We have just successfully crossed the border into Cambodia. As part of our blog, we want to make sure it’s easy for anybody to find out information about crossing borders as we know from experience that it can quite confusing. At the airports, it is simple as you will be led straight to the visa control desks upon arriving. However, with border crossings it can be a little different.
The way we did things:
Back in the UK, we completed a registration form and applied for an E-Visa online. We’d researched this beforehand and had read that it’s much easier to get an E-Visa when possible. Our E-Visa came through to our emails and cost $33. We printed off the attachments of the emails and bought these with us.
Upon getting on the coach (The Great Ibis – highly recommend), we realised that around half of the people on it didn’t have an E-Visa. The rep who was on the coach collected their passports and departure forms and took payment of $45 or 1400Baht for the Visa service. He went away with the passports and came back in around 40 minutes with the passports and completed visa forms. We weren’t sure about this method of obtaining a visa as we had heard that sometimes the coach staff or authorities could increase the prices or try to scam you in some form. However, now that we’ve witnessed this isn’t the case, we’d happily obtain a visa with the Giant Ibis with this method now. We can’t vouch for other bus companies, but we would recommend booking with this one!
The bus journey has been smooth running with plenty of toilet stops. They provide you with croissant and a can of iced latte in the morning and a tub of egg fried rice and a water in the afternoon. The bus has WIFI (Although, it’s not very good), charging sockets, air con, recliner seats and plenty of leg room. It may be a bit more expensive compared to other buses at $33 each, however we feel the price is right for the experience on the bus.
We arrived at the border around 4 hours after leaving Bangkok. Upon stepping off the bus, you immediately walk on the left-hand side of the road - follow directions for the immigration office. There are a lot of scammers present here, they are quite obvious with their fake looking ‘Border Official’ passes/badges hanging around their necks. Don’t stop to talk to any of these people, whatever they say to you. After about 150 metres, turn right, still following signs for the immigration office. They’ll be lots of nervous looking (like we were) people going that way already, so if in doubt follow the crowd. We read so many horror stories about this before travelling, so we can assure you, it’s not something you need to worry about!
You’ll go up a set of stairs into border control. You only need to present your passport and departure card here, in which you should have already filled out when arriving in Thailand.
Welcome to Cambodia! If you have only been to Bangkok, like us two, this will seem a whole new world compared to what you have just become used to. The whole scene has a wild, wild west feel to it – it’s pretty cool. You’ll know what we mean when you get there! You’ll walk along the side of a fence until you reach two signs. One will be for visa purchases (Pointing to the right) and the other will be for Entries with Visas (Pointing straight on). Either way, you have to cross the busy road to the right-hand side.
If you still haven’t got a visa at this point as you didn’t obtain an E-Visa or pay for the bus service Visa, you will come to an office as soon as you cross the road where you can purchase a visa. At this point, we watched an older couple who had just purchased being told by a man on the street with a fake pass that they had to pay him $40 to stamp their visas. We heard them telling him they’ve already paid and walked away. If this happens to you, carry on walking straight to the arrivals office.
We followed everyone else straight onto the bus, thinking that we had finished our border crossing. Only to realise, we’d needed to go arrivals office to get our visas stamped (The reason everyone else was on the bus was because the rep did this for them). We ran off the bus and laughed all the way to the arrivals office that we’d nearly crossed the border illegally, we went into the arrivals office with our E-Visas. We waited in a very slow queue (just our luck to pick the slowest of all 4). If you have haven’t filled out a departure card you can do this here. Top tip – bring your own pen, many people seemed to be standing around waiting for one.
At the desk, they’ll scan your passport, your arrival form and your visa. If you forgot to print two copies of your E-Visa (like we did), don’t panic, you only need one here anyway. But do print two, as you’ll need another one for when you leave. They scan your fingerprints (All 10), take a photo of you and you’re done!
The whole process took just over an hour. However, the queue was huge after we’d walked out, so be prepared for up to 2 hours! Although, a lot of these people were queuing to fill out their departure form. Therefore, if you have already filled this out, go straight in and head for the desks.
There is literally nothing to worry about but any questions, please feel free to drop us an email or leave a comment below!
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