Denied Entry At Poi Pet From Thailand!

Discussion in 'Cambodia - General Discussion Forum' started by faynce, Dec 24, 2016.

  1. faynce

    faynce Member

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    Today we were denied entry with big bikes into Cambodia from Thailand. I checked the forums, and supposedly all we needed to cross were green books and passports.

    We exited Thailand no problem, but then we were turned away at Cambodia for not having some kind of import form that they claim takes 2-4 days, and must be applied for back in Thailand. They said we were welcome in Cambodia, but our motorcycles were not.

    Does anybody know anything about any of this? I couldn't find any information about this paperwork they were talking about.

    Also, should I try again tomorrow at Hat Lek or Pak Khlong?
     
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  2. faynce

    faynce Member

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    My wife and I are hoping for some information from you find folks as soon as possible, so we have something to go on. I hate that our Christmas plans are being ruined. :(
     
  3. Goran Phuket

    Goran Phuket Moderator
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    This happens some time on Poi Pet, quite notorious border crossing. At times very rude immigration and customs officials. I went via Hat Lek few times and it has always been more than pleasant experience.
     
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  4. harrythefinn

    harrythefinn Ol'Timer

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    Always worth trying somewhere else , Osmach has been easy quite often. But then it could be "tit for tat " starting at the borders as Cambodian registered motorcycles need pre clearance/ permits now into Thailand. I sincerely hope not as any increase in the paper war is never welcome to free souls on motorcycles. Anyone with a recent update at a border crossing into Cambodia ??
     
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  5. lightcycle

    lightcycle Professional Nomad

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    We entered with our Thai-registered CRF250Ls from Osmach on Dec 8th and exited the same crossing two weeks later without any problem. All you need is your Green Book and passport. Thailand gives you a temp export paper and you keep it until you return, at which point you hand it back in again.

    Cambodian side will overcharge you for the $30USD visa in your passport (it's up to you whether you want to make a big stink about it or not), but other than that they didn't ask for any permit or customs. We just rode in and out.

    Very easy border crossing.
     
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  6. faynce

    faynce Member

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    Since Cambodia decided it didn't want our tourist money, we drove to the Koh Chang ferry the next day and gave our money to Thailand instead.

    Good choice, Cambodia!
     
  7. Jimenator

    Jimenator Ol'Timer

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    Nope, that's not it. Cambodian customs at Poipet have been a problem for Thai registered private vehicles for years. You see, Cambodia and Thailand only share an agreement covering buses and trucks, which enter and exit Poipet in their dozens daily (especially trucks), but there is no agreement covering cars or motorcycles since the Cambodian side is dragging their feet on this issue for some unknown reason. Exiting Cambodia at Poi Pet for Thailand is no problem, I've done it.

    Nowadays, Cambodian vehicles can still enter Thailand under the new rules without making pre-arrangements, provided they do not leave the border province entered and return back through the same border they entered. The law has always been like this for Cambodian vehicles, since the Cambodians have the same rule in place for Thai vehicles, just that it wasn't enforced until June 27, 2016. It appears that some Cambodian vehicles are still "slipping through the net" and leaving the border province entered without permission since I have seen Cambodian cars and one motorcycle driving in various parts of Thailand over the past few months, including a few weeks ago in Tak province where I spotted a Phnom Penh plate heading north on the Mae Sot-Mae Sariang road. This will continue as long as the Thai police are not actively stopping these vehicles, despite checkpoints in places like Trat province where you have as many as 4 checkpoints between the border and the Chanthaburi provincial boundary. Customs are however enforcing the return through the same border checkpoint rule for Cambodian vehicles unless they have a permit. It could be that they will crack down especially once the new guide rule goes into effect in March, as I've been reading about recently but since the new rules have gone into effect it's still largely business as usual at the Thai-Cambodian borders as far as local vehicles are concerned.

    The only two border crossings that definitely work for private Thai vehicles (or indeed, any foreign registrations) without needing advance permission from Phnom Penh are Chong Chom/O'Smach and Hat Lek (Khlong Yai)/Koh Kong. The latter will probably tell you that you can't leave the province with your vehicle but in reality there is nothing stopping you - I've done it. Leaving Cambodia is fine at any crossing though Chong Sa Ngam/Anlong Veng is a bit uncertain since some reports suggest that vehicles can't cross there at all, in any direction not even for local travel, while others claim that permission was granted but only for travel as far as Siem Reap. Exiting at Poipet, Pailin (Pong Nam Ron) is OK while Ban Laem should be OK but is also a maybe.
     
