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SE Asia Includes Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam, plus Indonesia
Photo by Mark Newton, Mexican camping

I haven't been everywhere...
but it's on my list!


Photo by Mark Newton,
Camping in the Mexican desert



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  #1  
Old 4 Dec 2022
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Laos - Cambodia Border Crossing Report

This might be useful for anyone trying to get into Cambodia from Laos by motorbike, particularly as it is notorious for being a cesspit of corruption. We managed to dodge all additional 'charges' with a bit of effort.

Nong Nok Khiene (L) / Tropaeng Kreil (C)

Visa: 30 USD in Nov 22

Laos Exit

Immigration - Rode up to the barrier, on the right is the exit stamp counter. They asked for 2 USD per person, we point blank refused saying "we are not paying any money" and they gave us our passports back although they weren't happy about it. They had just successfully received money from a bunch of bus tourists.

Customs - just the counter in the lane, they recognised the Carnets de Passage which we've been using (no doubt wrongly) as a proxy for a temporary import document but it worked and we saved ourselves some hassle and a potential request for money from tourist police.


Cambodia entry

Immigration - First stop is a counter in the entry lane where our Covid vaccinations were checked. The official asked for 20,000 Kip, we simply said we weren't paying and walked away, he thought it was funny.

The visa office is where they manage the flow of people in a way to best extort each group. We were sent to Customs and told to get our TIP (Temporary Import Permit) first but then they called us back over to get our visas. The tourists in front of us were charged 35 USD per visa and then 4 USD per stamp.

We were busy filling in the online TIP form (more on this follows) so when they asked us for this amount we said that we were paying 30 USD per visa and that's all. We were handed over to the boss who made a show of getting annoyed, tried to claim there's a different price for on-arrival visas. We stood our ground and as we were holding up the queue, he eventually relented.

-- He was very annoyed when we hung around to continue filling in our forms because we were in the way of them getting 200 USD off two Buddhist monks (turns out there's also a special visa for them!) --

Customs - in a small office to the side, they asked us for USD 30 per bike to fill in the TIP forms for us online. We knew the TIP should be free and since heard from other travellers (entering from Thailand) that at other border crossings, either the officials provide a computer and Cambodian phone number for travellers to use to fill in the form online for free, or the officials fill in the form themselves also for free.

Another official arrived and asked for USD 40 per bike. They explained that if we could fill in the TIP form online by ourselves, it would be free.
We said no problem and they asked if we realised we would need to create an account on the Customs website. It turns out you need to register with an email and then receive a One Time Password to a phone number that has to be Cambodian - we tried with Laos and UK and had no luck. Only when we explained we were not going to pay them for the TIP did they relent and give us one of their phone numbers and the OTP.

Once the forms are submitted, they have access to them through their online system so can check and ask you to correct anything that isn't right (then you can re-submit). You need to know the code for the entry and the exit points. This office is STG12.

The form can be accessed here: https://www.customs.gov.kh/en
Under Services, temporary import.

If you don't have access to a Cambodian phone number and the officials are blocking you, you can no doubt negotiate a discounted fee. I wouldn't pay more than USD10 per bike.

They still tried to ask us for money to print the forms once we were done but it was funny at this point.

Final check - The last stop is the passport check at the barrier at the edge of the compound. The official there asked for 'coffee money' to let us out, he's easy to brush off.

Good luck!
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Old 8 Dec 2022
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Great write up guys, thanks for sharing. Its interesting that Cambodia hands out TIPS nowadays. I remember they just started to do it at some bordercrossings pre-covid. May I ask the length of those TIPs?
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Old 11 Dec 2022
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What a circus, well done sticking to your guns. So unless I read it wrong, technically speaking all you really need to pay is the visa for 30 right? Did you need to pay anything for the bikes?
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Old 13 Dec 2022
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Thanks guys

The Cambodia TIP is 30 days.

We did indeed end up paying 30 USD only pp for the visa, the TIP should be free.
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