Road Trip to Ho Chi Minh

If you are in Phnom Penh and would like to take a quick trip out of Cambodia, one of the nearest countries to check out is Vietnam. A road trip to Ho Chi Minh is always doable, for starters, since it is less than a day away.

There is much to be learned about Ho Chi Minh, and that can be covered in following posts. But for the curious traveler, the average trip would be something like this:

road trip to ho chi minh

What happens on a road trip to Ho Chi Minh?

  1. First, you buy tickets from the bus of your choice at BookMeBus. – There are several bus operators with trips to Ho Chi Minh, such as Khai Nam, Mekong Express, Kumho Samco, Phnom Penh Sorya, Sapaco, and Airavan Express.
  2. You prepare your ticket ahead of time. – Please check out the Notice area of the bus you chose since some bus companies require printed tickets, while others accept eTickets.
  3. Arrive at the bus terminal at least 15-30 minutes. – It is always important to be prompt. Some bus companies will wait for you, although most leave on time.
  4. Settle down and enjoy the trip. – You can enjoy complimentary WiFi, cold bottled water, and refreshing napkin during your trip. However, services vary based on the bus company of your choice.
  5. Bus stops at Bavet. – On Cambodia’s side, the bus often does a quick stop at restaurants in Bavet, before moving forward to the international border gate.
  6. Crossing the borders. – Passengers then cross Bavet and into Moc Bai, the international border gate on Vietnam’s side.
  7. Immigration processing and moving forward. – If you have your papers ready, you can easily cross the borders without any problems, and then you can get back on the bus.
  8. Arrival at Pham Ngu Lao. – After a few more hours on the bus, you finally reach the heart of Ho Chi Minh, which is at Pham Ngu Lao, where pretty much all buses stop.

Now you are ready to prepare yourself for a trip to Ho Chi Minh. The process is really not that difficulty, in fact, after a couple of times crossing borders, you will be a pro at it.

So take a chance, go on a road trip to Ho Chi Minh, and see what the other side has to offer.

Have happy and safe travels!

Sending Passengers off from Bangkok to Siem Reap

A month ago our BookMeBus team had a great honor to be invited by Mr. Kosal, a director of Nattakan Transportation Co., Ltd. for a visit at Mo Chit Station, Bangkok. As of now, BookMeBus stands as the top ticket agent of Nattakan Transportation with its average sale of 26 tickets daily for both routes of Nattakan, Siem Reap to Bangkok and Bangkok to Siem Reap.

BookMeBus team and Mo Chit Station's Manager
A photo of BookMeBus’ team with managers of Mo Chit Station

No more printing your E-Ticket

We also had a meeting together with Nattakan to find ways of making our passengers more convenient with their travel.  One of the results came out that BookMeBus’ passengers, who book their tickets online, are no longer need to print the ticket out. They just need to show their E-Tickets from their smart phone to the inspector in exchange for the hard-copy ticket of Mo Chit Station. This is already a great help since travelers find it hard to look for printer at their hotels or hostel.

 

BookMeBus E-Ticket Acceptance
Passenger is showing her BookMeBus’ E-Ticket to the inspector for boarding the bus

Greeting our Passengers

Meanwhile, we took that opportunity to surprise our 15 passengers, who booked their tickets online to Siem Reap on our website, by taking a photo together before they departure.

BookMeBus' founder with his customers sending them off to Siem Reap
BookMeBus’ founder, Langda Chea, with his customers taking a photo before travelling to Siem Reap

4 Easy Steps to Catch Nattakan Bus at Mo Chit Station Video

Apart from this, our team had shot a short but meaningful video to give some ideas to passengers that travel with Nattakan of what they are supposed to do until they can sit down and relax on their bus after arriving at Mo Chi Station. Please enjoy the video below!

5 Tips for Surviving Cambodia Summer

Cambodia summer is often described as something only the toughest survive. True enough, with weather temperatures reaching 40 degrees Celsius or even higher, sometimes the thought of going out makes anyone faint.

In fact, some expats have experienced sweating immediately after leaving the shower. Some even went as far as profess that they would rather stay in the shower for the whole day. But we all know there is a lot of Cambodia to conquer!

Surviving Summer in Cambodia

The truth is, there IS a way to conquer Cambodia summer, and here are a few tips:

  1. Drink up and hydrate yourself. – This is a cardinal rule for summer survival. Never mind the need the probable need to go to the toilet often. Your body needs to cool down, especially after hours of walking through temples or even the hot streets. It is always a good idea to bring a bottle of water wherever you go.
  2. Hats please! – Even if you plan to just take a short walk to the mart, it is a good idea to wear hats or caps to protect your head from the heat of the sun. Umbrellas work wonders, too. But you really do not see a lot of Cambodians walking around with a parasol.
  3. Wear loose clothing. – While you normally see Cambodians wearing layers upon layers of clothes, more often than not, it can be suffocating to have all those layers on. There are many loose fitting tops and bottoms for sale at markets that are breathable but still give ample protection.
  4. Bring a fan along. – We do not mean an electric fan – although the battery operated ones might be handy! We suggest bringing a hand-held fan that you can use to cool yourself wherever you may be visiting. Some markets offer wooden sticks that expand into fans, and these come in fun colors. Perfect for summer in Cambodia.
  5. Pop into cool cafes for some air conditioning. – Cambodia is actually a step ahead of summer since pretty much all establishments come with air conditioning. So if you lose your fan along the way, you can always go into a café and cool off for a while. In fact, it is recommended to cool off every so often, so that you do not faint from the heat.

