Cambodia Visa Process
There are a number of ways that you can obtain a 30 day tourist visa for Cambodia, but in this post I will explain how we did it and tell you about our experience.
Bus 24 from Ho Chi Minh to Phnom Penh
To begin with my partner Blanaid and I were staying at The Pink Tulip Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City a few days before we planned to enter Cambodia. This is where we became friendly with a lovely dutch man who was the owner of the hotel. He advised us to book our trip to Phnom Penh via a local company called Sorya Dekchunchoun Nakdamnoeur who take you through the border on an organised bus and prepare your Cambodian visa for you.
After looking at our options we decided to go with the company suggested and our experience with them was very good. The bus was comfortable, the team advised us on what to do and they also sorted out our visa’s all for $12 each.
A bus ticket from Ho Chi Minh City to Phnom Penh plus a tour guide who advises you on what to do/where to go and prepares your entry visa into Cambodia for you = $12 each
The cost of a 30 day tourist visa into Cambodia (which is a standard price) = $35 each
The overall journey consisted of 4 stops. First we left Ho Chi Minh City on the organised bus and headed towards the border of Cambodia which took about 2 and a half hours to reach.
On our way to the border, a member of staff asked us for our passports along with $35 inside each of them to pay for the visa. The staff then took care of everything else which included filling out our Cambodian tourist visa application for us.
Once we reached the Vietnamese exit border we got off the bus with all of our belongings and went through security.
Top Tip – When you exit the bus you’ll more than likely be approached by a man or woman asking if you need to exchange your Vietnamese Dong. Usually we are quite prepared and can suss out a scam when we see one but on this particular day we were very sick and didn’t have time to exchange any money which meant we only had our left over Dong on us.
In a rush and panic I quickly agreed to exchange some currency with a man who just grabbed my cash from my hands and then gave me a bundle of old Cambodian Riel notes without even counting it. At this point our tour guide came over and insisted we needed to get through the Vietnamese border as quickly as possible and the currency man conveniently shuffled away. This is when I realised I had probably just been ripped off, which I had been by around $10!
Because we were with an organised company we basically skipped to the front of the line and went straight through security and back onto our bus without any hassle. We then drove for around 5 more minutes until we reached the Cambodian entrance border which is where we had to leave the bus again and wait inside a building for our names to be called.
When our names were called we were handed back our passports and then had to go through the Cambodian security checkpoint. The security staff carried out a standard check of our passports and visa’s. I was also asked to scan my fingerprints here.
We were then finally able to enter Cambodia at this point, whoo! So back to the bus we went, but not for too long as our next stop was only 10 minutes away where we had a 20 minute lunch break at a local restaurant.
After lunch we got back onto our bus for the last leg of the journey. It took us around 3 and a half hours to reach Phnom Penn and once we arrived at the bus terminal there was no shortage of Tuk Tuk drivers offering everyone a lift.
Booking a bus from Vietnam to Cambodia
If you’re travelling from Vietnam to Cambodia like we did then you can book this bus or a similar one to Phnom Penh or even Siem Reap. Bus tickets can be purchased from your hotel, hostel or even a local travel agents which you’ll find in the streets of Ho Chi Minh.