Here is the place to post any simple or complex questions you may have about any aspect of life in Cambodia and beyond without fear of being told 'That question has been asked 100 times before.'
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Hello, Next month i will be crossing into Cambodia via Poipet to Phnom Penh with multiple suitcases of personal items, such as a desktop computer, laptop, and clothes. I know that many business owners buy food and stuff from Thailand to bring to their businesses in Cambodia without being hassled by Cambodian customs. My question is: is there a limit to how much personal baggage you can bring in to Cambodia overland? And will customs likely stop me if I have five large suitcases? Lastly will $20 in tea money be the best way to grease the wheels of authority if stopped?
Thanx in advance for all helpfull answers!
Tea? I've heard they now prefer to drink Cristal in Poipet.
Truth. Beauty. Justice.
Angkorstream - you will be fine if you are a barang - the customs guys let barangs bring more stuff with them as they know all foreign guys are rich and have lots of stuff...
We buy a lot of stuff from Bangkok so whe I arrive at the border I often get a bong with a hand cart loaded right up over his head to bring stuff across the border - much more than 5 suitcases - once they see the stuff belongs to a barang the customs guys generally pay no further attention....but maybe have a few packets of cigarettes ready if they do take a look...it is low season and they have less tourists to get money from....smile and take your time if this happens.
My wife gets hit with $20 tea money with her gear....so she loads me up with half her stuff....no problem.
You can bring in a large quantity of used personal items if you have a good reason (like living here) and a long term visa...if your are on a tourist visa with a tonne of gear it is going to cost you more....it is a relatively easy system..like user pays.
Good Info robboat, Thanx
I will be coming on a Business Visa, but it won't be extended to 12 months when I enter with my stuff. Hope that is not a problem?
When entering Cambodian passport control (noticeably) slip 200 baht into your passport and hand it to the first available police officer. Then walk straight through into Cambodia and sit on the bench near the fan and the drink sellers. Your passport will be handed to you shortly, stamped and with no fuss.
Just like in the civilized world!
Truth. Beauty. Justice.
Ok, your saying when applying for the Business Visa slip in 200 baht tea money along with the $25 visa fee? Or do you mean slip something extra too the customs guys?
After you have the visa. When you are entering passport control. Don't give those visa guys any extra, let them screw the backpackers.
If that's your' photo used in the avatar you might experience some difficulties!
The visa guys are straightforward - $25 for the business visa and a little extra for the "VIP" service.....any money paid here does not count towards the customs guys
The customs guys are stationed just outside and a little down from the visa office - they will check what is happening on the road as they watch all the carts, trucks and tourists rolling back and forth.
Hire a bong on the Thai side to take your bags on a push cart..maybe $2...border to border.
You will get separated from the bags when you go through Thai immigration but the bongs are video monitored and do not get paid until they take your bags to the Cambodia side all the way to your taxi....
You will meet your bong with your bags when you go to the Cambodia immigration office
Just walk with your gear on the hand cart with a bong pushing the load and they will probably not even notice you....only 5 suitcases and a barang.
If they do notice then just follow the easy path - take a deep breath, smile and ask to sit in the shade while everything is worked out - they will ask you all the usual questions...Where are you from, where you go, what is in the cases, how long you stay Cambodia, you like Cambodia, etc, etc.
Keep smiling and relaxed as if you have all the time in the world...they are relying on the barang to be impatient and demanding so they can hit them for more money.
Play the cigarette gift card and keep smiling.
All part of the game - maximum $20 cash to "facilitate" importation if they are playing hard for money.
They can ask for you to open everything if they want to....try to avoid this as stuff can go missing...keep smiling and ask what the issue will cost to clear up.
Generally no problems from my experiences crossing the border with big loads......just some simple questions and no problems.
Hope this helps.
I usually take Chong Jom / O Smach (since I travel to Surin a few times a year) and never had a problem taking things over the border. Just hire the kids with the carts and all will be fine. In 6 crossings nobody ever stopped me or checked my bags. Once I took Poipet and the Thai side wanted to check my lugguage.
The guys at above bordercrossings are in my opinion a lot less friendly than the ones working at the airport (both Thai and Khmer). They usually take a long time before stamping your passport. This is why I always make sure my visa is still valid, wouldn't like to deal with it there. By now I have learned to be patient and smile a lot hehe.
12 posts • Page 1 of 1
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