As we were staying in Don Khon (4000 Islands), we crossed into Cambodia via the Stung Treng land boarder crossing. We asked around and there were two options for doing this:
- Option 1: Take a ferry from the islands and get the 10am local bus from the station in Ban Nakasong, a short walk from where the ferry docks. This is then followed by a minibus from the border to your preferred destination in Cambodia (bookable online in advance).
- Option 2: Book transport to the border and onward travel from your guesthouse or local agent. We went with this option as it was a similar price to traveling independently at $26 dollars per person.
We were picked up from our hotel by boat and taken to the bus station where we waited with other travellers, some of who had gone for option one. We all went through the same process of queuing at the ticket office, they bought tickets and we swapped in our tour receipt and where given two different tickets in return. A guide then came out and handed out paperwork to be completed for departing Laos and entering Cambodia (a passport photo was required).
We were all given different coloured tickets and various buses arrived and it was a bit unclear on who should be getting on what but eventually we all made it on to the right bus. The journey to the Laos land boarder crossing took less than an hour.
On arrival we had the option of getting off and going through the process ourselves or handing the passports over to the guide. Both options were tried by those on our bus, the difference was $2 extra for having it done by the guide but it was a simple enough process to do it alone as the paperwork had already been filled in at the bus station. The bus had to wait until everyone was processed regardless.
Those who had booked a minibus then headed off while the rest of us continued on to the Cambodian border where the above process was repeated. The visa cost $30 for 1 month and once again we were not asked for proof of onward travel, we simply put ‘Vietnam land boarder crossing.’
A short drive from the border we stopped at a gas station where we changed to a large air conditioned bus. It took 5 hours to get to Siem Reap with one stop along the way and we felt safe during the entire journey.
The bus station we were dropped at was a ten-minute walk from Pub Street and Tuk-Tuks could be taken for around $2. During the walk we were able to pick up a local sim card from a small phone stall on the left-hand side and get dollars at an ATM. We then followed the river along until reaching the bustling markets and neon lights welcoming our arrival to Pub Street and the beginning of a memorable few days in Siem Reap.