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.