Avoiding the Poipet Border Scam
Crossing country borders generally can be a pain in the ass. Thailand to Cambodia is especially a bit scammy. Not too much of a bad ordeal if you do fall for the scam; as you will only be out of pocket of about $20-40 if you do fall for it, but more importantly your pride will be very much dented. That $20-40 will go a long way in Cambodia, so I hope this helps you not fall for the Poipet border scam.
I’m going to try and simplify each point so that you don’t get scammed and make a nice easy journey with no issues.
- IMPORTANT: You don’t need to get a VISA prior to getting to the border. This is all done once you get to an immigration line.
- On the bus to Poipet, you will stop off at a restaurant a couple of miles away from the border. Here a guy will tell you that you have to hand him your passport and complete a VISA form with him. He will tell you its cheaper and you will get through the border much faster. Kindly ignore him, as he is trying to scam you.
- Be nice to this guy as he got really mad at us and we started to tell the other people on our bus not to fall for the scam.
- They will tell you that if you don’t give them your money and passport, then they will not wait for you on the other side of the border. Ignore all this, as they won’t wait for you anyway.
- You will then get back on your bus and be dropped off at the border. This is the last that you will see of this bus; so don’t expect to see it on the other side.
- So IMPORTANT to remember: You will not be buying your Cambodian Visa before you are stamped out of Thailand.
Once You’re In Cambodia
- The Cambodian VISA form is very simple and quick to complete.
- It will cost you $20 and they will try and get about 100baht out of you also. I ended up paying this just to ensure I got through as quick as possible. But I am sure you can refuse if you have the patience.
- Once through the border and in Cambodia you will be approached by a load of friendly looking touts trying to get you on their bus. Ignore them.
- If you can’t find the bus you have paid to take you to Siem Reap, you are either going to have to pay for a taxi or hop on a bus.
- The bus is about $7-10 and will take you about 2 miles outside Siem Reap and drop you off at a Tuk-Tuk depo.
- You will then have to pay another $5 for the Tuk Tuk to take you to your hotel or guest house in Siem Reap.
- Best thing to do – get a group of 4/5 of you and pay for your own taxi on the Cambodian border. This will save you money, time and piece of mind.
Don’t let this put you off visiting Cambodia. It is most definitely worth all the drama and irritation of getting there.