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can i drive my own car into Cambodia ?


crocken

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Chong Chome Crossing is user friendly for private cars, trucks and bikes for driving threw out Cambodia. BTW quick question. Whats the status of driving a Thai registered car/truck FROM Laos into Cambodia ?

Uncertain, at best. This is because there is no agreement implemented between Laos and Cambodia on the cross border movement of vehicles between the two nations, at least not private vehicles. Cambodian buses can travel up as far as Pakse, while I haven't seen any trucks from either side cross the border either, but presumably Cambodian trucks can roam within Champasak and conversely Lao trucks can head down to Stung Treng.

As far as passenger cars are concerned, even Lao cars have sometimes been told not to go further than Stung Treng and there was once an issue about who the driver was, according to a friend up in Vientiane who runs a car rental business up there. It seems to depend on the whims of the officials at the border.

Thai cars should in theory be allowed to cross, but if Lao cars are already restricted (sometimes they get through, other times they are told they can't travel more than about 50km from the border and sometimes they are refused altogether) I can't imagine that Thai cars would have it any easier.

There seems to be some sort of ASEAN issue regarding the movement of vehicles across third country borders. Generally speaking, it's easy enough in most cases to drive a vehicle registered in one country to it's immediate neighbor(s), but going across a third country border seems to be a bit of a no-no. Exceptions are movements into Thailand and Laos due to their relatively straightforward policies on the temporary entrance of foreign registered vehicles for the purpose of tourism. However, due to Vietnam not allowing Thai vehicles to enter except on a tour, Thailand reciprocates and does not allow Vietnamese vehicles in either.

For example, while Laos will allow Cambodian vehicles to cross into it's territory across their common border at Veung Kham, the Lao border guards refuse Cambodian vehicles exit from Laos for Thailand at Vang Tao for Chong Mek. I asked the Lao side and they said only Thai vehicles can come through that border including motorcycles, with Lao vehicles allowed into Thailand (I've brought a Lao vehicle across there 4 times now); Vietnamese and Cambodian vehicles are refused exit. Last time I was there I saw a Cambo vehicle parked just outside immigration at Vang Tao and was about to tell them that they can't cross into Thailand, but it seems they already got the message because they parked their car and were going on foot. Even so, the Thai border guards claimed they had seen Vietnamese vehicles before going on a tour (which would be allowed) and apparently even a private Vietnamese vehicle once, but that I doubt since Thailand and Vietnam do not have an agreement on cross-border traffic. Also, every other border including Mukdaharn and Nakorn Phanom vehemently refuse Vietnamese vehicles from entering Thailand and this has been corroborated when I asked them.

So after giving you a bit of background, I think in the absence of any AEC or bilateral Laos-Cambodia agreement on this issue, it will remain likely that Cambodia will be all over the place regarding the entry of foreign registered vehicles and that as far as the Laos-Cambodia border is concerned, you'll be able to EXIT Cambodia for Laos with a Lao or Thai registered vehicle (and reportedly, vehicles registered in other countries too) but entering Cambodia there is a bit of a hit and miss. One day it may be OK, the next it won't be, the day after that, yes but only near the border.

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Hello,

Where do you stay and eat when going to Koh Kong or Sianoukville ?

Anywhere front beach ?

Thanks.

Koh Kong - Stay at the Koh Kong Bay Hotel, best place in town. I may have mentioned it wasn't that good when I first stayed in 2014, but upon staying there again twice this year I can say it has definitely lifted it's game. I also took a look at the competition such as the two nearby hotels including the ASEAN (spelled ASIAN on another signpost but it's the same place) and the Koh Kong hotel next to the Bay - both are not much good. Nothing beach front except on Koh Kong island, but it's basic.

Café Laurent is a great place to eat (best place in town) while Fat Sam's has less ambience but is also quite good value for money.

Too many places to recommend in Sihanoukville - anything from a shack to luxury is available.

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Hello,

Thank you for Bay hotel.

Can you tell me if walking at Kohkong is not as bad as walking at Sihanoukville ? Tuktuk and touts follow you everywhere ? And do you think that cops will often stop me with a Thai number plate ? How much should I give ? And what if I don't stop ?

Thanks.

Hello,

Where do you stay and eat when going to Koh Kong or Sianoukville ?

Anywhere front beach ?

Thanks.

