IATA Code: SIN – Singapore Changi Airport

This blog article has been migrated to my new site at http://www.thelonetravelercarl.com/2017/11/03/iata-code-sin-singapore-changi-airport/

International Air Transport Association (IATALocation Identifier uses a 3-letter code to identify locations of airports throughout the world.

Singapore Changi Airport or simply called Changi Airport is the primary civilian airport for Singapore. It is one of the largest transportation hubs in Southeast Asia and is currently ranked as the World’s Best Airport by Skytrax for five consecutive years. SIN is one of the world’s busiest airports by international passengers and is the home base of Singapore Airlines, SilkAir, Scoot and JetStar.

My expectation before I got to Changi Airport was really high because of all the positive feedback I’ve heard from other travelers who utilized the airport, the reviews from airport organizations, and also the advertisements I’ve seen in the worldwide web. So, upon deplaning, I saw how tidy the airport was. We arrived at Terminal 1 of Singapore Changi Airport.

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SIN – Singapore Changi Airport Arrival Area

Signs and directions are everywhere. The immigration counters are well organised and modern.

Welcome to Singapore

Terminal 1 Arrival Immigration Counters

Like other airports, after passing thru immigration counters is the baggage claim. Baggage claim signage directs every passenger to the right location.

Baggage Claim Signage

Shops

Baggage Claim Carousel

After getting the passenger’s luggages, customs counters will be next. There are two counters. One is for goods to declare and the other for nothing to declare.

Customs Counters

Once cleared with customs, I went to find a way to get to downtown Singapore. It is quite convenient if you are in Singapore Changi Airport. You have access to your banks whatever country you have them. ATMs can be found near the information desk and accept cards that have VISA, Mastercard and other bank logos. I’m just grateful that they have them because I was running out of cash. Of course, they also have money changers. The airport is also accessible to different modes of transportation from taxi to trains to private car services to buses.

Information Desk

Money Changer and ATMs

Directions to Buses, SkyTrain and etc.

I took the SkyTrain to Terminal 3 since the train station to the city is over there. The SkyTrain was neat, fast, and comfortable. We passed thru the view of the air control tower and the construction of a new terminal.

Way to the SkyTrain

SkyTrain to T3

Construction of a new terminal.

Air Control Tower

It took few minutes to get to Terminal 3. But the terminal was simply beautiful. I was in awe. I want to spend more time in the terminal but I got to go to the city and explore the Merlion country.

T3 Public Areas Map

Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 3

Departure area of the Singapore Changi Airport is so huge. They have lots of airline counters to accommodate all of their customers. That is also the reason that the airport is constructing a new terminal for the growing travelers. My airline carrier was situated in Terminal 2. Since I flew thru AirAsia, they have self check-in counter to get the boarding passes. When I got my boarding pass, I was shocked to see that Changi Airport is already doing the fast check-in for immigration. You don’t have to see the immigration officer. The passengers just need to scan their passports and do the bioscan thru fingerprint and clear to go. No more hassle of waiting for the immigration officer to see you and stamp your passport. It is also somehow a bummer since I travel coz I want to collect stamps of other countries I’ve visited but if that is the future of flying and crossing countries, then I’ll just embrace it.

Fast Check-In Immigration Counter

Immigration Counter ran by machines

After passing thru immigration, you just have to go to your boarding gate while waiting for your flight or you could spend your time playing, swimming and many more. There are a lot of activities you can do while in Changi Airport. To know more, just visit their site here.

You could also dine in with their wide array of restaurants

Changi Airport’s Social Tree

At the end of my stay in Singapore Changi Airport, I could definitely attest that it is the best airport I have gone to. It has lot of services offered to all the guests and it even beats other hotels or amusement parks. It is one extraordinary airport. Kudos and I hope to land to Singapore again one of these days.

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IATA Code: DPS – Ngurah Rai International Airport

This blog article has been migrated to my new site at http://www.thelonetravelercarl.com/2017/10/20/iata-code-dps-ngurah-rai-international-airport/

International Air Transport Association (IATALocation Identifier uses a 3-letter code to identify locations of airports throughout the world.

Ngurah Rai International Airport with IATA code of DPS is the main airport in Bali, Indonesia which is located south of the capital of the province of Bali, Denpasar. The airport is considered the gateway to Bali. It is the 3rd busiest airport in Indonesia. It also has been awarded as the world’s third best airport during 2016 based on their services. The airport is named after I Gusti Ngurah Rai who was a Balinese hero who died after against the Dutch during the Indonesian Revolution. The airport location is well planned. It is located in Tuban which is between Kuta and Jimbaran and is close to the tourist locations of southern Bali; the resort center of Kuta and its beach as well as the capital of Bali, Denpasar which is located nearby.

