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Border crossing problems yet again!


Scouse123

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Hi,

April 24th. We got to the border early after a night in Aranyaprathet with my Thai wife and three close friends from Europe whom we were taking on a three countries tour to show the sights. No problem crossing the border from Thailand, quiet and efficient service. The problem started alomost immediately on the Cambodian side. A tour guide, who couldn't wait to flash his credentials started asking us questions. I explained we were regular travellers and did not need his assistance as I have a 12 month E visa and my wife does not require a visa and she had her passport. Our friends would get visa on arrival at the Police immigration office.

He followed us to the immigration constantly trying to " assist " with basic form filling and was told again his assistance wasn't needed. He then started to explain after the visa was given we would proceed to immigration clearance. I told him " yet again " we understood the procedure and were familiar with it. I actually suggested to my partner to give him 200 baht for his help and send him on his way.

We arrived at immigration to a small queue and AGAIN he followed us. He kept questioning us about where were we going and how were we getting there as we could get on the FREE BUS where there would be good taxis and we would be taken to our destination. I then made a HUGE MISTAKE and told him we were to be picked up. He suggested we get on the FREE BUS as taxis were not allowed in that area. This was nonsense, as I walked past the free bus and there were taxis galore offering Siem Reap for $30 per car.

As I walked back by the roundabout I saw our pre booked cars had arrived from Siem Reap. I had done this as the guy collecting us was a tuk tuk driver in Siem Reap with a good name for being fair to tourists and taking them to off the beaten track places as well as Angkor and also because he knew where the new boutique hotel was that we were staying in. Also, taxis from Poipet frequently try to drop passengers on the outskirts of Siem Reap at taxi stands with guys selling temple tours for commissions.

This tour guide, who had been speaking to a policeman ( they were in this together) and who had a big red and white metal pole (for some reason) by the free bus rushed to the policeman; who came running over stamping his stick on the ground and shouting in Khmer.

After much of a kerfuffle, we were told the taxis would not be allowed to pick us up there but if we got on the free bus they could collect us at the bus station and any attempt to get in a taxi at the border then we would be stopped by the police.

. The bus station, we found out, is 12 Kilometres away in the middle of nowhere. We had very reluctantly agreed as the sun was beating down strong. Arriving there, there were signs for taxis at $48-$52 per car to Siem Reap. This guy from the ministry of Tourism became very aggressive and told our driver he was wrong to collect us and unless he paid a " fine " of $36 he would return to Siem Reap with both cars empty. I argued with him and was told directly by him that we would be left there at the bus station with no taxis other than theirs if the fine wasn't paid and No, they would not return us to the border!!! and if they did they wanted 200 baht per person x 5 people for the FREE BUS!!!

It leaves a bad taste in the mouth of first time tourists arriving at this border crossing. I would definitely like to look for alternative crossings in the future but my wife says this is the most convenient and safest to park our car with security in a safe environment on the Thai side of the border and collect a taxi to Siem Reap and get there in two hours!

WELCOME TO SCAMBODIA!

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Must be something about you... I cross that border a lot and yes, there are touts but I have never had one persist past a "no thanks" because there are zillions of suckers waiting to be fleeced; why waste your time on those resisting your pitch? As for the taxi thing, I have a driver pick me up at the border every single time. Never had an issue.

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Hi,

I cross it a great deal too and this is the first time it has happened to me although I have heard the stories of others.

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I always say that I have my own car and will drive myself when they ask how I will travel onwards from there... that might help you avoid it in the future. Last time I went through, the police seemed to have relaxed a bit and drivers were picking up without problems from the roundabout outside.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Crossed at Poipet today. No big problem. Just ignored all who approached me or else answered (in Khmer) no to questions of a "need a car?" Variety and also all "siem reap?" Inqueries of which there were several. In my case true as I am heading to phnom penh....but I would advise those going to SR to likewise deny it until well clear of the immediate immigration area. The hopeful tone of the "Siem Reap?" Queries together with OP's report suggest to me that some scheme may indeed be in place to make money off travelers on that route.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I crossed without any hassle 2 June. Indeed, the Siem Reap questions were plenty but nobody was hanging on to me. I walked out of the place and some motorbike drivers tried their luck. Their hope was to deliver me to a bus company and collect a fee from the vendor (and indirectly me). Told them that I can walk 200 meters and off their were.

The scavengers sense who is a first timer and who comes regularly. So experiences are likely to differ by degrees.

The key is to have a game plan and stick to it. Prior info is essential.

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If I go to Arun to do a visa run, meaning cross the border, leave Thailand, go into Cambodia and then turn around and come back into Thailand with a 30-day tourist stamp what should I know.?How much is the visa for Cambodia and do I need a photo and should I pay in US dollars. Can I do everything on foot? If I do the visa run from Arun I will more likely than not drive. Any suggestions for parking while i cross the border. What time do the Immigration paces open and close or are they open 24/7? Thanks.

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If I go to Arun to do a visa run, meaning cross the border, leave Thailand, go into Cambodia and then turn around and come back into Thailand with a 30-day tourist stamp what should I know.?How much is the visa for Cambodia and do I need a photo and should I pay in US dollars. Can I do everything on foot? If I do the visa run from Arun I will more likely than not drive. Any suggestions for parking while i cross the border. What time do the Immigration paces open and close or are they open 24/7? Thanks.

There is a high chance of refusal if you walk out, get a Khmer visa and try to walk back in again. Back to back visa waivers are now very much frowned upon. However, if you want to take the chance - a Cambodia tourist visa is $30, you need a photo (or say 100 Baht to smooth things over) and yes, you pay in USD unless you want to be given the world's worst Baht to USD exchange rate. The main borders are open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. the smaller borders are open less... assume 9 to 5 and you won't be far wrong.

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If I go to Arun to do a visa run, meaning cross the border, leave Thailand, go into Cambodia and then turn around and come back into Thailand with a 30-day tourist stamp what should I know.?How much is the visa for Cambodia and do I need a photo and should I pay in US dollars. Can I do everything on foot? If I do the visa run from Arun I will more likely than not drive. Any suggestions for parking while i cross the border. What time do the Immigration paces open and close or are they open 24/7? Thanks.

There is a high chance of refusal if you walk out, get a Khmer visa and try to walk back in again. Back to back visa waivers are now very much frowned upon. However, if you want to take the chance - a Cambodia tourist visa is $30, you need a photo (or say 100 Baht to smooth things over) and yes, you pay in USD unless you want to be given the world's worst Baht to USD exchange rate. The main borders are open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. the smaller borders are open less... assume 9 to 5 and you won't be far wrong.

If no photo they charge you $1-2

Visa is $30 and at times they try an hit you with a 100 baht "express"service

SOMETIMES they require you to stay the night, but you wont know 100% till ur there

Plenty of GH's around or splurge and stay at the casino an you can use Thai Baht there.

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The nearby town is Poipet and unless you like to gamble it is pretty much of a dump. The best accomodation is probably at one of the Casino hotels. By contrast there is a nice resort in Pailin (the town opposite one of the crossings in Chantaburi) so if you are travelling from Bangkok I'd consider crossing there instead.

In addition to crack down on in-out visa exempt travel (now completely disallowed) there is also a crack down on excessive use of visa exempt entries (what some people mistakenly call visa on arrival) as well as on abuse of tourist visas, abuse in both cases being defined as using those mechanisms to stay long term in Thailand. So you may run into problems even if you stay in Cambodia for a few nights and I would place high odds on it if staying there only one night.

In addition, need to be aware that at a land border you will get visa exempt entry only for 14 days not 30.

If you have a multiple entry tourist visa and are exiting/re-entering in order to restart the clock that is altogether different (though back to back exit/entry may still be frowned on).

I suggest you post in the Thai visa sub-forum for expert advice on this. When you do, specify whether you have a visa now and if so what type, and how many if any prior entries into Thailand you have made in past year as both are relevant to likelihood of being let back in.

The issue is entirely on the Thai side i.e. whether they'll let you back in given the new policy. Cambodian visa is easily gotten on arrival or can get an e-visa in advance, and they don't care how long or short your stay. Parking is ok at most border crossings as well.

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If I go to Arun to do a visa run, meaning cross the border, leave Thailand, go into Cambodia and then turn around and come back into Thailand with a 30-day tourist stamp what should I know.?How much is the visa for Cambodia and do I need a photo and should I pay in US dollars. Can I do everything on foot? If I do the visa run from Arun I will more likely than not drive. Any suggestions for parking while i cross the border. What time do the Immigration paces open and close or are they open 24/7? Thanks.

