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  1. #1
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    Visa Run: Bangkok to Ban Hat Lek/Koh Kong

    Our destination for this two-dayer was Koh Kong in Cambodia. Entry point is at Ban Had Lek on the Thai side and Cham Yeam on the Cambodian side.

    Bangkok to Ban Hat Lek in Trat Province is about 400 kms. If you haven’t been before it’s well worth the trip as the scenery is beautiful, especially the last 90 kms from Trat to the border.





    For those of you who are driving just take the expressway past Suvarnabhumi Airport and turn off on the 344 to Klang. At the T-Junction – approx 200kms from Bangkok – turn left on the 3 to Trat. Just before you arrive in Trat – 325 kms from Bkk – turn left on to the 318 and this will take you all the way to the border.

    At the border there is secure car parking, courtesy of the casino. Entry is on the left between the Kasikorn Bank and SCB ATMs. You can have your parking stamped at the cashier in the casino and you’ll park for free.



    Cambodia has an e-visa which you can get for $25 online and it can be used at this border crossing. It’s well worth doing both cost-wise and time-wise. If you get your visa at the border it will cost you 1200 baht and they do NOT accept US dollars.

    This has become quite a popular place for backpackers to cross so go early unless you want to join the queue with the great unwashed. Oh and there’s no shade here so you’ll queue in the sun.

    There’s loads of touts hanging around pestering you for a ride into Koh Kong. Personally, I like to have a flutter at the tables so I just tell them I’m only going to the casino and they leave me alone.

    The casino operates a bus from the border to the front door so avail yourself of this free service. I walked, but they have now opened the final stage of their construction program and the main entrance is further along the road. In the end it’s only 10 minutes so it won’t kill you.

    The casino is very plush. One of the best I’ve every been in so you’ll need to be reasonably smartly attired. No shorts or flip flops etc.



    You can check you bags at reception and take the escalator to the Casino floor. Typical of most Asian casinos, most tables play baccarat with only one table for blackjack.

    Even if you don’t want to play just cash some money and get some chips and ask them to stamp your parking at the same time. You cash your chips out at a different counter so nobody knows or cares if you play or not.

    Take a few moments to check out their swimming pool. It’s fantastic.







    Non-guests pay 50 baht to use it and this comes with towels etc. Many expat residents of Koh Kong come over for the day to enjoy the pool and the poolside bar. When I was there I didn’t see a single soul around the pool either day.



    When you’re done, collect you bags and get the doorman to call you a motor bike to take you to Koh Kong. It will cost you 100 baht plus 11 baht toll way on the bridge. Some miserable types make the driver pay but it’s only 11 baht FFS. You’ll have to pay again on your way back.

    Koh Kong is a pretty small frontier town where nothing much happens. That in itself is an attraction after the pace and noise of Bangkok.



    There are lots of accommodation choices here but this time I stayed at The Dugout Hotel which is right in the main street.

    This wonderfully unsubtle name –Doug was the previous owner – is the brainchild of the new owner and fellow kiwi Grant. He’s a friendly guy who takes the time to have a chat and like all good hoteliers is able to give you the gen on all things local.

    The food is pretty good here, especially the breakfasts. Plate was huge!



    My room with A/C cost 400 baht. They are pretty full so send an email first 'thedugouthotel[at]yahoo.com

    Diagonally across the road is a new bar called ‘Fat Sams’. The guv is Welsh so you’ll need to listen carefully when he speaks! He’s a large lad so there’s no mistaking him. He’s mates with Colin and Hatch (before his passing obviously) for those of you in Bangkok.



    Fat Sams has the distinction of employing what must be the prettiest cook of any place I’ve ever been in. And she can cook. This is a great place for a few beers while you watch the passing traffic, which is mostly bicycles and motor bikes.

    The Oasis is another place which got good wraps from the locals, although I didn’t go there. Run by an amiable Brit with an interest in trekking and boating so probably a good place to stay if you’re the adventurous type.

    Ok so it’s back to the border with a short stop at Cambodian immigration to get your exit stamp. Then on to Thai immigration for your stamp in.

    New visas rules have been introduced at other land borders but as of the 10-12-08 they are still giving 30 days at Ban Had Lek.





    All photos taken on my Samsung Omnia Mobile Phone.
    Last edited by klongmaster; 11-12-2008 at 01:12 PM. Reason: fixed email addy

  2. #2
    Member donmeurett's Avatar
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    Great Pictures for a mobile phone must be high Dollar.
    Thanks for sharing your adventures.

