Discussion in 'Cambodia - General Discussion Forum' started by sydneycraig, Jun 30, 2012.

  1. probably a stupid plan but been wanting to do for a while now....phuket to cambodia to laos and back into thai.....will be going on my trusty pcx 125.
    current 2nd (30 day extended) double tv runs out 3rd of august so plan to leave thailand by the 1st in case of any "issues"

    plan to go upto bangkok then into cambo from aranyaprathet-poipet --- then ???? around camodia and exit at stung treng in camobo to dong kralar in laos --- ??? around laos ---- then leave savannakhet where i will get another double TV and back into thai...

    think i can get (i have australian passport) 30 days on arrival at cambo and laos?? would most likely spend 2 weeks in each exploring a bit...
    i will be on a pcx125 which i own and have the green book...

    any advice appreciated - cant seem to find current info on the issues for border crossings with thai registered bike...have read lots of threads but some seem out of date so not 100% whats what!!
  2. I have recently entered with vehicles via stung treng which was easy, a non issue (few requests for 1 usd health check, usual games, but no requests for vehicle customs bribes and no problems) and last time Koh Kong which was a proper ball ache.

    Koh Kong I was in my car, they were insistent I couldnt leave the province and he now had my Thai temp export paperwork (which I would need to re enter Thailand at another border) and wasnt giving it back. He was saying all cars had to have this red plate in the window or cops would immediately stop you, making me think it would be bribe argument hell, and he wanted to keep my paperwork so that I brought the red plate back, and forced my exit via the same entry point. I was guessing bikes wont have this issue as bikes wont have any place to have the red plate.

    Also this was compounded as he would only talk to my cambo GF who is telling me he must know what hes doing, hes the official, etc.. This started to really drag on, a good 15 minutes and I am explaining I have done other borders multiple times, left the province and to just give me my Thai paperwork back.. In frustration I even floated if he wanted a 'fee' to process me and this was turned down !! After a tense 15 minutes I did get my essential Thai papers from him, and he let me come in without any paperwork processing at all. But making a big deal that I was totally on my own, I was bound to be arrested within meters (hes pointing down the rd at the police box) and generally undermining my usual confidence to just go at it and streamroller over whatever restrictions they give. Hes also telling my GF if / when I do get police stops not to say he let me through, like hes genuinely worried about it all and I am the mad one. The fact he didnt want money kinda made me feel worse, not used to cambodian officials that dont want money and think they are doing their job !!

    So he gives me the heebies, my missus is telling me I cant just ignore all the rules, and the police are going to raise hell if I just do it anyway.. So then I just do it anyway, quite nervous and ready to split at the first sight of cops.. And none batted an eyelid. All over the south, Sihanouk, Kampot, Kep, etc etc.. Up and down to PP a couple of times.. No cop ever said anything. Its a made up problem I feel, but however made up it is, I dont see how to better handle this border, you have to speak to customs to get through the guard gate (I would say stung treng you have a 50/50 to just blow past him and ignore the customs part of the process, he was actually asleep when we did our entry and we had to wake him up, and as there seems no effective customs control system for vehicles I dont see it makes much odds) but how to make this smoother and not have this problem I cant even knowing how it works now see a better way at koh kong.

    Leaving via poipet this last time it was a mad house.. Cambo side fast and fine but on the Thai side with a car theres no where to park to process out so you just block things up with your hazards on and the immigration queue (which I jumped) was over 500m back.. This was a sat lunchtime and never seen it like this.. I managed to jump the main queue by waving my car docs and asking for customs and ignoring the guy who tried to stop me just acting like I knew where I was going. You can skip the queue by walking in from the side alley and not getting into the cattle control guard zone for the backpacker buses. Even jumping the queue to just the immigration desks final queue it took me 50 minutes (with my car out there in the way, with its hazards going, not wanting to leave the queue but fearing whats going on out there) just to stamp back into Thailand. The people in the queue with me said they had been in it for 3 hours already !! I find it amazing they dont have a vehicle based queue system as if many left a car there it would be log jammed chaos. I guess they dont get so many farangs in their own cars ?? Anyway Poipet re-entry hell, make sure your not timed for a lunchtime or weekend.

    I am 50/50 on heading back in via Poipet in a few weeks as I go back to my Phnom Penh house. I managed PP to CM in 15h 5 mins in a slow old car. I reckon on the fireblade I could probably do that in a 12 hour bun burner without being high risk or silly, just a good sustained pace setting off pre dawn. Kinda fancy giving it a go. Do Poipet give the same 'only local province scene' ?? And do they try to keep your docs to force you to return the same route.
  3. I might be willing to join up with you on the Bangkok to Phnom Penh (or at least Battambang) leg. I have a Suzuki DR200, so we are about evenly matched on the highway.

    I'd want, however, to go through Pailin, rather than Poipet, for the reasons LivinLOS mentioned: that border crossing is infamously bad. Pailin is quiet, and several friends have gone through without a hitch, no need to stop at Customs on the Cambodian side. Have a look at a map - it's not that far from Aranyaprathet (the Thai side is Ban Pakkard). I have been to the border there, and it's a pretty ride in the countryside of Chantaburi, and there's a 600 baht resort with great rooms just down from the border, a perfect place to stop before an early border crossing and ride to Battambang.

    If this sounds interesting, PM me, and we can try to get something pulled together. August 1-2 or thereabouts works for me.

    I wouldn't be coming back on the bike, however. We are moving there, and I need to get it to Phnom Penh, so I'll return by plane or bus most likely. Maybe we could get a few more folks interested, so you won't end up being the lone ranger...

    Sounds like fun!
  4. "no need to stop at Customs on the Cambodian side" so not officially in cambo?!
    think id prefer to do it legally even if takes a bit of time...can be some major headaches if not...
    poipet is not so bad midweek by all accounts?? but yep, could go via pailin if official...cant see it on the map tho....
    this is my general thoughts of now but just a rough idea...,+Cambodia+to:Savannakhet,+Laos+to:Vientiane+Prefecture,+Laos+to:chiang+mai+to:bangkok&hl=en&ll=13.38962,102.436523&spn=12.480702,19.753418&sll=14.093957,101.90918&sspn=24.749329,39.506836&geocode=FbfUeQAde2jcBSlPUmLE4jFQMDEhuj0GhZrK6Q%3BFRtn0QAdSCX9BSnzYQ0oMmAdMTHHD4uFY4VFNg%3BFSkpsAAdB4dABinja2rHPVEJMTHHwLTLPMG-Tw%3BFRkpzwAdRPlQBikZJWQVkB8TMTGLuAjOkDPhjQ%3BFROy_AAd-k8-BilTk13m4MU9MTE_ih1Okguq1w%3BFU1YFAEdC3scBilpb_QY1FskMTFCZrJnlBiO6A%3BFbDPHgEd227hBSlBeJnCyMzQMDHUAyWSduFpag%3BFRtn0QAdSCX9BSnzYQ0oMmAdMTHHD4uFY4VFNg&mra=pd&t=m&z=6
  5. Cambodia's left hand doesn't know what its right hand is doing, especially as regards border crossings etc. Having the proper Thai temporary export papers is crucial to getting back into Thailand, but inside Cambodia, it's made up as you go along. There are many threads on what you need from Cambo immigration and Customs. Before you go (or if WE go), let's do a bit more research. You do know, though, that you absolutely can't get motorbike insurance, even basic liability, for a Thai registered bike, right? "Legally" is not a well-defined concept in Cambodia. The odd backhander seems to make things "legal", if you have to resort to it.

    As for your Google Maps route, it looks good, except the parts in/around Bangkok, where it has you on toll roads (like the 2nd Expressway), on which you may NOT ride a motorcycle. I have bit in the butt once too often by Google Maps to trust it to get me through on surface streets, too. Many car-only overpasses escape Google's attention (or change too frequently), and often the route it suggests is totally impossible. I wish I could say my GPS was better, but, at least with the current map, it is fairly useless in Bangkok. Be prepared to do a lot more research on how to get through BKK legally. Sukhumvit Rd. goes all the way to Pattaya, and beyond, as a first thought...