There is a high chance of refusal if you walk out, get a Khmer visa and try to walk back in again. Back to back visa waivers are now very much frowned upon. However, if you want to take the chance - a Cambodia tourist visa is $30, you need a photo (or say 100 Baht to smooth things over) and yes, you pay in USD unless you want to be given the world's worst Baht to USD exchange rate. The main borders are open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. the smaller borders are open less... assume 9 to 5 and you won't be far wrong.

If no photo they charge you $1-2

Visa is $30 and at times they try an hit you with a 100 baht "express"service

SOMETIMES they require you to stay the night, but you wont know 100% till ur there

Plenty of GH's around or splurge and stay at the casino an you can use Thai Baht there.

Border crossing all have the same times. 6am to 10pm That went into effect a year ago.

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In addition, need to be aware that at a land border you will get visa exempt entry only for 14 days not 30.

G7 countries get 30 days

Have never read anyone being refused after spending at least 1 night out

Sadao for Malaysia also requires one night in Malaysia to come back

Also suggest you have 20,000 baht to show in case they ask

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I've both read and witnessed people being refused after more than a 1 night out if they had what was considered to be a "suspicious" number of entries and were unable to convince the immigration officer that they were truly entering for tourism. This started about a year ago and there seems to be something programmed in the database that flags the number of entries.

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If I go to Arun to do a visa run, meaning cross the border, leave Thailand, go into Cambodia and then turn around and come back into Thailand with a 30-day tourist stamp what should I know.?How much is the visa for Cambodia and do I need a photo and should I pay in US dollars. Can I do everything on foot? If I do the visa run from Arun I will more likely than not drive. Any suggestions for parking while i cross the border. What time do the Immigration paces open and close or are they open 24/7? Thanks.

Even if you wanted to drive across that border you can't. Private vehicles, particularly Thai registered ones are refused entry to Cambodia there as there is no agreement that governs their entry. The only Thai vehicles that may be allowed to cross are the ones going to the "no-mans" land between Thai and Cambodian immigration, but even to get there the Thais will issue temporary export forms - you could park your car in the casinos there but will the Thais even allow that either? There are at least 2 parking lots right before Thai immigration on the right hand side. Park there, everyone else does too.

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If I go to Arun to do a visa run, meaning cross the border, leave Thailand, go into Cambodia and then turn around and come back into Thailand with a 30-day tourist stamp what should I know.?How much is the visa for Cambodia and do I need a photo and should I pay in US dollars. Can I do everything on foot? If I do the visa run from Arun I will more likely than not drive. Any suggestions for parking while i cross the border. What time do the Immigration paces open and close or are they open 24/7? Thanks.

There is a high chance of refusal if you walk out, get a Khmer visa and try to walk back in again. Back to back visa waivers are now very much frowned upon. However, if you want to take the chance - a Cambodia tourist visa is $30, you need a photo (or say 100 Baht to smooth things over) and yes, you pay in USD unless you want to be given the world's worst Baht to USD exchange rate. The main borders are open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. the smaller borders are open less... assume 9 to 5 and you won't be far wrong.

If no photo they charge you $1-2

Visa is $30 and at times they try an hit you with a 100 baht "express"service

SOMETIMES they require you to stay the night, but you wont know 100% till ur there

Plenty of GH's around or splurge and stay at the casino an you can use Thai Baht there.

Border crossing all have the same times. 6am to 10pm That went into effect a year ago.

All 6? Thai-Cambodian border crossings now open between 6am and 10pm? I can confirm both Aran-Poipet and Hat Lek (Khlong Yai)-Koh Kong (Cham Yeam) open between 6am and 10pm since early 2014 but I didn't know about the other crossings. I have been to Ban Laem in the past year too, but didn't see any evidence that they open until 10pm although since I crossed back into Thailand around 6pm I guess I didn't care to check.

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I've both read and witnessed people being refused after more than a 1 night out if they had what was considered to be a "suspicious" number of entries and were unable to convince the immigration officer that they were truly entering for tourism. This started about a year ago and there seems to be something programmed in the database that flags the number of entries.

That's quite possible if someone has a history of serious visa waiver abuse. But for most people spending a couple of nights away (preferably more than just 1) does help their cause. An "in-out" on the same day is definitely no longer recommended and the more willing you are to spend a couple of days away in say Siem Reap, the better your chances of getting back into Thailand.

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