If you are doing the reverse banana pancake trail, you will have to cross the land border between Cambodia to Vietnam, which is from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh City or Saigon. There are different ways you can do this. Depending on your travel style, budget, and how much time do you have in yourbackpacking in Vietnam.
You’ll also want to make sure you have all the proper documents required for entering Vietnam.
If you’re moving to Saigon (the old name for Ho Chi Minh City), then you may also want to check out our article explaining the cost of living in Saigon.
You can use the table of contents below to navigate faster:
NOTE:All prices are in US Dollars
LAND BORDERS BETWEEN CAMBODIA AND VIETNAM
Bavet / Moc Bai
The first land border crossing between Vietnam and Cambodia that was opened to foreign travellers, is also the most popular until today. It is also the most popular among travellers and expats and probably the best option especially if you are travelling by bus.
Kaam Samno / Ving Xuong
This border is known river crossing between Phnom Penh and Chau Doc. You can get fast and/or slow boats here. Once you get to the border, a fixer will collect all the passports to process the paperwork. You can come if you are feeling uncomfortable giving away your passport.
Phnom Den / Tinh Bien
This border is close to Kampot or Takeo. and is open for foreign travellers. However, it is quite expensive to get transport from here.
Prek Chak / Xa Xia
It is a Cambodia/ Vietnam coastal border and is open to travellers with valid visas. It is only a twenty-minute motorbike ride from Kep and it costs about $7.
BUS FROM PHNOM PENH TO HO CHO MINH CITY
The most common way to cross the border is totake a bus from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh city. Some travellers wonder if they can cross the border from Siem Reap directly to Ho Chi Minh city but that’s simply not possible. There is a travel agency who offers this but the truth is, the bus will still have to stop in Phnom Penh where you can change to another bus.
RELATED POST: Here is ourbackpacking in Vietnamarticle which we tackle different topics under it.
How Long is the Bus Journey
The bus journey will be abouta 6-hour journeywith a10 minutes lunch breakbefore crossing the actual border. Some buses have a toilet on the bus some doesn’t. While other bus companies offer free lunch too. The landscaper during the trip is quite nice, you will see the green fields and country life in Cambodia.
There areovernight buseswhere the travel time takes about11 hours instead of 6 hours. This is mostly because of the number of stops and the fact that the border only works during business hours, therefore, you need to spend a few hours on the bus until the border is open. Also, the sleeping berths they have is basically a double-sized bed, whereas you have to share it with a stranger.
How Much is the Ticket for the Bus from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh City
Depending on your budget it ranges between$12-$18depending on thetime schedule and company.
I personally have tried The Sinh Tourist, Kumho Samco, Mekong Express, and Giant Ibis. The Sinh Cafe was okay but not the best but it’s the cheapest. The buses are old and the seats are not comfortable. While Mekong Express was a little better than The Sinh Tourist, their seats are more comfortable, some buses can be old.
There was a time where water was dripping right on top of me, luckily, the seat next to me was empty. They also offer minivans which are faster than the big buses. On the other hand, I also tried their new bus which was great.
Kumho Samco is not bad either, they have reclining seats which is good, however, their air-conditioner is not the best. Giant Ibis is the tourists and expats’ favourite. Spacious, newer buses, great air-conditioning, and their staffs speak good English. They are also the most expensive, starting at $18.
Ourluggage was not scannedduring the crossing, they were left on the bus. Remember to bring your valuables like passport, wallet, and gadgets.
EXITING THE BORDER OF CAMBODIA
Your driver or conductor will explain to you how to cross the border, get to the immigration office, and how to find your bus again. Go to the immigration office to get your exit stamp, it’s easy and straightforward, unless you have overstayed.
You will hop back into the bus until you reach the border office of Vietnam which is about 2-3 minutes.
ENTERING THE BORDER OF VIETNAM
Depending on your nationality, there isa free visa availableat the border. If you need a visa and your country is accepted for a visa on arrival, all you need to do is give your passport and pay the fee.
Ifyou need a visa before entering Vietnamand isnot applicable for a visa on arrival, you need to process your visa beforehand. You can do this in Phnom Penh. Check this guide abouthow to apply for a Vietnam visain Phnom Penh.
Vietnam visa table info CHECK PRICES FOR YOUR VISA
Your bus company conductor will collect your passport, this is mostly for those who are doing a visa on arrival or simply to fast track the process, it is common that they charge $5 for this service, on top of the visa fee (which is $35 for those doing a visa on arrival).You can choose to not give your passportandstand in the lineand get your own stamp if you feel uncomfortable giving your passport to someone apart from the immigration officer.