  3. #3
    Have you got any cheese Thetyim's Avatar
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    25k baht

  4. #4
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    Nice one, how much was breakfast?

  5. #5
    Developing Member
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    Good Stuff and great pics, interesting that they gave you a 30 day chop

  6. #6
    Cacoethes scribendi
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    Great report Klongmaster and some very nice pictures from that mobile phone. I did like the design of that pool, it would make a good flower bed when scaled down a bit. The little white bridge to the island, is a nice touch. Good info on the hotel as well, thanks very much.

  7. #7
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    how much the casino room ?

  8. #8
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    Grub looks great bro. Any news on the chicken farm?

  9. #9
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    ^Klongy is a respectable and happily married man, so how would he know plus he's extremely old

  10. #10
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    bunch of cvnts as usual...

    but Chicken Farm update... I took the motor bike there and returned empty -handed...not sure what's happened to me cause the first time I went there I thought it was wonderful...this time all i could see was the dirt...

    wow...marriage is a wonderful thing...

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by snookmas
    how much the casino room
    from their brochure which I picked up in their foyer... between 1900 -85000 Baht

    although last time I paid 800 baht for a room for three!..

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by MeMock
    Nice one, how much was breakfast?
    Sorry Memers... missed this one...180 baht which seemed expensiove to me as did the beers at 40 Baht a can...I'm used to paying 75 baht a large bottle of Heneiken in Thonburi...

  13. #13
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    Cheers.

    Can you tell us more about the casino. Many tables but just the one black jack table? Hoe did you go? Food, drinks resturants etc?

  14. #14
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    Thai don't like to play Blackjack so the first day there was just me and a young Korean guy on the only table...minimum bet 200 Baht Max 8000...

    I played for about an hour and pocketed 1500 baht...just enough to pay for the visa...

    On the way out the following morning I stopped for another flutter and quickly picked up another 2500 baht so quit while I was ahead...

    Total expenses for the trip were 1610 baht for diesel, 1200 for visa, 400 baht hotel plus maybe 800 baht for food and beers. So all up about 4000...

    In the end I came out square and had some fun along the way...

    I'm used to paying 75 baht in Nonthaburi for a large Heineken so I thought the 40 baht a can for local beer was expensive in Koh Kong...The food in the places I mentioned above was all 'farang food' and averaged around 90-100 baht - burgers, toasties etc -

    In the casino there were a number of choices but none of it looked particularly appetising so I passed on it...I do know that if you change 50,000 baht into chips you get to stay there for free and all your meals are covered...needless to say I didn't do that...
    Last edited by klongmaster; 12-12-2008 at 11:56 AM.

  15. #15
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    any casino photos how safe IF wins lots money hahah

  16. #16
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    Casinos generally don't allow cameras.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by snookmas
    how safe IF wins lots money
    Casinos don't care if you win or lose...as long as you play...if you play long enough the Casino will always win...

    you need to set yourself a target and when you reach it quit...but most people keep playing when they win and in the end they lose it all and more...

    DD is correct...no piccies inside the Casino...

  18. #18
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    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

  19. #19
    I am in Jail

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    Did you have to show flight ticket out of LOS and/or cash when coming back?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by NIRVANA1
    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
    Unbelievable...I've never heard of anyone actually bonking girls there...it's so grotty...dirt floors...corrugated iron walls etc...as I said I went for a look and returned empty-handed...must be getting old or something...
    Quote Originally Posted by spiff
    Did you have to show flight ticket out of LOS and/or cash when coming back?
    No Stroll...you don't have to show anything at this border...

  21. #21
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    grotty?

    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?

  22. #22
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    The "chicken farm" is a low end sex resort

  23. #23
    Member Sparky's Avatar
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    which seemed expensiove to me as did the beers at 40 Baht a can...I'm used to paying 75 baht a large bottle of Heneiken in Thonburi...[/quote]


    You dont really drink that piss do you ? when you can get a large bottle of chang for 40 baht or less and at least you know your having a drink ??

  24. #24
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    upload some low end sex resort how low?

  25. #25
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    great post .
    i plan to visit , in february , from pattaya .
    what is the bar scene like in koh kong .??

    i will certainly visit the chicken shack ,
    and pick up a spicy , take away chick..

    i look forward to meeting fat sam.
    i am from , the green green grass of home
    tom bones

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