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DPS/ Ngurah Rai International Airport

As the traveler enter thru the departure area of the airport, the airport boasts its amazing Balinese architecture. Then, everyone is welcomed with lights that looked like legs of a millipede with flight board information hanging at the middle. Guests walked thru what it appears like the lighted gate and once inside, signs such as check-in counters, promenade, baggage packing area and pick-up zones can be seen.dps04dps03dps02

Departure hall consists of check-in counters, foreign and local stores, and immigration counters. Having flight early in the morning is a plus, a passenger can do the whole check-in, immigration process and boarding within an hour along with security check after immigration.

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Stores

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Check-In Counters

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Immigration Sign

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Immigration Counters

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Security Check

Once a traveler passed thru immigration, it’s the boarding and transfer gates. The boarding and transfer gates have duty free stores and more local and international stores, and of course a wide and spacious boarding gates with decorations and amenities and services for guests while waiting for their boarding call. DPS’ boarding gate area has kids zone, charging stations, flowers and orchids decorations. The boarding area is long but just right to accommodate all flyers coming and going.

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Duty Free Shops

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More Shops

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Departure Gates 2-9

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Flowery Décor

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Long Walkway to Boarding Gates

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Kids Zone

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Charging Station

Airport won’t be complete if it doesn’t have an arrival area. Ngurah Rai International Airport has a spacious arrival hall. A passenger won’t get lost with signs and directions everywhere both in Indonesian and English language. The airport has this big sign welcoming every guests in Indonesia. Right after deplaning, individual will pass thru quarantine, immigration, baggage claim and customs. The whole process was fast even though there were a lot of tourists. Stepping out the arrival hall is the pick-up zone. It was a little bit odd to have a weird-looking sculpture welcoming you outside on the arrival area but it was cool.

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Welcome to Indonesia

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Arrival Hall Directions

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Baggage Claim Area

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Customs Check

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Weird-looking sculpture just outside the Arrival area

DPS or Ngurah Rai International Airport is well maintained, clean, spacious, well lit, well managed. It’s an all praise from me and is indeed worthy to be called a third best airport in the world last year. It is the main gateway to a touristy destination of Bali but they can manage whatever number of tourists thrown at them. DPS is a truly 5-star airport for me.

IATA Code: KUL – Kuala Lumpur International Airport

International Air Transport Association (IATALocation Identifier uses a 3-letter code to identify locations of airports throughout the world.

Kuala Lumpur International Airport is located in Kuala Lumpur in the state of Selangor. It is located about 30 mins train ride from the capital city of Kuala Lumpur. Kuala Lumpur International Airport or so coded as KUL for its IATA. The airport is the main hub of the country of Malaysia and is one of the major airports in Southeast Asia. KUL is the biggest and busiest airport in Malaysia. The airport is operated by Malaysia Airports (MAHB) and serves flights for Malaysia Airlines, AirAsia, Malindo Air, UPS Airlines and Gading Sari.

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Airport Tower

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Welcome to Malaysia

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Tourism Malaysia

KUL has 2 terminals but easily accessible by KL Express and KL Transit. Since I took advantage of the ASEAN Pass, I’m flying thru AirAsia. AirAsia usually utilised terminal 2 of the said airport. We landed at KLIA2 in the morning. It was a smooth ride and after deplaning, went out and follow signs to immigration and passport control.

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Direction to Immigration and Transfer Gates

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Good thing about the airport coz it has terminal maps just right after you get out of the plane. Along with directions, travelers won’t get lost when in KUL.

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KLIA2 Terminal Map

Few minutes of walking, I was able to locate the immigration counter and passport control. The immigration counter has been categorised to 3; resident passport, ASEAN passport and foreign passport. The whole immigration experience took about almost half an hour. There were a lot of passengers on queue to get to their Malaysian destination.

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Immigration Counter and Passport Control

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Passport Control

Once I got my passport stamped, I went out to the arrival area. I was amazed with a bountiful of stores, local and foreign. The airport was ginormous. It looks like it has its own mall, airport train station, airport lounges, restaurants and food courts. It was clean and well lit with unique artistic and architectural design. The only disadvantage of the airport is because of its large land area, it’ll take you time to locate your boarding gates if you are not familiar with it and you need to walk all the time just to get to the area you wanted to be. But it is disabled and handicapped friendly facility, though.

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Shopping Stores

The departure area is accessible thru KL Express and KL Transit from train stations located in Kuala Lumpur and other train stop locations via KL Sentral. The departure area has a lot of airline counters to better serve the tourists.

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KL Express and KL Sentral Platform in KLIA2 bound to KL Sentral

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KL Sentral station

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KL Train

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Departure Counters

Upon getting your boarding pass, you can directly proceed to immigration and passport control. This time it took me about an hour to get to the Immigration Officer, it was the worst time since my trip was during the SEA Games or Southeast Asian Games, thus, having more guests and travelers in one spot.