You will give your passport to the person in charge (normally you will see a pile of passports on the desk, just ask if you should add it there). Your name will be called once your passport has been stamped.
Proceed to the exit of the building and hop back in the bus. Enjoy the rest of the journey.
WHERE WILL YOU BE DROPPED OFF
If the bus company have an office on thebackpacker’s street(Pham Ngu Lao), you will more likely to be dropped there. If you are unsure, ask your conductor where the drop off will be.
HOW TO GET TO YOUR ACCOMMODATION FROM HERE
You can easily walk to most hostels from Pham Ngu Lao, if you have too much luggage or your hostel is quite a walk, hop on a taxi or book it through the app calledGrab(this work just like Uber). You can order a motorbike taxi, a real taxi, or a car.
CHECK THE BEST HOSTELS IN VIETNAM
CROSSING THE BORDER WITH YOUR MOTORBIKE
You can bring your motorbike to Vietnam from Cambodia with you as long as you have the right documents. Here are the expected things you need and then what you need to do when crossing the border with your motorbike:
- International driver’s license from your home country
- Valid driver’s license
- Blue card or the document that shows you bought this bike legally
- Cash (much better inUSD)
- You can do the immigration first (get exit/entry stamp)
- Head to customs, ask the personnel around where to go for exporting/importing your motorbike
- Fill out the form
- Give the form and your documents to the person in charge
- Pay – it was said that the fee is $20 and a stamp fee of $1-$2. You should bring enough cash in case there are other fees that you need to pay
Here is an in-depth guide aboutmotorbiking in Vietnam; find out what you need to know before starting your trip.
FLYING FROM PHNOM PENH TO HO CHI MINH CITY
If you prefer to fly or your budget permit, there are direct flights between Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh city. They are usually carried by Cambodia Angkor Air, Vietnam Airlines, and Qatar Airways with at least once or twice a day schedule.
However, flight tickets are not the cheapest. They range between $75 to $130 for one-way. You can check flightshere.
WHERE TO STAY
Either you are a backpacker, on a full-on holiday, or a family traveller, Ho Chi Minh City can accommodate your need well enough.
The best is to check out ourwhere to stay in Ho Chi Minh City guideto compared the best ones from another and see what suit you better.
WHERE TO GO NEXT
From Ho Chi Minh City, travellers would either go to Phu Quoc, an island best for holidaymakers or tourists who love to relax on the beach. Vung Tau, a beach town not far from Ho Chi Minh City (how to get to Vung Tau from HCMC) – also a less travelled place in Vietnam. While most people would head to Mui Ne (here ishow to get to Mui Ne from Ho Chi Minh City), another beach town is known for water activities such as kite and windsurfing, sand dunes, and visiting small villages. You can also check this3 week Vietnam itinerary.
I hope you find this article about how to get from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh city has been useful for you. If you have questions, let us know in the comment section.
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The main Vietnam to Cambodia border crossing is Moc Bai to Bavet and the route from Ho Chi Minh City to Phnom Penh by bus is an easy 6-hour (including immigration) trip. Of course, there are many other land border crossings to Cambodia from Vietnam, and visas on arrival are available at most of them.What is the port of entry from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh? ›
The border crossing for entry to Vietnam from Cambodia is at Bavet/Moc Bai, which is about 3.5 hours from Phnom Penh. The majority of nationalities are required to obtain a visa before entering Vietnam, with the exception of a handful of European and Asian countries.What is the name of the bus border crossing from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh? ›
Moc Bai - Bavet Crossing
The travel distance between the two dynamic cities Phnom Penh and Ho Chi Minh City seems insignificant as it is only 150 km.
