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  1. #26
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    klongmaster's Avatar
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    Dave: if you're going you'll need transport into town from the border...but the M/C drivers are all touts and they'll take you to the places where they get commission...

    just tell them you want to go to Fat Sams...it's only a bar so they won't get any commission...Sam will point you in the right direction for accom...

    last time I went the M/C said he didn't know DugOut but as soon as I said Moto he knew - Moto bar was the old name...

    Quote Originally Posted by dirtydog
    The "chicken farm" is a low end sex resort
    Very low...dirt floors...corrugated iron walls...pot holed roads...but they have take-aways both Khmer & Viet the latter being slightly more expensive...

    longtime cost there equates to about half of short time cost in bangkok so take two...

  2. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by shayno View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by NIRVANA1 View Post
    Hi, i stayed at the dugout last month, went to the chicken farm, slipped over in the grotty shower & nearly sliced my arm open on the rusty iron walls, a real turn off
    great report KM i might pass thru myself. NIRVANA1, a u talking about the Dugout rooms? recommendations on a clean budget rooms there. What is the chicken farm?
    No...his reference was to the chicken farm, not the rooms at Dugout!..

  3. #28
    Member Felix Sphinx's Avatar
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    Anyone done this recently

  4. #29
    The Dentist English Noodles's Avatar
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    Anyone done this border crossing recently?

  5. #30
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    Even though I've have been a member for ages never posted, so I suppose I should make my first post a useful one.

    For anyone with more than a few years experience in SEA then I reckon this border crossing has to be one of the most hassle free overland exit/re-entry points from Thailand. I have done this crossing about 5-6 times in the last 18 months and practically nothing has changed so you can assume this info to be relevant for the next 6 months at least I would say.

    As with all things visa related there are two ways of doing things 1) yourself 2) getting someone else to do it for you at a minimal cost. Personally I always prefer to do it on my own as it leaves you open to last minute changes of plan and less exposed to having to tell annoying touts to F off.

    To/From Trat to Had Lek/Cham Yeam

    I will make the town of Trad/Trat the starting point as you may be coming from one of the nearby islands or BKK or one of the provincial towns in the area, either way at some point you will end up in Trat.

    Most transport options will drop you off in Trat at either the newish bus terminal about 1k from the center or somewhere around the central covered Market. If you end up hopelessly disorientated than ask for KFC, it's opposite the the market and over the road are Songthaews or moto taxis. Moto Taxi to the bus station is 20 baht, in fact just about anywhere within Trat is 20 Baht.
    Once at the bus station walk into the entrance and walk down to the very last bay on the right hand side (Number 13 I believe) regardless it is clearly signed Had lek / Border crossing. Avoid the touts at the entrance as they will offer to take you alone immediately, unless of course you want to pay what they ask. From pier/gate 13 the fixed fare to the border is 120b for Thai or Farang in a minivan. If you see someone else paying 80 baht don't get shirty like I have seen a few backpackers doing, more than likely they are being dropped early at the couple of fishing towns near Klong Yai about 15k short of the border. The minivan goes when full and I have never waited longer than an hour (30-45 mins is typical).
    The minivan stops at Klong Yai as there are a few minivans that ply the route to fill up one van rather than run two half full, this stop is rarely more than 5 to 10 mins so get out and enjoy a smoke. From there to the border is just 10 mins or so. The minivan will pull up about 5 meters short of the Thai immigration exit post on the left hand side. Rescue your bag from the wheelbarrow boys who pounce upon it before you even get out of the van and walk to the exit post. Where the van drops you off is exactly the same place you want to be when doing the return journey (all info is reversed, same price, same route etc)

    Immigration

    Border post operates between 7am and 8pm - Realistically you shouldn't leave any later from Trat than 6pm, 5pm would be my recommendation.

