If you caught our previous blog post, you will have seen that our short time in Vietnam was coming to an end in Ha Tien. The next challenge we faced was crossing the border from Vietnam to Cambodia using the Prek Chak border crossing.
How we crossed the border from Vietnam to Cambodia
As we mentioned in our previous post, the friendly staff at bar/cafe Oasis put us in touch with someone to book a minibus from Ha Tien to Kep. We were told we’d be picked up from our hotel in the morning and driven to the bus station in the center of Kep, arriving just before lunchtime.
It really was a simple as that. We were picked up at 8am by the lovely French-Vietnamese lady we mentioned in our previous post. We all had a soft spot for this woman, she was lovely, funny, eccentric and a little bit crazy! Every time she spoke, her sentences were always followed by a charming cackle that sent us into fits of laughter. She dropped us off at her cafe where we sat and waited for other tourists joining us on the minibus. Once everyone arrived we were good to go! There was just one problem and we all noticed it… There was 15 of us and only 10 seats on the minibus. After some persuading she convinced us all to cram into the minibus, assuring us it was a very short journey and she had good aircon.
Now, when I tell you this woman was crazy, I am not exaggerating. She is constantly on the phone yelling at the poor person on the receiving end in Vietnamese, phone literally attached to her ear and a constant stream of cigarettes in her other hand.
Once we’d all piled into the minibus, we were off, phone still attached to her ear, driving at least 60-70mph down the dirt road. She then proceeded to whip out a cigarette with her free hand, driving hands-free and controlling the steering wheel with her elbows! All we could do was laugh and hope she does this often!
With a sigh of relief we see the border control up ahead and soon enough she is kicking us out of the minibus, requesting we leave our possessions with her whilst she sorts out our Cambodian Visas.
In order to obtain a Cambodian visa, we each had to give her our passports, a visa photo (or $2 ), $30 for the visa and a vaccination booklet confirming you have the relevant vaccinations (or another $2). Check out this useful website to find out more about Cambodian Visas and border entrances to Cambodia.
Once she’d kicked us out of her minibus she sped off across the border leaving us to cross the border and wait. After around 15 minutes (we heard her before we saw her!) she returned, yelling at us to follow her whilst she led us to another minibus waiting for us in ‘no man’s land’. No man’s land is an area between the Vietnamese and Cambodian borders that is not owned by anyone. Because of this there a little to no laws, resulting in plenty of casinos and very cheap cigarettes and alcohol.
We all piled into the next minibus, where a lovely man helped us move our bags from one bus to the other. Soon enough we were back on the road and on our way to Kep.
This was our first border crossing and it really helped to have someone do it for us, we paid $12 each for the transport from Ha Tien to Kep, this included both minibusses and having someone sort out the visas for us which was a real bargain considering.
- We paid $12 to cross the border from Ha Tien, Vietnam to Kep, Cambodia. Includng transport.
- Transport took 20 minutes from Ha Tien to the Vietnam – Cambodia border crossing.
- A Cambodian visa costs $30.
- You must provide a visa photo (or pay $2) and also your vaccination booklet (or pay another $2).
- The journey from the border to Kep took 40 minutes.
Have you crossed the border from Ha Tien to Cambodia? How was your experience? Let us know in the comments below!