The best way to get from Cambodia to Vietnam is to fly which takes 1h 57m and costs $100 - $280. Alternatively, you can bus, which costs $34 and takes 6h 31m. How long is the flight from Cambodia to Vietnam? The quickest flight from Siem Reap Airport to Tan Son Nhat Airport is the direct flight which takes 1h 20m.Is the border between Vietnam and Cambodia open? ›
All land border crossing between Cambodia and Laos, Cambodia and Thailand, and Cambodia and Vietnam are now open.Can I go from Vietnam to Cambodia and back to Vietnam? ›
1 Comment. Given your itinerary above, you will need a 1-month multiple entry visa to cover your trip to Cambodia then return Vietnam. If you fly to Vietnam, you can apply for an approval letter to pick up the visa upon arrival, otherwise you may need to contact Vietnamese embassy to get your visa done beforehand.Do you need proof of exit to enter Vietnam? ›
Going to the airport without an exit visa will result in you being denied boarding for your flight. Vietnamese visit visas are issued for a limited duration, printed on the visa, and on the basis that visitors must leave on or before the date of expiry.How to get a visa for Vietnam in Phnom Penh? ›
1 - How do I make a visa appointment at the Vietnamese embassy/consulate in Phnom Penh? To contact the embassy for visa appointment or application in Phnom Penh, please call: +855 23 726 274. In most cases, a visa appointment is not required, you can visit the embassy in person to obtain the visa.Do I need negative test to enter Cambodia? ›
A COVID test is not required when arriving in Cambodia.Is there a train from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh? ›
1 Phnom Penh (Cambodia) - Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam)
There is no passenger train connection between these two countries. There are daily direct bus connections from Siem Reap (Cambodia) to Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam) with a journey time of 9 hours and a ticket fare from 25 EUR.
Ha Tien - Prek Chak
This is a popular border crossing for those who want to visit Vietnam from Kampot province, Cambodia. Kampot is located in the southern part of Cambodia, about 60 km from the Xa Xia border gate of Ha Tien City (Kien Giang).
Singaporeans who are allowed to enter Vietnam will have to (i) present a negative RT-PCR COVID-19 test results within three to seven days prior to arrival in Vietnam; (ii) ensure that one has the appropriate health insurance coverage or the commitment of investing agencies/organisations to pay the treatment fee should ...Do US citizens need visa for Vietnam and Cambodia? ›
U.S. citizens must have a visa for entry into Vietnam and Cambodia. Vietnam visas must be obtained prior to departure. Cambodia visas will be granted upon arrival.Can US residents travel to Vietnam? ›
Do United States Citizens Need a Visa to Vietnam? Yes. All US citizens need a visa to enter Vietnam for business or leisure trips.Do US citizens need a visa for Cambodia? ›
You will need a valid passport and a Cambodian visa to enter Cambodia. Tourist and business visas are valid for one month from the date of entry into Cambodia. Cambodia offers on-line visa processing. You may also apply in person at the Cambodian Embassy located at 4530 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20011, tel.Do I need vaccinations for Cambodia and Vietnam? ›
Courses or boosters usually advised: Hepatitis A; Tetanus. Other vaccines to consider: Hepatitis B; Rabies; Typhoid. Selectively advised vaccines - only for those individuals at highest risk: Cholera; Japanese Encephalitis.Is there still quarantine in Vietnam? ›
Positive COVID-19 cases in Vietnam are required to self-quarantine until tested negative. The application of the quarantine rules may be subject to the current situation of COVID-19 in each city or province.
Do Cambodian passport holders need a visa for Vietnam? Cambodian passport holders can enter Vietnam without a visa for up to 30 days. However, if your stay in Vietnam exceeds 30 days, you must obtain a visa prior to arrival.Can you travel to Vietnam without speaking Vietnamese? ›
The not-so-short answer is: Yes, you can, but it also depends on where you go in Vietnam. To your relief, most foreigners visiting Vietnam know barely any Vietnamese words but "Xin Chao - Hello" and "Cam On - Thank you". That is quite enough vocabulary for a 2 or 3 week trip to Vietnam.
