May 22, 2014

Overland Cambodia - Vietnam : Border Crossing

Continuation from here...

As there are no overnight bus between Phnom Penh and Ho Chi Minh City, we settled for the morning bus. The earliest bus on the schedule was at 6.30 am. I initially thought to get that bus to maximize my time in Ho Chi Minh City. But we chose the 8 am bus to be safe. Afraid we'd wake up late. haha..

Anyway, we got the bus ticket for USD 10 from a travel agency at Sisowath Quay, along the Riverfront street. There were loads of them there so ask around for the bus of your choice.

As Phnom Penh does not have a centralized bus station, we were picked up by a shuttle at the hostel and were taken to the bus.

 The attendants checked our bus tickets, and briefly checked our passports and kept it. Malaysians don't need a visa to enter Vietnam but they just checked everyone's passport to make sure those who needs it have it ready, cos there is no Visa On Arrival (VOA) at the border.

The bus departed at around 8.15 am. I spent my time reading a book and playing with my phone. For a third world country, I think the network coverage in Cambodia was awesome!

While I was reading the book, the bus slowed down and stopped. I thought there was a traffic jam. Couldn't see anything in front since I was seated at the back. I only saw rows of shop lot by the roadside and a river.

After a while the bus moved again.. and the next thing I knew, the bus boarded a ferry. Excited, I dragged my friend to go out and walked to the front of the ferry.

The bus was crossing over the Mekong river at Neak Loung.

The crossing was rather fast. As we were busy snapping photos at the front of the ferry, we were already approaching the other side of the river. Well what did I expect it's not like we were crossing the sea.

Around noon, we stopped for a short break at a restaurant. Everybody got off for lunch and went to the washroom. My friend and I brought some biscuits with us so we just stayed inside the bus doing our own thing.

After about 20 minutes break, we were on the road again and shortly after that, we arrived at the border crossing.

There are a few border crossings between Cambodia and Vietnam but buses to Ho Chi Minh City would cross the Bavet/Moc Bai border since it is the closest and most convenient.

Our passports were returned to us with the Cambodia exit stamp. The bus attendant asked us to get off, and took all our belongings to proceed to the Vietnamese customs and immigration building.  

Once all the immigrations thingy settled, we waited for our bus outside the building. You will not change bus so remember your bus ok!

We were on our way again at around 1 pm, and arrived in Ho Chi Minh City around 3 pm.

The bus attendant asked everyone where we wanted to be dropped off. I mentioned Pham Ngu Lao street since I already booked a hostel there. The bus stopped somewhere in the city but a shuttle van took us to Pham Ngu Lao area.

No comments: