Day 3 of my solo Indochina trip was spent on travelling from Ho Chi Minh City to the capital of Cambodia which is Phnom Penh. I used the service of Giant Ibis Bus which made the border crossing so much easier. You can book your tickets online. Click here.
We left HCMC at around 9AM and arrived at the Vietnam side border (Moc Bai) at around 11AM. Our passports and Cambodian arrival cards were collected beforehand. The bus attendant individually checked each passenger’s passport so we had the proper travel document or visa in entering Cambodia. We entered a building and I thought we were in a huge old warehouse. It was full of people waiting to get out of the country. We waited for more than an hour before our passports were stamped.
We hopped on the bus again and proceeded to the Cambodian border side (Bavet) where the immigration procedure was smoother than I expected. They are, however, a little stricter than the Vietnam counterpart. They fingerprint every person that comes in. It’s my first time that I’ve experienced that in immigration checkpoints.
It seems like every building in Cambodia has an Angkor inspiration. They’re very proud of their cultural heritage (as everyone should be). They even put the symbol of the Angkor Wat in their flag.
Another 3.5 hours of travelling in the countryside, lots of turning in my seat since I couldn’t sleep. This solo travelling had kept me on my toes. I was always anxious and constantly researching what to do next. It was my first time to travel solo and I’m sure I’ll be better the next time I do it. At around 5 pm, we arrived in Phnom Penh.
We passed by their main park and it was busy with locals playing around. It was also nice to see a lot of birds on the park. It looked like there were more birds than people.
When I got off at the bus station, I immediately booked tickets to Siem Reap for the next day. As it turned out, it was the right decision as buses going to Siem Reap always get full the day before the scheduled departure.
I checked in at Velkommen’s Guesthouse which is 3 blocks from the bus station and immediately dozed off. Tomorrow I would be squeezing in a little bit of sightseeing before I head off to Siem Reap at noon.