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Driving a small Thai motorcycle or scooter into Cambodia


Tomtomtom69

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Hi,

Just wondering if anyone knows whether a Thai registered motorcycle or scooter (a small one, 125cc) can be driven into Cambodia for a few days? I know that some borders will allow Thai cars across (such as Koh Kong) but I have never once seen a motorcycle or scooter cross or heard about any crossings by motorcycle, save for a few interpred travellers or a convoy of some sort, which don't seem to be organized very often. I haven't seen much posted over on Rideasia.net or GTrider either. Most riders there talk about heading over to Laos, which seems to be OK at certain crossings, but mainly if your bike is over 250cc. I have read almost nothing about Cambodia.

Phuketrichard, do you know anything? If I'm going to attempt this, I would like to be fairly certain Cambodian customs is going to be OK before I head over there, not waste my time all the while having to park my bike in the back of my pickup on the Thai side like last time at Nong Khai (reason I'm not taking my pickup across is that it's quite new and is still on finance and Thanachart Bank doesn't want to issue a power of attorney to allow my car to be taken outside of Thailand temporarily - so will probably have to wait until the car is paid off).

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no problem,

make sure u have the motorcyle green book in your name to clear customs in Thailand.

going into Cambodia, they might charge you 100-500 baht but.... They let bikes in at Koh Kong, Poi Pet and Osmach

Few things;

your insurance is no good in Cambodia so be carefull, also YOU can not ride with your lights on in the daytime ( but you can ride without them at night)

If you go to Shv expect to be stopped and fined

reason you dont see lots on gt riders (many of whom are based in Northern Thailand ) is the roads are getting worse an worse in Cambodia an are heavliy travelled.

Even if u talk to guys that live there an ride, they are real carefull, On my travels i have seen a few Thai bikes but not many.

Laos is heaven for a motoryclist compared to Cambodia thumbsup.gif

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no problem,

make sure u have the motorcyle green book in your name to clear customs in Thailand.

going into Cambodia, they might charge you 100-500 baht but.... They let bikes in at Koh Kong, Poi Pet and Osmach

Few things;

your insurance is no good in Cambodia so be carefull, also YOU can not ride with your lights on in the daytime ( but you can ride without them at night)

If you go to Shv expect to be stopped and fined

reason you dont see lots on gt riders (many of whom are based in Northern Thailand ) is the roads are getting worse an worse in Cambodia an are heavliy travelled.

Even if u talk to guys that live there an ride, they are real carefull, On my travels i have seen a few Thai bikes but not many.

Laos is heaven for a motoryclist compared to Cambodia thumbsup.gif

Green book is indeed in my name, so no problems there.

My bike, just like most other bikes built in Thailand in the last few years don't have an option of turning off lights during the daytime, so that won't be an option. In February I was in Phnom Penh and always forgot to turn off my lights during the day as I already had them switched on at night the previous night (how can I remember something that nobody riding a newer bike in Thailand has had to do for years, hehe?)

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any mechanic can easliy put in an on/off switch to turn the lights off

Or black tape over the headlamp.

You will be stopped with thai plates an lights on in shv, the rest of the country usualy no problem

I dont rent bikes but even driving, i avoid as much as i can driving at night

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  • 2 weeks later...

any mechanic can easliy put in an on/off switch to turn the lights off

Or black tape over the headlamp.

You will be stopped with thai plates an lights on in shv, the rest of the country usualy no problem

I dont rent bikes but even driving, i avoid as much as i can driving at night

The black tape over the headlights is a better idea. Only thing is it might become a bit frustrating to have to take it away in the evening and then re-apply in the morning, but for a trip of just a few days it's fine. I realize the on/off switch would be an option but I don't want to do any unnecessary work on my bike as this will be my first ever trip across to another country on my bike and one I may not make on my bike again for a long time, so the easiest and cheapest solution is one I can do myself without investing in any tools, which is the black tape thing.

Have you seen a lot of Thai plated bikes driving inside Cambodia? I have seen some, but they seem exceptionally rare moving even a km away from the border. Just browsed over on some Thai language forums about Thais complaining they couldn't cross into Cambodia at Poipet last year on their bikes and assumed this was a reflection of the rules throughout the whole country, which clearly isn't the case.

