Not only do travelers benefit from the easy border crossing between Vietnam and Cambodia, if there is a group of people who find this border the most useful, but it’s also the expats of Vietnam.
Whether you need to do your visa run because you are waiting for your new visa or simply want to explore Cambodia on your holiday, this article will guide you on how to cross the border easily and smoothly.
HOW MANY BORDER POINTS ARE THERE BETWEEN VIETNAM AND CAMBODIA?
- Moc Bai – Bavet
- Bin Hiep
- Dinh Ba
The only city in Cambodia that you can reach from Ho Chi Minh City in Phnom Penh, all buses stop here before you can reach Sihanoukville, Siem Reap, and Kampot.
WHAT ARE THE WAYS TO CROSS THE BORDER BETWEEN VIETNAM AND CAMBODIA?
HOW TO CROSS HO CHI MINH CITY TO PHNOM PENH BY BUS
This part will walk you step-by-step on how you can cross the border from Ho Chi Minh City to Phnom Penh, how to prepare, what are the requirements, the cost, and tips.
How long is the bus ride from Ho Chi Minh City to Phnom Penh
Normally, the bus ride should take about 6 hours; however, this depends on the bus companies and the border itself. Some take about 7 hours or more since the border closes at 10 in the evening.
What are the requirements for crossing from Ho Chi Minh City to Phnom Penh
The requirements are pretty straightforward:
- Passport valid for at least six months
- Visa to Cambodia – check here if you need a visa to Cambodia
- If you need a visa, you can apply here or pay $35 at the border – their land borders are known for scams, so we highly suggest applying for your visa/e-visa beforehand.
You can get your visa in just a few hours – APPLY FOR A VISA NOW & GET IT FAST
Which is the best bus to take from Ho Chi Minh City to Phnom Penh
While there are several bus options available, a six-hour journey can feel lengthy. Therefore, it’s crucial to select a comfortable and reputable bus company for your travel. Here are our suggestions:
- Giant Ibis – all good reviews both from tourists and expats, they offer really comfortable berth beds, toilet, and free bottled water is included.
- Mekong Express – cheaper than Giant Ibis, regular seating bus, toilet, and a free snack and bottle of water.
- Kumho Samco – cheaper than Mekong Express, mostly preferred by the locals.
- The Sinh Tourist – used to be popular with tourists, but there are reports of a fake Sinh Tourist company that receives bad reviews – The price is almost the same as the Giant Ibis.
How to cross the border
- Check if you need a visa to enter Cambodia.
- If you need a visa, we suggest you get it from this website to avoid any scams at the border. We have been using their service and have never had any issues. Print your visa/e-visa and take it with you.
- Book a bus for your preferred date, time, and bus company in advance. Most of the time, it is not required to book in advance, however, if you travel with time sensitivity, we recommend you to do this, especially if you are not aware of the public holidays of both countries.
- Confirm with the bus company where you should go to be picked up, some companies can pick you up from your accommodation.
- Once you get to the exit border of Vietnam, get off the bus to have your passport stamped. Remember to bring all of your luggage, especially your valuables.
- Walk to the entry border of Cambodia, present your visa or visa letter, and have your passport stamped. Make sure you have all your luggage with you. The border can be a little chaotic, so try to stick together with the people from the same bus as you to make sure you don’t get lost.
- Get back on the bus and enjoy the rest of the trip.
- At the bus terminal, you can easily walk to the main tourist area, or you can take a tuk-tuk to your accommodation. You can download an offline map called Maps.Me prior to your departure to make sure you can find your accommodation in case you don’t have internet access.
How to get to Siem Reap, Sihanoukville, Koh Rong, or Kampot from Phnom Penh
As I mentioned above, all buses have to stop at Phnom Penh before they head to other cities. You can simply book a bus from Phnom Penh to your next destination.
Travel times from Phnom Penh to the other major tourist cities:
- Siem Reap: 4-5 hours
- Sihanoukville: 4 hours
- Kampot: 4 hours
- Battambang: 5-6 hours (you need to stop at Siem Reap for a connection bus)
- Koh Rong: 5 hours (you need to stop at Sihanoukville and take a boat from there)
HOW TO CROSS HO CHI MINH CITY TO PHNOM PENH ON A MOTORBIKE?
If you are traveling by motorbike and you wish to cross the border by driving yourself, it is easy and possible. Make sure you have all the requirements and have done your research on this trip.
- Your passport valid for the next six months
- Your visa to enter Cambodia – get it in advance to avoid the scams at the border
- Documents that prove you own the motorbike you are driving, blue card, receipt of the purchase
- Your valid international driver’s license
The most common border and the one we highly recommend crossing from is Moc Bai (Vietnam side) and Bavet (Cambodia side). Remember that the Moc Bai border is open between 7.00 am-10.00 pm while Bavet is open from 8.00 am-8.00 pm.
If you, unfortunately, didn’t make it to the border during its opening hours, then there are hotels and guest houses nearby where you can stay for the night.
We hope that you found this article about crossing the border between Ho Chi Minh City to Phnom Penh useful. If you have some input from your own experience or have any questions, then please let us know in the comment section below.
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Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / AsiaTravel.