Inquiry Submission By Jeanette R
Buses from Ho Chi Minh city to phnom penh, can be booked by any tourist office in Saigon District 1 for backpackers. We booked a bus ticket to cambodia, from Long Phuong Cambodia Bus Lines. The tourist office said a visa was $35. Well, I went to the embassy to find that as of 01 Oct 14, it was only $30 for a tourist visa. These guys (and all tourism offices in District 1) are scamming tourists and skimming $5/person!! I confronted them, told them I knew they were lying and, I told them I was only paying $30, and there was a big kafuffle. They even called me on the drivers cell phone on the bus to talk to me about it, told me not to worry and said I was their special passenger. I think they were afraid i was going to blow the lid of off their scam. I kept asking the driver and other guy questions and they say they don’t understand english. We get to the border, they take our passports and no one knows what is going on. We get them stamped on the viet side and we were the last ones to get them back (this was fixed by the bus company guy). As were getting on the bus he says we need to pay $35. Or do it ourselves, and walk to the cambo side. They even tried to charge one guy $45!!!!! Hilarious that all of a sudden his english is perfect. I was furious at this point. I didn’t want trouble so I gave them the $35 anyways. We get on the bus and drive to the cambo side only to find that two girls from our bus (who took their intel from me) went ahead and walked to the cambo side ahead of us and paid $30. My husband demanded our passports and money back to do it ourselves. We head to the visa window and the bus driver ran ahead and said something to the border guard at the visa window in vietnamese. We get to the window and the guard says its $32!! I COULDN’T BELIEVE IT! The sign directly above the window said in plain english 30 dollars!! I tried to keep smiling and insisted on $30. He insisted on $32. We went back and forth for a while then he just turned his back to me and made us wait a while (also planned). Finally I was begging the guy, pushing my $30 at him. He finally took it. We go through customs and come out the other side only to find that THE BUS ABANDONED US AT THE BORDER AND TOOK ALL OF OUR STUFF WITH THEM!! This is when I begin freaking out!! We were desperate and lost. We saw a guy on a scooter and asked him to take us to look for the bus. So there we are, three adults on a tiny scooter, no helmets speeding down a rikkety cambodian highway. Im panicking. We drive and drive. No bus. He stops to answer a phone call. He cant speak english. This is when I start to cry because we had nothing, and were stranded in the middle of nowhere. Strange men start approaching us on the side of the highway. I say to my husband in french to keep his switch blade knife close in case they try to rob us in our vulnerable state. We demand the scooter guy turn around and keep looking. There I am, crying on the back of this midget scooter, dust sticking to my tears, I thought we were screwed. After 15 minutes of the worst ride in my life, my husband burning his leg badly on the exhaust and us almost crashing, we found the bloody bus! As we pull up my husband lost it on the driver!! I mean… LOOOOOST IT!! I climb on the bus, Shove the driver out of my way and tell him to pray to god or buddha or whatever for forgiveness for being such and evil corrupt man, robbing and abandoning good people on the daily. After a heated exchange of heavy cussing and threats back and forth, we were on the bus, on our way to phnom penh. It was the worst day of our trip. Travellers ye be warned. Crossing the border from Saigon to Phnom Penh is a nightmare. Might be easier to just pay the extra $5, and continue to allow these corrupt men to take advantage of people.
Long Phuong Cambodia bus lines is the WORST!!!!