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Driving into Cambodia - Official Transit - which travel agency to contact regarding permits?


Tomtomtom69

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Hi,

As anyone familiar with the current regulations on bringing a Thai car (or motorcycle) across to Cambodia is aware, due to the lack of an official agreement on the cross border movement of private vehicles between the two countries (there is an agreement for the movement of commercial vehicles), Thai vehicles can only enter at certain crossings (Chong Chom/O'Smach, Had Lek/Koh Kong, Ban Pakkard/Prom) but must only drive within the border province they entered (at least officially, although O'Smach reportedly doesn't even have this restriction) and no insurance is available.

BUT if you request an official transit permit from Phnom Penh (normally done via a travel agency) they should be able to issue you with some paperwork and even insurance. The cost (in 2010) of a group of Australian vehicles doing so was a mere US$160 all in all, which isn't too bad. The group used Diethelm Travel (Cambodia) to organize the permits, but nowadays Diethelm claims it can't do so anymore and doesn't even know who would be able to help.

Does anyone know a travel agency, either Thai or Cambodian (but preferably Cambodian) that can organise this permit? I know most of you will probably say, just go the unofficial way, but driving without insurance is kinda risky, plus with official permission, you can even enter at say Poipet.

Hopefully the Cambodian government will soon sign an official agreement with the Thais so we can just cross anywhere like is the case with Laos and Malaysia, but that may have to wait until the implementation of AEC.

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You mentioned it . . the permit is only valid within the border province. Moving further makes you entry illegal and it is at the hands of the officials who might pull you over and ask for tea money.

You have to be aware they can confiscate your vehicle, if you drive across the border province boundary.

As far as up to now, there are no clarifications to the proper procedure, nor are there any regulations written on paper regarding private car crossing into Cambodia. It seems we have to wait for ASEAN get into the tracks before anything changes.

You can do enter with your private car, with proper paperwork, into Malaysia and Laos.

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don't count on ASEAN getting signed anytime soon with the current government.

I have no problem with driving in Cambodia with my thai car

was stopped once in Shv by a super nice fluent English speaking cop an he told me they could confiscate my car and i could lose it etc etc

went on for 30 minutes an than asked for $20 as there were four of them and they all needed $5 each lol

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You mentioned it . . the permit is only valid within the border province. Moving further makes you entry illegal and it is at the hands of the officials who might pull you over and ask for tea money.

You have to be aware they can confiscate your vehicle, if you drive across the border province boundary.

As far as up to now, there are no clarifications to the proper procedure, nor are there any regulations written on paper regarding private car crossing into Cambodia. It seems we have to wait for ASEAN get into the tracks before anything changes.

You can do enter with your private car, with proper paperwork, into Malaysia and Laos.

Looks like you stopped reading beyond my initial paragraph.

The purpose of my post was to ask who to contact if I wanted to do an OFFICIAL TRANSIT of Cambodia, rather than the unofficial, insurance-less entry at one of the three border checkpoints that allow you to enter, but don't want you to leave the border province. I am quite well aware of the current unofficial system and would be keen on getting the official permission, since it doesn't seem like a big expense and once you have the paperwork you are free to enter at any checkpoint you specify and go wherever you want and will be covered by insurance (even if the coverage amount is not much, but at least you are legal).

I agree that in theory, if you go in the unofficial way and leave the border province you entered with your car, if caught you could be in a messy situation, but in reality most people just pay a little bit of money to get themselves out of trouble and most of the time you'd be pulled over for having committed a traffic infraction, not merely driving a car with a strange number plate. Knowing Cambodia, I would find it weird that a Thai car, from a neighboring country would be pulled over, but an American number plate, belonging to a car that was recently imported into Cambodia wouldn't be?!

If it's only US$160 for the documents including third party insurance, I'd certainly pay for it.

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don't count on ASEAN getting signed anytime soon with the current government.

I have no problem with driving in Cambodia with my thai car

was stopped once in Shv by a super nice fluent English speaking cop an he told me they could confiscate my car and i could lose it etc etc

went on for 30 minutes an than asked for $20 as there were four of them and they all needed $5 each lol

You mean don't count on ASEAN (AEC) getting signed anytime soon with the current Thai government?

Maybe not, but I thought the current Thai government was constantly talking about AEC integration, investing in infrastructure to link Thailand with it's neighbors, etc. Surely there would also be an interest in implementing an official system for Thai/Cambodian private vehicles to cross each other's borders as there would be great advantages for trade/business/tourism?

Therefore, I don't know if I can agree with you or not. I did however watch a couple of mins of the General's nightly speech on TV on Friday evening. I happen to speak fluent Thai, so caught everything he said. He seems to speak in a very casual, almost too casual, unusual way, like a father addressing his children and telling them what he wants to do, what they should do. Very strange and looked like he was searching for words rather than reading off a script. One time he even said: "riak wa arai", which means, "what do you call that?" haha...I've never heard a political leader with such incoherence but anyway, I digress.

Back to this topic - sure, you can go where you want with your Thai car.

BUT given how much you know about driving in Cambodia based on your answering nearly every thread concerned with driving in Cambo, why is it you've never applied to do an official transit? If the cost is just US$160 (or whatever is now) isn't that a small price to pay for piece of mind? That's why I'm asking but strangely nobody seems to know who to contact. I presume the Cambodian Ministry of Transport can issue the permits - but a travel agent should contact them, not an individual applying for the permit themselves.

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why pay $160 when i can do it for free?

and as you, dont know who to talk to and dont want waste the time

i know one person did it the legal way, took over 3 months an than had to travel to PP WITHOUT the car to pick up the paperwork so they could drive the car into Cambodia.

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why pay $160 when i can do it for free?

and as you, dont know who to talk to and dont want waste the time

i know one person did it the legal way, took over 3 months an than had to travel to PP WITHOUT the car to pick up the paperwork so they could drive the car into Cambodia.

That explains it. But the advantages are you have insurance coverage and can enter at other borders you normally can't.

As mentioned in my OP, normally a travel agency can get the paperwork done and send you the permits. You don't have to pick them up yourself, unless you want to.

But as you say...you don't know who to contact. I guess I'll do a google search on Cambodian travel agencies to find the answer but I already know the most reliable travel agency, Diethelm, is out as they no longer do it (not sure why though) and don't know who to contact about it.

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