Vietnam motorbike diaries Day 10 and Cambodia motorbike diaries Day 1!
To: Phnom Penh
Distance: 270 kms
Oh God, the border was so sketchy.
On the Vietnamese side you come upon a big building which is NOT the border control office. I was then asked to go around to another building.
That place was full of non official people trying to scam people into getting their passports “stamped”. And trying to tell me that I can’t take my bike.
The bike laws are sketchy at best. On a bad day you can lose your bike, since driving itself without a Vietnamese license is illegal.
So I did what people usually say in their blogs, don’t mention the bike at all.
The Vietnamese border control was inside a warehouse where the entry gate wasn’t even marked that it was an entry gate.
I parked my bike outside and walked in. One guy was trying to help me with something but I ignored him and asked him to leave me alone.
After getting an exit stamp on my passport, I got out of the warehouse, went back to my back and walked with it a few metres. Then drove some 300-400 metres to the Cambodian office.
There were 2-3 spots in a row and it was hard to figure out where to leave the bike. I left it before a barrier, next to the visa counter.
I had gotten an E-visa so I went inside the office. I had to fill a form, go to an immigration officer and then exit. The exit gate would leave me some 50 metres away from the bike, towards Cambodia. It wasn’t very clear whether you could go back towards the entry gate after getting your passport stamped.
So there was this risk of losing the bike and losing my backpack that was on the bike. I didn’t want to remove my backpack so that I could rush out quick after the stamping. I imagined scenarios where I would plead for the backpack.
I walked back to the bike casually as if this is something I did every month. I got on the bike but then someone suggested I should walk with it. After a couple of seconds an officer stopped me. I thought this is the part where I shell out that 20$ bribe.
Fortunately he just saw my passport and let me through! I drove out of there right away and got out. Only when I was a kilometre away, did I stop to adjust my stuff.