Border Crossing from Saigon, Vietnam to Phnom Penh, Cambodia
One of the ways to enter Cambodia cheaply is to fly to Saigon and then cross the border. It may sound a bit troublesome but I did it. The whole process was "seamless" and a little bit scary.
Here is my whole experience:
I booked a bus from Ho Chi Minh City via the hostel i stayed in here. The bus company is called Phuong Heng and it cost me $10 USD.
Price to Phnom Penh can cost from $10 - $15 USD. Prices depends on the type of bus you are taking. What you pay is what you get. Simple. If you are lucky, your bus will not make any unnecessary stopovers to pick up "stocks" which can stretch the journey to more than the estimated duration. Also, beware of scammers who promised to let you cross the border but will eventually leave you halfway before you even reach immigration. They will give an excuse that they weren't paid enough and will demand for money or leave you there.
The total duration was about 6-7 hours and the trip was pretty comfortable. The bus was clean and looks pretty new. I was given a bottle of water as well. Enough leg room and seats that reclined for the passengers to rest in different positions. I have no complains whatsoever.
At the Vietnam border
The guide in our bus collected all of our passport and passed it to the immigration officer while we linger around the area. Our names were called out one by one and we were allowed to go through immigration with our passport returned.
At the Cambodian border
We did not have our passport with us but we took a stroll into the immigration building in and then out one way.
We approached the guide to collect our passport but he told us to wait in the bus. So we did.....and the bus drove off. WITHOUT OUR PASSPORT.
The whole immigration process for both sides were less than half an hour and it was not crowded.
After the bus drove a few kilometres away, everyone started to panic and asked each other about their passports while i sat there calmly. The bus pull over at a small eatery and we were told to have a break before proceeding to Phnom Penh. A few minutes later, our guide appeared with our passports in his hand. Everyone gave a sigh of relief when the passports were returned back.
We reached Phnom Penh and took a tuk tuk to our hostel safely.
If you are going to cross the border, go with a reputable agency and check that you have all the documents needed to enter. Always research and look out for scam traps. Safe travels!