The Scams of the Thailand-Cambodia Border Crossing

July 1, 2009 · 37 comments

All the warnings, all the scams, all the touts, surely I couldn’t possible rack up them all in one mere border crossing?

Well it seems the scammers were out in full force and some of them you just can’t do anything about, I shall explain…

Map of Cambodia

Map of Cambodia

I got the bus from Mochit station (the northern Bangkok bus station) for 207tbh which took 5 hours to get to Aranyapraphet, all the buses stop and they all take 5 hours despite whatever the sales person will tell you. My bus was at 14:30 so a bit late, it is highly advisable to get an early bus (09:30) if possible. There is an option to buy a ticket direct from an agent in Khao San Road, but it will be a tight fit, awful ride and the same price as a more comfortable spacious bus and probably take longer.

On arrival at the bus station you’ll find yourself with a few Tuk Tuk options, you can ask to go to the border, but you’ll still be taken to a travel agent that will sell you a visa and travel package to Siem Reap. Agree a price (I had 60tbh) with the driver so you don’t get charged a higher amount afterwards (A scam but I won’t count that this time as it’s common knowledge in Thailand).

At the border

The Border crossing looks like a border crossing with big barriers, buildings and a fair amount of people around. A travel agent will be one building and fairly empty and probably have adverts for other tours (This is scam #1).

I got a story from the travel agent about drivers who leave people out in the middle of nowhere so go with a police sponsored taxi driver, I don’t think such a thing actually exists but that’s what I was getting apparently. Toyota Camrys are the weapon of choice for the taxi drivers here, same as what you will find in Thailand but older models. I paid 1200tbh and that included the visa which normal cost should be US$20-25 (~850tbh)

The border crossing involves checking out of Thailand, then being greeted by a friendly Cambodian man who’ll make some joke about where you are from, with me being from England I got a repetitive ‘Lovely Jubbly’ and asked about football.

Walking past a pair of big casinos (these cater for the Thais who love to gamble but can not in Thailand as it’s illegal there), one being called Poipet Casino; I got rushed to the Cambodia immigration where I got my arrival card and visa given to me by the travel agent checked. Then it was onto a Tuk Tuk. These arn’t proper Tuk Tuks like you would be used to in Thailand but a motorbike with a side cage to sit in escorting me about 100M up the road where I had to wait for the taxi. I was the only westerner about so had to do this solo (another reason to go during the day – more people to team up with) and was surrounded by 4 cambodian men as well as the motorbike rider.

In Cambodia

Scam #2 was to change some money into the Cambodian currency of Riel. Riel is not even used much in Cambodia, they much prefer US dollars, and even the ATM machines in town give you US $ not Riel. The scam here is the exchange rate is very poor, and the idea is for you to get rid of all your Thai Baht before continuing the journey. They will tell you there is no ATMs in Siem Reap (scam #3) and the exchange rate gets progressively worst the closer you get to the city (scam #4). ATM machines are plentiful, and the exchange rate is the normal rate in the city, rather then a rip off rate that the taxi drivers get commission for. I exchanged 1000tbh and got 50,000CMR, which I was later told is a bad rate.  At time of writing 4000CMR got you 1 US$ so I should have got around 140,000 CMR.

I then had to wait 10 minutes for the taxi to arrive, which was someones cousin who didn’t speak English. They took my luggage and placed it on the floor, but I suspect this is also scam #5 as a potential to pick pocket or take something from your bag if you don’t keep a close eye on it.

With the taxi driver arriving, it was time to get in. My bag stayed with me on the middle back seat rather then the boot/trunk. As I always want a option to escape, being in the darkness surrounded by locals on your own in a new country can be intimidating and I suspect it would be even more so if you was female.

In the car…

Another man who spoke good English sat in the back with me, only the driver up front, it later occured to me the guy sat to me was simply a translator, that is his job as well being a scammer, so expect some suave language. But in hindsight as long as the driver knows where to go there is no need for a translator wherever you are in the world.

