Cambodia to Vietnam Border Crossing

First of all, apologies for lack of video here. The Vietnam border control is very strict on cameras at checkpoints annoyingly, but understandably I guess. So instead I’m going to talk you through the process.

What you’ll need

Unlike Thailand, Cambodia or Laos, for Vietnam you need to get your visa in advance either in the UK or while you’re out here in Thailand or Cambodia for example.

Where to get a visa?

You can get a visa from most main/capital cities at the Vietnam consulate (we got ours from the one in Sihaoukville in Cambodia).  These have recently gone up in price so a lot of the 2012 edition guide books will be out of date, the current price for a visa is $60. Some consulates have an overnight waiting time, sometimes perhaps a few days. You can pay a little extra for an express service but getting it away from the capital in a place like Sihanokville means you may wait as little as 3,4 hours before you can go pick it up. 

How to get into Vietnam

As most places in South East Asia the two most common methods are flying or by bus. Flying has a more straightforward, time saving customs process, but the bus is A LOT cheaper. We took the bus from Phnom Penh in Cambodia to Hoh Chi Minh City and it only cost us $10 each.

The walkthrough

Upon approaching the border by bus you’ll have a series of checkpoints to get through. It’s likely that your passport will be held by the bus crew which is completely normal and actually saves a bit of time later. So as long as you’re travelling with a reputable company you shouldn’t have anything to worry about on that front.

So there are 3 checkpoints, the first being Cambodian immigration. Here you’ll get your passport and visa checked, a photo taken and your thumb and finger prints scanned.

Second checkpoint is Vietnam immigration. If the bus crew have your passport they’ll hand a whole wad of passports from the bus over to the officer who’ll just merrily go ahead and stamp them without ever being face to face with the passport holder, kind of defeats the point but I wasn’t complaining. When yours is done, the bus crew will call you out and give you your passport. You’ll need all of your luggage with you for this part as it has to get scanned before you can get back on the bus.

Thirdly and finally, a passport officer will come aboard the bus before you set off from the border and check your passport and visa face to face.

Once he’s gone, that’s it, You’re in!

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