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FYI;

the only times i have seen Thai licensed bikes are if there in a group, ( they get guys coming over from Pattaya sometimes)

but very few individual riders.

Poi pet is dicey to let you in,

Osmach and Koh Kong are the best bets

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FYI;

the only times i have seen Thai licensed bikes are if there in a group, ( they get guys coming over from Pattaya sometimes)

but very few individual riders.

Poi pet is dicey to let you in,

Osmach and Koh Kong are the best bets

Thanks a lot. I think that's because at Poipet they only want to let you in if you're on a pre-arranged tour. Read about this on a Thai language forum where a Thai guy complained about it and assumed these rules were in place at every Cambodian border and that going on a tour was the only way in. Obviously the guy was a bit naive assuming that the country would do everything consistently and by the book - it seems like he chose the wrong border crossing and never attempted any others.

Anyway, I will try Koh Kong. I have seen recent trip reports of individuals going in on bikes, including one over on gt-rider.com and another few on rideasia.net, all the riders in question crossed at either Koh Kong, Ban Pakkard/Prom or O'Smach except one who managed at Poipet but that crossing I wouldn't try due to it's uncertainty and the large number of people anyway. Maybe it's the uncertainty and lack of consistent rules that stops larger numbers of riders crossing over from Thailand to Cambodia, but at the same time I've never seen even one Cambodian plated bike on the Thai side, perhaps they are not being let in (only Cambodian cars are).

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i know more than one expats with Cambodian bikes that cross over into Thailand with zero troubles

Then I should have no trouble going in the opposite direction either, particularly as I am a holder of a Cambodian 1-year visa (and therefore an expat of sorts, even though I only obtained the 1-year extension to save myself applying for a new visa every time I travel as I am making a lot of Cambodian entries this year) and a Thai bike and I am going across at a crossing that allows entry of Thai and foreign vehicles (Koh Kong).

Although, I have read on the Phnom Penh Post website that Cambodian motorcycles have been prevented from crossing into Thailand at the O'Smach crossing, even though they were just going to the market (due to protests by Thai vendors). Perhaps only non-Cambodian foreigners are allowed to bring a Cambo motorcycle into Thailand, or it depends on the size of the bike (I hope not, but the report by two Thais driving Thai scooters into Cambodia at Koh Kong has reassured me somewhat).

BTW I have heard reports that the Cambo side doesn't provide any documents for temporarily imported foreign vehicles. Does this mean when I enter Cambodia with my bike that I'd only have with me the Thai export papers, I might have to pay the guy at the gate 100 Baht and then I'm free to go? How does it work? I asked the customs guy there about taking a car across and he said it was 100 Baht, but didn't mention any documents, nor did I ask about motorcycles as I didn't think about it at the time.

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ahh now ur asking the questions :-)

I have heard Cambodians are not being allowed to use the Osmach crossing to visit the market as well.

MY experiences

Thailand gives you the temp export papers, at Osmach you enter Cambodia an thats that, one time they photographed my license plate an that was all.

Koh Kong, both times i entered there they TOOK my thai export papers and asked how long i was going in for one time i said 5 days, one time 2 days

100 baht /day charge,they issued me a red plastic plate an told me i was only allowed to drive in Koh Kong Province.

I exited at Pailin and poi pet, both times just told them I lost the export papers when i came onto thailand, They just gave me new ones to fill out.

When i was stopped in SHV once for running a red light the cop gave me a 20 minute lecture in PERFECT english ( he also knew my gf personally) why he had stopped me, the legality of driving a Thai car in Cambodia, why i should not be there etc etc, a real nice guy, Than asked for $20 an explained that there were 4 of them so $5 each. He told me if i wanted a receipt i could follow him to the Police station but there it might cost more an they might confiscate my car...

Its Cambodia 555555

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"ahh now ur asking the questions :-)


I have heard Cambodians are not being allowed to use the Osmach crossing to visit the market as well."



Since the coup I have see seen zero Cambodian vehicles on the Chong Chom Market side of the crossing. Only those with a valid passport allowed to enter Thailand.


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ahh now ur asking the questions :-)

I have heard Cambodians are not being allowed to use the Osmach crossing to visit the market as well.

