An increasing number of flights are available to Phnom Penh and Siem Reap from nearby nations, but some regard Bangkok in Thailand as the best option to go to Cambodia. Foreigners can enter Cambodia via Cham Yeam (Koh Kong) Crossing. This means that other than the place that has been specifically designated; it is impossible to enter Cambodia.
As long as travelers get past the border checkpoint, they can explore Cambodia. There are just a few points of entry for tourists into Cambodia and therefore, these places are closely watched. Read on to know all about entering Cambodia via Cham Yeam (Koh Kong) Crossing.
The provincial capital of Koh Kong is located in the Cardamom Mountains of Cambodia. It is 8 kilometers from Cham Yeam, which is connected to Hat Lek, Thailand, through the southernmost Thai border crossing in Cambodia.
Having a tiny town and some of Asia’s largest tropical mangroves, beautiful islands, and mountains surrounding it, Koh Kong is one of Cambodia’s greenest and most environmentally friendly provinces. The southernmost border crossing between Thailand and Cambodia is at Hat Lek. Cham Yeam, located approximately 8 kilometers from Koh Kong, is its Cambodian equivalent.
Getting in: Cham Yeam International Checkpoint Border Crossing. The location of Cham Yeam Border Checkpoint: NR48, Hat Lek 23110. It is open Monday to Sunday from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. For the import and export of commodities, the Cham Yeam border checkpoint is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. Before leaving, carefully inspect the access point. Only those with a Cambodia Visa are permitted to enter the nation from this point.
Even if visitors already have a visa for Cambodia, they must still get an entry stamp on their passports when traveling overland. Failing to do so will result in significant issues when it comes time to depart the country. On the other hand, many have reported on forums that if a tourist requires a visa on arrival, this is to be regarded as the worst Cambodian land border with Thailand.
There have been instances where officers have charged visitors more than necessary. In most cases, these officials either won’t budge at all, or visitors may find it difficult to pay the stated sum. This is particularly true if one requires a regular visa, in which case the officer will hold up a laminated notice stating that they must present specific documentation in addition to paying the $35 official fee.
This is why it is advised to get a Cambodia visa online beforehand. For a regular visa, be prepared with the necessary documentation and have enough cash on hand to pay the visa fee. After getting it, tourists can then tour Cambodia. A Cambodia visa can also be obtained before leaving Thailand. The Cambodian Embassy in Bangkok can provide visitors with a visa, or they can get a Cambodia e-Visa beforehand. This will guarantee that they can enter without encountering any issues with border officials at Cham Yeam Border Crossing. All in all, it is best if travelers carry out their research before making travel plans to Cambodia via the land crossing.
Some travelers have reported waiting times of 10 minutes in Cambodia and 15 minutes in Thailand.
In some cases, a minority of visitors have complained of being duped regarding visas and even of spending hours at the border waiting for further transportation.
Travelers should watch out for scams when entering Cham Yeam. Some believe that the hassles and fraud that expats have grown to associate with this border crossing are now on the wane. As of today, things are a lot more relaxed down here, provided visitors carry the Cambodia e-Visa.
Savvy foreigners won’t be conned at this crossing, despite the possibility that some Cambodians may approach them with dollar signs in their eyes.
As soon as visitors approach the Cambodian checkpoint, they should be prepared to get confronted. Officials may begin to inquire about the destination almost immediately.
At times, visitors might get accosted when they cross the border between the two nations. If visitors need to purchase a new visa, they can go to the visa services window rather than the arrivals window and fill out the necessary forms. Anticipate extortion but do not give in to unreasonable demands. It should cost $35 for an "ordinary" or business visa. In some cases, visitors have been overcharged as much as $45 despite haggling. Paying $50 for a business visa at this border is commonplace.
Reportedly, there are 2 lanes.
By crossing the bridge and then following the signage, tourists can drive to the checkpoint. The rest can be accomplished on foot after parking is found at the border. Visitors should be ready to cross the border on foot, as is the case with all land borders between Cambodia and Thailand. Motorcycle parking is available if necessary.
Travelers are free to bring a bike to the border and cross it there. Tourists can also rent a tuk-tuk. A tuk-tuk will generally charge $5 one way. Depending on the visitor’s ability to negotiate, the price for a round-trip rental could be double that amount or less. Between the town and the border, there are motorcycles, shared taxis, and taxis. Avoid giving in to the drivers’ requests for more money. Negotiate in dollars instead of Thai baht because baht pricing always ends up being more expensive.
Depending on the traveler’s negotiating skills, they may have to spend a few bucks for the trip if they take a tuk-tuk from the border. If they go on the trip with someone, they can split the fee. If travelers choose to take a taxi, the driver should ask them for $3 per person, and he will wait until he has four passengers. The driver may offer to convert money to riel at generally bad exchange rates. In such cases, it’s best to respectfully decline, as it is not required by law to do so. The Thai baht is accepted in Koh Kong and other border provinces.
Beware of costly bus tickets if tourists intend to travel farther into Cambodia. It is advised not to agree to this mode of transportation if it costs $15 to $30 US. Agencies may claim that the regular price is $25 or $30 and that, thus, USD15 is a significant discount, but this is untrue.
While troublesome authorities are becoming less common, several tried-and-tested tactics could be worth knowing about. The arrivals office is reportedly on the left side of the street. It is best to disregard the phony quarantine facility. If travelers start following the directions of the touts, they will take their temperature, provide travelers with a fake form, and demand 20–400 Baht. This form is not required, and it won’t be requested when applying for a visa or entrance stamp.
A tourist visa costs around USD 30. Visitors may be asked for 1500 baht (about $45) or $30 plus a 100–300-baht fee. If travelers pay this amount, the visa may arrive quickly. Insisting on paying merely $30 may result in a delay. A corrupt official may know in the late afternoon that a delay could result in missing further transportation, which makes the bribe appear more alluring. This is why travelers should strive to arrive early.
Just know that all that a visitor needs to spend to eventually get through is $30 (plus 100 baht for no photo). Although a "friendly" tout will probably offer a visa form as soon as a tourist enters the office, forms are accessible at the counter to the left of the visa window. A passport photo is necessary for the visa. If a visitor doesn’t have a photo, then they must pay a 100-baht fee.
Stock up on US dollars before crossing the border, or change money where better exchange rates are available.
An e-Visa, which costs US$37 and is the same as the $30 visa but is purchased online in advance, is a better alternative. The Cambodia e-Visa can save a lot of time at the border. Once the visitors have acquired their visa, it’s time to head to the arrival window to get an admission stamp into Cambodia. The journey to the town’s center takes about 10 minutes.