Crossing the Thailand-Cambodia border at Chong Chom-Osmach

I wanted to make sure to record this because I scoured the internet for more detailed information about the crossing and couldn’t find too many recent reports. Most tourists doing crossing this land border go through Poipet. Reading about how to navigate the crossing without getting scammed is insane. The wikitravel guide has pages walking you through the procedure complete with maps. They begin by overcharging you for the visa then forcing you to pay an extra stamping fee. Someone even mentioned the bus company giving them slightly different continuing transportation (you walk a across the border even with bus transport booked through) stickers to show whether or not they paid the extra fee. If you need transport on the Cambodia side, you’re herded on to busses by police to take you to a more expensive bus station rather than the local one.

Since Nang Rong was equidistant from Chong Chom and Poipet we decided to go to the less crazy but onward transport more uncertain border. The Chong Chom crossing was closed for a long time due to fighting with the Khmer Rouge, which lasted into the late 1990s. Now, this border sees more Thai tourists hopping the border to gamble at the casino resorts directly at the border. Gambling is illegal in both countries for their citizens, but in Cambodia, foreigners can gamble. At Friday midday, the casino traffic wasn’t too bad.

To get to Chong Chom, we took a full bus toward Surin after an hour of waiting, but ended up getting off early realizing we could save distance/time by transferring at Prasat instead. There, we caught a minivan to Chong Chom. There’s no baggage storage in those cars. Our huge packs rode in our laps. Then, they fit three people in the two seats next to us.  Thankfully the ride wasn’t too long.

The border crossing was uneventful. A taxi driver we wanted our business sheparded us through the crossing, although it was pretty straightforward. We managed to only pay the $30 visa fee each without tea money. The shared cab was a bit on the pricey side. We ended up paying 1500 baht for a two hour ride to Siam Reap.

Unfortunately, he dropped us 3km from the hostel with a tuk tuk driver for a “free” ride to our hostel. We decided to walk as it was a nice evening and we had been sitting all day.

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