Because of their close proximity to Cambodia and its border crossings, Koh Chang, Koh Kood and Koh Mak are ideally suited for travel to Siem Reap, Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville (for Kampot, Kep and Koh Rong) and Battambang.
On this page, we cover the borders used for each Cambodian city as well as the available transport to and from the Koh Chang islands. You can jump straight to the relevant section as needed:-
- Cambodian Services (Private Explained)
- Had Lek (Thai side)/Cham Yeam Cambodian side) – Sihanoukville and Phnom Penh
- Aranya Prathet/Poipet – Siem Reap (Angkor Wat temples)
- Ban Pakkard/Phsar Prum (Pailin) – Battambang
- General – Visas and FAQs
- Private Transfers
- Share Minibus and Visa Runs
Our Cambodian Services
We provide private transfers from your Koh Chang hotel, Laem Ngop Pier (Koh Mak) and Laem Sok Pier (Koh Kood) to and from these borders. We also offer an international service in either direction from Siem Reap, Phnom Penh, Battambang and Sihanoukville (including the pier from Koh Rong).
If you need to get somewhere else too, for example Kampot or Kep, please just ask and we will see what we can do. You can start or end your trip in Bangkok. Finally, we can also help you with your travel requirements with Cambodia itself or set you up on guided tours.
Guide prices are at the bottom of this page, here.
In high season, November to mid May, if you leave early morning either from Siem Reap, Phnom Penh or Sihanoukville, you will make the boat connections to all all islands. Going the other way, you will reach your Cambodian hotel by late afternoon with private transfers.
More details here.
Sihanoukville and Phnom Penh via Had Lek (Cham Yeam) Border – Cambodia Travel
Had Lek (Cham Yeam on the Cambodian side), about 90km out of Trat, is the nearest border crossing to Koh Chang. You cross here for travel to and from Sihanoukville and Phnom Penh.
The Trat Province coastal road to Had Lek passes through the proudly signed ‘narrowest part of Thailand. It’s an area flanked by the sea on one side with views across to Koh Kood in the distance and the hills of Cambodia on the other
In comparison to Aranya Prathet, below, the border at Had Lek is a relatively sedate crossing.
Shops line both sides of the street offering cheap clothes, shoes, copy watches and phones, definitely worth a browse if you have the time. There are also a couple of simple places to eat, noodle soups, chicken over rice, that kind of thing.
From The Koh Chang Islands
Using Had Lek border, through-ticket minibuses run all the way from your resort on Koh Chang to Sihanoukville and Phnom Penh in Cambodia. It costs around 900bt including the ferry ticket. Depending on location, the share minibus collects you from your Koh Chang resort between 06.30 to 07.50 for the 08.30 Centerpoint ferry.
There is a change of vehicle at the border to a big bus or minibus depending on numbers, departure around 14.00. This takes you through to Sihanoukville or Phnom Penh.
If staying on Koh Mak, some resorts can organise this for you also, whereby you meet the Koh Chang minibus on the mainland. It is not available from Koh Kood.
Once in Cambodia, don’t be surprised if all passengers first go to the nearest town, Koh Kong and then are filtered into separate vehicles according to their final destinations. This may also happen an hour down the road at the main T-junction/crossroads in Cambodia, where the road branches either to Sihanoukville or to Phnom Penh.
Share Minibus – From Trat
A public minibus shuttles back and forth every 45 minutes or when full enough from Trat Bus Station for 130bt. It takes about 1.5 hours, making brief stops at Klong Yai, some 15km from the border and then Had Lek Town.
You can reach Trat Bus Station from Koh Chang by using an island songthaew taxi, ferry (80bt per person) and 2nd taxi (60bt, 300bt minimum charge). The final part of this would be similar if coming from Laem Ngop Pier off Koh Mak. From Koh Kood, use the share taxi service offered by the boat companies at Laem Sok.
Once over the border at Cham Yeam, you have a couple of options. You could jump in either a share taxi ($40 to $50 per person) or a private taxi ($80 to $120). Alternatively, you could join the 14.00 share minibus/bus as outlined above. Finally, you could head the 15 minutes into Koh Kong itself, 100bt-150bt (tuk-tuk) or 270bt (car). There is a bridge toll of 1200 riel on the way.
