The following information was valid for late 2017, early 18 but bear in mind firstly, that regulations can change at short notice and secondly, that our information is primarily applicable to UK, Australian, NZ, Canadian, US, and Western European nation passport holders.
With regards Cambodia, your choice is applying for an e-visa in advance or obtaining a visa on arrival. Both are simple and straightforward procedures. For either, you will need at least 6 months validity remaining on your passport and may be asked to show that at least 2 blank pages are left. You are not, however, required to show proof of onward travel.
An e-visa is usually issued within 24 hours though it can take up to 3 working days. A 30-day tourist visa obtained online costs $36 and is valid for a 3 month period. However, they are not accepted at every entry point and you can find a full list here. Note for the purposes of our tours they are valid at the following points: Pochentong, (Phnom Penh International Airport) and Siem Reap International Airport, They are not valid for land arrivals at Dong Kralo/Stung Treng from Laos, (on our Mekong Adventure or Emerald Triangle tours) or Kandal/Mekong on our combined Vietnam and Cambodia tours. You need 2 hard copies of the e-visa; 1 to provide on arrival and a second which may be requested on departure. After this, they are discarded and you will be left with 2 regular sized stamps, (entry and departure) in your passport.
Visa on arrival
Visas on arrival are issued at airports and land crossings and require $30 plus a passport-sized photo. You’ll be issued with a 30-day tourist visa taking up 1 page of your passport in addition to the entry and departure stamps. If you’re arriving by boat from Chau Doc at the Mekong/Kandal checkpoint then a member of the crew will facilitate border formalities for passengers for a small service fee. In so far as said crew member does this every day and his job is to speed the process up as much as possible we’d pay the $2 or $3 fee without hesitation though you’ll often see some would-be smart Alec refusing to pay it and messing around at immigration while the rest of the passengers sit waiting.
Another border idiosyncrasy is at the Lao/Cambodian crossing point where you are asked to pass a brief medical check as a medical official checks your temperature and charges you a dollar or 2. We reckon this is a hangover from the SARS outbreak some years ago but probably persists as customs and immigration officers see it as a good way to get a bit of extra coffee money and their wives and girlfriends enjoy dressing up in white coats and pretending to be doctors.
Tips and comments
We prefer the e-visa system which despite costing $6 more has 2 obvious advantages over obtaining a visa on arrival. Firstly, it economises a page of your passport with for frequent travellers is a not insignificant advantage and secondly, it avoids queuing at the VOA desk on arrival at PNH or REP. If you’re seated near the rear of a planeload of tourists applying for visas on arrival then that too is a big plus.
Welcome to Cambodia!