So your coming to Pursat but your flight arrives in Bangkok and your thinking, how the beep do I get to Pursat. Read on my friends as it is pretty easy, especially when you follow Adrian’s master travel plan from Bangkok to Cambodia.
Here are the government busses to Poipet i.e. the Cambodian border. The cost is 220 baht from memory. I have taken both Ekamai and Mochit and they are fine. Mochit can be quicker, particularly with the AC van but which ever is more convenient for you to get to. The Mochit bus terminal is different to the Mochit train station. It is about 1 km from the train station to the bus terminal. Ekamai bus terminal is right next to the station and so could be easier to get to.
THE VISA SCAM
When you get off the bus someone may say “Visa this way”. IT IS A SCAM. You don’t get the visa anywhere except after you have crossed immigration out of Thailand. Below is what the border looks like as you enter from the Thailand side.
Get past here and out of Thailand before getting the visa. You are supposed to have a passport photo but it is not important. Just pay the 100baht fine. If you can, have USD but don’t worry if you only have baht. Sometimes they have a dodgy hand written sign that says 100 baht visa processing fee.
YES YOU ARE GETTING SCAMMED BUT DEAL WITH IT.
If you refuse to pay this they will keep you waiting in the heat for an hour or 2 before processing it. My advice is to save yourself the inconvenience and just pay the couple of bucks.
WHAT TYPE OF VISA DO I NEED FOR CAMBODIA
There are 2 visa options for you when coming to Cambodia. The first visa option is your standard tourist visa and at the time of writing this, is $30. With this visa you can extend one time time for 30 days before having to leave.
The second visa option was previously called a business visa but is now called the ordinary visa. This one is $35 and can be extended up to 12 months at a time. You can get more information about Cambodian Visa application at this FAQ. For people who will be volunteering with us we recommend this visa as by law you can not volunteer on a tourist visa (Although in Pursat it is highly unlikely you will be caught for this). Also, as we know your going to love your volunteer experience with us, it will be far easier to extend and stay longer. After all, you need at least 3 months to get your tuk tuk license!!
BEFORE YOU GET A BUS ON THE CAMBODIAN SIDE OF THE BORDER
If you want a sim card here is the place to get it. You want to get a Smart card with $2 credit (all of our staff are on smart so we can have free phone calls. It is also the best reception for Pursat). Smart is the phone company so only get this one. Don’t get Cellcard or Metphone. There are people selling this about 100 meters from the border on the right side of the road. It will cost you $2 for the sim and get $2 top up. Let them register the phone for you and when they give you the phone, press *888# to make sure that you have $2 balance. They scam you here and pretend to put credit on but don’t really. Once you get the message that says $2 balance you can pay them but don’t pay before. Next type in *626*100# . Now you have phone and internet for the week and it will use only $1 of credit.
GETTING THE BUS FROM POIPET TO PURSAT
You have 2 options for the bus. Either you get the big cheap bus which takes a lot longer and you may need to change buses in Battambang or you get the express bus and it will get you direct to Pursat and they speak English. As long as you tell everyone that you want a bus to Pursat you will be fine. Worse case is that you will waste maybe $5 on paying too much. The Mekong express is about $17 I think or maybe more. It really is the best option but it is up to you. If you go for the cheap bus make sure you tell everyone at every step that you are going to Pursat. I would hate for you to go right through to Phnom Penh. Put it in your GPS on your phone so that you know when you are close. On the slow bus it will take at least 5 hours but may take 6 or more. You will probably stop in Battambang for up to 1 hour on the way.
Message me when you are close so that I can make sure that I meet you at the stop. Get off at the first stop in Pursat. I should be able to pick you up in the tuk tuk. If you don’t get a sim card then when you get off the bus, get a tuk tuk to “Pursat Pizza House”. They will be able to call me and let me know you have arrived.
MAP OF PURSAT