If coming from Koh Chang, you need to leave the island as early as possible to make the connections in Cambodia. That border bus leaves around 14.00, whilst relevant bus times from Koh Kong Bus station are 12.00, 12.30 (Phnom Penh) and 12.45 (Sihanoukville), prices in the $10-$12 range.
An early start should see you safely on the lunchtime buses if you are coming from Trat. Incidentally, Trat guesthouses do sell the same through tickets as Koh Chang agencies.
Koh Kong is not such a bad town to stay for a night, with plenty of guesthouses, run by knowledgeable expats, happy to hand on proper Cambodia tips. It is also has a vibrant trial bikes scene into the Cardamon Mountains.
To The Koh Chang Islands
Heading back the other way, if your travel under your own steam, use the Virak Buntham Co. bus which leaves for the border at 07.45 from Phnom Penh and 08.15 from Sihanoukville, with prices as above. After crossing, Thai minibuses run to Trat Bus Station for 130bt, leaving in theory every 45 minutes but normally adopting the ‘full’ system.
You will find the minibus area on the right hand side about 200 metres down from border itself. You may need to change vehicle in Klong Yai.
Songthaews go from the Trat Bus Station to the ferries at Ao Thammachat and Centrepoint for 60bt per person. They leave when full or you pay more to go immediately.
The through ticket from Sihanoukville and Phnom Penh to Koh Chang costs $25 to $28 including the ferry ticket. It arrives at the border around 13.00 to 14.00. You change to a minibus for the Thailand leg. This does not leave until all other transport has arrived at the border too, especially that Phnom Penh connection. Expect long hot delays.
Once it does leave, the minibus drives straight to the pier at Centrepoint, via a tourist agency in Laem Ngop. The agency offers you the ferry ticket at cost price, alonsgside transfer direct to your resort on the island. Their price for the transfer is a little more expensive than the share taxis on the other side. Regardless of whether you take their offer or not, all passengers are still then driven to the boat.
The last boat across to Koh Chang leaves at 19.30. Most likely, this will be the one you’re using – it’s a long, hard day’s travel.
Visa at Had Lek (Cham Yeam) Border
You stamp out of Thailand at the departure windows on the left hand side. It’s then just a short walk through no-mans land to the Cambodian side. Their visa window is the furthest one along in the buildings up the little slope on the left. You get the visa here and then go back a window to be stamped in.
Visas at Had Lek are 1,600bt to 1,700bt. Dollars are, in theory, not accepted. If you do offer the $35 (the correct dollar price), you may get lucky and they issue the visa. Rest assured, it will involve endless horsetrading and payment or non payment of an additional 200bt to 300bt. There is a 100bt charge for a photo if you do not have one. E-visas, the simplest choice, are now accepted for entry and exit – see below.
If you are on a visa run and returning immediately back to Thailand, 300bt is demanded for stamping in one window and out the adjacent one. Refusing to pay this fee will put you to the back of the queue. A longer wait may then cause problems with your schedule once back over the border, it’s your call.
For 50bt, locals are on hand to get forms and help fill them in. Ignore the health check completely and always carry your own baggage.
Koh Chang to and from Siem Reap via Aranya Prathet (Poipet) Border – Cambodia Travel
Aranya Prathet (Poipet, on the Cambodian side) is about 4 hours from the ferries and is the principal border crossing for Siem Reap. With its heat, dust, dirt, crowds and scams, it has a wholly warranted terrible reputation.
This border is also the main crossing point for transport coming out from Bangkok, casino buses as well as tours to Siem Reap, so it is phenomenally busy. Expect long delays and pushy touts rather than friendly Welcome to Cambodia greetings.
From Koh Chang – Share
From Koh Chang, through tickets to Siem Reap are available at as low as 500bt on share minibuses. These pick-up from your resort around 6.30 to 07.50, getting the 08.30 Centrepoint ferry, with the price of the ticket included.
There will be a 30 to 45 minute LPG stop shortly after leaving the ferry. There is a change of vehicle at the border, journey time to reach there around 4 hours.
Once through the border and with your visa processed, you will be made to stand around for an absolute age until someone takes you to the Poipet Terminal, from where your onward bus leaves at around 17.00.
That bus stops near to Siem Reap not in it, so requiring another tuk-tuk ride, in the dark, to get you to your hotel for perhaps $10. The tuk-tuk driver will then push alternative accommodation and guide services.
