Denied entry to Cambodia from Laos. Other options?

Discussion in 'General Discussion / News / Information' started by chenghisean, Jan 31, 2014.

  1. chenghisean

    chenghisean Member

    Hey all,

    My wife and I are riding around Asia for 14 months, and we're currently finishing up our Laos leg. We spent a couple nights in the 4,000 islands and then headed to the border. At the border, we walked over to Cambodian customs and were told that they don't allow ANY Thai registered bikes into Cambodia. Clearly, plenty of people are getting into Cambodia with Thai registered bikes. (We bought ours last October and they are in our names, with greenbooks and customs declaration from the initial entry to Laos.)

    We crossed into Laos at the Chiang Khong point with no problems and then actually got our bikes on a slow boat to Luang Prabang ...well, no problems except what appears to be the usual bureaucratic bullshit that that crossing now entails. (You can read our report here: http://www.coyoteandsaint.com/crossing-laos-ferrymens-guild/)

    What are the options for getting into Cambodia? We're currently back in Pakse enjoying a few beers. Should we go back into Thailand and try a different crossing? One from the Thai side? What crossings would people recommend?
     
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  3. chenghisean

    chenghisean Member

    Made it in via a northern immigration checkpoint! The Thai immigration officer said we were "very lucky" that the Cambodians let us in. I take it the official policy is to NOT let Thai-registered bikes into Cambodia?
     
  4. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    So any idea what was the name of the border crossing you used?
     
  5. chenghisean

    chenghisean Member

    Hi David,

    We crossed at the Choam Sa-Ngam / Chong Chom checkpoint.

    When we arrived, we went straight to the Cambo customs to make sure they'd let us in. The custom official there said he wanted to see our "motorcycle passport." I assume he meant carnet, which we didn't have. I showed him our Thai Greenbooks instead. That seemed to do the trick. He said we could get in.

    Back at the Thai side, we went through immigration and filled out and paid for Thai customs forms. (About 300B per bike.) The Thai official there was great: he said the Cambodian guys weren't really allowed to let us in, but it just depended on their mood.

    When we finished up with the Thai side, we went back to the Cambodian side. We needed a visa, so the Cambodian immigration guys needed to call a guy, who showed up on a scooter with a briefcase. Initially, he just said there was no way we were getting in with motorcycles. It wasn't allowed. Then we told him the customs guy said we could. He went to talk to him, came back, and said it was okay. When he checked our passports he saw my wife was born in Texas. Apparently he'd lived in Texas for awhile. So, once that fact was established, he was super nice and filled out everything quickly, we shared a couple jokes, and we were on our way.

    So, long story short: it's gonna be hit or miss. Just be nice, smile, and be aware you might have to bribe someone a bit.
     
  6. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Thanks for the update & sharing the info.
    Much appreciated.
     

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