We drove for about 1 and a half hours, the low fuel warning light was constantly on through this period too… We stopped in a small town where about 10 people surrounded the car and kept looking in at me, it was intimidating and I had no idea what was going on. I heard ‘150 baht’ but apart from that my lack of knowledge on the Cambodian language (Khmer) prevented me from understanding what was going on.

I was then told by the translator we had to wait for more people to pay for the trip (scam #6) basically I had paid for a shared taxi not one on my own apparently, so they wanted to get 4 on the back and 2 in the front. I assume the price for them was 150tbh from this village to Siem Reap. Additionally at the same time they asked me for petrol/gas money of 1000tbh (about US$35) (scam #7).

They also said as I was not sharing the taxi I’d have to pay full taxi price of 2400tbh (US$ 100). I refused to this one and stood my ground, no taxi should stop of to pick up more people, that’s not a taxi, that’s a bus, and buses are cheaper and bigger. (scam #8)

He then said as I was not paying the full taxi fee and not wanted to share I had to have a guesthouse in this town for the night (scam #9). I didn’t even know the name of the place and already booked accomodation in Siem Reap, I suspect if I did stay overnight the taxi driver wouldn’t be waiting anyway and there wasn’t exactly a taxi rank or bus stop around to get me there in the morning. It wouldn’t exactly be 5 star accommodation either!

Eventually we ended up going on, my excuse to get out was I already booked accommodation in Siem Reap and paid for it (I had paid a deposit) and if I didn’t turn up by midnight they would call police and send out search party for me.

The translator got in the front seat this time and another random man from the town joined me on the back bench. We continued on so I managed to get out of those scams except taking on one more person.

Stopping for fuel

We drove another 20 minutes (still on low fuel warning light, I noticed fuel guage was just below full so I assume this fuel light is just rigged to permenantly be on or on a switch which they did not use (scam #10) and we stopped by a road side stall which sold fuel in old coca cola bottles (this is common in Cambodia, large fuel stations are only in bigger cities). The translator asked me again for 1000tbh and I told him I exchanged it all before at the border so had none (I hadn’t – I had more but wasn’t prepared to give it up).

I got out and went to the toilet (they had one a minute or so walk away) taking my bags with me. I got back to find the engine off, but relieved the car was still there. I sat back in the car and saw no fuel go in the car, but somehow they still insisted on me paying the 1000tbh fuel bill, eventually I gave them the US$ equivalent of $35 just to get a move on (scam #11). Reason being is this I think is the area where people really get hit hard, if you don’t have the money, they just leave you here exactly half way between the Poipet Border and Siem Reap and drive back to the border themselves. They said they had no money for the fuel (scam #12) but I saw the driver had plenty in his shirt pocket in many currencies.

He also said that it is 4 hours to Siem Reap (scam #13) and we was only half way as we had taken 2 hours so far (this includes the big delay with them trying to get more people in the taxi). It used to take 4 hours when the road was bad a few years ago, but it’s good now and only takes 2.5hrs if going direct by a modern car like the Camry taxi, a bit longer if by bus.

This is where I did something clever which these scam artists have not seen a tourist do before. I got my mobile phone out and took a picture of the licence plate, the photo is below for the world to see now! I highly encourage anyone who gets in this sort of situation to do this, also try to take pictures of the scam artists faces, but I doubt you’d get away with that one…

Number plate of dodgy taxi driver

Number plate of dodgy taxi driver

This had a reaction that wasn’t immediate, but before setting off the the translator said the driver would take me to Siem Reap alone now and he was going back to the border. The driver started bitching and then the translator told me the driver was scared and so he had to come with us. At first I thought he meant scared of me robbing him or something, but as it turned out 5 minutes down the road he revealed he was scared of the photo I took and what I’d do with it.

I had my laptop out at this point as it had the address and phone number of where I was staying on it and I was writing it down on my phone. The translator became very warey himself and asked what I was doing, thinking I was sending an email (which is impossible unless you have a 3G style sim card and can access internet anywhere via satellite). He then insisted on me giving my phone to him to see the picture I took. I was writing down the address and told him he couldn’t have it, but he made a grab for the phone.

