Editor’s note:We continue with our favorite traveler, Hugo, and his adventures in Cambodia. This time, he talks about border processing.
Recently, we’ve been having requests for information regarding Visa or border processing at the gates between Thailand-Cambodia, and Vietnam-Cambodia. This series is split into three, with this post as the first one.
We hope you find this useful and entertaining.
This story and those tips are based on my own experience on crossing border, which is subjective. Thus, this is just a shared experience and habits, feel free to not take them in consideration if they are not relevant for you. ~ Hugo
My Golden Rules for crossing border:
Always check on internet opening hours of the crossing point
Always be aware of the Visa application (which are different depending on your citizenship) – refer to your Embassy
Be careful of the Visa validity: FYI: overstay cost you 10 USD per day in Cambodia & in Vietnam if you have 2 weeks free tourist entry, once you leave the country you have to wait a month before coming back.
Be aware of the time you will cross the border (night or day time)
Be patient and polite, even if something went wrong, you will for sure avoid problems.
If you are planning a trip from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh, BookMeBus has a selection of bus operators for you to choose from.
The bus operators that BookMeBus works with are trusted operators both in Cambodia and its operating countries. They are reputable, and are known to have top of the line services. Although the BookMeBus partner list sometimes displays less than what we offer, it is merely during the heavier seasons when we have smaller resources. We are a startup after all, and coordinating thousands of tickets a day can sometimes take up all our resources.
Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh buses
Khai Nam – Khai Nam is one of the main bus operators for trips to and from Ho Chi Minh. The staff is known for being friendly and can speak excellent English. Their buses are also known for being spacious, and easily recognizable in their standout shade of blue.
Mekong Express – Also known as the Mekong Limousine Bus, is a known Cambodian-owned bus operator. Not only does Mekong Express cover Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh routes, but it also has several bus routes throughout Cambodia. In addition, Mekong Express also covers trips from Phnom Penh to Bangkok as well as Ho Chi Minh to Sihanoukville.
Kumho Samco – Kumho Samco is one of the top bus operators in Vietnam. They boast of having offices in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, and in Ho Chi Minh. Through its partnership with BookMeBus, bus tickets for trips from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh can be purchased online.
Phnom Penh Sorya – With approximately 200 buses operating daily, Phnom Penh Sorya has one of the most extensive routes within Cambodia. While it does cover trips to Ho Chi Minh, majority of its focus is within the country itself. One of the key points that Phnom Penh Sorya has is that it boasts of having the cheapest ticket fare among the bus operators.
Sapaco Tourist – Boasting of having comfortable seating for guests throughout the trip, Sapaco Tourist is one of the pioneers when it comes to travelling to and from Ho Chi Minh. They are known for easy boarding crossing, and is one of the leading providers for trips between Cambodia and Vietnam.
As is often the case, each of the bus operators have their own policies which are out of BookMeBus’ responsibilities. Before booking, take time to learn more about the bus operator and decide if it is to your liking.
Visit the BookMeBus page! From there, you can search Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh trips easily. The results often list all schedules for the day.
On rainy days such as these, sometimes visiting Sihanoukville or Kep might not be in your plans. So how about a trip to Ho Chi Minh? There are many things to do in Ho Chi Minh that may be suitable if you plan to travel. If you read our previous post on a road trip to Ho Chi Minh, it shouldn’t be a challenge now for you to explore this city.
Here are some things you might want to do during your visit to Ho Chi Minh.
Things to do in Ho Chi Minh
Visit the War Remnants Museum – The War Remnants Museum is easily one of the top visited sites in Ho Chi Minh. The museum features exhibits that are related to the Vietnam War, as well as some exhibits that relate to the first Indochina War. A quick look at the outside area, guests can easily see tanks and airplanes on display.
Visit the Cu Chi Tunnels – These tunnels are well known as a key attraction in Vietnam. The Cu Chi tunnels were once used by the Viet Cong soldiers as their hiding spots during the times of combat. It also served as supply and communication routes for North Vietnamese fighters. Definitely something to note down when listing things to do in Ho Chi Minh.
Check out the Jade Emperor Pagoda – Also known as the Jade Emperor Temple, the pagoda is located in Ho Chi Minh and was built by the Chinese community sometime in 1909. It is known for being one of the spectacular and atmospheric temples that Ho Chi Minh boasts of.
Haggle with sellers at Ben Thanh Market – One of the better known markets in Ho Chi Minh, Ben Thanh Market offers an array of goods to sell. It is one of the historic structures that have survived in Saigon. Plus, it is one of the best areas to find souvenirs, local handicrafts, textiles, and even some local cuisine.
Go around Dong Khoi – If you fancy some less local shops, you can easily find high end brands along Dong Khoi. Dong Khoi is also known for having many French colonial buildings, and was once the centre of glamour at the time when the French was in Vietnam.
These attractions are mostly located within or nearby District 1. It is relatively easy to access these attractions on foot, or on taxi. And if travelers arrive on bus, the buses stop at Pham Ngu Lao, which is where several major hotels are located. You can easily check bus schedules for bus routes leaving from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh, or Siem Reap to Ho Chi Minh.
You can also check out the BookMeBus website if you plan to venture out and find trips from Ho Chi Minh to Phnom Penh or anywhere else.
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: