This is our experience/record of crossing the Cambodia-Thailand border on Wednesday, 22 February 2017. Our traveling party consisted of two people and two motorcycles. We started at 3:03pm (after waiting for almost three hours at the border) and finished at 3:44pm.
Border name: Poipet-Arayanpratet
Closest major cities: Poipet, Cambodia and Aranyapratet, Thailand
Costs: $453.26 ($198.30 per motorcycle for Thailand vehicle permit and $28.33 per motorcycle “additional fee” to get our permits a day late rather than four or five days late)
Paperwork required at border:
*Thailand entry tourist card
*Thailand vehicle permit and insurance
Note: we keep all originals in individual plastic sleeves. We labeled these sleeves clearly to avoid confusion as to what was what, to keep original documents clean, and to differentiate what is original and what is a copy. All border-crossing officials have respected the sleeve.
Thailand Vehicle Permit Application
*International driver’s permit (IDP)
*Driver’s license from home
*Motorcycle registration certificate
*Motorcycle photo side view and back view with license plate
*Official letter with itinerary that was legalized (notarized at the US embassy)
*Letter explaining that Washington State does not require motorcycle vehicle inspection
This process will be changing as of 1 March 2017 when the new regulation is updated and anyone traveling with their own vehicle will require to have a guide. We entered prior to 1 March and used ARAN TRAVEL to arrange our vehicle permit and insurance. We provided all documents listed above via email to Mrs. Thip and she applied for and arranged our vehicle permits and insurance. Note that if you are not a US-citizen the requirements might be different. The following FaceBook group is helpful for navigating these changes: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1024579897597702/
We arrived at the border about 12:20pm and we waited next to the Cambodia custom’s office for a text message from Thip (our Thailand fixer for the permits) letting us know that our vehicle permits were ready. The text came at 3:03pm.
Step 1 – Customs: The customs office is on the north side of the road before the roundabout (13.65943, 102.55362) and you can park in front. The guard walked us into the building to the administrative office on the first floor. We handed the customs official our carnets and he stamps us out of the country.
Step 2 – Immigration: Drive west from the customs building and just on the other side of the roundabout (the north side) is the Departure Building, which is well-signed. We parked our bikes in front and walked into the building to the immigration windows. We provided our passports with departure cards and were stamped out of the country.
Total time to exit was nineteen minutes.
Drive across the bridge and you find immigration, customs, and vehicle registration. Our fixer (Thip) was waiting for us on just in front of immigration/vehicle registration and we parked just in front of the small booth.
Again, we had a problem with our vehicle permits. We were supposed to enter on 21 February but received a message from Thip on 20 February that the permits were not ready and wouldn’t be ready until 24 February (if then). Because we were meeting my parents in Laos on 24 February we absolutely needed to enter into Thailand. We had arranged a place to store our bikes in Bangkok and had flights from Bangkok to Luang Prabang scheduled for 24 February. We asked if there were any expedite fees to process them faster and were then informed that the permits would be available the next day (22 February). We arrived on the Cambodia side about 12:20pm and were instructed to not exit Cambodia until Thip had actually secured the permits. The permits were finally secured at 3:03pm. It was very touch and go whether they would be issued – no fault of ours or our paperwork but the DLT just didn’t feel like processing the permit.
Step 2 – Immigration/Permits: Thip was waiting for us in front of the immigration window which also processed/accepted our permits. She had all the paperwork ready and stapled together and she had filled out our entry/departure cards. We also handed over our passports and were stamped into the country. We were given 30-days. We were also given our vehicle permit package, which we must provide on exit. The package consists of copies of the vehicle permit, title, IDP, passport, and customs description form.
Step 3 – Customs: We drove a short distance to the customs window where we provided our stamped vehicle permit package and they provided us with the customs temporary import document for the motorcycles. These are required to be returned to customs upon exit.
Step 4 – Insurance: Insurance was provided as part of our permit package.
Total time to enter Thailand was twenty-two minutes.