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Cambodia Visa Scam Alert

Travel Forums Asia Cambodia Visa Scam Alert

1. Posted by coolboy (Budding Member 4 posts) 9y

Scam alert from WikiTravel

Beware of scams when entering Cambodia overland. Most common is the inflation of the visa fee from the official US$20 to 1000 baht (US$30+) or more. To avoid this, get your visa in advance - either from a Cambodian embassy/consulate (via an agency if necessary) or from the e-Visa website. See the Visas section for full details.

Past scams have included fines for not presenting a vaccination certification (even though this is not mandatory), charging 50 baht for a (bogus) SARS health form, and enforcing an imaginary US$100 to Cambodian riel exchange requirement (at lousy rates).

2. Posted by opospa (Travel Guru 1836 posts) 9y

And pay the officer 100Baht for quick stamp. Need not to queue up. (Its Optional)

[ Edit: Edited on Sep 27, 2007, at 8:37 AM by opospa ]

3. Posted by vegasmike6 (Travel Guru 3562 posts) 9y

Coolboy,
Thanks for posting the warning. I have warning members for several years that the Poipet & Koh Kong border crossings into Cambodia are full of scams. I have advised members to do the SEA loop north to south in VN so that they go from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap then cross from Cambodia to Thailand rather than cross at Poipet into Cambodia.

4. Posted by coolboy (Budding Member 4 posts) 9y

True. Some offer free bus service at PoiPet to send you to bus station, but end up sending you to the taxi stop of their friends.

Anyone try e-Visa service?

5. Posted by mac1234 (Full Member 110 posts) 9y

i got tricked into that free bus scam too, ended up having to pay $65 between four ppl as we had no other option! we also had to pay $2 each to speed up the visa as he said they would take up to four hours if we didnt even thought here was no-one else waiting in line!! whatever you do dont change dollars to riel in poipet, they give ridicules rates! they were also cheeky enough to ask us for a tip for the "free" bus ride.........

6. Posted by vegasmike6 (Travel Guru 3562 posts) 9y

I have written the Cambodian Embassy here in the US about the scams going on at the Poipet & Koh Kong border crossings. I told them what a terrible impression these Immigration officials leave on a visitor to their country. They just don't care. Everybody in Immigration gets a piece of the pie, so no incentive to stop the corruption. The attitude with most Cambodians that work the tourist industry is: 'We are poor, you are rich, it is OK to cheat you when we can'. Just part of the 'charm' of visiting Cambodia. Get your visa before hitting Cambodia if possible or use the Moc Bai/Bavet border. At least they don't overcharge visitors.

7. Posted by aharrold45 (Travel Guru 1281 posts) 9y

Quoting vegasmike6

I have written the Cambodian Embassy here in the US about the scams going on at the Poipet & Koh Kong border crossings. I told them what a terrible impression these Immigration officials leave on a visitor to their country. They just don't care.

Writing to them or even speaking to them is as likely to get anywhere as you are of flying to Jupiter (nil). All you need to do to realise this is look at the rediculous rise in taxes that they charge foreigners when you depart Cambodia through Phnom Penh airport compared to what they charge a Cambodian resident and you'll see that "We are poor, you are rich, it is OK to cheat you when we can" attitude. This is all in official writing and no scam but is considered OK. Look at the rediculous hikes in tourist attraction entry fees for foreigners compared to locals. I mean you wouldn't dream of doing something so racist and wrong in a place like the USA, Australia, UK etc, but it is perfectly OK in Cambodia, Vietnam and anywhere in South East Asia (and almost all of Asia for that matter). I guess that is just something that us so called rich tourists have to deal with if we want to travel to these regions.

[ Edit: Edited on Sep 29, 2007, at 7:42 PM by aharrold45 ]

8. Posted by kiopyla (First Time Poster 1 posts) 9y

If you are not flying into Cambodia, my advise is try to apply for Visa before arrival so you are not at their mercy. Simplest way to do that is e-Visa online!
At the airports, the on-arrival visa seems to be without the scam as it is more orderly there.
good luck!