Tag Archives: Border Crossings

Visas & Border Crossings in South East Asia

This isn’t ALL the info…this is info for Flying in to DPS, Bali then to Singapore, then overland to Malaysia-Thailand-Cambodia-Vietnam-Laos-Thailand on a Canadian passport in 2013.

Vietnam Visa: 60 dollars, get it in advance, there is also an e-visa system for air arrivals, 45 in advance, 15 on arrival. Extentions in country, overstay is 5 per day. Its like 15 minutes to get done in sihanoukville in person but it’s a bit out of the way solid 45 min walk from water) so most places charge 10 bucks to get it processed…use your judgement on what’s good for you.

Cambodia Visa: 20 on arrival…anything from Thailand by land will charge you more, the airport, Laos, and Vietnam borders are well regulated. Extention is 40, overstay is 5usd per day ***Cambodia is the only SE Asia country with atms that dispense in USD….get all the USD you need for Visas here, you will get ripped off on exchange elsewhere ***

Thailand: 30 by air arrival, 15 by land, 60 day tourist visa extendable to 90 once in Thailand is 1000 baht but needs to be done before hand…it is 40USD in Hanoi, 110 MYR in Penang, and 1000 baht in Vientiane. Double that for a dual entry. Malaysia is the only visa run country that doesn’t have a visa charge itself. You can do a visa run to Myanmar for a 10 dollar fee at the border crossing closest to Phuket. Getting a 60 day is cheaper than extending or paying the overstay 500 baht pd. If you get a double entry visa it means you can enter for 60 days, renew for 30 additional (90 total) then leave and do it again so 6 months total…but once you’ve left, the first ‘90’ days is done, and you start your second entry at day 1 of your second 60/90. If you’re getting your visa in Vientiane there is a massively long line and wait, so beware…also people out front to scam you saying they’ll process for a fee…there ARE application forms inside! Also you will need photocopies of your passport, Laos Visa, and Laos stamp page which you can do for 1000 kip at the consulate. There are like 20 tuk tuks and mini buses to the border at 2-4 pm daily after pick up.

Laos: 42 for Canadians, 35 for UK, USA, lots of the EU (some only 30). You will pay 1USD to ‘stamp’, and 2 more if it is after 4:30, a weekend, or a holiday.
Indonesia: 25 on arrival, 150,000 IDR departure tax paid only in IDR and the atm at DPS airport only dispenses in 100’s, you can extend in country.

Myanmar: 20-30USD in advance Border runs to Myanmar charge at $10 stamping fee in/out of Myanmar

Malaysia, Singapore: free.

Bonus….India: cheapest in Vietnam by about 10USD….it is 63 for everyone but Japanese (74) and Americans (83) but takes a full 5 days to process…time it well. Hanoi is great because you can go to Halong Bay and Sapa while waiting but get copies of your passport…Vietnam is sticky about it for hotel stays. Nicest embassy I’ve visited for sure.

Overland border crossings
Singapore-Malaysia…hectic because people do it for work daily, but simple and efficient.
Malaysia-Thailand (hat yai) also simple, any mini bus pretty much holds your hand…however make sure you’ve filled out your arrival card fully, the thai border officials aren’t known for their friendliness.

Thailand-Cambodia(poipet)…basically any border in this direction is a mess, poipet is the worst. Not unsafe, just a scam. There’s about 3 fake border offices, do NOT pay in baht, and you do not ever NEED to pay an extra processing fee….follow signs for ‘pre-arranged’ visas to take you to the real boreder!

Cambodia-HCMC: Because the viet visas are pre done it’s quick and easy. The 8 dollar bus from pp to hcmc will arrange it all and get the passports stamped as a group. No fee.

Vietnam-laos (Vientiane): you will pay 1 dollar to stamp leaving Vietnam (or 20000vnd), then as mentioned 1 dollar stamping at laos, plus 2 more on weekends holidays and after hours.

Laos-Thailand (Huay Xai-Gibbon): Super easy. Any package bus deal will include your bus across the river, if not I think it was less than 100 baht. Out bus dropped us off by the night market (LP-CM) so we didn’t have to pay for the sorongatheu from Arcade station which was nice. buses leave the Thai border town at 6 and 10 am. Paid no stamping fees on either side.

Fire me a message if you have any questions.

Scambodia

Writing is therapy. Writing is therapy. Writing is therapy.

Deeeeeeep Breaths. I’m one of those people who really loves a deal…aren’t we all? But more than loving a deal, I hate feeling ripped off. Which is why I got to the train station in Bangkok at 5am to catch a 6 hour 3rd class bus with wooden benches to the Thailand-Cambodia border instead of paying 6 times more to take an air con direct bus…and took the local back of a pick up truck transfer to the border from the train station to save a dollar over a taxi… and got threatened to get thrown into Cambodian prison by skipping the scam visa line. All because, I am a person of principle. I am that person that doesn’t care if it’s ‘only’ 5 cents…it’s the fact that I got shorted. Perhaps I should be a lawyer with my conviction…but either way it’s going to bring my notoriously low blood pressure to a boil for the next month.

They try to charge you 300 baht extra on your 20 dollar visa at a fake visa office…then they shoo you into a free shuttle…by they I mean the cops…and you get into this shuttle before you can get cash….and then you go to this bus station where the buses are double the rates in Lonely Planet…not because of inflation…where they have no ATM…or wifi…and no free shuttle back to PoiPet (the border). Its okay you don’t have cash, you pay on arrival…just 10 dollar more. It’s supposed to cost 5 dollars to get there…you’re charging me 10….plus 10…are you joking?! I don’t care if it’s only 20 bucks. But when you get here with the US cash you were smart enough to get before hand, they will make sure you exchange it for riel at a rate of 3000 to 1 instead of 4000 to 1….and you always pay with USD in Cambodia anyway. And for the record…No, these people don’t need it. Yes, many Cambodians are poor….poorer than many countries in Africa….but not these people. I would be willing to bet the 3000 thai baht I pretended not to have at the border scam to say they (‘government’ officials and the people operating this bus scam cartel) are some of the best off people in the country.

In addition to this, thanks to fellow travellers and Lonely Planet…I didn’t get one of the bus tickets from Khao San Rd for 1000 baht that then forced the expensive visa on you and made you pay for the bus to transfer buses ahha ….little victories.

Anyway….I did bypass the first line to pay over 40 USD for the 20 dollar visa…then the next place was still a scam but I pretended not to have money and cry…so they let me not pay the baht…which isn’t actually part of the fee…proof? Other people had 20, 50, 80…and ‘sure, fine’ was the answer. Here….at this bus station, I’m angsty because I got into the van after having an ‘in hindsight freak out’ regarding the almost ‘going to Cambodia border prison’ so I just followed what I knew was a scam. BUT I did break all my thai bat down to 100 bills when I left Thailand so, I have it all in separate pockets and pulled the ‘look this is all I have’…so I’m getting a bus to phnom penh for 15 dollars…which is actually close to the list price…but, it’s a crammed van, potentionally air-condition-less…and I will arrive at 3am. So, sometimes you have to just go with the scam…and hope you beat part of it. Kudos to anybody that gets through that border without hassle….(its only the Thailand TO Cambodia Poipet border). Sometimes ignorance is bliss…visas are probably actually free ahah. Anyway… I will be travelling for 22 hours in total spending 22 CAD…it would have costed 50 for a 1 hour flight…you do the math on time cost/value…and stress…

To top it off. the journey that arrived at past 2am in Phnom Penh included planks between the seats with people sitting on them for all 9 hours….g to the hetto