Cambodia is a neighboring country of Vietnam and they share borders. We decided to visit the Angkor Temples of Siem Reap, Cambodia and land travel is the cheapest way to cross the border. While I prepared the itinerary, I found it crazy and I am worried about land border crossing because I read reviews about transit scams. But guess what, when I’ve crossed the border, it was hassle-free – like a VIP. Unlike my experience in Cambodia to the Thailand border, that was hell and crap. (I will write a separate blog about it). We actually took two buses. First from Ho Chi Minh to Phnom Penh and the second was from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap but without us to carry our luggage. The bus company did transfer our luggage from one bus to another. And the bus assistant collected our passports and we just went inside the border and waited for our name to be called by the immigration officer. No sweats, only passport stamps. Easy and we’re lucky enough to cross the border without worry. You should choose a reliable bus company so as to avoid scams.
Without much fuss, here I go. I will be sharing with you a detailed direct process on how to cross the Vietnam to Cambodia border successfully.
Moc Bai – Bavet Border is one of the three international border gates of Cambodia. The border we crossed was Moc Bai (Vietnam) to Bavet (Cambodia) Crossing. Since we decided not to stop by in Phnom Penh we booked a bus ticket with one transfer as I have mentioned above. We travelled 13 hours and 25 minutes roughly.
Moc Bai (Vietnam) International Border
An international border gate between Vietnam and Cambodia located in Tây Ninh Province, Vietnam
Opens: 07:00 AM to 10:00 PM daily
Bavet International Border
(Khmer: ក្រុងបាវិត) is the largest city in Svay Rieng Province. The Bavet checkpoint is the main international border crossing for people traveling between Phnom Penh and Ho Chi Minh City
Opens: 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM daily
In order to avoid being scammed, the key is to book bus tickets to reliable bus companies. I will be listing some of the bus companies that I will recommend for you to book. You can just choose based on your preference and budget.
Here are some reliable bus companies.
Mekong Express Limousine Bus
Terminal Address: 275F Pham Ngu Lao, Phuong Pham Ngu Lao, Quan 1 Ho Chi Minh, City Vietnam
Fare: Ranges from $ 22 to $ 24
Bus Schedule: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam to Siem Reap Cambodia
7:00 AM 8:25 PM
The Sinh Tourist
Terminal Address: 246 De Tham, Pham Ngu Lao, Quan 1 Ho Chi Minh, City Vietnam
Fare: Ranges from $ 20 to $ 26
Bus Schedule: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam to Siem Reap Cambodia (Please click the image above to see their complete bus schedules)
Giant Ibis Transport
Terminal Address: 237 Pham Ngu Lao St. District 1 Ho Chi Minh, City Vietnam
Fare: Starts at $ 18 + $1 Credit card processing fee (only for one schedule, etc. Ho Chi Minh to Phnom Penh)
Bus Schedule: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam to Phnom Penh, Cambodia to Siem Reap Cambodia (No Direct Schedules)
8:00 AM 2:30 PM
9:45 AM 4:15 PM
Please take note that schedules may change without prior notice. You can check their websites to see the complete list of bus schedules.
You can buy your bus tickets at the terminal or bus companies’ offices. But as to our case, we booked our ticket online, 10 days before our flight through their websites. And paid it with a credit card or you can use your PayPal account. I highly recommend booking it online to secure your preferred seat. It is easy and fast. Just print your e-ticket and present it to the bus travel assistant.
As much as we wanted to book at Giant Ibis, they don’t have direct schedules from Ho Chi Minh to Siem Reap. So we booked our ticket in the Mekong Express Limousine Bus. We travelled from Ho Chi Minh City at 7:00 in the morning and arrived at Siem Reap, Cambodia at 8:25 in the evening. That was roughly 13 hours and 25 minutes land travel.
Depart at: Mekong Express Limousine Bus – Ho Chi Minh Branch 1
275F Pham Ngu Lao, Phuong Pham Ngu Lao, Quan 1 Ho Chi Minh, City Vietnam
Arrived at: Mekong Express Limousine Bus – Siem Reap Branch 2
63 Road, Wat Svay Village, Svay Dangkum Commune, Siem Reap NR63, Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
It costs us VND 473,000 or $ 22 or 1,100 Php each, one way.
MOC BAI TO BAVET BORDER CROSSING
The process below was based on our personal experience. You can also refer to it here.
- Transfer from Hotel to the Bus Terminal.
- Check your e-ticket, and board the correct bus.
- Vietnam Border. Enter at Moc Bai, Clear Vietnam Immigration and Exit Vietnam Border. Get down from the bus and bring the valuables with you. In our case, before the bus arrived at the Vietnam Border, the bus assistant collected all our passports. We followed her inside the building. She submitted all our passports in the entire bus to the immigration officer, one time. We just waited for the officer to call our name. Returned our passport with Vietnam exit stamp. For the last time, we hand over our passport to the immigration officer and exit the Vietnam Border.
- Fill out the Cambodian Arrival Card. Write your details in the Cambodian Arrival card while waiting for other passengers to clear immigration or do it inside the bus. Your choice.
- Return to your bus. Another KMs travel.
- Cambodia Border. Enter at Bavet, Clear Cambodia Immigration and Exit Cambodia Border. Same process as to the Vietnam Border but make sure your Cambodian Arrival Card inserted in your passport is completely filled out. And have a Cambodia Arrival stamp.
Note: There is a fee. But if you are a Philippine Passport Holder or your country is an ASEAN member, you don’t need to pay a fee. Okay?
- Return to your bus. Another KMs travel.
- Transfer to another bus in Phnom Penh. More KMs and hours of land travel. Hello Siem Reap!
Read: Angkor Temples One Day Pass
Another City, we’ll be visiting one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites the next day. Angkor Temples.
The Girl Behind,