Koh Kong - Stay at the Koh Kong Bay Hotel, best place in town. I may have mentioned it wasn't that good when I first stayed in 2014, but upon staying there again twice this year I can say it has definitely lifted it's game. I also took a look at the competition such as the two nearby hotels including the ASEAN (spelled ASIAN on another signpost but it's the same place) and the Koh Kong hotel next to the Bay - both are not much good. Nothing beach front except on Koh Kong island, but it's basic.

Café Laurent is a great place to eat (best place in town) while Fat Sam's has less ambience but is also quite good value for money.

Too many places to recommend in Sihanoukville - anything from a shack to luxury is available.

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Hello,

Thank you for Bay hotel.

Can you tell me if walking at Kohkong is not as bad as walking at Sihanoukville ? Tuktuk and touts follow you everywhere ? And do you think that cops will often stop me with a Thai number plate ? How much should I give ? And what if I don't stop ?

Thanks.

Hello,

Where do you stay and eat when going to Koh Kong or Sianoukville ?

Anywhere front beach ?

Thanks.

Koh Kong - Stay at the Koh Kong Bay Hotel, best place in town. I may have mentioned it wasn't that good when I first stayed in 2014, but upon staying there again twice this year I can say it has definitely lifted it's game. I also took a look at the competition such as the two nearby hotels including the ASEAN (spelled ASIAN on another signpost but it's the same place) and the Koh Kong hotel next to the Bay - both are not much good. Nothing beach front except on Koh Kong island, but it's basic.

Café Laurent is a great place to eat (best place in town) while Fat Sam's has less ambience but is also quite good value for money.

Too many places to recommend in Sihanoukville - anything from a shack to luxury is available.

Have you driven your car to Sihanoukville before?

In Koh Kong, nothing to worry about. There are no police and in any case, dozens of Thai cars will be in town at any one time, it is a border town after all and it turns out plenty of Thais from Trat go there on business and/or to visit friends and relatives. It's only 100km from Trat anyway. Nobody will stop you for sure. Reportedly they might in Sihanoukville, in which case give them 2000-4000 R if driving a motorcycle or US$1-5 if driving a car. Depends on your bargaining skills, but $2-3 would be the most I'd be prepared to give, especially if you haven't committed an actual driving infringement.

As for tuk tuks and touts, not so many to worry about, unlike in Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville. Occasionally some might pester you, but only if you are walking along the riverfront. Elsewhere, they don't even make an attempt to stop you. There is a growing tourist/expat community in Koh Kong but even so, away from the river the place functions like any ordinary Cambodian town with little evidence that Koh Kong is actually somewhat of a tourist town.

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Thank you, and no, I never crossed this border and never drove my car to another country, just been to Cambodia by plane before.

So Kohkong will be very peaceful, good ! I am not even sure to go to Sihanouk except if I decide to go to KohRong island (not Kohkong island) (but in this case where to let the car on mainland ?).

Hello,

Thank you for Bay hotel.

Can you tell me if walking at Kohkong is not as bad as walking at Sihanoukville ? Tuktuk and touts follow you everywhere ? And do you think that cops will often stop me with a Thai number plate ? How much should I give ? And what if I don't stop ?

Thanks.

Hello,

Where do you stay and eat when going to Koh Kong or Sianoukville ?

Anywhere front beach ?

Thanks.

Koh Kong - Stay at the Koh Kong Bay Hotel, best place in town. I may have mentioned it wasn't that good when I first stayed in 2014, but upon staying there again twice this year I can say it has definitely lifted it's game. I also took a look at the competition such as the two nearby hotels including the ASEAN (spelled ASIAN on another signpost but it's the same place) and the Koh Kong hotel next to the Bay - both are not much good. Nothing beach front except on Koh Kong island, but it's basic.

Café Laurent is a great place to eat (best place in town) while Fat Sam's has less ambience but is also quite good value for money.

Too many places to recommend in Sihanoukville - anything from a shack to luxury is available.

Have you driven your car to Sihanoukville before?

In Koh Kong, nothing to worry about. There are no police and in any case, dozens of Thai cars will be in town at any one time, it is a border town after all and it turns out plenty of Thais from Trat go there on business and/or to visit friends and relatives. It's only 100km from Trat anyway. Nobody will stop you for sure. Reportedly they might in Sihanoukville, in which case give them 2000-4000 R if driving a motorcycle or US$1-5 if driving a car. Depends on your bargaining skills, but $2-3 would be the most I'd be prepared to give, especially if you haven't committed an actual driving infringement.

