Laos-Cambodia border X-ing-don´t pay extras
we just did the border crossing from Laos to Cambodia (7.2.2012) : Dong Kalaw / Trapeng Kriel – the only existing one:
Please do not pay all the bribes they ask for as it makes it easier for fellow travellers.
The fact is: leaving Laos is for free
Entering Cambodia cost you only 20,- USD for the visa - nothing more!!! Have it in accurate notes.
So stand your ground, smile and be friendly.
All in all they wanted to earn 16,- USD extra on the Cambodian side and 2,- USD on the Lao side. We did not pay any of these extras.
You need 1 picture for the Cambodian visa, if you don´t have one, this will be another extra 2,- USD
All prices mentioned are per person!
All in all it took us maybe 20 to 30 min for the entire border crossing.
Now the details:
At the moment both sides have just barracks but you can already see the huge big new buildings they will use soon. Incredible.
Customs is about 2 ks before the border. Stamping the carnets were quick and without any problems.
Immigration: the guy asked for 2,- USD stamping fee. We smiled and told him, that we have checked with the officials and official government homepage and that there is no stamp fee (we also added our nationality so he had a gap to escape / not loosing his face. So it looked like, that it is free for us).
We also asked for his name and after a few minutes we got the stamps and drove to the Cambodians.
Quarantine: 1st stop left hand side. There you have to fill in a questionnaire and get your temperature measured with an infrared forehead thermometer.
The guy asked for 1,- USD, but was very friendly. We have been just very friendly and told him, that according to the government homepage, we do not have to pay. That´s was it here.
We left the bikes there and walked to the different stalls. All in very short distance.
Customs: 2nd stop: no problems at all. They guy stamped the carnets and did not asked for anything.
Visa on arrival both: 3rd stop. They (3 guys) asked for 3,- USD for the visa sticker and the documents you have to fill in (usual questions, eg passport nr, expiry date, given name, etc) and gave us visa prices in Thai Baht and Lao Kib - > 1000,- THB or 250.000,- KIB, which is about 25,- Euro or 30,- USD, so another 10,- USD extra.
We payed in USD: exactly 20,- USD as stated on all official sides.
There we had a little bit more talking, and one guy got a little bit angry and told us to go away: “Go away, go away, you are not good”. (not good for his wallet we suppose ;-) )
Immigration: Last but not least you need the passports stamped at immigration. Here the 2 or 3 guys asked for 2,- USD. Talking around this was easier again, than before at visa on arrival.
So we have saved a lot of USD, we now might have to spent on the police who will stop you all the time, of what we have heared….
In a famous travel guide (LP) the following is written:
“Senior government officials in Phnom Penh are trying to crack down on overcharging for visas and general petty extortion at the borders, as it gives Cambodia a bad image. In order to help bring an end to this, we suggest you covertly take the name of any official demanding extra money at the border and pass it on to the Tourist Police in Phnom Penh or Siem Reap.”