The driver was waving the US$35 around, and the translator said he was very concerned and said I could have the money back as it didn’t matter as much as me having that photo. Probably the first time in a poor country I’ve heard someone rate something above money in terms of importance, so clearly I’d do something right/wrong here (delete from what side of the story you want to look at it from).

I finished writing the address down and quickly copied the photo to another part of my phone (the memory stick rather then the phones own memory) and said I’d show him the photo being deleted so he knew it wasn’t there. He just kept saying no, and insisting I give him the phone, I was worried he’d chuck it out the window, but that wasn’t on his mind fortunately. I showed him the photo and he deleted it taking my phone off me now, he then started looking through my other photos saying I had taken 2, which I felt he was now violating my privacy by going through my phone, he almost deleted another random personal photo which got me a bit aggressive and I got the phone back. I told him it was gone now and he was not to touch my phone again.

Onwards to Siem Reap

We then drove to Siem Reap in virtual silence. The translator tried to give me a few random tips for surviving in Cambodia and not to get ripped off which I thought was ironic. He also told me about Cambodians not liking Thai people and the Thai baht (although he was still happy to take my Thai currency).

He then asked why us western men were so big even though we don’t eat as much rice as Cambodian men, which shows how little intellect this man actually had. I told him I was big because I was a British boxer (I’m not, I’m average sized at 5′ 10″ by UK standards and never done boxing in my life). He asked if I came here to beat up Cambodian men to win money and I said yes which made him panic a bit too (revenge is sweet), but it certainly gave them a warning that one day these guys are going to pick on the wrong person, they were certainly challenged with me anyhow.

Finally we got into Siem Reap, they said for the hassle they’d get a Tuk Tuk driver to take me to my guesthouse for free (scam #14) and I said for the hassle they can take me right to my guesthouse. My guesthouse (and most of them in Siem Reap) said they’d pick me up when I arrive in Siem Reap, but my Thai sim card did not work, and I couldn’t see any pay phones about so the offer was a bit useless. The drivers asked a few tuk tuk drivers who didn’t know exactly where it was, but eventually we came across it as all the guesthouses are close together.

It was at this point the translator asked me for the slip that said I’d paid $45 (of which they get $15 apparently) hence why I had to pay for fuel (scam #15) as he got money for returning the slip, I can’t see how, but I gave the slip back anyway (they never checked it and should have before immediately to prove I was the right person for this taxi journey. Stupidly I realised the Thai tour company I booked with had their name on that slip so I can’t name and shame that company now, maybe this is the real reason why they took the slip (scam #16 ?) as I told them when I had my laptop out that I had a website and could tell thousands of people about their scams which he said I shouldn’t as he wanted people to come to Cambodia.

Scam #17 Is arriving late in Siem Reap the tuk tuk drivers know you are tired and don’t want to walk around a new city all alone so take you to different guesthouses where they get commission and tell you the one you booked is far away or bad, as I avoided the tuk tuk drivers I avoided this well known scam too.

There is more scams that I didn’t come across too (police demanding money on route to cross) that you have to watch out for too.

So that was my welcome to Cambodia. At least I never got shot like they used to do to tourists a few years back.

Where-ever you are going in Cambodia, be it a hostel, hotel or even a RCI timeshare if you can find one in Cambodia, be careful how you get there. Next time I think I’ll just fly and get a cheap ticket.

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{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

Jason W July 2, 2009 at 9:40 AM

Wow, I guess I was lucky, I took the early bus from Mochit. I already had done a visa on arrival over the internet, so the immigration part was easy.
I was able to share a taxi with a girl, who had been to Cambodia a few times, for $20usd each, (with some heavy negotiating for about 30 minutes) We stopped once at a little shop, where the driver got a car wash, and we had a snack, I was there last year, so the roads were god awful, and it did take about 4 hours with an average speed of 30km/h

Then got dropped off where the tuk tuks are waiting, arranged transport to Siem Reap Hostel (Highly Recommend) for $3usd I believe, used the same tuk tuk guy to do a tour of Angkor Wat as well, since he seemed like a nice guy.

Sorry about your bad luck with the border. Corruption is pretty rampant there.


Adventure Rob July 2, 2009 at 2:49 PM

Thanks for comment Jason :)

It certainly is best to team up with other westerners when you cross the border, unfortunately there was none on my bus and I didn’t spot any at the border neither.

The road between Poipet (rhymes with toilet you know) and Siem Reap was completed in April 2009 so it was fine for me, I think they are relying on people thinking it’s still bad from old information and takes 4 hours, it really doesn’t anymore.


Jack July 2, 2009 at 5:36 PM

omg i can relate to so much that you have mentioned


Mike July 6, 2009 at 10:08 AM

I thought it would have been easier just to fly, but then maybe less of an adventure. I crossed the border down south near Koh Kong. I had much less hassle there.


Adventure Rob July 6, 2009 at 10:52 AM

I’m actually flying back (from Phnom Penh), with all the scams and stuff it’s not much more expensive (be cheaper if you go with all their scams and keep paying up), and I get a meal, and 7 extra hours spare.

But yes, I can’t write about a 1hr boring flight it’s not very adventurous :P

Thanks for comments!


Alex September 20, 2009 at 4:53 AM

Great story of high adventure in the back of a cab! Good call on the boxing and the photo of the number plate, genius in fact!


AdventureRob September 20, 2009 at 10:04 AM

In these situations, it’s all about the quick thinking!


Scott May 31, 2010 at 12:54 AM

Crazy story man. It was a smart idea to take a picture of the license plate. That’s probably a great tip to people traveling, if in a scamming situation grab your camera and take some pictures.
.-= Scott´s last blog – Furry Friday 20 – Eviction Notice =-.


Richard Dillon December 1, 2010 at 3:48 AM

There was also a ‘scam’ on land crossings from Thailand border. Certain land crossings in Thailand do not allow you to go back by the same way, e.g. you have to move forward and get a flight back into Thailand, etc. but the authorities on the other side do not allow land trips due to ‘security reasons’ (fair enough though). Make sure you check properly before you decide to head out on a road trip, as you may have to spend at least a week in house arrest in a mosquito infested crummy house at the border.


Simon Coleman December 24, 2010 at 2:00 AM

Oh. This is their only real means of making money. I after some time in Asia do not look at it as scamming, rather it is the way they do business. It is not much different in Thailand except you have greater choice and probably more advice.


AdventureRob December 24, 2010 at 8:46 AM

It’s still all scams. They have other means of making money they just take the easy option. It takes time to get these right and experience to get them out of trouble when they try it on the wrong person.


keith wilson February 6, 2011 at 11:00 AM

i have lived in thailand for 3 yrs and i went to cambodia for the first time for my visa stamp for 90 days and got totally ripped of by the cambodians my g/f who is a thai goverment official was absoultly sickend by the scam what was going on 1.300baht for visa stamp which i did not need and 500baht for exit stamp and 500 baht for re entry what should have cost 200 baht never go there again she talked to police immigration and even army but all corrupt.and the only scams i know of in thailand is of farangs what has happend to me


AdventureRob February 9, 2011 at 3:25 AM

Thanks for the contribution, unfortunately the consensus seems to be – what can you do about it? then.


