Poi Pet: Recent Thai To Cambodia Crossing Problem


New Member
Aug 29, 2016
So I'm curious if I was too cautious, dumb for playing by the rules or smart..??

Yesterday I tried to cross with my bike (USA owner/Thai Green Book in my name) from Thailand into Cambodia via Poi Pet for a trip to Siem Reap and then PP. I checked out of Thailand with all the right paper work and as I was driving to the Immigration Arrival Check-In I was stooped by the police and they told me to park my bike at their kiosk (located right outside the Immigration Check-In). They called a guy over with a hand walkie-talkie and he escorted me into the Immigration Arrival office and waited and watched me the whole time until I got my passport stamped. After it was stamped I went to get on my bike and the police told me to follow the walkie-talkie guy to Customs.

At Customs it was lunch and no one around. The guy called the Head of Security for the Customs' yard and he showed up. When he showed up the walkie-talkie guy took off. The head of security guy explained that my bike would need a Customs Clearance document before I could leave Poi Pet. I figured that and said, "no problem let's fill one out..." He said the only place to get one was in Phnom Penh. He said my bike would have to wait at Customs until I got it. He said I could drive around Poi Pet all I wanted but that if I tried to drive around the country and got stopped without that document that I'd have problems.

I was clear that I wasn't importing my bike for the long-term only for a short vacation. He spoke English well and this point was clear.

I told him I was going to go some place for lunch and would return when a Customs Officer was on duty. He let me drive out of the yard. I decided to leave my bike at my lunch spot and walked to Customs instead of taking my bike there. The on duty Customs Official repeated exactly what the security guy said....that I had to indeed go to PP and get a clearance document. Then the Customs guy started quizzing me real hard as to where my bike was...my thoughts were that if he knew where is was he'd have someone escort me back to it to and have it returned to the yard. I did notice a lot of nice cars in the yard...with Thai license plates and figured they might be impounded waiting for their docs. Hmm...??

I tried to bribe the guy for the Clearance Doc, but he was clear that there were not any in Poi Pet at this time. Also he said there was no way to get it online. He said the only way to get it was you had to go to PP. He did say that that situation was going to change but had no idea when.

I ended up parking/hiding my bike at the border Casino parking lot and just checked out my passport and then got on my
bike and drove it back to Aran.

Should I had just said screw it and drove onto SR and PP and not worried about the Clearance Doc....?

They did mention something about the Clearance Doc rule being like this a while.... but now they were starting to enforce it more.

So was I too cautious or smart...??

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Jul 5, 2016
Great report. Unfortunately, as the guy at customs mentioned, they don't have an official agreement with Thailand yet hence the need for a permit. Although I have been told by Cambodian travel agents there is an agreement now, my hunch is it's still in the works and will only be entered into force at a later date otherwise it would have been all over the Thai and Cambodian news by now. Given buses and trucks are covered by a cross-border agreement, cars (and hopefully motorcycles too) should not be far behind, but it could still take a while.

Best thing for you to do would be to head up to Chong Chom in Surin province and cross into Cambodia at O'Smach there. It's a pleasurable 2 hour ride from the border to Siem Reap on a reasonable quality road, with far less traffic than on the main Poipet-Siem Reap highway 6. The road from O'Smach joins highway 6 around 30km (18mi) west of Siem Reap.