MY experiences

Thailand gives you the temp export papers, at Osmach you enter Cambodia an thats that, one time they photographed my license plate an that was all.

Koh Kong, both times i entered there they TOOK my thai export papers and asked how long i was going in for one time i said 5 days, one time 2 days 100 baht /day charge,they issued me a red plastic plate an told me i was only allowed to drive in Koh Kong Province.

I exited at Pailin and poi pet, both times just told them I lost the export papers when i came onto thailand, They just gave me new ones to fill out.

When i was stopped in SHV once for running a red light the cop gave me a 20 minute lecture in PERFECT english ( he also knew my gf personally) why he had stopped me, the legality of driving a Thai car in Cambodia, why i should not be there etc etc, a real nice guy, Than asked for $20 an explained that there were 4 of them so $5 each. He told me if i wanted a receipt i could follow him to the Police station but there it might cost more an they might confiscate my car...

Its Cambodia 555555

But he didn't tell you that it wasn't legal to enter Cambodia using a Thai car right (and what did he mean by "why you shouldn't be there"?) Anyway, looks like he didn't care, and police aren't customs. In general there aren't many foreign registered vehicles driving anywhere in Cambodia, whether they are Thai (have seen Thai trucks and buses traveling between Poipet and Phnom Penh and BKK-Siem Reap vv, but that's part of an official agreement between the two countries), a couple of Thai cars in Phnom Penh, one Lao car in Phnom Penh and one time near Kampong Cham, one Chinese car (surprisingly!) back in 2011 driving near Sisophon towards the Thai border (probably came in via O'Smach as coming in any other way that car probably would have been refused as Chinese cars can't enter Vietnam and while they can easily enter Laos, Laos to Cambodia doesn't work very well although in the other direction it tends to be OK) and only one Vietnamese car in Phnom Penh earlier this year (this was a government license plate though). Vietnamese buses are of course plentiful in PP and Siem Reap too, but foreign registered private vehicles are not commonly seen in Cambodia.

You mentioned these red number plates, but how would one fit one on a motorcycle, by unscrewing the THai number plate and affixing the temp Cambodian one? Or are they only given to cars?

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"ahh now ur asking the questions :-)

I have heard Cambodians are not being allowed to use the Osmach crossing to visit the market as well."

Since the coup I have see seen zero Cambodian vehicles on the Chong Chom Market side of the crossing. Only those with a valid passport allowed to enter Thailand.

I have responded to your thread about the Thai side not allowing Thai vehicles out of Thailand or Cambodian vehicles into Thailand at the Chong Chom crossing. I wonder whether it's a temporary measure due to the coup, or perhaps more permanent (I hope not).

Also wondering if maybe the other crossings are like that as well, particularly Koh Kong.

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it is 100% legal

BUT to be 100% legal, your supposed to obtain permission in advance from the transport office in PP. Who can be bothered ( although i do know one one guy did do that)

I have seen; Lao, Russian, Chinese, German and UK cars in Cambodia

Also Chinese, Laos, Thai and even one Swedish motorcycles

As to red plate, i have only told you my personal experience with a car.

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it is 100% legal

BUT to be 100% legal, your supposed to obtain permission in advance from the transport office in PP. Who can be bothered ( although i do know one one guy did do that)

I have seen; Lao, Russian, Chinese, German and UK cars in Cambodia

Also Chinese, Laos, Thai and even one Swedish motorcycles

As to red plate, i have only told you my personal experience with a car.

Maybe the Russian cars were the same ones I saw in Mae Sot, coming over from Myanmar late last year.

Sounds like you've spent a lot more time in Cambodia than I have, but apart from a few local cars near the border, i.e. mainly the Thai border and perhaps near the Lao border too (although these days there are effectively no more private vehicles allowed to cross between Vietnam and Cambodia) chances are that such sightings of foreign registered vehicles in Cambodia, from any other countries other than the aforementioned local ones are exceptionally rare, you might see one foreign car/motorcycle every few months or something, unlike in most parts of Laos where you see foreign registered vehicles everyday.