Tommy June 25, 2011 at 11:30 AM

I am schooling in Malaysia and apply for Cambodia Visa …I got their Visa and i planed to go for 5 days Holiday..I fly today 645am Saturday 25 June with Air Asia AK 272…I arrived in Cambodia around 8am cus we had some bad weather and we couldn’t meet the time schedule for the flight..In nut shell,we r on cue at their Immigration when someone whisper to me and asked for my passport and i didnt hesitate to handle over my passport to him..He summon me to come inside their office,i was thinking is it because i am Black Man..Nigerians..Well i followed,he asked how much i had on me and said i should bring it out and count for them..I did and i have a total of 950 USD..I can see their eyes winking the $$$$..I answered them and present my hotel reservations..The next thing i heard from the immigration officer is ”’Help me i help you..I ask what is the meaning? cus i cant understand,i didnt enter your country illegally…Another officer came and whisper..give us something..I said oh and then latter agreed to give them something cus i dont like been delayed for no reason..I handle them 50 USD and they screamed and said NO larh..And demanded for 200 USD which is 600 Malaysia Ringit…I said im sorry i cant give such a money what for…And one of them answer back then you going back to Malaysia and i reply back..Cool i would definitely like to go back to Malaysia cus i have residence there ,i just came to look around and see more about Cambodia..But since you denied me of entery cus of money then get me a flight..And the men looking their faces,before they can say anything else,i stood up and carry my hand bag..After some mins they told me to follow them and i did..I found my self going into Air Asia Ak 273 fly from Cambodia back to Malaysia at the moment..They hand over my passport to the Airline officer..I was just laughing and thinking about how bad Cambodia is. Malaysia Immigrations was surprise when i return back and were asking if their is any excuses for sending me back and i said Yes..Cus i didnt bribe them..They get mad and stamp me to go inside back and go home to rest..They also advice me to make sure i write a letter to their embassy here in Malaysia and bullshit them for the shit they caused to me. I was totally mad and will NEVER visit Cambodia in my life again.


AdventureRob June 29, 2011 at 8:25 AM

Thanks for your story Tommy. The Cambodian immigration made my first few days miserable there too, but it’s a lovely country once you get past that.


harish November 21, 2011 at 8:45 AM

thnx man for your wonderful info , grt rip of ride u had , i was planning a trip in feb 2012 all alone like you , i have a different feeling should i take the risk , i feel it is better to have a cambodian guy as a escort can pay him 30 to 40 dollars for a 2 day trip starting at the border , i think cambodian students who speak english can help the tourist and good for their country too . the cambodian govt should arrange this kind of services .


AdventureRob November 21, 2011 at 6:29 PM

The problem is do you trust the Cambodian you booked to go into the country with? I arranged mine all through an agency in Thailand with this trouble, that doesn’t defeat the problems, just moves them elsewhere.

The student idea could work but again you could get a fake student (which is typical in Asia).

I personally still say go for it, just do it in early daylight as it’s easier to deal with issues when you can see what’s going on around you. Plus even if things get bad, they make awesome stories after.


jerry knight January 15, 2012 at 5:37 AM

I have been to Cambodia many times starting around 1994, traveling by land on both routes and by air mostly. I,ve been scamed a couple of
times but for small money, maybe 200 baht. When they had the floods in Bangkok I decided to go to Cambodia by way of Arranyapethet and caught a bus at the airport. As soon as I got out of the bus at the market the moto drivers tried to con me. Then it started again when I went to get a visa at 1200 baht. I went to a few other places and got it down to 900 baht. I was speaking to them in Thai so they know I’m not some FOP, fresh of the plane. I thought here they are hasseling me
and I haven’t even started to fill out an application. Screw it I’m outta here, turned around and went back to Thailand- Cambodia by air the only way to go.


AdventureRob January 15, 2012 at 7:51 PM

It’s a shame, as Cambodia is a country well worth visiting, but the border crossing is so off-putting.

Even if I went back there and knew what I was doing (I half did last time as they aren’t subtle/skilled about conning you), they’d try the same tricks over again.

I believe you can get some scams at the airports too, so it’s not necessarily an all in one answer as it may initially seem.


jerry knight January 16, 2012 at 5:30 AM

the airport is easy, just bypass all the cabbies and walk out thru the
main entrance. You should be able to get a moto for no more than 2 dollars and a sam lor for 3 bucks. Pick out a guy who looks a little shoppe warn, a farmer type. Avoid the guy with the new bike who speaks English, a definate rip off artist. On any main drag in PP you can
hail any moto dope who looks like a farmer. If you are traveling in a sraight line he’ll be glad to take you for 1000 riel, 1500 tops. Note the
price of gas being sold in bottles to get an idea how much its costing these drivers and learn the names 4 or 5 main roads and some markets
in Khmer, then you have got it made, passed Cambodia 101 aka bonehead.


