- Martin Buber
Ho Chih Minh - Phnom Penh, is a well-trodden and relatively easy journey if you take land transport. Reports of nightmare journeys are few and far between on this route, the only major factor affecting journey times being seasonal weather. Companies who offer to facilitate the whole journey from A to B for very cheap do operate, but be wary - usually the price reflects the more often than not unreliable and uncomfortable service. There is actually another option for this route, to go by boat.
This is a very simple option. Previously you would need to arrange one bus for the Vietnam leg of the journey, and another for the Cambodia leg. Now most companies offer to include the whole trip within the journey, leaving you to pass through the border crossing and then waiting for you on the other side. Several companies exist, and will usually charge US$10-15 for the entire journey. Tickets can be bought from hotels or many many high street shops, and most will depart from the main bus station in Ho Chih Minh (others from in front of people's houses). They may vary in quality and 'perks', and will take a minimum of 6 hours. As for the border crossing, it is very straightforward. It may be more lengthy if you arrive during the middle of the day, but otherwise expect to be in and out within an hour.
This is usually a more expensive option, but involves some beautiful scenery through the Mekong Delta and the feeling of being in the open air which is often unbeatable in Southeast Asia. There are everything from luxury 3 day itineraries which allow you to take in sights and attractions while aboard an upmarket boat, staying in riverside hotels along the way, to simple fast boats, which we focus on here. Outboards depart from Kaam Samnor border located near the village of Vinh Xuong, a minibus journey from Chau Doc (US$2), which itself is just outside of Ho Chih Minh and can also be reached by bus or local taxi. The journey takes about an hour and a half and one boat is approx US$20, or US$4 if you go on a shared boat which will leave when full. You will arrive in Neak Luong, from where you will need to catch a local bus to Psmar Thmei in Phnom Penh (US$1.5-2). As well as the various bus journeys either side of the boat itself, on the Vietnamese side of the Mekong the immigration buildings are actually quite far apart from eachother so allow a couple of bucks for moto journeys too, unless you fancy walking in the heat with your rucksack!
Peerless service standards and local positioning have made us the tour operator of choice by international luxury travel groups and discerning independent travellers to Angkor Wat, Cambodia and Southeast Asia.