It seems there are no rules as to who is allowed across or not, you just take a gamble when you arrive and see if they permit you or not. I have read various reports of non-local traffic crossing, including an Australian motorcyclist who was refused at one of the crossings near Surin, but was finally allowed to cross at nearby Chong Jom, but such reports are spread apart by a few years. Anyway, now doesn't seem like the right time to cross into Cambodia with your own vehicle, given the Thai coup tightening up things and whereas up until a few years ago you could drive a Lao, Cambodian or other at least LHD vehicle (or motorcycle) between Vietnam and Cambodia, nowadays even local vehicles are refused - only commercial vehicles can cross now.

I wonder if any of these other foreign registered vehicles you have sighted obtained permission from PP (likely that would necessitate a trip in person before finally coming back with your car), by the sounds of it, probably not.

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hi..

no issue,

make sure u have the motorcyle natural guide in your name to obvious traditions in Thailand.
going into Cambodia, they might cost you 100-500 baht but.... They let motorbikes in at Koh Kong, Poi Pet and Osmach
Few things;
your insurance policy is no excellent in Cambodia so be carefull, also YOU can not drive with your lighting on during the day ( but you can drive without them at night)
If you go to Shv anticipate to be ceased and fined
reason you don't see plenty on gt bikers (many of whom are centered in North Thailand ) is the streets are getting more intense an more intense in Cambodia an are heavliy journeyed.
Even if u discuss to people that stay there an drive, they are actual carefull, On my moves i have seen a few Chinese motorbikes but not many.
Laos is paradise for a motoryclist in comparison to Cambodia thumbs up.
if you want to travel in untied state bard travel is the best traveling company .
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hi..

no issue,

make sure u have the motorcyle natural guide in your name to obvious traditions in Thailand.
going into Cambodia, they might cost you 100-500 baht but.... They let motorbikes in at Koh Kong, Poi Pet and Osmach
Few things;
your insurance policy is no excellent in Cambodia so be carefull, also YOU can not drive with your lighting on during the day ( but you can drive without them at night)
If you go to Shv anticipate to be ceased and fined
reason you don't see plenty on gt bikers (many of whom are centered in North Thailand ) is the streets are getting more intense an more intense in Cambodia an are heavliy journeyed.
Even if u discuss to people that stay there an drive, they are actual carefull, On my moves i have seen a few Chinese motorbikes but not many.
Laos is paradise for a motoryclist in comparison to Cambodia thumbs up.
if you want to travel in untied state bard travel is the best traveling company .

I don't really believe that's the main reason not more GT riders or others are going to Cambodia. I have travelled extensively throughout Cambodia and the volume of traffic is a fraction of anywhere in Thailand or Vietnam. Even northern Thai roads such as the Chiang Mai to Mae Ai road via Mae Rim has more vehicles than the main Poipet-Phnom Penh highway. None of that is surprising though, Thailand has about 4.5 times the Cambodian population and a far greater volume of vehicles on the roads (about 200-250 vehicles/1000 people in Thailand compared to 15-20/1000 in Cambodia). As a point of comparison, hundreds of Malaysian bikers cross into Thailand on a daily basis negotiating the road to Hat Yai and beyond to Thung Song, Krabi etc., which are many times busier than the busiest roads in Cambodia.

Difference is that places like northern Thailand is far more scenic and probably a bit safer as Cambo roads generally have no shoulders and Cambo is a flat country with endless rice paddies, palm trees and not much scenery riding along the main roads. Motorcycle riders like northern Thailand and Laos (and Myanmar, when they go in with a tour) due to their hilly geography and scenic terrain. In some parts of course, there isn't much traffic either, which helps. What also helps is that riders in Thailand and Laos have insurance for their vehicles as do riders going to Myanmar on a tour.

I still believe it's the lack of insurance and inconsistent rules that keeps so many riders (and drivers of cars) away from Cambodia. If Cambodia were like Thailand, Malaysia and Laos, which basically let every car and motorcycle from any country in for the purposes of tourism, then Cambodia would also have large numbers of foreign registered vehicles inside. However, since Cambodia is so inconsistent in this regard is the reason foreign registered vehicles are so rare. Even more rare is Vietnam. Except for the occasional Lao vehicle, you probably won't spot a single Chinese, Thai or any other foreign vehicle driving in Vietnam cause they are now only letting in such vehicles if you enter on a pre-arranged tour with a lead vehicle from a Vietnamese travel agency.