AdventureRob January 18, 2012 at 11:49 AM

Thanks for the info, I’m sure a few people will appreciate that in the future.

If I go back to Cambodia (and I intend too, as it’s a great place to visit), I’ll refer back to your tips in regards to the airport.


Jeff January 24, 2012 at 1:56 PM

Just arrived in Cambodia today from Bangkok. Crossed the border @ Poipet and got hit with the visa scam. My gf and I both paid ฿1800 to the “travel agent” then the guy told us we could skip waiting in line for ฿300 each; after which we paid another ฿2400 for a camry to take us to our hotel, but not before the driver stopped somewhere to try to get us to use the toilet but we refused to get out of the car.

After he had a cig we continued on and the driver took a phone call and started crying. I offered him a tissue and he refused. Once he got off the phone he said something I couldn’t quite understand but I clearly heard him say Mother and Doctor. I didn’t respond as I was sure that was BS. Later on another phone call he was laughing and I heard him say the name of two more cities on our itinerary and got the feeling he was talking about us. (the man who arranged the cab had asked where we were going after Cambodia).

When we got to Siem Reap the driver took us to the wrong hotel and a man there said our hotel was far away and would take a long time to get to. I Told him I didn’t care how long it took I had already paid for the room and that the driver Had better take us there. it was at this point I pulled out my cell phone and called the hotel so they could give directions directly to the driver.

The man from the hotel said that wouldn’t be needed said something in Khmer to the driver and he took us to our hotel, which was about five minutes down the road. I certainly won’t be coming back and I will tell anyone who asks never to come.

Other than that, looking forward to visiting Angkor Wat tomorrow. I am having the hotel book our bus to return to Bangkok.


AdventureRob January 25, 2012 at 1:23 AM

Thanks for the story Jeff. My original post is coming up to 3 years old now, and it looks like their tricks are continuing today.

Getting into Cambodia means you either get taken for a ride or become very vigilant unfortunately. As a previous commenter says, it’s not as bad going via air.

I didn’t know the scams at all going in (didn’t do research as lots of us don’t) but they just seemed so obvious and once you realised you’ve been done once, your guard is up on all the others so they tend to fail.

You’re lucky you had a cell phone that worked out there to call the hotel. The scam there was him dropping you off next to a tuk tuk (friend of the driver) who would get extra money you don’t have to pay out of it.

Please don’t tell people not to come to Cambodia though (but educate them on the scams). I spent my first days there absolutely bitter too but it really is a wonderful country and the non-border people I found were very nice.

Don’t write off going back to BKK via air too, it’s not that much more expensive (it’s a 40 minute flight) and you save a day and potentially a lot of hassle.


Paul July 19, 2012 at 5:19 AM

You’re full of it, Bob. I don’t believe you were ever at the border.

You googled Tales of Asia, then cobbled together this story.

I lived in Siem Reap for two years, doing a run to Bangkok and back nearly every month. Those things never happened to me, not even in the beginning.

Also you don’t mention the worst and most overt scam. The Cambodian consulate the Thais built in Khmer detail just before the border. Didn’t see it? How could you miss it?


AdventureRob July 19, 2012 at 7:42 PM

This 100% happened, just like every other post on my blog. I didn’t leave my hostel once I finally arrived for 2 days it made that much of an impression on me.

I’m sure there are ways to avoid them, like doing a DIY route into town. It was a few guys running the show, the idea is they attempt several scams, rather than one like most scammers. I was in their car hence vulnerable to whatever they wanted to do with me. They knew what they were doing, being involved in that many scams isn’t coincidental, it’s planned by them.

It was dark (I mentioned this being a major fault in dealing with the scams), I didn’t see much. Whoever is running that scam is likely a different person/group to who I got involved in, hence missing it. Thanks for mentioning it though, as others can look out for it now.


