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Jul 11th, 2013, 06:59 PM
  #1
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Ho Chi Minh City

Has anyone ever taken a bus from Ho Chi Minh City to Cambodia? If so, I would love to hear your opinion about that experience! How long did it take, how much? Thank you
marlac is offline  
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Jul 11th, 2013, 09:06 PM
  #2
 
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Hello,

I don't have experience about the bus from Ho Chi Minh to Cambodia. But I know it takes 12hrs or 13hrs.

Regards,
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Jul 12th, 2013, 07:00 AM
  #3
 
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Taken that bus ride dozens of times. The Mekong Express line is one of the better bus lines, more comfortable seats, newer buses with good Aircon. The trip takes about 9 hours. The price is around 12$. Just ask around the Pham Ngu Lao area where the Mekong Bus tickets are sold. The border crossing at Moc Bai is smooth and quick unless there are a lot of buses there but it can take at most about a half an hour. The bus company will charge you 5$ to get your visa which costs 30$, you don't need any visa photo, they collect your visa and the money as you approach the border. Do not exchange your Vietnamese money with the money changer, they never pay you what the money is worth, if you are leaving Vietnam and not returning trade your money in HCMC for dollars. All ATMs in Cambodia dispense US dollars and ATMs are everywhere you are likely to go. Have 5 dollars for when you get off the bus to hire your Tuk-Tuk to take you to your hotel. The ride up highway 22 is interesting and scenic. Rural Cambodia is brown and dry or green and wet. You will cross the Mekong in the bus by ferry and again as you approach the city. You will end up in the middle of Phnom Penh, I would have my hotel booked before I get there. If you are going back to Vietnam and you don't have a multiple entry Vietnamese visa you will need to get your visa from a service before you leave Phnom Penh, it is the easiest way to do it. Have a great trip.
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Jul 12th, 2013, 04:24 PM
  #4
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Wow, spottedgekko, a million thank you's for the time you took to write all that out! I'm really grateful and delighted. One more question, we have not been people who take tours much-not that I am opposed to them but because it just seemed cheaper and more relaxed to research the area & do it on our own. And, truthfully, I struggle with thoughts of suspicion like : are we being given the cheapest food, the cheapest hotel to stay in, etc. Have you taken a tour from HCMC to Cambodia? I was wondering if it would be worth it to take a tour. (It seemed like the 3-4 day tours were really reasonable. Which added to my suspicions!)
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Jul 13th, 2013, 03:36 AM
  #5
 
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12 hours? 9 hours? It only takes 2 hours!

Saigon to Cambodia takes around 2 hours, answering the question literally. That's when you reach the border.

Saigon to Phnom Penh takes 6 - 6 1/2 hours.

There's bus info and photos on www.seat61.com/Cambodia.htm

You can take a river boat beyond PP if you'd prefer that to a bus, see the video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YwqYpfV9ELQ
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Jul 13th, 2013, 04:25 AM
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Man, It is 210 Kilometers from HCMC to Phnom Penh. Marlac asked to Cambodia, I assumed she just didn't want to go to the border, excuse me. For your edification I will explain my response. If you get on the bus at 7am you will be stuck in morning rush hour traffic and will not hit Chu Chi until 9. The traffic on Highway 22 is slow all the way to Tay Ninh and then the bus can actually go 50 Kilometers an hour for the last 30-40 Ks to the border crossing at Moc Bai. After the immigration crossing, another 1/2 hour, the bus stops for lunch, by the time you leave there it is after 12 noon. The bus stops again at the Mekong ferry crossing where you sit until the bus get loaded. Sometimes an hour sometimes 15 minutes. Then the road construction which is ever present, where it is one lane slows the bus further. As you approach PP you will encounter more congestion and the bus slowly crawls through the city's main streets until you get to the bus companies stop in PP. 6 hours...never happen. 13 years of taking this route I think I know just about every pothole in the road and I still stand by the 9 hour time, give or take depending on many factors. I am going to PP next week I plan 9 hours for the trip.
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Jul 13th, 2013, 04:56 AM
  #7
 
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Marlac, I have, in all the years I have lived in S.E. Asia only taken 1 tour. I took the Mekong Delta overnight tour and was pleasantly surprised, it was great. Right now the tour companies are hurting because it is the low season and they are offering good prices. My advise would be when you get to HCMC, go to where the highest concentration of tour companies is in the Pham Ngu Lao district and just shop around. There you will find very reasonable prices. I usually book my hotel-guesthouse rooms through an internet booking service. In Phnom Penh I engage an English speaking Tuk-Tuk driver as a guide; ask your guesthouse or hotel for a recommendation. You must negotiate the price, don't pay the first offer. Hire for 1/2 a day or the whole day. Tip well if you had a good experience. Most of the Tuk-Tuk drivers are great guys and have a wealth of experience with tourists. Get a map and enjoy the ride.
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