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Poipet, a gateway to Cambodia for Thailand travellers

 Posted by , March 13, 2011 at 07:03:04 :: Cambodia

Poipet (also Poiphet, properly Paoy Paet) is a Cambodian town on the Cambodia/Thailand border, in Ou Chrov district, Banteay Meanchey Province. It is a key crossing point between the two countries, and also extremely popular as a gambling destination as gambling is popular, but illegal in Thailand. There is a strip of casinos and hotels between the Cambodian and Thai passport control counters, enabling Thais to gamble in Cambodia without needing to go through Cambodian immigration. This casino strip area is a 'special zone' that prevents Cambodians from gambling. There is another border on the Cambodian side of this strip area that one needs to pass before being free to travel within the rest of the country.

Poipet border crossing into Cambodia

Poipet is adjacent to the town of Aranya Pratet on the Thai side of the border. Its population has increased from 43,366 in 1998 census to 89,549 in 2008 census.

Poipet is the gateway to Cambodia for many overland travellers coming from Thailand. It does not provide a very warm welcome. Gordon Sharpless notes that "Poipet more or less rhymes with toilet" and this caustic observation is, sadly, true. Poipet is a miserable huddle of touts, beggars, thieves and dodgy casinos for daytripping Thais, and spending any more time than absolutely necessary is not recommended.

Once through immigration, you will be besieged by touts offering transport. Do your best to ignore them. There are two main options available for you:

* Take the free buses to the transportation depot.

* Take a motodop (motorbike taxi), for 500-1000 riel you can take a motodup to any part of poipet, which can come in handy of your trying to find a taxi that doesn't have the police 'subsidy' already attached.

Do not spend unnecessary time in Poipet if you are not ready to be hassled, scammed and frustrated to the limits of your patience.

Common scams include:

* Being told that your onward bound bus is delayed for a few hours and being advised to take a shared taxi instead

* Visa-entry charges that don't exist. Officials are known to insist on taxes that don't exist. Check out the going conditions of entering Cambodia.

* Money changers. A recent practice is to tell bus travelelrs that this is the last chance to change their money because there are "no banks in Siem Reap." Don't believe it. Siem Reap has good western banks and they offer way better rates than the money changers.

* Bars and other local entertainments including gambling can be rip-off establishments enforced by some mean strong-arm types.

* Pick-pockets.

* Transport arrangements. Most buses coming through Poipet have arrangements with Siem Reap guest houses and hotels, and will tend to deliver at a later hour at night than you expect, at the Guest House who has paid the driver. Attempts to extricate yourself from 'their" choice of accommodation (which are almost always inferior/over priced guesthouses) aren't always easy, and can get strained. But if you are firm and insistent that you will only go to your own pre-booked guest house then you should .

Visit Poipet and Cambodia now on Landolia.
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: Coder, Designer, Webmaster and Expert SEO Consulting, Simon Laroche is also a wise traveller and an avid amateur photographer. He created the website Landolia and many others...

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Paul Posted on March 21, 2011
Thank you for the effort you have made in creating this blog, share information better so this is one of the values of democracy ... if I can do anything to help this site.

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