Dionne August 19, 2012 at 4:26 AM

Hi, this is 100 percent true an it all happened yesterday to me and my spanish friend, and there was another huge scam w ith changing money from baht to riel as there are no atms in cambodia ablah blah and that they dont take dollars into cambodia, i could go on and on, it went on all day, we were luckier in the taxi but i was on edge and scared for the whole 2 and a half hours, not trusting anyone, it was a horrible feeling and one i hope no one else has to feel. His petrol light was red the whole time so how he managed to drive to siem reap from the border is a mystery, well its not when theyve obviously fixed the light so they can scam u for petrol. Anyway we want to leave tomorrow and go back to thailand through poipet but thats also they way we came in, will it be ok going out of Cambodia the same way we came in on a mini bus or will we be scammed again, please help, as we are 2 girls and seem to be a target x thanks for your post


AdventureRob August 19, 2012 at 11:29 PM

Hi Dionne,

Thanks for being another confirmation of my story, sorry to hear about what you’ve been through! I can of course say I know what it feels like. I don’t think these guys are out to hurt people though, just get as much money as possible out of them.

I didn’t leave Cambodia that way (I left via flight from Phnom Penh as I was put off the road experience!) so I don’t know if you will go through the same thing. I suggest booking your transport with your hostel though if you can. They probably have more reliable contacts and know you can report problems online destroying their reputation if you get the scam attempts on the way home (as the hostel will be liable for setting you up for them).

Overall I suspect it’s better going out than in because people going out will have experience of these scams so are less likely to fall for them.


Bobster March 18, 2013 at 10:34 PM

I got scammed. Honestly Cambodians are retarded. The only reason their country is doing better and having future, is because of tourism. They’re F-ing it up for themselves. I am so bitter about the scam, unlike you Rob I haven’t gotten better from it and seriously don’t feel like going to the country again. They got me with the exchange money thing. Lost $100 and the guy asked for a tip from all of us (before we knew) and I tipped him well. (100 baht). Yes there are nice Cambodians. But that doesn’t change the fact that the bad ones ruined my trip. I hate when someone or something turns something you expect to be fun into the exact opposite.

Props for the picture thing. Next time I go to one of this crappy countries again, I’m going to make these scammers my b*tch with stuff like that.


AdventureRob March 19, 2013 at 5:24 PM

It is strange I never came across that scale of scam anywhere else in Asia despite it existing. It seems very easy to find in Cambodia (very easy, as in impossible to avoid if you go via road).

I really love ruins and Angkor Wat is calling me back rather than the nice Cambodian people (there are nice people everywhere after all) which is of course their biggest tourism draw. I’m not sure what to do about the scams though, but it is up to the police and government to sort them out if they want to change the image. Clearly that hasn’t happened in the last half decade or so though.


John August 11, 2014 at 9:35 PM

taking the bus…. haha you allowed yourself to get screwed……. so they took advantage of the weak……


AdventureRob August 16, 2014 at 8:47 PM

I took the bus to the border, but the taxi was where all the scams happened. It’s not weakness, it’s uninformed. Try again.


Hemlis Chokovares February 2, 2016 at 5:24 PM

On Christmas 2015, the staff at the Cambodian quarantine booth had invented another innovative scam : they asked us to fill out the visa application forms. Then they told us that the tourist visa would be 40 $ now, and that we had to pay them. At first I believed them … they were government officials in uniform … so they must be honest [ joke ] ! But later, after they had returned our passports with the visa ( with a written price tag of 30 $ ! ) I realised I had been scammed by uniformed officials :-0

I wasn’t willing to give in, and warned all people arriving at the quarantine booth that the visa costs actually 30 $ and not 40. I did that for a while, much to the dislike of the quaratine staff.

Then I went to the visa office just behind the quaratine booth and complained to a cop about the scam. His only answer : “I don’t know, I don’t know.” Then I went to a high ranking police officer ( decorated like a general ) and complained. Within minutes I had my money back ! And that officer gave me a “thumbs up” and a smile …


AdventureRob May 6, 2016 at 5:27 PM

Thanks for your comment. It’s going to be never ending these sort of things I fear. Still, Cambodia is a country worth persevering with.


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