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Driving a Thai Car into Cambodia - Car Passport


Tomtomtom69

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On this forum a couple of members mentioned that Cambodia and Thailand may soon agree on adhering to a common set of standards regarding the entry of Thai and Cambodian registered vehicles into each other's territory, including offering insurance at the border, for vehicles entering at each border crossing.

This will apparently also include Cambodia recognizing the Thai car passport and presumably, the Cambodians will also start issuing a similar document for crossings into Thailand for their vehicles. The current system is haphazard and is based upon agreements made at individual crossings where Thai and Cambodian customs have agreed to allow vehicles to cross and under what circumstances. Other crossings don't allow any vehicles to cross at all.

Presumably under an official system, all Thai-Cambodian international checkpoints will allow Thai and Cambodian vehicles to cross between each other's country, be able to purchase insurance and require a car passport as evidence of entry and exit. Basically the system would be very similar to that currently in place between Thailand and Laos and Laos and Vietnam.

Does anyone know when we might see this system being implemented in Cambodia? Some recent visitors to Cambodia have mentioned they were told 2015. It's 2015 now, but perhaps this will only happen at the end of the year seeing that AEC 2015 hasn't yet been implemented?

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I wouldn't hold your breath. The dual tourist visa - good luck with getting that. The straight through the border bus? Same same. These are things that were agreed years ago... even if the agreement happened this year; implementation probably wouldn't follow for another decade or more... the border crossings here are ridiculous and so are the times taken to implement anything. Too many personal fiefdoms on the borders where big bucks are made by those on both sides restricting everything...

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I wouldn't hold your breath. The dual tourist visa - good luck with getting that. The straight through the border bus? Same same. These are things that were agreed years ago... even if the agreement happened this year; implementation probably wouldn't follow for another decade or more... the border crossings here are ridiculous and so are the times taken to implement anything. Too many personal fiefdoms on the borders where big bucks are made by those on both sides restricting everything...

I see. Anyway, for commercial vehicles an agreement is in place, I believe it's a quota system where 40 Thai and 40 Cambodian buses and trucks are allowed to cross the border daily, but in reality the quota has not been reached.

Of these 40 vehicles, 30 can be trucks but only 10 buses for Thai registered vehicles, while for Cambodian vehicles it's the reverse, so 30 buses and 10 trucks per day.

In reality there are only 3 buses from either country that cross the border in each direction daily, all them connect Bangkok with either Siem Reap (2 daily departures) or Phnom Penh (1 daily departure). A friend of mine has recently travelled on the Phnom Penh bus, while I have transported goods on that bus too.

When it comes to trucks, I've never seen even a single Cambodian truck inside Thailand, but Thai trucks are now allowed to travel to Phnom Penh, and every time I travel along the Poipet-Phnom Penh highway I see a couple.

Anyway, it's a different story for private vehicles of course, which are not covered by this agreement.

Don't you think that AEC 2015 would force the rapid implementation of any cross-border agreement on the movement of private vehicles between the two nations though? Although maybe AEC 2015 does not call for the streamlining of regulations governing the cross-border movement of vehicles and that's just a rumor.

My understanding is that there is now an agreement between Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, allowing vehicles registered in any one member state to easily travel through to the next country, in force since last year (2014). However, last month I still only saw one lonely Vietnamese registered private car driving just south of Phnom Penh and then only one more Vietnamese minivan near the Prek Chak border with Vietnam. Quite a few Cambodian vehicles throughout the Mekong Delta though, as well as one or two in Ho Chi Minh City, so I'm wondering if much has really changed on the ground because if the agreement were really implemented I'd expect to see a ton of Vietnamese vehicles travelling in Cambodia, just like one sees in Laos, but this is clearly not the case.

So I guess you are very much correct.

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i heard that Vietnam wont allow rhd ( thai) cars/trucks in ever

Unless with far in advance permission

ON the other hand i see Chinese cars in Thailand alot up north an even down here in Phuket at times

I would love to be able to drive up to China rather than Vietnam

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i heard that Vietnam wont allow rhd ( thai) cars/trucks in ever

Unless with far in advance permission

ON the other hand i see Chinese cars in Thailand alot up north an even down here in Phuket at times

I would love to be able to drive up to China rather than Vietnam

The Chinese have been driving into Chiang Mai for the past 6 years but don't look for anytime soon to see it the other way.

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i heard that Vietnam wont allow rhd ( thai) cars/trucks in ever

Unless with far in advance permission

ON the other hand i see Chinese cars in Thailand alot up north an even down here in Phuket at times

I would love to be able to drive up to China rather than Vietnam

The Chinese have been driving into Chiang Mai for the past 6 years but don't look for anytime soon to see it the other way.

Really? I've heard that China will start recognizing Thai driver's licences from this year onwards, which should mean that driving Thai cars into China shouldn't be too far off...

However, the person who made that statement was a Thai LTD official, so I don't think we can take his overly optimistic views as fact. After all, the Thai LTD continually claims that a Thai DL is valid in all 10 ASEAN countries when in reality the Vietnamese flat out refuse to recognize it for any purpose and the Cambodians don't really recognize it either, but generally just turn a blind eye anyway.

But I would be of the opinion that it's much more likely China will eventually allow Thai cars in at some point in the not too distant future, since 1) Chinese cars can enter Thailand, so some reciprocity would be nice; 2) and relations between Thailand and China are good and there is no real good reason to restrict Thai cars from entering.

Phuketrichard, who told you Vietnam won't allow Thai cars/trucks/buses in ever, even with the advent of AEC? I believe you, but I'm wondering what the rationale is behind this. Having said that, if Vietnam won't allow Thai vehicles in, the Thais will continue to prevent Vietnamese vehicles from entering too, except on a tour which is currently the case. But knowing the Vietnamese mentality and their anti-car attitude, I'm not at all surprised.

Anyway, there is a lot more to be gained by allowing Thai vehicles to enter China than Vietnam, at least Guangxi and Yunnan provinces as per the Greater Mekong Sub-region GMS cross border transport agreement, which only Thailand and Laos are party to, but none of the other countries have implemented.

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i heard that Vietnam wont allow rhd ( thai) cars/trucks in ever

Unless with far in advance permission

ON the other hand i see Chinese cars in Thailand alot up north an even down here in Phuket at times

I would love to be able to drive up to China rather than Vietnam

During holiday periods in particular, it's quite common to see Chinese vehicles up north, at other times I'm surprised when I don't spot a single one (or even at the end of December 2013, surprisingly not a single Chinese vehicle was spotted by me in Chiang Rai, Mae Sai or anywhere down to Lampang or Chiang Mai despite being a holiday period), but then strangely, on another occasion I might see one much further away from the border. But indeed I have also spotted Chinese vehicles in Bangkok, Nong Khai/Udon Thani and once down in Krabi.

Seems like the Chinese have a lot of holidays if they can afford to spend so much time driving such vast distances, in many cases from Shanghai and further north based on their number plates, although a large proportion of Chinese vehicles I've spotted in Thailand have been Yunnan or Kunming, Yunnan registered 云A. Another funny thing I've noticed is Chinese registered vehicles in the car park of Bangkok City Hotel on 2 separate occasions, which is kind of a dump if you ask me and only has a small handful of parking spaces. The Chinese have been going to that hotel for a while, no idea why as it's just a 2-star dump in the middle of a heavily congested area, nothing special about it whatsoever. They seem to manage to park their cars without getting into an accident somewhere en-route in Bangkok but apparently don't drive them anymore until they leave Bangkok, so presumably use public transport whilst inside Bangkok. Of course you could count the number of Chinese drivers coming down to Bangkok as 99.9% fly in and there are certainly more Chinese renting vehicles locally than driving in from China, but it's still interesting to see them here nonetheless.

I once drove a Lao registered vehicle between Thailand and Vietnam, back in 2012. I started in Vientiane, drove to Bangkok, then Pakse, then Buon Ma Thuot the next day; back the same way. Only a Lao vehicle can undertake this journey as both Thai and Chinese vehicles are refused entry into Vietnam (also, Thai vehicles can't enter Thailand), while vehicles registered in other countries, even those with LHD need to go on a tour to enter Vietnam, except Cambodian vehicles entering via Cambodia.

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  • 2 weeks later...

In response to a news article about Thai-Cambodian border co-operation that may lead to the opening of 4 new international checkpoints (news story is posted over in the Thailand news section), I remarked how Cambodia and Thailand would better agree to an official system for allowing private vehicles across at all checkpoints between the two countries. In response, a member who just came back from Poipet claimed he saw many Thai cars crossing into Cambodia, the first time he's seen that in 13 years.

Does that suggest that the official system is now in place? Has anyone been to the Thai-Cambodian border, particularly Aran/Poipet since January 1st and can confirm this?

Would be great if we could drive into Poipet from Thailand without hassle or uncertainty now.

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  • 2 months later...

I just came back from Cambodia. Driving my own vehicle. Stayed a month. Just sight seeing.

Nice country, but this time of the year it is VERY dusty. Caused all kind of mechanical problems with my pickup.

Yea, kind of hit or miss at the border crossings. Strange. You would think they would have a standard system in order. But, it is not that way.

It would be great if they would sort it out. I am headed back as soon as I can. Loved it.

Cheers

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i heard that Vietnam wont allow rhd ( thai) cars/trucks in ever

Unless with far in advance permission

ON the other hand i see Chinese cars in Thailand alot up north an even down here in Phuket at times

I would love to be able to drive up to China rather than Vietnam

During holiday periods in particular, it's quite common to see Chinese vehicles up north, at other times I'm surprised when I don't spot a single one (or even at the end of December 2013, surprisingly not a single Chinese vehicle was spotted by me in Chiang Rai, Mae Sai or anywhere down to Lampang or Chiang Mai despite being a holiday period), but then strangely, on another occasion I might see one much further away from the border. But indeed I have also spotted Chinese vehicles in Bangkok, Nong Khai/Udon Thani and once down in Krabi.

Seems like the Chinese have a lot of holidays if they can afford to spend so much time driving such vast distances, in many cases from Shanghai and further north based on their number plates, although a large proportion of Chinese vehicles I've spotted in Thailand have been Yunnan or Kunming, Yunnan registered 云A. Another funny thing I've noticed is Chinese registered vehicles in the car park of Bangkok City Hotel on 2 separate occasions, which is kind of a dump if you ask me and only has a small handful of parking spaces. The Chinese have been going to that hotel for a while, no idea why as it's just a 2-star dump in the middle of a heavily congested area, nothing special about it whatsoever. They seem to manage to park their cars without getting into an accident somewhere en-route in Bangkok but apparently don't drive them anymore until they leave Bangkok, so presumably use public transport whilst inside Bangkok. Of course you could count the number of Chinese drivers coming down to Bangkok as 99.9% fly in and there are certainly more Chinese renting vehicles locally than driving in from China, but it's still interesting to see them here nonetheless.

I once drove a Lao registered vehicle between Thailand and Vietnam, back in 2012. I started in Vientiane, drove to Bangkok, then Pakse, then Buon Ma Thuot the next day; back the same way. Only a Lao vehicle can undertake this journey as both Thai and Chinese vehicles are refused entry into Vietnam (also, Thai vehicles can't enter Thailand), while vehicles registered in other countries, even those with LHD need to go on a tour to enter Vietnam, except Cambodian vehicles entering via Cambodia.

Most Chinese rent there car at the Chinese-Lao border....Yes.. Rent...!! Much more easy, there is a company that rent's the Chinese cars with all the paperwork done ,..the Chinese don't know how to do the paperwork and don't speak English , Lao or Thai.... the only thing is they have to be in convoy,...once in Thailand they separate if they want....but all the cars of that convoy have to be back the same day....so I heard....some rich people come with there own Super cars like One of my friends saw a bunch of Lamborghini's and Ferraries...who just crossed the bridge Chiang Kong....

Best regards....

In Ho Chi Min citty I saw Lao and Cambodian registered minivans with tourists....Personalty I tried to enter Vietnam with my 4X4, My wife and I had Visa's and could enter but the car could not.....!!!! so we had to go back to Laos....! the thing is that the Thai government said on Television that they would sign a agreement with Vietnam to let cars from both country's travel freely ....that was two years ago, ....

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i heard that Vietnam wont allow rhd ( thai) cars/trucks in ever

Unless with far in advance permission

ON the other hand i see Chinese cars in Thailand alot up north an even down here in Phuket at times

I would love to be able to drive up to China rather than Vietnam

During holiday periods in particular, it's quite common to see Chinese vehicles up north, at other times I'm surprised when I don't spot a single one (or even at the end of December 2013, surprisingly not a single Chinese vehicle was spotted by me in Chiang Rai, Mae Sai or anywhere down to Lampang or Chiang Mai despite being a holiday period), but then strangely, on another occasion I might see one much further away from the border. But indeed I have also spotted Chinese vehicles in Bangkok, Nong Khai/Udon Thani and once down in Krabi.

Seems like the Chinese have a lot of holidays if they can afford to spend so much time driving such vast distances, in many cases from Shanghai and further north based on their number plates, although a large proportion of Chinese vehicles I've spotted in Thailand have been Yunnan or Kunming, Yunnan registered 云A. Another funny thing I've noticed is Chinese registered vehicles in the car park of Bangkok City Hotel on 2 separate occasions, which is kind of a dump if you ask me and only has a small handful of parking spaces. The Chinese have been going to that hotel for a while, no idea why as it's just a 2-star dump in the middle of a heavily congested area, nothing special about it whatsoever. They seem to manage to park their cars without getting into an accident somewhere en-route in Bangkok but apparently don't drive them anymore until they leave Bangkok, so presumably use public transport whilst inside Bangkok. Of course you could count the number of Chinese drivers coming down to Bangkok as 99.9% fly in and there are certainly more Chinese renting vehicles locally than driving in from China, but it's still interesting to see them here nonetheless.

I once drove a Lao registered vehicle between Thailand and Vietnam, back in 2012. I started in Vientiane, drove to Bangkok, then Pakse, then Buon Ma Thuot the next day; back the same way. Only a Lao vehicle can undertake this journey as both Thai and Chinese vehicles are refused entry into Vietnam (also, Thai vehicles can't enter Thailand), while vehicles registered in other countries, even those with LHD need to go on a tour to enter Vietnam, except Cambodian vehicles entering via Cambodia.

Most Chinese rent there car at the Chinese-Lao border....Yes.. Rent...!! Much more easy, there is a company that rent's the Chinese cars with all the paperwork done ,..the Chinese don't know how to do the paperwork and don't speak English , Lao or Thai.... the only thing is they have to be in convoy,...once in Thailand they separate if they want....but all the cars of that convoy have to be back the same day....so I heard....some rich people come with there own Super cars like One of my friends saw a bunch of Lamborghini's and Ferraries...who just crossed the bridge Chiang Kong....

Best regards....

In Ho Chi Min citty I saw Lao and Cambodian registered minivans with tourists....Personalty I tried to enter Vietnam with my 4X4, My wife and I had Visa's and could enter but the car could not.....!!!! so we had to go back to Laos....! the thing is that the Thai government said on Television that they would sign a agreement with Vietnam to let cars from both country's travel freely ....that was two years ago, ....

Yes I speak fluent Thai, Lao and some Chinese and recently going across the new Phu Doo crossing from Uttaradit to Paklay (I was travelling from Mae Sot) the Lao border guards told me about the "restrictions" on Chinese cars entering Thailand but in reality it's fairly easy although only crossings between the 1st and 4th Friendship bridges are allowed. Smaller crossings such as Phu Doo don't permit Chinese cars or motorcycles to cross but then again why would they - it would be hard enough for them to find the crossings then language difficulties would compound the difficulties.

I believe the Thai-Chinese agreement allows for Chinese private vehicles, under certain conditions to enter Thailand from Laos only while Thai fruit trucks can travel to Jinghong in China. Part of that was mentioned in a Bangkok Post article from 2012 I think it was.

Only Lao and Cambodian vehicles can cross into Vietnam at this point and generally speaking only across their respective borders even though a new agreement apparently allows free travel across any border between the three countries. Thai and Chinese vehicles can not, under any circumstances EXCEPT if travelling on a pre-arranged tour with escort. In practice Chinese vehicles are not going to Vietnam even under this method due to poor relations between the countries at present, but in 2012 I saw a Thai tour consisting of a police escort and 5 Thai registered pickups and SUVs driving in southern Vietnam from Mui Ne in the direction of Nha Trang.

Perhaps Vietnam and Thailand will one day allow cars in freely from both countries, but that is yet to happen and who knows if AEC 2015 will change that. So far there have been no indications. I asked Thai and Lao customs at various border checkpoints in November last year about this:

Nakorn Phanom and Mukdaharn told me NO Vietnamese vehicles into Thailand and NO Thai vehicles into Vietnam. Maybe AEC will change things, but not at this stage. Chong Mek strangely claimed they would allow them in but have only ever seen them come in on tours. Vang Tao on the Lao side won't allow Vietnamese or Cambodian vehicles to leave for Thailand from Laos though so obviously the Vietnamese won't get the chance to enter there. Cambodian vehicles can only enter Thailand directly from Cambodia. Third country crossings are not allowed.

The only rumours about greater access by car in the region I have heard have been Myanmar possibly opening up to Thai vehicles fairly soon, although when I asked Myawady customs (the main overland border crossing point between Thailand and Myanmar) the guy there didn't know anything and said only once he hears something will it become official and of course Cambodia may follow soon too, which is the basis of this thread.

Funnily at the Land Transport Department they will claim that an international transport permit is valid for Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, Vietnam and 2 provinces of southern China. Someone better tell them that only Laos recognizes the permit at this stage and the only other ones that may recognize it in the near future may be Cambodia and possibly Myanmar.

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FYI

just saw a nice new white Porsche in Patong today with Chinese plates,

dont know how that car got handled the roads in Laos LOL

It probably didn't have to - the 250km road from the Chinese border at Boten to the Thai border at Huay Xai is in great condition and is a Thai-Chinese joint project. No need to use 4WD, no muddy or broken bits, it's in excellent condition.

The vast majority of Chinese vehicles enter this way. Smaller numbers cross at the first Friendship Bridge between Vientiane and Nong Khai.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

i know that road and have driven it twice now since it was rebuilt and once when it was shit

a porsche still sits VERY low :-)

It's a great road, one of the best in Laos. I was driving a Lao registered car across that road, drove in from Thailand to LNT and then to Boten on the Chinese border. It was in excellent condition, just very winding and no overtaking/passing lanes.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I don;t know if I can do it: driving a Thai car in Cambodia with the steering wheel at the wrong side of the car..just like driving a British car into France.

May be I need some practice...

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  • 3 weeks later...

Any conclusion to this. Can i drive my pick up into Cambodia crossing at Chong Chom, the Surin border, anybody done that or what. What about paperwork, money?

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Any conclusion to this. Can i drive my pick up into Cambodia crossing at Chong Chom, the Surin border, anybody done that or what. What about paperwork, money?

Yes. The owner of the car must be present and name shown on registration book. Present registration book and passport at customs and off you go. Your insurance on the Thai side is no good in Cambodia and and insurance for your car is not available in Cambodia for a Thai car. Its about a 2.5 hour drive from Chong Chom to SR. Very few if any vehicles on the road to SR.

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need do paperwork thai side for temp export

nothing on Cambodian side

take the long way and go via Samrong-Banteay Chhmar- Sisophon- sr ^-7 hour trip from Surin and gives ya an hour or more at the temples

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Any conclusion to this. Can i drive my pick up into Cambodia crossing at Chong Chom, the Surin border, anybody done that or what. What about paperwork, money?

Yes. The owner of the car must be present and name shown on registration book. Present registration book and passport at customs and off you go. Your insurance on the Thai side is no good in Cambodia and and insurance for your car is not available in Cambodia for a Thai car. Its about a 2.5 hour drive from Chong Chom to SR. Very few if any vehicles on the road to SR.

It should also be possible to use a power of attorney authorising the temporary export of a vehicle to Cambodia by the person who presents the document to Thai customs if the owner is not present. At some border crossings they might occasionally try to claim it's not possible but in reality, the rules do allow for a power of attorney to be used by an operator of a vehicle whose owner is not present as long as the instructions on the document are clear. A copy of the owner's ID card or passport is also required. It might be a good idea for someone who lives near this particular crossing or travels through it regularly to check with customs on their rules. There should also be a board with the instructions given in Thai and English. I remember at the Trat (Hat Lek-Koh Kong) crossing the board there specifies the documents required and a power of attorney is allowed, in case the owner of the vehicle is not present.

In any case, very few Thai vehicles enter Cambodia and travel away from the border areas, most likely because 1) there's no insurance and 2) due to the lack of an official agreement, in theory a Thai vehicle is not supposed to leave the border province they entered in. In reality, there is often little stopping you from driving where you want.

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  • 7 months later...

Hi,

Thank you for you previous posts. Reading them, I decided to drive our car from Bangkok to Preah Vihear, Koh Ker, Siem Reap and Battambang via Chong Jom and exited at Pailin-Ban Pakard. All went as smooth as silk for the car which was not even a SUV or 4X4, but the roads on that itinerary were all in very good condition. Immigration/Customs at both points very easy. We knew we would be traveling without insurance but that did not stop us and we enjoyed the trip very much.

Only sad part is that Thai people as of early December were still not allowed to go to Preah Vihear temple, but we had a plan B to visit Koh Ker.

This was before the meeting between the two Prime Ministers in mid-December. Hope this will change.

Thank you again.

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Pattaya- Trat- Hat Lek- Shv

just did it in Nov.

Do NOT need car passport

Do NOT need Thai plates in ENglish

Do need book in ur name

Do need pay 100 baht/day ( you tell them at Cambodian side) for each day your going to stay

they will take ur temp export doc.

Easy DO NOT drive down Ekarech street in shv, you will be stopped and fined!!! anywhere else no problem

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  • 1 month later...

Pattaya- Trat- Hat Lek- Shv

just did it in Nov.

Do NOT need car passport

Do NOT need Thai plates in ENglish

Do need book in ur name

Do need pay 100 baht/day ( you tell them at Cambodian side) for each day your going to stay

they will take ur temp export doc.

Easy DO NOT drive down Ekarech street in shv, you will be stopped and fined!!! anywhere else no problem

I am planning on doing this trip soon but our cars name is under my dads name (his first name is my last name), do you think this would be a problem?

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the blue book MUST be in the name of the driver /passport holder.

or u could try and get a letter notarized that says you have permission to take it. not sue exactly what they will accept thou.

I hear its now 150 baht/day

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm in Cambodia now. I crossed a couple of days ago. This is the second time in two years I have visited Cambodia. I absolutely love it here.

This year they remembered me from crossing last year. On the Cambodia side I had a hard time, but since he remembered me he let me pass. Not sure, but it may be starting to tighten up a little.

I've been knocking around Asia for way to long. I though this year I would try to get into Vietnam? When I get back from this trip I am going to look into it.

Good travels and stay safe.

I am curious Richard. What border crossing did you have to pay 100 baht/day?

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Hello,

Where did you cross and did you have a car passport ?

Why hard time ?

Thanks.

I'm in Cambodia now. I crossed a couple of days ago. This is the second time in two years I have visited Cambodia. I absolutely love it here.

This year they remembered me from crossing last year. On the Cambodia side I had a hard time, but since he remembered me he let me pass. Not sure, but it may be starting to tighten up a little.

I've been knocking around Asia for way to long. I though this year I would try to get into Vietnam? When I get back from this trip I am going to look into it.

Good travels and stay safe.

I am curious Richard. What border crossing did you have to pay 100 baht/day?

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