If all else fails, you could always go for a swim at a nearby pool, or buy a bus ticket, hop on the next bus and head over to Sihanoukville. Relax under umbrellas and watch kids frolic on the sea, feel the cool breeze, and definitely have a cool Cambodia summer.

Bookmebus at BarCamp was a Success

The presence of Bookmebus at the biggest event of the year called BarCamp Phnom Penh 2015 received plenty of interests from business partners as well as youths. More than 500 stickers of our Bookmebus‘ logo had been taken out-of-stockly in less than 10 minutes.  Many participants stopped by our booth to ask for detail about this brand new startup, and we were so busy introducing the emerging online bus ticket booking service and answering questions to the hundred Barcamp’s exciting visitors that we had to eat our breakfast at 11:30 AM.

Booking Process Showcase
Booking Process Showcase
One of our members is showing the process of booking bus ticket through Bookmebus.com to the participants

Program Contribution

Sounds unconvincing? BookMeBus’ founder, Langda Chea, was selected to be a presenter at the event under the title “How programming creates Business” which earned him 84 participants who were filling all the available seats, not to mention several other standing audience at the room door, and kept him answering questions and giving advice, exceeding the 1 hour session. All of them are from different backgrounds, yet they share the same goal that is to start their own business. Langda was happy to share his adventure at bookmebus.com–how it was started from the ground up with his own background as programmer. “I hope my speech could help inspiring them to keep their head up and start with their passion. I am sure they gonna gain not lose.” Langda said.

Startup Experience Sharing to BarCamp's Participants
Startup Experience Sharing to BarCamp’s Participants
Langda, founder of Bookmebus.com, is sharing his startup life to youths

Such a great achievement can only be made when there is a team spirit that ones never stop losing their belief on each other.

Great People of BookMeBus
Great People of BookMeBus
Photo of Bookmebus Team and hosts

Bus from Siem Reap to Si Phan Don (4000 islands)

What is 4000 islands?

Si Phan Don located at Southern Laos, also known as 4000 islands, has become the next destination of travelers who visit Angkor Wat template, Siem Reap, Cambodia. As the name suggests, there are many islands there but only 3 main tourist islands to visit namely Don Khong (the largest one among 4000 islands) followed by Don Det and Don Khon.

4000 islands
4000 islands

 

Don Khon, Laos
Don Khon, Laos
4000 islands
4000 islands
Buddha Park
Buddha Park
Mekong River View
Mekong River View

 

Is there transportation to reach Don Khong?

If you are in Siem Reap, I would say congrats 🙂 Thanks for the existence of Asia Van Transfer Transportation (AVT) who ran by a very professional and helpful Spanish man whose name is Rami. AVT connect Siem Reap (Cambodia) and Don Det (4000 islands, Laos) in a shorter time, safer, comfortable and easy way in just 7 hours by using minibus or minivan of 12 passengers. Using this new route you can also go to Preah Vihear, Stung Treng, Banloung, Kratie, Pakse.

 

Asia Van Transfer Logo
Asia Van Transfer Logo

 

What is the best way to book a seat with Asia Van Transfer?

There is no more pain in the ass, say goodbye to ticket counter, since you can book your bus ticket online now through Bookmebus.com, a bus ticketing portal ran by Cambodia young entrepreneurs. Bookmebus.com is an authorized partner of Asia Van Transfer in providing a quick way to buy AVT’s ticket with guaranteed fare and no hidden charge. How many departures per day to Southern Laos?

AVT Departure Schedule & Fare

# Destination Departure Arrival Fare
1 Siem Reap – Don Det ( 4000 islands – Laos) 08:15 am 04:15 pm $30
2 Siem Reap – Pakse ( Laos) 08:15 am 05:30 pm $35
3 Siem Reap – Border Cambodia-Laos 11:45 am 07:00 pm $25
4 Siem Reap – Stung Treng 08:15 am 01:00 pm $20
5 Siem Reap – Preah Vihear city 08:15 am 11:15 am $12
6 Preah Vihear city – Siem Reap 04:15 pm 07:00 pm $12
7 Siem Reap – Banloung (Ratanak Kiri) 08:15 am 04:30 pm $27
8 Siem Reap – Kratie 08:15 am 04:00 pm $26
*Free pick up service and deliver included from hotels and guesthouses in Siem ReapSpecial thank to Rami, director of Asia Van Transfer, for guiding me how Cambodia-Laos border and 4000 islands look like.

Article by Langda Chea