Cambodia to Vietnam
If you wish to cross into Vietnam via a land border you must get your visa in advance. We crossed at the Ha Tien border in the South of Cambodia.
There are 2 Vietnamese consulates in Cambodia in which to gain your visa in advance, one in Phnom Penh and one in Sihanoukville which we used.
The visa process takes 3 days or you can pay a little extra for the express service and have your visa completed on the same day.
The consulate in Sihanoukville
310, Ekareach Boulevard
It’s open from 8.00am - 11.30am then 2.00pm - 5.00pm. It’s best to get there early if you’re hoping for the express service, drop off in the morning and collect by the afternoon. We opted for the 3 day turn around as we were heading to Koh Rong for 3 days in between.
The process is simple, just fill out a form at the consulate and attach one passport photo. *You must have a photo, they don’t offer a service where they take one for you for an additional price.
You then leave your passport with them and return to collect 3 days later.
The price for a 30 - 90 day single entry tourist visa is $40, for 24 hour turn around it’s $50, for same day service it’s $60.
Crossing The Border
There are many horror stories about the buses from Sihanoukville across the border at Ha Tien. For this reason we decided to opt for a taxi. You can also get a train but it only leaves once a day and we couldn’t make that time. The taxi was more expensive but we managed to get It for $40. It collected us from the port upon our return from Koh Rong and took us via the Vietnamese consulate to collect our visas on the way.
The drive takes around 2-3 hours. Once at the border crossing, you’ll go inside the first main building. This is the exit stamp room, there will be lots of people waiting inside here for their entry into Cambodia so rather than wait around just tell one of the staff you need an exit stamp and chances are they’ll do it right there and then for you and you can move on to the next part.
From the first building you walk past 2 guards where you show you exit stamp and into a second building. Here you fill out a form to say how long you wish to stay and what injections you have had, not sure why but the form asks you to state them all so make sure you know or have them written down.
You are then asked to pay $1 each to proceed - again don’t know what for so just make sure you have a few spare dollars on you.
Your bags then pass through scanners before you’re met by the final window where you get your visa stamped and approved entry in Vietnam. Here is a waiting game, if you do choose to come on a bus then usually the bus driver will collect all the buses passports and hand them over to the counter staff here and you can just sit back and wait for them to be processed.
If you come solo you’re in for a longer wait. For one you will have to wait for the groups of passports from buses to be processed but two, you’ll also have wait for the locals who push their passports to the front usually with a few $$ tucked inside to keep the staff sweet & to get their passport done first. Even if you do wait your turn you will still have to pay a couple of dollars each just for the stamp. We did question why we had to pay but they just smile and put their hand out. So be warned the whole process is a scam but unfortunately you’re in their hands.
The border crossing from exit to entry takes no longer then 30-40 minutes and you’ll be on your way.