Pattaya to Sihanoukville

Lucky

Junior Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2017
Location
Pattaya
Bikes
Ducati Diavel, Kawasaki Ninja 1000
I have friends that live in Sihanoukville so I make the trip down there usually two or three times a year. It's usually a relatively easy trip, from my condo to the hotel in Sihanoukville is 600 kilometers and it usually takes me about ten hours to make the trip. Sometimes I go straight through and other times I stop in Koh Kong or Trat and make it a two day trip. My bike is a Honda CB650F with Hepco and Becker panniers.


It's easy to get your bike through Thai and Cambodia customs, here are the steps that I go through each trip. First when you get to Thai immigration go to the Thailand exit station and check yourself out of Thailand. Then go across the street to the enter Thai immigration station and go to agent number 5. Hand her your passport and green book, she will write them down in something and send you to exit station 2 where you will sign some big book and they will give you two copies of documents, one for exiting Thailand and you turn the other one back in when you enter. After that is complete, go across the road again to Thailand customs where you will once again present your green book and passport and they will give you another form. Keep this form with you and be sure and turn it in when you return through immigration coming back into Thailand, it is a 10,000 baht fine if you forget to turn it in!


Now you are done with Thailand immigration and customs. Take your bike across the border and park in front of Cambodia immigration and a tout will come up to you and want to fill out your form and get in line for you and charge you 100 baht. I always pay the 100 baht. After you get your Cambodia visa Cambodia customs is right across the street. Usually they wave you through with no documents but sometimes they will give you a customs form. In my dozen or so trips only once have they given me this form. Also I get the Cambodia E-Visa online, that saves a little time but it's not necessary.


After you do all this you are good to go, hop on your bike and you have one last stop at a checkpoint about five kilometers from immigration. This whole process usually takes me about forty-five minutes to an hour. There are 28 stop lights from my condo in Pattaya to the Thai border at Koh Kong and you know Thailand stop lights, it seems that you have to wait forever. After you reach the border, there are no stoplights from the Cambodia border to Sihanoukville and the road is in good shape and paved most of the way.


Here are a few photos I took on the trip. The first one is of me starting out in Pattaya, 2 is the view from a bridge over a river in Cambodia, 3 is a small shop where I stop for a break and 4 is the road in front of the shop. The last ones are of the monkeys and beach around the hotel where I stayed. All in all it's a fun trip, all of the extra things that you need are a switch to turn off your headlight during the day or some tape and something to cover the headlight. That's it. 5hotelbeach.jpg4road.jpg3reststop.jpg2river.jpg1startingout1 copy.jpg6water.jpg7monkeys.jpg
 

blackwolf

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2014
Bikes
Honda Sonic 125cc, 4 wheels, about to buy a 250cc dirt bike
Great report and pics!

Just a couple of questions/comments.

A few years ago I wanted to cross this border by motorcycle but never came around to it, probably because I thought it was too much trouble to load my motorcycle (much smaller than yours) onto the back of my pickup, off-load it at the border and then re-load it at the end of my trip.

First off, the visa process can be a pain here. For a tourist visa, they'll probably ask for US$37 and a business visa US$45 (even more inflated if you pay in Baht). It may be possible to bargain down the cost of a tourist visa down to US$30 if you're patient, but very difficult to bring down the cost of a business visa if you need one (I know, I've tried). Now they have more leverage because since last year they have tightened up the issuance of business visa extensions and thus they will try to deny you a visa, reasoning you must have certain documents to get the "official price". If you don't want to play these games and need a business visa, probably best to get it at the embassy in Bangkok or consulate in Sra Kaeo. Otherwise, pay the extra US$10. I know few people on this forum would need a Cambodian business visa, but just to let you know this has been my experience.

I have crossed at Koh Kong by car 5 times. By the sounds of it, customs is a bit more easygoing crossing by motorcycle. Still, the procedure for crossing by car is much the same as you have described, with a couple of minor differences. For others reading this post, a small word of advice when crossing the border: although Thai customs has advised me they are planning to upgrade the border crossing, which will probably extend into the no-man's land between the two countries, for now, as soon as you pass the gate after the military checkpoint there seems to be confusion as to which side of the road to drive on as there are no signs indicating a change. Most vehicles seem to prefer switching to the right immediately after the gate (I have no idea why), I think it's best to keep left because once you arrive at the Cambodian gate you have to get out of your car (or motorcycle) and the guards don't want you to block the road and will ask you to park on the grass on the left. Only after the barrier has been lifted, you start driving on the right. This is never a big issue as there's relatively little traffic crossing the border so for the 100m between the two border posts, it's a free for all.

To lift the gate, customs has always asked me for 100 Baht. One time I managed to bargain this down to 80, but usually they insist on 100 and sometimes even an extra 20 for the guy to actually lift the gate! Then it's 100 Baht per day for each day your car stays in Cambodia. They also hold onto either your Thai customs export document or your blue book. This means you are supposed to come back the same way you entered. Usually they ask where I'm going and I always say "Koh Kong" and deny I'm heading elsewhere even if I am - then they take my money and lift the gate. The customs form you speak of I saw them filling it out once, but they don't give that to you, they hold onto it themselves. I have never been given any documents at any Cambodian border for my vehicle.

For some reason, every time I've crossed at this border and seen motorcycles attempting to cross into Cambodia, they always seem to be stuck there for a long time. I am not sure if they are just taking it easy, because there's lots of riders in the group but for me, it's usually 20-30 mins max. if I need a visa on arrival, (minus 10 minutes if I already have one) and by the time I'm finished, the riders still have their bikes parked in no-man's land.

In your case, did they ask for 100 Baht/day and hold onto your green book or customs form?

Last time I went that way was during the rainy season last year, the last 40-50km of the road to Sre Ambel has some sections that are in a mess, also a couple of rough spots (deep ruts/potholes) on the first hills out of Koh Kong, around 20-30km east of town. Otherwise, the rest of the road to Sihanoukville is good. I wonder if by the time you went, these sections had been repaired (though I doubt it, as you went only a couple of months after I did)?

Be careful riding/driving along Ekareach street in Sihanoukville during the day (night time seems to be OK). The police there love pouncing on foreign registered bikes/cars being driven through there and will issue a fine. The section of Ekareach st. coming from highway 4 is fine, just be careful north of the Golden Lions roundabout for the first couple of intersections. Although I've never been stopped myself, a Vietnamese friend and his buddies riding 3 Vietnamese registered motorcycles were stopped and fined twice within a few minutes the day before I met him in Sihanoukville last year. Everywhere else in town seems to be fine except that street.

Looks like you stayed at the Independence hotel in Sihanoukville. Nice place, lots of monkeys though!
 
Top Bottom