As for tuk tuks and touts, not so many to worry about, unlike in Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville. Occasionally some might pester you, but only if you are walking along the riverfront. Elsewhere, they don't even make an attempt to stop you. There is a growing tourist/expat community in Koh Kong but even so, away from the river the place functions like any ordinary Cambodian town with little evidence that Koh Kong is actually somewhat of a tourist town.

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Thank you, and no, I never crossed this border and never drove my car to another country, just been to Cambodia by plane before.

So Kohkong will be very peaceful, good ! I am not even sure to go to Sihanouk except if I decide to go to KohRong island (not Kohkong island) (but in this case where to let the car on mainland ?).

Hello,

Thank you for Bay hotel.

Can you tell me if walking at Kohkong is not as bad as walking at Sihanoukville ? Tuktuk and touts follow you everywhere ? And do you think that cops will often stop me with a Thai number plate ? How much should I give ? And what if I don't stop ?

Thanks.

Koh Kong - Stay at the Koh Kong Bay Hotel, best place in town. I may have mentioned it wasn't that good when I first stayed in 2014, but upon staying there again twice this year I can say it has definitely lifted it's game. I also took a look at the competition such as the two nearby hotels including the ASEAN (spelled ASIAN on another signpost but it's the same place) and the Koh Kong hotel next to the Bay - both are not much good. Nothing beach front except on Koh Kong island, but it's basic.

Café Laurent is a great place to eat (best place in town) while Fat Sam's has less ambience but is also quite good value for money.

Too many places to recommend in Sihanoukville - anything from a shack to luxury is available.

Have you driven your car to Sihanoukville before?

In Koh Kong, nothing to worry about. There are no police and in any case, dozens of Thai cars will be in town at any one time, it is a border town after all and it turns out plenty of Thais from Trat go there on business and/or to visit friends and relatives. It's only 100km from Trat anyway. Nobody will stop you for sure. Reportedly they might in Sihanoukville, in which case give them 2000-4000 R if driving a motorcycle or US$1-5 if driving a car. Depends on your bargaining skills, but $2-3 would be the most I'd be prepared to give, especially if you haven't committed an actual driving infringement.

As for tuk tuks and touts, not so many to worry about, unlike in Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville. Occasionally some might pester you, but only if you are walking along the riverfront. Elsewhere, they don't even make an attempt to stop you. There is a growing tourist/expat community in Koh Kong but even so, away from the river the place functions like any ordinary Cambodian town with little evidence that Koh Kong is actually somewhat of a tourist town.

I don't know, probably either at 1) the pier or 2) the travel agency you book through or 3) your hotel, if you're not staying on Koh Rong overnight.

At the border, the Cambodian border guards might tell you that you can't drive your own car to Sihanoukville (only Koh Kong), but all you need to do is agree with them and then there won't be anything stopping you. I will be driving through this border to Sihanoukville and Phnom Penh soon and will return back through the same border.

BTW I didn't mention that there IS beachfront accommodation in Koh Kong city (I'm talking about the mainland, not the island), but it's very isolated and very basic. One or two hotels on Agoda are beachfront but very, very few tourists stay there as there's nothing to do there and about 3-4km from town. If driving, you'll have to pay the bridge toll (5800 Riel) in both directions each time you cross so it's not a very attractive place to stay if you intend on going into town for meals and entertainment. If you're looking to soak up the local life and don't need luxury, then it might even be heaven as there almost certainly won't be any other tourists around.

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Thank you again, you made Kohkong sound very interesting to me ! I like to stay in a quiet place, especially front sea !

When will you cross ? And do you go from BKK ? I should follow you and offer you a meal/beer/girls/weed/tarantula/snake :-)

haha, joking, but actually do you know if they sell there the Tarantula or snake alcohol that I saw in Internet there ? And on the way back will the Thai customs open my trunk to check that I do not plane to drink too much ?

Thanks again for all !

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Thank you again, you made Kohkong sound very interesting to me ! I like to stay in a quiet place, especially front sea !

When will you cross ? And do you go from BKK ? I should follow you and offer you a meal/beer/girls/weed/tarantula/snake :-)

haha, joking, but actually do you know if they sell there the Tarantula or snake alcohol that I saw in Internet there ? And on the way back will the Thai customs open my trunk to check that I do not plane to drink too much ?