Whilst waiting at the border to be taken to the Poipet Terminal, you will be offered share taxis for $50+, the real purpose of why you are being held for no discernible reason. There is nothing stopping you from taking up the offer, simply ditching the remaining part of your cheap through ticket (300bt), but the rate being given is bumped up considerably.
If you want the correct rate of $35-$40, walk past the other people waiting, ignoring the over zealous touts who tell you not to and head instead for the roundabout and its shops, where someone will offer you a ride at the correct rate.
Journey time from the border to Siem Reap is 2.5 hours. Cambodian driving, by the way, is something you will remember and recount for many years to come.
From Siem Reap – Share
Coming from Siem Reap to Koh Chang is considerably more straightforward, with a share taxi costing $30-$40 to the border. You then charteranother private taxi on the Thai side to the ferry piers. This costs about 2,500bt to 3,000bt. Total journey time is 7-8 hours.
You can book this in agencies in Cambodia as a through ticket or you can find the taxi on the Thai side by following the signs.
If doing it by minibus, the journey time is longer but the price only $12-$15 including the ferry ticket. You take a big bus to the border and then a minibus to the pier at Centrepoint. For an additional 100bt to 150bt, the minibus will offer to take you to your resort. You will likely be on the last ferry at 19.30.
Visa at Aranya Prathet (Poipet) Border
The visa is 1,600bt to 1,700bt or $35. As with Had Lek, if you do not have a photo, a 100bt charge is levied.
Fill in the forms at the actual border Immigration and nowhere else. Ignore any coercion to do it earlier at the now infamous ‘restaurant’ a km or so back.
At Cambodian Immigration, you need to pay an additional fee of 100bt so they can put you in the queuing system. You can refuse to pay this, but you will then be made to wait until those that have paid it, are processed. The fast track service for 200bt to 300bt may indeed speed things up.
You can use e-visas for entry and exit. By using them, you remove all the scam nonsense. You do not, however, remove the wait. Never change money anywhere near the border or in any restaurants along the way.
Koh Chang to and from Battambang via Ban Pakkard (Phsar Prom) Border – Cambodia Travel
Ban Pakkard (Phsar Prom on the Cambodian side) is a very quiet border crossing, ideal for getting to Battambang. It is not served direct from Koh Chang unless by private transfer.
Share Services – To and From
To get there by public transport, first travel by bus from Trat Bus Station to Chantaburi Bus Station, 1 hour at 60bt. Then you need to seek out the ‘casino’ minibus company near the river by KP Grande Hotel. This service runs direct to the border for 150bt, journey time of 2 hours, 09.30 to 12.30.
From the border, there are share taxis for $20 to $25 direct to Battambang, journey time of 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a motodup to Pailin for 100bt and take the share taxis for 200bt per person or 400bt for 2 seats.
Doing the trip in reverse simply means arriving at the border in time to catch one of the casino minibuses on its return to Chantaburi. All prices are the same.
Visa at Ban Pakkad Border
Visas are $35. To avoid confusion, only fill out applications at the Immigration Office, not where you are dropped. It’s 100bt for a photo if you do not have one.
E-visas are not accepted for entry from Thailand at this border. They are accepted for exit. In other words, you can stamp out with an e-visa, not in. Make sure you have all your stamps (in and out) before you leave the border.
General Visa, Border and Scam Information for Koh Chang Islands to Cambodia Travel
You can buy e-visas via the official site at www.evisa.gov.kh. Allow 72 hours (during a working week) with cost of $30 for the visa, $6 for processing and $3 for bank charges, $39 total.
- If buying a visa at the border, remember the passport photos.
- Carry your own bags and ensure that you have them with you at all times.
- The border crossings are open from 07.00 to 20.00 (Aranya Prathet 21.00).
- Bear in mind that most public transport arrives at the borders at the same time.
- Be prepared for long waits to get processed, especially back into Thailand. Aranya Prathet can take 2 to 3 hours on big public holidays.
- Cheap through tickets across borders are prime scamming targets , so keep your wits about you.
- Koh Chang banks tend not to sell dollars. If you have time exchange in Trat. If not, you’ll need to ask around on the island but the rates will be poor. Alternatively, try to bring extra THB baht before you set off.
