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Boat

Practical Tip: Getting to Cambodia: Chau Doc to Phnom Penh by Boat

Getting to the border One of the most enjoyable ways to enter Cambodia is via the Vinh Xuong/Kaam Samnor border crossing located just northwest of Chau Doc along the Mekong River. Several companies in Chau Doc sell boat journeys from Chau Doc to Phnom Penh via the Vinh Xuong border. Hang Chau boats depart Chau Doc at 7.30am from a pier at 18 Ð Tran Hung Dao, arriving at 12.30pm. From Phnom Penh they depart at noon. The more upmarket Blue Cruiser leaves the Victoria Hotel pier at 7am, costing US$50 (US$44 in the reverse direction, leaving Phnom Penh at 1.30pm). It takes about five hours, including the border check. The price includes all-you-can-drink beer and a snack. Delta Adventures advertises a boat transfer to Phnom Penh for just US$15; however, it's a slower boat with an imperfect safety record and after you reach the border you have to switch to a minibus to take you the rest of the way.

At the border If coming from Cambodia, arrange a visa in advance, unless you are exempt. Cambodian e-visas are not yet accepted at these land borders. Cambodian visas are available at the crossing, but minor overcharging is common (plan on paying around US$35).

Moving on Hang Chau and Blue Cruiser boats take you all the way to Phnom Penh.

Bus

The most comfortable long-distance buses to Can Tho and HCMC are Phuong Trang (www.futaexpress.com), which departs from the main bus station, and the older buses of Hung Cuong (www.hungcuonghotel.com), which departs from in front of Hung Cuong Hotel. Book tickets in advance via your lodgings. Both companies offer free shuttle buses to your hotel within the city centre in Can Tho; Phuong Trang offers a free shuttle from Mien Tay station to their office in district 10 in HCMC. Enquire when purchasing your ticket and ignore taxi drivers on arrival.

Buses to Vinh Long stop 10km outside of town from where a taxi will cost another 35,000d. Buses to Cao Lanh drop you off at the ferry terminal, from where you must cross the river and take a taxi another 6km to the town centre.

The bus station is on the eastern edge of town, around 2km out of the centre, where Ð Le Loi becomes Hwy 91. All buses depart from here, with the exception of the Hung Cuong buses to HCMC. A taxi from the centre is 50,000d.

Practical Tip: Getting to Cambodia: Chau Doc to Phnom Penh by Bus

Getting to the border Eclipsed by the newer crossing of Xa Xia near Ha Tien, the Tinh Bien/Phnom Den border crossing is less convenient for Phnom Penh–bound travellers, but may be of interest for those who savour the challenge of obscure border crossings. A bus to Phnom Penh (US$25, five to six hours) passes through Chau Doc en route from Can Tho at around 7.30am and can be booked through Mekong Tours in Chau Doc; double-check the pickup point. The roads leading to the border have improved but are still bumpy.

At the border Cambodian visas can be obtained here, although you may wish to pay US$35 rather than the official (at research time) fee of US$30 to be processed quickly. Yes, it's a mild form of extortion, but your time may be more valuable than your money. Cambodian e-visas are not yet accepted at these land borders.

Moving on Most travellers opt for a through bus ticket from Chau Doc.

Buses from Chau Doc

Can Tho

Cost (d)

90,000-100,000

Time (hr)

4

Frequency

hourly

Distance

120km

Cao Lanh ferry terminal

Cost (d)

100,000

Time (hr)

3

Frequency

hourly

Distance

90km

Ha Tien

Cost (d)

160,000-200,000

Time (hr)

3½-4

Frequency

5 daily

Distance

88km

HCMC

Cost (d)

140,000

Time (hr)

6-7½

Frequency

every 30min

Distance

245km

Long Xuyen

Cost (d)

65,000-100,000

Time (hr)

Frequency

hourly

Distance

62km

Vinh Long

Cost (d)

270,000

Time (hr)

4

Frequency

hourly

Distance

127km