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Just came in to Cambodia via Koh Kong, then went up to Phnom Penh.

No problems taking Thai vehicles across, or Cambodian in the other direction, even now with the coup (quite a few army soldiers all the way from Chantaburi to the border, but they were mostly just waiving vehicles on). Most vehicles crossing in either direction were Thai registered pickups or 18 wheeler trucks that were known to customs, as the drivers did NOT need to do any paperwork, no border passes, no documents for their vehicles, nothing. They simply showed up and the barrier was lifted, both when entering and when leaving. This also applied to a couple of Cambodian vehicles, likely owned by customs/immigration or other important officials. Most of these Thai trucks ended up at the industrial zone half way down to the Koh Kong bridge, but many private Thai vehicles head down into Koh Kong town itself. Very few motorcycles were crossing, but there were a couple. The reason is that most Cambodians probably don't have the proper paperwork to allow them to cross and vice versa. However, Thai pickups involved in border trade usually do and quite obviously a pickup truck is far more practical than a flimsy motorcycle with little storage space.

On the 140-odd km road from Koh Kong to Sre Ambel, very few vehicles overall as you drive through the beautiful jungle, which is part of a national park.

Saw a few Thai vehicles beyond Koh Kong; 3 cars, 1 heading towards Sre Ambel the other 2 passing in the other direction around 100km from the border. Also saw a Trad registered big bike, looked like a Harley but couldn't make it out properly as I wasn't wearing my glasses and it was already dark sitting on the back of a Cambodian tow truck, heading in the direction of Phnom Penh on the NH4, coming up from Sihanoukville - no idea why the owner wasn't riding it although maybe there was a mechanical problem or something but the bike didn't appear to be wrecked. Also saw a truck with Cambodian cab but Thai registered trailer.

So Thai vehicles are definitely going well into Cambodia, but for some reason you only rarely spot them in Phnom Penh.

Large trucks on the NH4, which has a few overtaking/passing lanes on uphill and a few straight sections help when it comes to overtaking/passing, but they sometimes slow you down. However, the amount of traffic is still a far cry from Thailand or Vietnam so if you take care, riding can be quite safe.

I'd say riding as far as Sre Ambel is very scenic and with so little traffic it's also quite pleasant and relatively safe as you don't have large trucks etc. taking away space from you on the road. That changes a bit once you hit NH4 (Sihanoukville-Phnom Penh) but it's still not too bad. I'd be more worried about crazy local motorcyclists that weave in/out of traffic and are either obviously drunk, high on drugs or just plain showing off. It's something I see a lot in Cambodia, far far more often than in Thailand, where only crazy motorcycle youths act in such ways.

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great,

u did not mention if they stopped you or if u had to ay the 100 baht/day they used to charge

What do you mean by "stopped"? You get your passport stamped, then return to your bike/car at which point you inform customs of your intentions and continue your journey.

The 100 Baht / day fee is in effect, but you could just say you're only staying say 2 days when in fact you may be staying 7.

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yes by stopped thats what I meant, where they ask how long ur staying an charged you 100/day to what you say.

Did they also mention your ONLY allowed to drive/ride in Koh Kong Provence?

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yes by stopped thats what I meant, where they ask how long ur staying an charged you 100/day to what you say.

Did they also mention your ONLY allowed to drive/ride in Koh Kong Provence?

Yes they did and were very happy when I told them that I would be heading back the same way. In reality of course, you can continue beyond Koh Kong. There is a police checkpoint about 40-50km from Koh Kong town, or about 50-60km from the border crossing but what it's for, I don't know. What seem obvious is that it's not designed to stop Thai or other foreign registered vehicles from continuing as I saw Thai vehicles well beyond that checkpoint both on my trip to Phnom Penh and on the way back. In any case, Koh Kong province only ends in the vicinity of Sre Ambel, which is half way to Phnom Penh and more than half way to Sihanoukville so according to customs you could still technically drive to Sre Ambel and still not be "breaking the rules". Although as said, no one really cares. Just don't get into an accident as there's no insurance and riding a foreign registered vehicle, particularly outside of the border zone might get customs upset and create potential problems for future riders.