Private Transfers, Share Minibuses – Koh Chang To and From Cambodia
We organise private transfers by car or minibus that run to and from the borders or indeed all the way through to and from Siem Reap, Sihanoukville, Phnom Penh and Battambang. There is a vehicle change once you enter the other country.
These leave from your resort on Koh Chang, ferry ticket included or from the Laem Sok Pier (Koh Kood) and Laem Ngop Pier (Koh Mak). If coming from Koh Kood, Koh Mak or Koh Wai, the ferry ticket is not included. We normally only book transfers into Cambodia if you have an evisa.
If going to Siem Reap, we use a VIP guide who meets the vehicle at the border. He takes you through the whole Immigration process and then on to the Poipet Terminal. Here, your private vehicle is waiting for the final leg to Siem Reap. When exiting Cambodia, there is no need of this VIP helper through Cambodian Immigration.
Coming from Siem Reap, we always suggest an early morning collection from your Cambodian hotel due to the slowness of Thai Immigration – getting the stamp into the country can take upwards of an hour.
- If travelling to For Koh Kood, you must leave Siem Reap at 05.30 to 06.00 to ensure connecting to the last daily boats from Laem Sok Pier at 14.20 Boonsiri and 15.00 Koh Kut Express.
- For Koh Mak, the last daily boats from Laem Ngop Pier are the 15.00 Suansuk and 16.00 Panan speedboats, so a 06.00 to 07.00 start from Siem Reap is advised.
- A similar start time would put you on either the 15.00 or 16.00 ferry to Koh Chang.
Guide Prices for Car or Minibus Transfer (Private) – Koh Chang To and From Cambodia
|To OR from |
Koh Chang (your resort)
|Innova or Fortuner |
(3 adults or 2 adults + 2 small child)
(4 to 8 pax )
|Aranya Prathet Border|
|3,500bt||4,200bt (4 pax with ferry tickets, extra adult +100bt)|
|Had Lek Border (Sihanoukville & Phnom Penh)||3,300bt||3,700bt (4 pax with ferry tickets, extra adult +100bt)|
|Ban Pakkad Border (Battambang)||3,300bt||3,700bt (4 pax with ferry tickets, extra adult +100bt)|
|From Siem Reap to Koh Chang (your resort)||5,900bt (2 adults or 2 adults + small child)||8,500bt (4 adults, extra adult +100bt)|
|From Koh Chang (your resort) to Siem Reap||6,800bt |
(2 pax and VIP guide through border, extra person +350bt)
(4 pax and VIP guide through border, extra person +350bt)
|From/To Sihanoukville & Koh Chang (your resort)||7,200bt (2 adults or 2 adults + small child)||9,200bt (6 pax with ferry tickets, extra adult +100bt)|
|From/To Phnom Penh & Koh Chang (your resort)||7,700bt (2 adults or 2 adults + small child)||9,700bt (6 pax with ferry tickets, extra adult +100bt)|
|From/To Battambang & Koh Chang (your resort)||6,300bt (2 adults or 2 adults + small child)||8,200bt (6 pax with ferry tickets, extra adult +100bt)|
We do take a deposit via PayPal. All balances are paid in Thailand, either before exiting the country or on arrival at your resort. Please also note that cancellations may be charged at full cost due to us pre-paying the Cambodian side on your behalf.
We do take a deposit via PayPal. All balances are paid in Thailand, either before exiting the country or on arrival at your resort.
Please also note that cancellations may be charged at full cost due to us pre-paying the Cambodian side on your behalf.
Share Minibuses and Visa Runs
Share or join minibuses to Siem Reap, Sihanoukville and Phnom Penh can be booked once on the island. We no longer book them ourselves.
It’s 500bt per person with the ferry ticket for Siem Reap, including collection from your resort on Koh Chang. Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville are 900bt, same deal on collection and ferry ticket.
We do stress that these journeys, especially to Siem Reap, are notoriously long, difficult and frustrating. They are cheap for a reason and all tickets sold on Koh Chang for join minibuses ultimately use the same Cambodian companies once over the border.
Driving to the respective borders, you will take a 30 to 45 minute LPG stop together with all the other minibuses . Once you enter Cambodia, you will find yourself waiting around for several hours.
Visa runs are from 1,000bt per person for a return to Had Lek by minibus with the ferry ticket included. It collects you at 06.45 from Lonely Beach, White Sand Beach some 20 minutes later and returns about 16.00.
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