i wish there would be a way to publish this to all travellers, since it was really the worst ever.

have fun

Tel Aviv, Israel
Level Contributor
2 posts
11 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Border Crossings

Hello,

In addition to the former warnings, the buss drivers also tried to convince us to exchange money at the bus station after the border, by saying this is the only place to exchange from Thai Baht to Cambodian money, and that it's an official Cambodian bank. The exchange rate was extremely low and differed much from the exchange rate the Cambodian market uses in restaurants, hotels and etc.. when we arrived to the hotel, there was no problem to exchange at the reception.

another warning: if you choose to take a taxi from the border to your hotel, do not get off the taxi before you see your hotel. some tuk tuk drivers might stop the taxi on the way (they are cooperating with the taxi driver), get your bags off the taxi and claim that you need to move from the taxi to the tuk tuk cause the taxi does not continue any farther. Once you are on the tuk tuk they will charge for extra money, or would agree to take you for free to the hotel if you book a day trip with them on the day after.

Amsterdam, The...
Level Contributor
8,102 posts
51 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Border Crossings

I am very sorry to hear your experience. Not a great start to your visits. I must however say that the land crossing at Poipet is well-known for its scams. These are easy to avoid once armed with a bit of knowledge. This doesn't help you I know but the real lesson in your story is that any traveler who is going to cross land borders in SE Asia is well served to simply Google each land crossing to learn what goes on there, what to expect and what to avoid. Within 5 - 10 minutes the traveler can learn the scams and know to avoid them. I hope the rest of your stay will be wonderful.

And for other land border crossing virgins who read this, there is no real to exchange your money into riel anywhere. $US is the defacto currency in those parts of Cambodia where 95% of tourists will go. But quite frankly, travelers who are not aware of this currency situation or who do not know about the scams at Poipet when embarking on that overland journey really have not done their homework or the most basic research when traveling to a part of the world like this. IMHO

Edited: 25 August 2014, 17:43
Mentioned in this post
newcastle upon tyne
Level Contributor
11,851 posts
163 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Border Crossings

"$US is the defacto currency in those parts of Cambodia where 95% of tourists will go. But quite frankly, travelers who are not aware of this currency situation or who do not know about the scams at Poipet when embarking on that overland journey really have not done their homework or the most basic research when traveling to a part of the world like this"

I completely agree with this.

Edited: 25 August 2014, 19:24
Mentioned in this post
London, United...
Level Contributor
54 posts
97 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Border Crossings

I didn't know the scams were getting this bad. For general information, $US and even Thai Baht are accepted in Cambodia. $US is best to have. You get better rates for paying for things. They list exchange rates at the supermarket in Siem Reap when you buy stuff. For tourists going to Laos or Vietnam after Cambodia, the $US also is accepted.

Mentioned in this post
Amsterdam, The...
Level Contributor
8,102 posts
51 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Border Crossings

One poster writes above: "I didn't know the scams were getting this bad."

What is described by the OP plus some other related posts here and in two related threads are pretty standard fare and don't really describe things that are any worse than how things have been for.. well pretty much forever at that crossing haha...

We wouldn't want readers of the thread to think that things are getting much worse than how they have always been. And as others have stated, a tiny bit of preparation is all it takes to know how to avoid the scams and to have the confidence to get yourself scam-free from one side of the Thai border to the other side of the Cambodian border.

Edited: 26 August 2014, 20:08
London, United...
Level Contributor
54 posts
97 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Border Crossings

What I meant is that worst I saw was visa scam before border and heard about taxi on other side. I didn't know they were telling people to exchange money. Years ago it was worse. They had thugs demanding money at legal immigration. Things have slightly improved in some ways. I agree if you have info, you will be fine.