Before crossing the border, you have to worry about the visa. We decided to do it at the Cambodian Embassy in Vientiane. The idea was to save $10 and be safe when crossing the border. We explain everything to you.
VISA FROM CAMBODIA TO VIENTIANE
To get to the embassy from the city centre you can take the bus n˚14 which will cost you 6000 kips per person or walk there like us, about 8 km round trip. The good thing is that if you apply for your visa in the morning, you can pick it up the same day (ideal for visiting Buddha park ;-)), so you don’t waste too much time.
To apply for a visa you must:
2 forms to fill in that you will find on site
2 passport photos
30 dollars (while you will be asked for 35$ at the border)
The Embassy is open Monday to Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. To submit the application, you must go there in the morning from 8am to 11am and you can pick up your passport the same day from 4pm. That’s all it takes!
LAOS – CAMBODIA BORDER CROSSING
Before leaving for Cambodia, we were at the 4000 islands in Don Khone.
Getting to the border
From Don Khone, we took a long boat for 20,000 kips per person to reach the city of Nakassang. From there, it was out of the question to take a bus that costs about $12 per person to travel the 20 km to the Cambodian border. We asked a guy on his tuktuk if he could go to the border. The guy told us to go further, because he didn’t want to talk to us in the middle. We understood because it is actually forbidden for the tuktuk to take tourists to the border. So we joined him a little further away and with an Argentine couple we negotiated that he would take us 1 km from the border. We paid 45,000 kips per person (which is nothing compared to the bus!).
The border crossing on the Laos side looks more like a huge toll than anything else. The desks are on the sides and it seems like we could pass through as we please. The gentleman who plays on his phone, asks us each $2 to make the exit stamp. Since we don’t really have time, since a bus is waiting for us on the other side of the border, we pay him by telling him that we know that normally it’s free (yes I know it’s useless if we pay anyway but good…). To that he simply replied “It’s been like that for a long time, everyone pays”.
The no man’s land is not very long and a few tens of meters further on we are in front of the Cambodian barrier. Another gentleman tries to call us under his tent to take our temperature but since we know it’s only pipo and it’s not an obligation, we politely refuse and he leaves us alone (in fact we should have tried because Anne was sick, I don’t know what they could have taken us out!)
The Cambodian border post… it’s just a wooden cabin. You can’t even see the guys in the back, they’re well hidden! We wisely filled out our small entry forms, the gentleman stamped our visas and before returning them to us asked us again for $2 per person. Martin just says it’s usually free, from there the guy says okay and literally throws the passports in our faces. Welcome to Cambodia!
JOIN SIEM REAP
We had booked our transport to Siem Reap with AVT by internet. We were told a lot of good things about it and it was the cheapest solution we found so we wanted to test it too. We paid $20 per person for a day’s transportation in a minivan. The promise of a mini van with wifi was not fulfilled and that of a mini van with half air conditioning but the journey could have been much worse by bus. We arrived in the heart of Siem Reap around 6:30 pm and from there a free tuktuk dropped us off in front of our guest-house, the foot!