Curious about crossing the border from Vietnam to Cambodia? Are you in the Mekong Delta region, Can Tho city specifically, and looking to get to Phnom Penh?
Well, lucky for you we did this journey and are here to tell you all about the border crossing from Can Tho city to Phnom Penh. We’ll give you all the details you’ll need so you are prepared to cross the border from Vietnam to Cambodia.
Vietnam to Cambodia Border Crossing: Can Tho to Phnom Penh
Vietnam & Cambodia Border Crossing Check Points
Coming from the Mekong Delta (Can Tho City), you are going to want to cross at the Tinh Bien / Phnom Den border crossing.
Tinh Bien is on the Vietnam side and Phnom Den is on the Cambodia side.
Direct Bus From Can Tho to Phnom Penh
You can expect the bus ride from the Mekong Delta to Phnom Penh to take a full day of travel, about 10 to 12 hours in total.
The start of your journey is a 4 hour bus ride from Can Tho, Vietnam (Mekong Delta) to the Vietnam border crossing town of Tinh Bien.
After you’re stamped out of Vietnam at the Tinh Bien border crossing, you have a 6 – 7 hour bus ride to Phnom Penh waiting for you.
If that seems unbearable, heading to Kampot instead of Phnom Penh is a much shorter ride, about 2-3 hours.
About The Cambodia Visa On Arrival
For countries that are eligible (US is one of them), you are able to get a 30-day visa on arrival when you arrive to Cambodia.
At the border of Tinh Bien / Phnom Den, it is no different aka you are eligible for a visa on arrival at this particular border crossing.
Once you are stamped out of Vietnam, you’ll be escorted to the Cambodia border. At this time, hand over the below items to the Cambodian border guards.
Cambodia Visa on Arrival Requirements:
- $30 USD (cash)
- Visa form (You’ll get this on arrival. Fill it out and hand to Border Guard)
- Valid passport (at least 6 months from the expiration date)
- One recent passport-sized photo
After you give the above documentation and pay the entry fee, Border Patrol will stamp your passport and allow you entrance into the Kingdom of Cambodia (yee-yee!!).
What To Expect: Vietnam to Cambodia Bus Border Crossing
Getting To The Vietnam Border
Your travel day from Vietnam to Cambodia starts early. You’ll catch the early morning bus (5am-ish) to begin your long days journey from the Can Tho to Phnom Penh.
After about 4 hours, you’ll arrive at the Vietnam / Cambodia border crossing of Tinh Bien, Vietnam.
The bus will come to halt and the bus driver will ask you, the foreigner, to get off the bus. Please, do not be alarmed!
For us, we were cautious of overland border crossings into Cambodia. Why? We heard plenty of horror stories of other travelers getting scammed, taken advantage of and getting their belongings stolen.
However, we are happy to report that at the border crossing of Tinh Bien and Phnom Den, we had no problems whatsoever!
One of the reasons, we believe, we encountered no issues at this particular Vietnam to Cambodia border crossing is that this particular border crossing is not often used by tourists.
Side Note: Tourists tend to take cross the border from Vietnam into Cambodia at the more popular border crossing of Moc Bai – Bavet which is the border crossing you take if you were leaving Vietnam from Siagon (Ho Chi Mihn City) and heading to Phnom Penh. We digress…
On the bus ride from the Mekong Delta to Phnom Penh, we were two of the five western tourists on the bus. The rest of the riders were Vietnamese and Khmer (Cambodians).
Vietnam & Cambodia Border Crossing Checkpoint
After the bus driver escorts you off the bus, you’re at the Vietnamese checkpoint of Tinh Bien. It is at this check point where you’ll be stamped out of Vietnam.
After getting stamped out of Vietnam, you’ll get back on the bus and be driven across the border into Cambodia.
Once on the Cambodian side of the border (WELCOME TO CAMBODIA by the way!), you’ll head to the Cambodian checkpoint of Phnom Den. Once here, you’ll get a fresh new stamp in that passport of yours!!
To get a stamp in your passport, you’ll walk into the checkpoint office and hand the documents we mentioned above to the checkpoint officer. Say you want a 30-day visa and he’ll hand you the appropriate documents.
Fill out the documents and hand them back to the checkpoint officer. Badda-bing-badda-boom, you’re stamped into Cambodia!
Funny Side Note: All tourist records at the Phnom Den border crossing are hand-written (in pencil) in a notebook. Ha, definitely not so official but hey, the man was kind and will stamp you in no problem!
Arriving in Phnom Penh
Once stamped into the country of Cambodia, you’ll get back on the bus and drive the 6-7 hours to Phnom Penh.
As you arrive in Phnom Penh, you’ll get dropped off at the bus station where you can catch a tuk-tuk or cab to your accommodation.
Can Tho to Phnom Penh Flight
Can Tho, Vietnam has an airport that offers flights to Phnom Penh. However, there are no direct flights.
The Can Tho airport (airport code VCA) will fly you back through Ho Chi Minh City, or another major Asian city, and then onto Phnom Penh.
Fair warning flights from Can Tho to Phnom Penh can be long and are definitely more expensive that taking the bus from Can Tho to Phnom Penh.
For The Budget Conscious: Looking to meet people and stay in a clean place that is centrally located, well then Panorama Mekong Hostel is for you! Continental breakfast is served daily, plus the terrace has amazing views of the city and river.
For The Luxury Inclined: The Plantation Urban Resort and Spa is a little oasis in the heart of Phnom Penh. With it’s two outdoor swimming pools and colorful vibe, you’ll without a doubt enjoy your stay at Plantation.
For Something In Between: A beautiful, asian-modern accommodation in Phnom Penh, Teahouse Asian Urban Hotel is a gem. The pool, the staff and location, pretty much everything about this hotel is amazing.
For more accommodation choices and places to stay in Phnom Penh, you can check the latest prices here.
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– Lauren & Jesse Stuart (The Stüs)