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  8. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    Thanks for the car write up, but I think Harri was talking about motorbikes as was the OP.
    On all the border crossings it seems if the motorbikes are excluded from the cross border transport agreements; & the issue gets confused.
    What applies to the 4W vehicles does not apply to the bikes.

    BTW what was the last border crossing you did on a motorbike?
     
  9. Jimenator

    Jimenator Ol'Timer

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    Koh Kong. Actually, I was referring to both cars and bikes - I have not noticed any difference in treatment at any Cambodian borders. I crossed at Koh Kong on a motorcycle, same procedure as by car, just needed the green book. I've never even bothered trying to enter at Poipet (whether by bike or car) knowing the problems there. Indeed the cross border agreements exclude bikes but since Cambodia and Thailand only have an agreement covering trucks and buses (excluding bikes and cars) they are treated the same by customs at least in my experience and from my own observations (have seen bikers nearly every time I've been to Koh Kong, less often at O'Smach).
     
  10. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    It sounds like you normally cross the borders by car there.
    What other bike crossings have you done to Cambodia. I get confused easily, trying to follow this thread & your post, sorry.
     
  11. Jimenator

    Jimenator Ol'Timer

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    No worries. In my original post I simply said "vehicles" in general by which I meant both cars and bikes. Indeed I have crossed to Cambodia by car more often than by bike - I used to take my bike more often when my car was still on finance but in more recent times have been going by car with my family.

    I have also been through O'Smach by bike (2015). Same procedure as by car. Haven't tried any other crossings but can confirm that Ban Laem is a no-no for any vehicles (cars or motorcycles) going in or out except crossings in the near vicinity for example to the casino, although even then most vehicles cross from Ban Pakkard and drive the 30-40km to get to Ban Laem rather than crossing directly since Cambodian customs there seem to be quite strict. Pailin (Ban Pakkard) seems to be OK for cars at least, provided you agree not to leave Pailin province. Last time I was in the Pailin area was in 2014 so not sure if things have changed since. To be safe, I'd recommend only O'Smach and Koh Kong for entry as they are trouble free (except if you can obtain a permit from the relevant ministry in Phnom Penh allowing another entry point).
     
  12. brian_bkk

    brian_bkk Ol'Timer

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    Poipet has been no go for some time.. also a notorious crossing since time began

    Especially since the bombs went off in Bangkok and officialdom was found to have assisted the departure for compensation.

    As the other posters say. Osmarch, or hat lek are fine and never had issues. Except thai side failed to give correct export paper work 4 years back and when still allowed to cross back at Poipet.. had to complete the export forms so everything matched up.

    More here for Osmarch and Poipet at that time..

    A 3 day meander.. Bangkok - Preah Vihear - Siem Reap - Bangkok
     
  13. Jimenator

    Jimenator Ol'Timer

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    #13 Jimenator, Jan 8, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2017
    Correct. However, the issues you speak of regarding Aranyaprathet/Poipet are immigration issues and do not apply to bringing your own vehicle (car or motorcycle) in or out. Normally the Thai side is happy to issue export documentation there, but will tell you that they can't guarantee the Cambodian side will allow your vehicle in. Exiting is never a problem and entering Thailand no problem if a holder of any Thai visa or an expat resident. Since December 31, they are now limiting visa-free entries to 2 entries per calendar year at all overland checkpoints.
     
  14. brian_bkk

    brian_bkk Ol'Timer

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    There is more than immigration at play at this crossing . .
    As the other posters have said. Best to cross at Osmarch or hat lek..

    My final words
     
  15. Jimenator

    Jimenator Ol'Timer

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    I was referring only to the Thai side. Thai customs are friendly. The Cambodian side is only friendly to passengers, buses and trucks, not to private motorcycles and cars. That's the issue at Poipet and nothing has changed in this respect for years. Only an official cross-border transport agreement with Thailand covering private vehicles will change that.
     
  16. 2ind4ken

    2ind4ken New Member

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    Hi....I had the same thing happen yesterday. I just posted what happened to me in this same forum. Did you have the same experience. ??

    Ken
     
  17. Jimenator

    Jimenator Ol'Timer

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    So you were refused at the Aran/Poipet crossing with a motorcycle? Fortunately, I have not experienced this because I knew the (unofficial) Cambodian law already in advance; it's been like this for years. Therefore I didn't try to enter there - I have exited at Poipet for Thailand which was no problem. Entering however is uncertain so better to stick with Hat Lek/Koh Kong and Chong Chom/O'Smach.
     