Strangely though, when I asked about bringing my bike in and whether I would have to pay anything, the first guy I asked told me to ask customs who claimed the 100 Baht fee only applies to cars but when I returned to the first guy, he suddenly claimed that the 100 Baht fee applies to both cars and motorcycles.

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cool;

if u do go back and exit at KK, ( at least with a car) they will fine u double the amount/day u pay'd to go in so 200 baht /day over whatever the amount of days u claimed,

hence one reason why have never exited at KK

as the other borders don't know abut this little extra action :-)

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  • 4 months later...

I drove to Cambodia twice via Poipet last year on a big bke and custom in Cambodia was not helpful at all both times. They told me that I had to drive back the last time because thai motorcycles were not allowed in Cambodia. I just ignored this BS and drove to Phnom Penh. I drove with lights on both day and night for about 7 months total without any problem, except one when the police in PP tried to stop me but I just went around them :) . When I went back to Thailand they didnt even look at the bike at the Cambodia side of the border. I overstayed the temporarily export from Thailand by about 5 months the first time, but it was not really a problem.

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I drove to Cambodia twice via Poipet last year on a big bke and custom in Cambodia was not helpful at all both times. They told me that I had to drive back the last time because thai motorcycles were not allowed in Cambodia. I just ignored this BS and drove to Phnom Penh. I drove with lights on both day and night for about 7 months total without any problem, except one when the police in PP tried to stop me but I just went around them smile.png . When I went back to Thailand they didnt even look at the bike at the Cambodia side of the border. I overstayed the temporarily export from Thailand by about 5 months the first time, but it was not really a problem.

Thanks for that report. Small bikes are also allowed into Cambodia, even your average 125cc wave or sonic or something - now that I've been across the Koh Kong border a few times and seen trip reports from both Thai and resident expat riders I can confirm this. But better to avoid Poipet and cross at Koh Kong or O'Smach, or maybe Ban Pakkard/Prom.

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Folks, I have to travelled over the Koh Kong border crossing on my motorcycle earlier this year with any issues. But would like to travel again with my Thai bike into Cambodia, but this time at the Prum crossing.

Does this border crossing allow motorcycles to cross once again, as it was reported that in June that all vehicles had been restricted from crossing the border?

With regards to Thai motorcycle and cars being allowed into Cambodia. Motorcycles can legally be driven throughout Cambodia. Whereas it is my understanding that the Thai cars CANNOT. Thai cars can be given a local permit in Koh Kong to drive in and around the town. The reasoning behind not permitting Thai cars to travel throughout Cambodia stems from the difference of righthand and lefthand drive differs. Obviously, no such problem with motorcycles...

I live close to the Prum border, so will check if vehicles are once again allowed to cross the border, but if somebody has done this crossing by bike recently please let me know?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Folks, I have to travelled over the Koh Kong border crossing on my motorcycle earlier this year with any issues. But would like to travel again with my Thai bike into Cambodia, but this time at the Prum crossing.

Does this border crossing allow motorcycles to cross once again, as it was reported that in June that all vehicles had been restricted from crossing the border?

With regards to Thai motorcycle and cars being allowed into Cambodia. Motorcycles can legally be driven throughout Cambodia. Whereas it is my understanding that the Thai cars CANNOT. Thai cars can be given a local permit in Koh Kong to drive in and around the town. The reasoning behind not permitting Thai cars to travel throughout Cambodia stems from the difference of righthand and lefthand drive differs. Obviously, no such problem with motorcycles...

I live close to the Prum border, so will check if vehicles are once again allowed to cross the border, but if somebody has done this crossing by bike recently please let me know?

I'm not sure, but could it be that this restriction was temporary, as a result of the coup which occurred just weeks earlier (on May 22nd)? I say this because a report on this very forum from another member who lives near the Surin Chong Chom/O'Smach crossing mentioned that for a period of time, no vehicles at all were permitted to cross at that crossing immediately after the coup, not even for short distances to go to the market on either side of the border.

Since restrictions have since been lifted there, maybe it's the same at Prom? Do you live on the Thai or Cambo side? Prom is the Cambodian town, whereas Ban Pakkard is the Thai town, so by mentioning Prom it suggests to me you live in Cambodia and want to travel to the Thai side? Or is it the other way round?