Once here, you go to a small booth where you will show your visa (if you obtained it at the Cambodian embassy/consulate in Vietnam) or pay US$30 for a Cambodian visa on arrival, and fill out the form.How much cash can you bring to Vietnam? ›
How much cash can I carry into Vietnam? Currently, there is no legal limit on the amount of cash you can bring to Vietnam (either for Vietnamese Dong or any other foreign currency).What do I need to enter Vietnam from USA? ›
Entry Requirements: You must have a valid passport and a visa (or pre-approval for a visa on arrival) to enter Vietnam. Your passport must be valid for six months beyond your planned stay, and you must have at least one blank visa page (not including the endorsement page).Do I need vaccinations for Vietnam? ›
Courses or boosters usually advised: Diphtheria; Tetanus. Other vaccines to consider: Hepatitis A; Hepatitis B; Rabies; Typhoid. Selectively advised vaccines - only for those individuals at highest risk: Japanese Encephalitis.What is the fastest way to get a Vietnam visa? ›
Submit an online form for the pre-approved visa letter. Receive the visa letter in 3-5 working days (in Emergency Cases, it can be processed in just 2-3 HOURS) Prepare all documents, required stamping fee, board the plane to Vietnam and get the visa stamped on passport upon arrival at Vietnam airport.Can I get Vietnam visa on arrival? ›
Visa on arrival is available for Air travelers. Those arriving by land or cruise are required to contact the local Vietnam embassy to get a full Vietnam visa before departure. Visa on arrival must be picked up at Vietnam airports after landing.How much does an entry visa to Vietnam cost? ›
How much does it cost to get a Vietnam e-visa? You need to pay for two fees: e-Visa service fee for 1 month single entry: $30 and Stamping fee: $25.Do you need proof of vaccinations to enter Cambodia? ›
A. Yes, bring the original CDC issued vaccination card. Q. What are the list of vaccines accepted to enter Cambodia?Is Cambodia safe for US citizens? ›
Be aware of your surroundings at all times and to be extra vigilant when displaying items like jewelry, bags and cell phones in public. Violent crime, such as sexual assault and homicide, is common, sometimes against foreigners. Do not physically resist any robbery attempt. Use caution when walking or driving at night.How much money do you need per day in Cambodia? ›
In general, I'd recommend expecting to spend around $5 a day if you're on a tight backpacker budget, $15 a day if you'll be occasionally eating Western food restaurants, and $25 a day if you plan on eating at higher-end restaurants.
Travel by boat from Phnom Penh to Saigon
Cruising the Mekong from Phnom Penh to the Mekong Delta is the best way to explore this beatiful part of Cambodia and Vietnam. Lay back on your comfortable river cruiser and enjoy the scenery!
Ho Chi Minh is a bustling city located in the South of Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh offers lots of exciting things to do. If possible we recommend spending around 3 days in Ho Chi Minh in order to see all of the main attractions.Is 2 days in Ho Chi Minh enough? ›
You'll need two full days, morning until evening. This itinerary stretches from around 06.30 on Day 1 to around 23.00 on Day 2. You'll be able to do almost everything within the two days that are a must-try in Ho Chi Minh City. The time is tight, and you may have to choose between places.What is the best route to take in Vietnam? ›
The most common Vietnam Route is from the south to the north (Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi) and from the north to the south (Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh). I personally traveled from the south to the north and found this to be the most efficient Vietnam route without having to do any backtracking.What is the best way to travel through Vietnam? ›
To sum up, trains are considered the best way to get around Vietnam cheaply and comfortably; open tour buses are great for those places which are not serviced by trains and planes are ideal for those who are short on time. That is it the best way to get around Vietnam.Can I leave Vietnam and come back? ›
A multiple entry visa allows foreigners to enter and exit Vietnam for an unlimited time in a certain period of time. It means you can exit and re-enter Vietnam as many times as you wish until the visa expires without applying for a new visa.How many days is enough in Phnom Penh? ›
How many days in Phnom Penh? Three full days is a generous amount of time to spend in Phnom Penh. This will allow you to see the main tourist sites plus some of the best off-beat attractions and local neighbourhoods.Can I get a visa for Cambodia on arrival? ›
Visitors to Cambodia have two options for obtaining an entry visa: apply for an e-visa online or simply get your visa on arrival at the airport. For short-term visitors, the e-visa is by far the best option as it can be easily applied for in advance of your travels via the Cambodian government's dedicated website.Is 2 weeks enough for Vietnam and Cambodia? ›
A Vietnam and Cambodia itinerary in 2 weeks takes you to see unforgettable history, indigenous culture, compelling cities and divine natural beauties. Even though, a 14-day itinerary is suitable for those who don't have the luxury of 1 month long, it's certainly not quite enough to discover the two countries in-depth.How much is a COVID test in Vietnam? ›
Generally, antigen testing fees in Vietnam range from around 83,000 VND to around 600,000 VND, depending on the testing facilities. Most major public hospitals in cities and provinces across Vietnam offer antigen testing services.
