Traveling from Vietnam to Cambodia via the Mekong Delta is an experience not to be missed. This remarkable travel day gave us the opportunity to explore the natural beauty of the Vietnamese and Cambodian country side. As we journeyed up the Mekong Delta we witnessed small local villages, bamboo-stilt houses, farmers working and locals going about their daily lives.
To make our journey from Vietnam to Cambodia via speedboat we travelled to Chau Doc. This Vietnamise town is small but busy. There is a large market that dominates most of the area, along with a square that hosts many food stalls and vendors.
We stayed at the Dong Bao Hotel just a few streets in from the river. It was a basic but a clean hotel. The hotel was able to book our speed boat ticket and arrange our transfer from the hotel to the waterfront.
There are several companies in Chau Doc selling boat journeys from to Phnom Penh via the Vinh Xuong border. We opted for the cheapest option and went with Hang Chau Tourist. The ticket cost 27USD and included snacks and water.
On the morning of our departure we woke at 6am and headed downstairs to wait for our transfer to the waterfront. We were told our total journey from Chau Doc to Phnom Penh would be around 4 hours including two border checkpoints. In total it was close to 7 hours (long delays are always to be expected in South East Asia).
When we arrived at the speedboat we handed over our bags to be stored away. We were then given some paperwork to fill out for the Vietnamese boarder control.
The boat itself was fully enclosed with about 20 seats. There was a further 10 seats out the back of the boat and there was a toilet on board.
Passengers all aboard, we set off down the Mekong at 7am. The river was calm and the boat skimmed along on top of the surface of the water as we made our way to the Vietnamese border check point.
When we arrived at the Vietnamese border crossing we unloaded from the boat and presented our passports. The process took about 30minutes but there is a coffee shop and a small store to purchase some snacks. After our passports were stamped it was time to get back onto the boat.
We made our way to the Cambodian border control. It is here we processed and paid for our Cambodian visa. We got off the boat, gave our passports into the office and waited for them to process our visas. We had to wait about one hour. Once our passports were approved we then entered a small building one by one, our fingerprints are scanned and we paid the fee. The fee is 30USD plus a 5USD processing fee. Make sure you have crisp new USD notes.
Once everyone had their visas sorted we all got back on board and continued the journey. As border crossings go it was fairly easy. From here it was a straight cruise to Phnom Penh. The landscape around the Mekong Delta was truly beautiful.
As we approached Phenom Penh we could see stunning views of the city skyline. The boat docked in the centre of the city and all the passengers offload. There are lots of local tuktuk drivers waiting to take you to your accommodation. They can be a bit aggressive while trying to get you into their tuktuk. Our recommendation is to just take a 5 minute walk down the street and flag a tuktuk down. You will get a better price, just make sure to haggle.
Overall this was an memorable travel day. If you’re looking for a different way to travel between Vietnam and Cambodia then we highly recommend traveling via boat along the Mekong Delta. Beautiful scenes, easy border crossing and no crazy Asian traffic!
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