  18. 2ind4ken

    2ind4ken New Member

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    My question is....so lets say I go to another entry point that's less restrictive. But now I am driving around Cambodia without any Customs clearance docs. What happens if I am stopped...or worse I get in an accident that required the police to be involved. I could have just skipped the Customs and drove on... Was I being too cautious by following the rules.....??
     
  19. Jimenator

    Jimenator Ol'Timer

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    Good question.

    Based on all the reports I've seen posted here and elsewhere it seems that the police in Cambodia know there is no official system for temporarily bringing in foreign registered private vehicles yet. Sometimes the police in Sihanoukville will 'lecture' foreigners driving foreign (mainly Thai, occasionally Vietnamese) bikes or cars about the 'legality' of driving outside of Koh Kong province (or Kampot for Vietnamese registrations) all the way to Sihanoukville but will eventually let them go. The main issue is what happens when you get into an accident...however, you probably won't be treated any better or worse than driving a locally registered bike or car since local insurance probably won't get you very far anyway. It's your ability to pay off the cops and compensate for the damages and injuries that result in an accident that matters more.

    Best piece of advice is to decide for yourself how much risk you are willing to take - it seems not a whole lot of foreigners take the risk of driving a foreign vehicle to Cambodia compared to Laos - most likely this is due to the lack of an official customs temporary import system in place. If Cambodia were like Laos, every adventurous car driver and biker from all over the place would go there.
     
  20. faynce

    faynce Member

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    So does Cambodia just hate tourist money? Or what?
     
  21. Col Douglas

    Col Douglas New Member

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    I'm a new member today, I finally was given the thumbst up from the site security...so here goes.
    I have left Thailand on my Thai bike 4 times at Baan Pakad and 4 times at Ban Hatlek.
    I usually return through Ban Hatlek border. But once I came back into Thailand at Poipet.
    Im in Phnom Penh at the moment having crossed back into Cambodia last Monday at Baan Pakad.
    Never had an issue leaving Thailand on the bike, apartment from this time Thai customs only gave me 14days temp export instead of the 30 day's I used to get on my previous trips.
    Many years ago I read and observed that the fundamental difference that restricted cars from freely travelling out of the border region's of Cambodia was that Thai cars are right-hand drive and Cambo cars are left-hand drive. But bikes no problem.
    I once return to Thailand at poipet, it took 10 minute's to do the customs and even did my immigration visa exemption at the same gate...but sent my pilllio passenger back to the main immigration office where she had to queue for an hour or so...
    The only border crossing which I have had an issue with was crossing from Cambodia to Laos, but that's another story.
    Next week I plan to return to Thailand through Osmarch crossing.
    I would like to know if anyone has taken the road up there from Siem Reap as I have traveled up some really bad roads in Cambodia, especially when it's been raining?
     
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  22. Dodraugen

    Dodraugen Ol'Timer

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    #22 Dodraugen, Apr 29, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2018
    Its not recently but I rode from O’Smach and down to Siem Reap in February 2015 and the road was great at that time.
    But the Cambodians are known to let some money slip into eachothers pockets instead of being used for construction and materials so the thickness of the asphalt layer on the road might be substandard and thus potholes and wear might come quickly.
    Maybe someone with more recent experience can add some info...
     
  23. Col Douglas

    Col Douglas New Member

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    T
    Thanks for the information, at least I know it's had asphalt on the road, I've experienced some road's that have never and it's hard work on a road bike. Yes, I know what you mean about the pot holes...ive I seen them appear on new asphalt after only one wet season..
    Thanks mate... will report back on what I discover next week
     
  24. Col Douglas

    Col Douglas New Member

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    Came back over the border from Cambodia to Thailand last Sunday 06-05-18 no problems crossing at O'smach, took only 15 mins to do the immigration and customs. With it being mid day on a Sunday there wasn't any queue.
    The road from Siem Reap to the border was in good nick, a few hundred metres of beat up tarmac only.
    Nice ride
     
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  25. jethro69

    jethro69 Ol'Timer

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    So for my understanding, the Thai customs give you the temporary export papers and collect them upon return ? The part what differs from Laos is that Cambodian customs don't issue a temporary import paper, is that correct ?
    And I thought there is something that you should get Cambodian License plates for your bike, but they rarely do, so you might be pulled aside by a cop if you decide to stop.
    What's about an insurance for Cambodia, nothing available ?
     

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