I am planning a trip in December and will be rafting from Chiang Rai into Laos and then travelling through Laos and hopefully into Cambodia by land. I am hearing some very scary stories about overland visa borders, has anyone done this and can advise on the best way to go about entering Cambodia from Laos?
Also what is the easiest way to travel from Cambodia to Ko Chang?
Thank you for your help,
I will only address the Cambodia to Koh Chang part. My blog covers this. I visited a friend of mine in Sihanoukville during my '08 trip. I left S'ville at 7:00am and was in Trat around 3:30pm. It will be faster now. There were Thais waiting for us at the bus station. Several were going to Koh Chang and they loaded them up. I went on to Pattaya.
There are daily buses that run from both Phnom Penh & Sihanoukville to the Thai border at Koh Kong. Now that the bridges are up, you should be able to go from either S"ville or PP to Koh Chang in one easy day. About $15 to reach Koh Chang from either PP or S'ville.
We did the Laos to Cambodia border crossing in april this year and it was fine. We went via the 4000 islands to Stung Treng (4000 islands highly recommended!) and just got a bus ticket from one of the agents on the islands to Stung Treng from memory it was around $US11.
The bus took us to the border which is about 30 minutes away from the islands, you then wait around for a bit after you've got stamped out and then into Cambodia, then get on another bus to Stung Treng which is around another 1 or 2 hours.. I forget now! We got off there but people on the same bus were going straight though to Kratie or PP if they wanted.
The border crossing was fine when we went though. The Cambodia visa should be $US20, we had to pay $US21 and although I queried why we had to pay the extra $1 even though the visa clearly stated $20 they weren't very helpful and it wasn't really worth the arguement, on top of this you have to pay another $US1 for the stamp. From what I've heard if you come to Cambodia via the Koh Chang crossing below you will have to pay 1000THB (around £20 or$US30) so we got off lightly I suppose !
Hope this helps, if you need anything else let us know.