    This is an incredibly quiet border crossing and unless you are unlucky enough to arrive just behind a coach load of Thais off on a gambling tour you should be stamped out in about 2 minutes. (If you have overstay or visa transferals to sort out before exiting this is taken care of by the Immigration booth on the RHS (arrivals ??)).
    Walk down the road towards the Cambodian border, Just after the red and white barrier is where the amusement starts. Head purposefully towards the Visa service desk and avoid the fools trying to direct you to the health check booth immediately on the left, that is of course unless you enjoy someone in a dirty white coat putting an even dirtier temperature probe in your ear and charging 20b for the pleasure.
    Take the Visa application form from the "helpful friend" saying that "as English is my native language I don't really think I need to much help in filling out a form that is in English, but thanks all the same". Once filled out pop inside and hand over the form, 1 photo, your passport and 1000b (The 1000baht rate seems pretty much set in stone these days. add 100b if you don't have a photo). Immigration officials in this office seem genuinely friendly, last time I ended up eating Vietnamese duck eggs with them, whilst they made out the visa. Once you have the visa in your passport backtrack one window closer toward the Thai side and get the arrival form to fill out (more than likely from your "friend") or if he has already sussed out you are not a naive tourist then pop your head through the window and the immigration officer will hand you one. Fill it out and hand it over with your passport. They are still trying to get to grips with a new fingerprint system they installed a few months back, fairly straight forward but if you are behind a local fresh from the fields then this can sometimes take a few minutes but it is worth the watch as they try to get to grips with this gadget. Once you get your passport back you are free to either continue on into Cambodia or double back and re-enter Thailand. Of the 5-6 border crossings I have made here recently none has taken more than 20 mins from the van dropping me off to receiving my passport with visa ready to head off into Cambodia.
    A point to note is that if you re-enter Thailand immediately then the Cambodian side will charge you 300 baht (some sort of “lost revenue” taxation) I don’t know but I am fairly sure this is not debateable.

    Cham Yeap Border to Koh Kong

    Whether you are going into Cambodia for fun, a visa or other reasons chances are you will stay in Koh Kong or at least arrange accommodation their whilst waiting for a visa or waiting for onward transportation elsewhere in Cambodia.
    The same guys that were trying to help you fill out your paperwork are invariably the same guys that now sort out your transport into Koh Kong, so it obviously pays to politely decline their previous requests unless you fancy some protracted discussions about transport pricing. Motorbike is about 100baht give or take a little + 11baht toll. Tuk Tuk about 200 and a Taxi will ask for 300 baht, I took this option for the first time this trip. As it was late he agreed to go for 150 but about 2 ks short said that he had to return and I had to get a ticket from his agency as they couldn’t go for less than the full fare of 300. I just said ok then drop me off here and I’ll call the Hotel to come and pick me up and you get nothing, we were back on the road within about 5 seconds, They speak pretty good English and once I explained that I can do the 46Ks from my house to the airport in Bangkok for less than 300baht and that this was only 10ks he quickly got the picture. All very amicable to be honest once they realize you are not Quentin on a gap year Jolly they rarely try anything on and unlike Poipet and other places a polite No means No here.

    In Summary
    Moto Taxi from central Trat to Bus station 20b (5 mins)
    Songthaew from central Trat to Bus station 40b (5 mins)
    Minivan from Trat to Border 120b (60-90 mins (80kms)
    Visa processing 1000b (20mins) add 100b for photo and 300b if re-entering immediately
    Onward moto to Koh Kong 100b + 11b toll (15 mins)
    Onward taxi to Koh Kong 150b – 300b + 44b toll (10 mins)
    Fan rooms in Koh Kong $5 upwards
    Modern A/C room with int Cable Tv fridge etc $10 upwards
    AC bus to Sihanoukville or Phnom Penh $8-10 (4.5 – 5hrs)
    Weed – Wouldn’t know about that
    Girls – BYOB recommended,
    Drinks – Beers 25b and upwards, spirits 30b and upwards
    Thai visa services available within Koh Kong (Via Thai embassy in Phnom Penh) with a three day turnaround roughly 1000baht handling fee on top of the cost of the visa you require.
    VOA - 15 days on re-entry
    Banks - Finally there may be a Cirrus/Maestro option coming to town. Will try it later today and post. They promised the ATM would go online at 4pm.... we'll see about that. Other than that there are a couple of Visa only ATMs in town.
    Last edited by beropea; 02-11-2011 at 03:11 PM.

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