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First Night In Phnom Penh » »

From Vietnam to Cambodia: where people working in rice fields have been replaced by feeding oxen; where lush green plains and rice patties have been replaced by flourishing jungles and marshes…It’s a dream come true. We’re now in the capital of Phnom Penh and I’m already captivated. Not like the hustle and bustle of Ho Chi Minh, it resonates with a kinetic charm that has been intoxicating. Let’s hope it stays that way.

My only gripe so far is that at the border customs, they took away my single-entry Vietnam visa from my passport and thus I lost all my stamps that proved I was in Vietnam. Dammit!



  1. Find a reputable bus company that will take you to Phnom Penh from Ho Chi Minh. We recommend Saguda (200,000 dong = $10 USD)
  2. Arrive on time; they’ll provide free water and food
  3. Give the bus operators your passport and $25 USD for visa processing
  4. Get driven across a river to the Vietnamese/Cambodia border at Moc Bai (around 3 hours)




5. Get off at Moc Bai

6. Walk into first border crossing building


Vietnam-Cambodia border crossing at Moc Bai


7. Wait for them to call out your name with your passport

8. Pick up your passport and go through first round of customs


Customs at the Vietnamese-Cambodian border

9. Get back on bus and get driven to second border crossing at Bavet


Vietnam-Cambodia border crossing at Moc Bai


10. Give them your passport one more time

11. Get off and give the bus operators your passport again

12. Wait for them to finish processing and retrieve your passport.

13. Go through one last customs check for visa approval

14. Get back on bus and get driven to Phnom Penh


The Cambodian side

Arriving into Phnom Penh

Khmer architecture

Tomorrow’s plan:

  1. The Killing Fields
  2. S-21 Prison/Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum
  3. Royal Palace
  4. Silver Pagoda

BTW we were hit on prostitutes while clubbing tonight at “The Lounge.” One girl dangled keys to a hotel room in front of me while another bit Annah’s arm while dancing. I assume it was a friendly bite.

– At time of posting in Phnom-Penh, it was 82.4 °F – Humidity: 74% | Wind Speed: 4km/hr | Cloud Cover: few clouds