    PM me with your email, if you want to pursue this, and we can see what develops.
  6. I dont know how many times you have crossed or which entry exit points.. But the point is there is no system, just a collection of officials, sometimes with a hand out, stopping you from getting in, each doing it 'their way', with no consistency or control, or enforcement.

    Some borders they issue nothing, some borders they write or stamp 'motorbike' or 'car' on the back of an anything to declare form.. Some borders like Koh Kong they attempt to take your Thai paperwork away from you.. Ultimately when a vehicle is in Cambo its 'in' there no tracking system in place for when it came in, where it came in, when it must leave.. Etc.

    So when you find out how to 'do it legally' please go tell the customs officers so then they know..
  7. 'zackly.

    And in my limited experience, Pailin is the easiest of the easy.

    The border crossing GPS coordinates are: N12.92627 E102.49286 (edit: just looked, and Google thinks it's on the wrong side of the border, but it's close anyway; a few clicks from hwy 3193)
  8. from another forum - getting mixed replies..."There seems to be restrictions on taking scooters across to Laos, as there are bringing Lao registered scooters into Thailand (indeed, I have never seen a Thai motorcycle in Laos or a Lao motorcycle in Thailand). Plenty of cars and trucks make the crossing in both directions though and strangely, scooters from Vietnam are allowed into Laos (at least near the border) and vice versa, but that could be because hardly any Vietnamese own cars anyway? Similarly, I saw an expat on a Phnom Penh registered bike near Wat Phu Champasak in southern Laos, but that bike was a 250cc dirt bike and not a scooter. I have never seen any sort of private Thai registered vehicle (whether car or motorcycle) inside Cambodia and I've travelled overland from Bangkok to Phnom Penh many times.

    With ownership of the bike or at least a letter that confirms that the owner allows you to temporarily export the vehicle, you should be OK, but check with the Land Transport Department at Mo Chit in Bangkok to make sure that you can indeed take a scooter across to Laos - what I am quite sure about though is that at the busiest crossing, which is Nong Khai (T)-Tha Deua or Friendship Bridge 1 near Vientiane (LAO) scooters are not being allowed to cross at this time, but I have heard of foreigners that have managed to take Thai registered scooters across to Laos at more remote crossings. I'd say try any crossing without a bridge, such as the southern Chong Mek (for Pakse) crossing for entry, which is also close to Cambodia too (I have crossed by car back and forth at Chong Mek). Coming back to Thailand with a scooter tends to be easier than leaving for Laos. Keep that in mind and you should find that crossing back into Thailand from say, Savannakhet across Friendship Bridge 2 may be allowed, but not the other way round.

    Thai tourist visa in Savannakhet shouldn't be a problem and VOA for both Laos and Cambodia is easy as - I'd worry about your bike problem first. Although I do applaud your sense of adventure. I have experience driving between Thailand, Laos and Vietnam, but in a car so the requirements are different. "

    current plan is to stop in bangkok as i need to anyhow and stop at laos/cambi embassy and ask??!!! god this is tricky! maby just easier to try and see!!
  9. so im going in round in circles on various forums with different info...some say yes its all ok and can get visas paperwork at borders (most borders, and may take a bit of time but doable) and then there are others saying its not possible....there must be someone who has done the same recently with info?! or am i trying to do a stupid trip/route/bike?!

  10. I have done these countries with cars, and bikes. Each border is different, each one has a different set of hoops, but I have never failed to get over a border. I have avoided the friendship bridges tho as I read those will sometimes just say no.

    That said the smallest bike I have tried this with is a DRZ400.. I have also read that they dont like scooters.. Tho I strongly suspect they perhaps do not like thais on scooters but may be more amenable to a farang doing a tour on a scooter. Who may be less likely to abandon it, sell it, or otherwise screw up the paper chase game. Thats just a gut feeling.

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