As mentioned by me in a previous post, normally this border allows Thai and Cambodian vehicles to cross; Thai vehicles (cars at least) in theory shouldn't leave Pailin province and continue to Battambang or Phnom Penh, but in reality there is nothing stopping you from continuing well into Cambodia with any Thai car or motorcycle, once you're inside. All you tell customs is that you won't be heading beyond Pailin, even if you will be and you should be fine. If you want to absolutely safe, you could also endeavour to return via the same crossing but there won't be any way of customs knowing where you have been.

Thai cars can indeed be driven anywhere in Cambodia if crossing at other checkpoints that allow them to cross, such as Chong Chom/O'Smach and Khlong Yai (Hat Lek)/Koh Kong. Having said that, customs at some crossings, notably Ban Pakkard/Prom and Khlong Yai/Koh Kong will instruct drivers not to leave the border province - for Koh Kong this means continuing up to Sre Ambel, 150km from the border and exactly half way to Phnom Penh is still allowed. The excuse about left/right hand drive vehicles is just some BS. First of all, when you go to Koh Kong, Poipet, Sisophon or other towns and cities in western Cambodia you will notice that about 1 in 3 Cambodian registered vehicles also have RHD, just like Thailand. Even in Phnom Penh, my unscientific analysis has shown that about 3-5% of vehicles there also have RHD. It's quite common for models such as the old Nissan Micra and some Isuzu pickups in PP to have RHD, but rarely for other models; not sure why though. In western Cambodia however, just about any make or model if originally from Thailand, will have RHD unless the steering wheel has been converted to LHD (which is rare).

The main reasons you don't see a whole lot of Thai or other foreign registered private vehicles driving in Cambodia is because the customs department there (presumably instructed by the government) has never fully implemented a proper system for cross border movement of traffic. As Cambodia was a signatory to the 2003? GMS charter on cross-border traffic, which allows foreign registered vehicles from neighboring countries to come in for tourism or business purposes and remain temporarily (typically up to 30 days at a time), it seems strange that they never held up to their end of the bargain. So you'll find that this whole RHD/LHD nonsense, which originally was a measure to prevent vehicle smuggling from Thailand actually has very little to do with it - private Vietnamese vehicles for example, which are also LHD like most Cambo vehicles find it's even more difficult for them to enter Cambodia and are rarely seen even near the border. They need all sorts of documents which are very difficult to obtain and then need to deposit something like US$500 for crossing the border. Although Thai drivers face some restrictions in terms of which border crossing they use - if they have a green or blue book (for motorcycles and cars respectively) and cross at a border known to allow crossings by vehicle, usually all is well.

Only recently Cambodia and Thailand have signed new agreements on the movement of cross-border traffic. For now, these agreements cover only commercial vehicles, i.e. trucks and buses. The agreement, which was entered into force in 2012 allows the movement of 40 Cambodian and 40 Thai registered vehicles into each other's country daily, mainly via the Aranyaprathet/Poipet crossing. My understanding is that of the 40 vehicles permitted to cross per day in each direction, 30 of the Thai total are trucks and 10 are buses, while 30 Cambo buses but only 10 Cambo trucks can cross. The buses are so far cross-border services operating either the Bangkok-Phnom Penh or Bangkok-Siem Reap runs. The total quota of 10 buses in each direction for Thai buses hasn't even been filled yet, as there are only a maximum of 3 services per day on these routes, 1 for Phnom Penh and 2 for Siem Reap.

Hopefully by AEC 2015, all member states including Cambodia will be forced to fully open up to all traffic, at least ASEAN registered traffic, without restrictions except possibly time restrictions (like 30 days per country or something).

My suggestion therefore is if you are already living somewhere in the vicinity of Ban Pakkard/Prom is to go there and ask. Maybe even observe the traffic to see what is heading across the border. If you're coming from the Thai side and see Thai cars and motorcycles crossing in either direction, that is a good sign. If you only see foot traffic, then maybe not so much. To be safe you better ask though and report here.

If there's still an issue then I guess you'll have to cross at Koh Kong again.

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