Kapono Cheruene

Travelled to 5 countries / regions

Written 24 briefs
Live in Vientiane & taken bus to Cambodia before



Asia > Cambodia > Useful Info
Updated on Jul 10, 2019 Useful Info

How to go to Cambodia from Laos by land

  • There's only one overland border crossing between Laos and Cambodia, called Nong Nok Khiene on the Lao side and Tropaeng Kreal on the Cambodian side

  • Most tourists fly between Laos and Cambodia, for good reason. The only way to cross into Cambodia from Laos overland is by bus through Nong Nok Khiene/Tropaeng Kreal, as there is no train or boat service between these two countries. Bus takes a long time, and the border crossing is not a smooth process
  • However, if you're in southern Laos like Don Det, Si Phan Don (4000 Islands) or Pakse, then it may make sense to go to Cambodia by land as flying is much more expensive than taking the bus. This is especially true if you're already at Si Phan Don (of which Don Det is a popular tourist island), because it's only 6km from the Nong Nok Khiene/Tropaeng Kreal border crossing
  • Note that because you're crossing the border, you need to have these documentation required to enter Cambodia:
  • Passport with at least 6 months of validity left
  • Visa to Cambodia:
  • You don't need a tourism visa to Cambodia if you're a citizen of Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Brunei, Myanmar (source: government website)
  • You must make prior application for a Cambodian tourism visa if you're a citizen of Afghanistan, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, or Sudan (source: Tourism Cambodia official website). Visa on Arrival is not available to you
  • Everyone else can get a Visa on Arrival at the border, or get an E-Visa online
  • E-Visa is recommended because you save yourself the hassle of applying for Visa on Arrival at the land border and eliminate any possibility of delays. Tropaeng Kreal border crossing is eligible for E-Visa (source: government website) so you're good on that if you're going from Laos to Cambodia. As for where to apply, you can make the application at the official E-Visa website: https://www.evisa.gov.kh. Payment can be made with all major international credit cards except American Express. The website is in English and is very easy to use
  • Visa on Arrival is the backup option. You need to bring a pen (to fill out the application form), one passport-sized photo (whatever your own country's passport requires for photo size is fine), your vaccination record, and $40USD for fee payment. Note that the application fee is actually only $30 (source: Tourism Cambodia), but you will end up paying an additional $2-$6 in additional fees (essentially bribes) that's very difficult to avoid if you don't want your application to be delayed so much that you may miss your bus. Also, the vaccination record is optional; if you don't have it, don't worry about it you will just have to pay another $2 "fee". The only currency accepted for visa payment is USD. Not Euro, not GBP, not even Cambodia's own currency
  • Border crossing from Laos to Cambodia here involves:
  1. Get off the minivan that takes you to the border. This is what the Laos side border post looks like: User submitted photo of Cambodia
  2. Exit from Laos by getting an exit stamp in your passport (this is where you will be asked for a $1-$2 "fee")
  3. Walk a 400-meter zone between the Lao and Cambodian border posts
  4. Arrive at the Cambodian border post, which looks like this:User submitted photo of Cambodia
  5. You will be asked to show your vaccination card, or if you don't have it, you will be asked to pay another $1-$2 "fee"
  6. Apply for your Visa on Arrival (expect another $1-$2 "fee"). If you have an E-Visa, you obviously don't need to do this
  7. Enter Cambodia by showing them your visa getting an entry stamp in your passport
  8. Border the bus/minivan that takes you to your final destination in Cambodia

  • How to go to Cambodia overland from Don Det at Si Phan Don (4000 Islands):
  • Don Det is the most popular island for tourists at Si Phan Don, and where most of the accommodations are
  • From here, your trip to Cambodia will be made up of these steps:
  1. Don Det to Nakasong by boat
  2. Nakasong to the border by minivan
  3. Border crossing on foot
  4. Border to Phnom Penh or Siem Reap by bus or minivan
  • Total travel time is 10-11 hours. You usually leave in the morning and arrive in the evening. There is no overnight option
  • When you're at Don Det, you will notice that most local hotels, guesthouses, travel agencies, and even some restaurants will offer to sell you packaged tickets taking you all the way to Phnom Penh and Siem Reap
  • My recommendation is to buy one of these packaged tickets from them because you will have a single party responsible for your entire trip, rather than trying to piece together the various steps of the trip yourself. Cost varies but should be around $30 USD to either Siem Reap or Phnom Penh
  • Alternatively, instead of booking through local hotels/guesthouses/agencies, you can also book online with one of these two vendors directly. They are the two ultimate transportation providers; any ticket you book locally at Don Det through a hotel/agency will actually be operated by one of these two companies
  • Asia Van Transfer: https://asiavantransfer.com (reviews)
  • Green Paradise Travel: https://www.greenparadisetravel.com (reviews)
  • Basically after you book either online or from a local hotel/agency, you will just have to be at the meet up point they tell you at the time they tell you to be there. After that, they will guide you through the various steps and there will be someone to let you know exactly what you need to do (except at the border, where you have to clear the customs yourself; there won't be anyone to do that for you. But they will point you to exactly which window you need to go)

  • How to go to Cambodia overland from Pakse:
  • From Pakse, you may want to consider flying to Cambodia. While it's much more expensive to fly ($100USD one way to Siem Reap and $200 one way to Phnom Penh), it takes significantly shorter (1 hour direct flight to Siem Reap and 3-5 hour connecting flight to Phnom Penh via Siem Reap or Bangkok).
  • But if you're really set on taking the bus, there are two bus providers that I'm aware of that provide overland transportation to Cambodia
  • Asia Van Transfer (to Siem Reap):
  • Website: https://asiavantransfer.com
  • Fare is $30 USD
  • 1 bus a day, departing at 8am and arriving at 6:45pm (10:45 hours trip time)
  • Read their reviews
  • Book on their website or through 12Go
  • Sengchalern Transport (to Phnom Penh):
  • No website
  • Fare is $30USD
  • 1 bus a day, departing at 7:30am and arriving at 8pm (12:45 hours trip time)
  • Read their reviews
  • book on CamboTicket
  • i know Asia Van Transfer picks you up from your hotel in Pakse, but I'm not sure about Sengchalern Transport. When you book your ticket, just double check with them if they can pick you up, or if not where the bus terminal is located at

  • How to go to Cambodia overland from the rest of Laos:
  • From the rest of Cambodia, you need to first bus or fly to Pakse
  • I recommend 12Go (https://12go.asia) to help you find transportation to Pakse from wherever you are in Laos
  • From Pakse, simply follow the instructions above on overland crossing to Cambodia