Thanks again for all !

Yes I'm starting from Bangkok and will go for the upcoming holidays.

Koh Kong could be for you then - check out Agoda and the Seng Chhay Heng Guesthouse, it's right on the beach and very quiet. However, most tourists will be heading for Koh Kong island, where even more basic accommodation and a nicer beach are available. It takes 2.5 hours to get there by boat and there are two places to stay on the island but fan only, no air-con. The food also looks quite good and is fairly cheap, considering everything has to be shipped over by boat. Kayaking, sunbaking, snorkeling (though there isn't a lot of coral or fish to spot) and possibly even fishing are also options and the sand is absolutely gorgeous white. Even the island won't be overrun though - around 10-12 tourists will arrive daily on one boat, with 2-4 staying overnight.

Snake alcohol - I vaguely recall seeing it at various places in Cambodia but can't remember where exactly. Ask around and you shall find it.

Thai customs - actually the soldiers at the border might do a cursory inspection of your vehicle when returning but they are rarely very thorough. Having said this, you shouldn't attempt to take in any contraband, but a few bottles of beer or wine will go unnoticed. Legally 1L of wine and spirits is allowed in duty free although nobody will care if you bring in say 5L, just don't display it too prominently. Loading up your vehicle with dozens of bottles of wine and beer though wouldn't be a good idea but I think you get the drift. Reasonable quantities are OK - if it looks like you're smuggling then you will have to pay a huge fine or have everything confiscated.

Cambodian customs won't even lift a finger - as I said before all they will care about (on entry) is that you pay the daily entry fee for your car and that's it. They will not do any inspections, whether on entry nor on exit. They simply don't care.

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Thanks again, I won't go to KK island because after reading tripadvisor accommodation is too expensive and too basic for the price there, also not convenient to be too far from everything (I like a quiet place but KK mainland already seems quiet enough).

People also complain that the boat is too basic to go to KK island, could be dangerous in case of storm.

I also need 24 hours internet, electricity and aircon if possible :-)

I wont me smuggling but yes, few bottles of red wine could be forgotten in the trunk (I won't really hide, they just will be there mixed with the mess). Every time you crossed they checked your car and didn't tell anything for few more bottles than legally allowed ?

Have a nice trip, I will send you a message if I cross during the coming vacation, but not sure yet.

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Thanks again, I won't go to KK island because after reading tripadvisor accommodation is too expensive and too basic for the price there, also not convenient to be too far from everything (I like a quiet place but KK mainland already seems quiet enough).

People also complain that the boat is too basic to go to KK island, could be dangerous in case of storm.

I also need 24 hours internet, electricity and aircon if possible :-)

I wont me smuggling but yes, few bottles of red wine could be forgotten in the trunk (I won't really hide, they just will be there mixed with the mess). Every time you crossed they checked your car and didn't tell anything for few more bottles than legally allowed ?

Have a nice trip, I will send you a message if I cross during the coming vacation, but not sure yet.

Well if you need 24 hour internet, electricity and air-con you'll have to stay on the mainland. Going to the island for a daytrip is still possible and very nice though - that's the way I have always done it, because the logistics of carrying a lot of luggage, having to worry about a car parked on the mainland overnight (although it shouldn't be a problem negotiating something with the travel agent you buy your boat ticket from and/or your hotel that you stayed at before departing for the island) is a nuisance.

Now is the right time to travel to the island, I think once the rainy season starts in earnest there may be boat cancellations. It's gets very, very rainy during May to October on both Koh Kong and Koh Rong

I have always brought across the legally allowed amount of alcohol, but as I said, I can't imagine bringing a little bit more would be any issue as Thai customs inspections at land borders are never very thorough and in general they're flexible anyway.

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ahh someone with 13 posts and joined a few days states this with no back up or links LOL

i'll stay with what i know

ONLY Koh Kong and Osmach

Correct.

Actually, even O'Smach is becoming a bit uncertain now, according to this:

http://www.rideasia.net/motorcycle-forum/red-tape-border-crossing-requirements/8050-osmach-thai-cambodian-border-25-03-2016-a.html

However, this has not been verified.

​I also have a suspicion that starting on June 27, when Thailand will start implementing it's new rules on the entry of foreign registered cars, Cambodia may itself become stricter, since there is no agreement covering the entry of private vehicles between the two countries.

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