CDC recommends that travelers going to certain areas of Vietnam take prescription medicine to prevent malaria. Depending on the medicine you take, you will need to start taking this medicine multiple days before your trip, as well as during and after your trip.Is COVID insurance required to enter Vietnam? ›
Do I need insurance for Vietnam? While travel insurance is not obligatory for traveling to Vietnam, we strongly advise travelers to consider acquiring an insurance plan to ensure their well-being during their stay.How long can Americans stay in Cambodia without a visa? ›
This visa exemption has a limit of 30 days. If travelers from these countries wish to stay for longer, they will need to apply for a visa for Cambodia. Visitors from visa-exempt countries can enter Cambodia for tourism and leisure purposes without a visa.How much is Cambodia visa for U.S. citizens? ›
Yes, US citizens need to apply for a Cambodia visa. Cambodia e-visa cost: Total fee for the 36 USD. E-visa processing time: 2 - 5 business days. Easiest and fastest way to apply: Atlys.How much is Cambodia visa fee for U.S. citizens? ›
You can apply through the official online government visa processing center, but be aware that visas can and do get lost in their system, so make sure to apply at least a week in advance. The cost is $36 for a 30-day tourist visa, and $42 for an ordinary visa.How much is a Vietnam visa for US citizens? ›
|Visa types||Standard processing (5-7 working days)||Urgent processing (2 working days)|
|E-Visa (1 Month Single Entry)||48 USD||75 USD|
Vietnamese e-Visas Instructions
The Vietnam E-visa program issue visas to foreigners from Vietnamese Immigration Department for citizens of 80 countries, including the United States. The program uses an online application process to issue 30-day, one-entry visas for $25, payable via bank transfer.
Visa exemption in brief
Citizens of 11 European countries, including the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Russia, Belarus, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Finland, are exempted from a visa for a 15-day stay in Vietnam.
The Xa Mat International Border Gate is located in Tan Lap Commune (Tan Bien District, Tay Ninh Province), about 65 km north of Tay Ninh city, 150 km from the center of Ho Chi Minh City, and approximately 200 km from Phnom Penh, Cambodia.Can you do a border run in Vietnam? ›
Visa run to land borders
This way of doing a visa run from Vietnam is preferred by various expats in Vietnam as it's cheap. And to do so, you need to follow the following steps: Get the e-visa or visa approval letter (if required); Book a van or a bus or simply drive on your own to the border.
The nationals from the following countries can stay in Cambodia for either 21 or 30 days (depending on the country) and do not need a tourist visa: Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Brunei and Myanmar. There are several options for getting a Cambodian visa.Can you guess 3 border countries of Vietnam? ›
It borders China in the north, it has a long border with Laos, and it borders Cambodia in the southwest. Vietnam shares maritime borders with Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand.What 3 countries does Cambodia share a border with? ›
Its borderlines total 2,572 kilometers, comprising 803 kilometers bordering Thailand, 541 kilometers bordering Laos, and 1,228 kilometers bordering Vietnam.Is there a train from Vietnam to Cambodia? ›
To travel from Vietnam to Cambodia, you have to take a bus. There is no passenger train connection between these two countries.What does a US citizen need to enter Vietnam? ›
Entry Requirements: You must have a valid passport and a visa (or pre-approval for a visa on arrival) to enter Vietnam. Your passport must be valid for six months beyond your planned stay, and you must have at least one blank visa page (not including the endorsement page).Can US citizens go to Vietnam? ›
Americans require a visa to travel to Vietnam. You can obtain the visa ahead of time from the Vietnam Embassy in the US, or process a visa on arrival in Vietnam. This visa is embossed into your passport when you arrive at any of the Vietnam airports. You, however, should process it before embarking on your journey.Is Cambodia visa free for American citizens? ›
You will need a valid passport and a Cambodian visa to enter Cambodia. Tourist and business visas are valid for one month from the date of entry into Cambodia. Cambodia offers on-line visa processing. You may also apply in person at the Cambodian Embassy located at 4530 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20011, tel.Is Vietnam visa for US citizens multiple entry? ›
A multiple entry visa for Vietnam allows the holder to enter and exit Vietnam for a unlimited number of times within a given period of time, usually up to 1 year. This type of visa is useful for people who need to travel to Vietnam frequently for business, tourism, or other purposes.Is Cambodia visa on arrival for U.S. citizens? ›
U.S. citizens can also obtain a tourist visa to Cambodia upon arrival. A visa fee of $30 (tourist) or $35(business) should be paid directly to the Department of Immigration which is situated right across the Pochentong Airport in Phnompenh.What is the best currency to use in Vietnam and Cambodia? ›
Vietnamese Dong or US Dollar, which is the best currency to use in Vietnam? Most payments are made with Vietnamese Dong, but US dollars can be directly used for some hotels, restaurants, tours, or other services. You may see the prices for food, drinks, and souvenirs in Ho Chi Minh City's airport are all in US dollars.