Departing Vietnam for Cambodia

We were excited for the next location on our trip. We arrived at the airport with a little more then 2 hours to wait. It took us 30 minutes to check our bags, 30 minutes to go through customs, and 30 minutes to go through security. We were lucky with some good timing and end up in short lines. If you are leaving Vietnam for another country out of Ho Chi Minh City Airport make sure you give yourself 30 minutes to get to the airport and 3 hours for luggage, customs, and security. While sometimes it can be quit, many airlines are ridiculously understaffed and the departing passport check can sometimes be slow.

Arriving in Cambodia, however is easy. It currently is $30 for a 30 day visa and you can get it really easily (If you are from most countries) when you arrive at Siem Reap airport. The airport itself is beautiful. Follow the line of people from the tarmac to the the building. Look for signs to point you in the right direction. After you filled out the paperwork, get in line for a visa . Hand the person the money, your passport, and the visa paperwork. They will take your passport and pass it down the line of people. Most of the employees speak limited English so just do what they ask and try to be patient. It won’t take that long. You need a full blank page in your passport because the visa is huge. You will also need a passport photo or I’m told they charge you a fine. There are other requirements so check with Lonely Planet for updated information.

It is best to have your guest house pick you up. That is the easiest way to make sure you end up in the right location. Occasionally while traveling the heavily tourist packed routes in SE Asia you will find an unscrupulous bus, taxi, or tuk-tuk driver who will invariably tell you that either the place you want is closed or they will bring you to their brothers/cousins/sisters/aunts/uncles hotel/jewelry store/authentic-hand-crafted-artisan-… You get the idea. This only happened to me once in Cambodia, and that was on my first trip there many years ago, but it is still a common enough practice. Having your hotel pick you up is usually a cheap way to avoid a minor headache.

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