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Immigration and Passport Control, Departure Side during SEA Games 2017

Passing thru immigration and passport control, more stores will surprise you. Again, more walking, checking the flight board, airport maps, list of restaurants so, you’ll have a wide selection of cafes and food stores if you find yourself starving. The departure area also has Wellness Spa that provides rest, spa and shower services.

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Restaurants

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Wellness Spa and Shower

My whole stay while I was in KUL was exhausting. It was my first time to ever walk that much and that far while in the airport. My energy was drained that fast that I have to re-energise by eating, replenish the lost water by drinking, and doing all those stuff means that I have to spend more. But not to take it against the airport, KUL is indeed one of the best airports in Southeast Asia.

IATA Code: TPE – Taoyuan International Airport

International Air Transport Association (IATALocation Identifier uses a 3-letter code to identify locations of airports throughout the world.

Taoyuan International Airport is an international airport serving the capital city of Taipei, Taiwan and the northern parts of the island. It is located in Taoyuan, Taiwan and is the largest and busiest airport of the country. It was previously known as Chiang Kai-Shek International Airport.

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Welcome to Taiwan Sign at TPE

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A 12-hour flight from LAX to TPE

TPE has 2 terminals and serves as the main international hub for China Airlines and EVA Air. It also serves flights of Asiana Airlines, Korean Airlines, Air Japan, and etc. It is a busy airport but no reports of delays when I stayed there for a whole day.

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Flight Board Status

Once traveler deplane the aircraft, the first is the quarantine. Observing every passengers for signs of increase body temperature or infection.

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Directions to the Quarantine, Immigration, Customs Check and the Arrival Hall

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Quarantine

Next to the Quarantine, passengers have to turn right and will see the immigration and passport control. It is well manned that will take the immigration processing less than 15-20 mins from the time you lined up for the queue. The counters have been split to non-citizen, ROC resident with multiple entry visa and citizen.

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Immigration and Passport Control

After immigration and passport control, it will be customs check and clearance.

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Customs Check

Once getting out of the customs check, travelers will enter the arrival hall. Arrival Hall is well equipped able to help tourists in their needs. It has the airport MRT service, tourist service center, maps and directions.

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Universaide Taipei 08/19 to 08/30

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Arrival Hall

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Taoyuan Airport MRT Service

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Terminal 2 Arrival Hall Map

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Arrival Hall Wall Decor

Taoyuan International Airport is too spacious. It is wide with a lot of stores, amenities and services.

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Gadget Store

It is also linked to different modes of transportation. It can be reached by bus by riding the Bus 1819 from Taipei Main Station or thru MRT express link also from the main station. It is very accessible that traveling in and out of the airport is a breeze.

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Bus 1819 to City just outside of Terminal 2

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MRT Taoyuan Airport Rail

It also has charging stations for mobile devices and the best service they offered is from the Tourist Service Center for they offered a free half day tour.

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Charging Stations for Mobile Devices

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Tourist Service Center

Getting off at terminal 2, the tourist service center is just located the arrival lobby. The free half day tour offered by the government of Taiwan has been provided for layover tourists to see the beautiful and rich history of the said country. Giving options for the tourists to sight-see if their layover is more than 6 hours. Tours offered are morning tours and afternoon tours. If an individual wants to take advantage of the said service, he/she can visit this site by clicking here. But transit passengers need to meet the requirements though, just read the information at my previous post, Visa to the Republic of China (Taiwan).

TPE Terminal 2 has 4 floors. 1st floor is car park and ground transportation, 2nd is arrival hall, 3rd is the departure hall, and lastly, the 4th floor is the food court.

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3/F Departure Hall

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3/F Departure Counter

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4/F Food Court

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4/F Japanese Restaurant

In summary, Taoyuan International Airport is indeed one of the best airports I have been. It is the main hub of a progressive first world country of Taiwan with too many flights going in and out but it is well planned, avoiding congestion. They also made sure that layover tourists or travelers will enjoy their stay in Taiwan even if it was just for hours. TPE looks on the travelers’ perspective and it’s a plus. Kudos to Taoyuan Internationa Airport and the government of Taiwan.

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The Beach View within the Boarding Gates

Crossing Poipet – Aranyaprathet Borders

I had another adventure when I was doing my Southeast Asian trip. Before, I had a journey to the border of Viet Nam and Cambodia. Now, I was crossing the Poipet – Aranyaprathet borders. I stayed in Cambodia for a week and it was time for me to change address again.

From the hotel I was staying, I let them arranged my bus company and I just emphasized that I need a direct bus that’ll take me to Thailand from Cambodia. Mr. Phirun Heng, the owner of Putheavatei Boutique Hotel and Spa, bought a bus ticket of the most famous direct bus in Siem Reap to Bangkok via NATTAKAN Cambodia Co. Ltd for USD30. NATTAKAN Cambodia Co. Ltd is located in Sivatan Road just few stores from KFC. I haven’t gotten other information with regard to departure time. All I know is the bus always leaves from Siem Reap, Cambodia at 0800H to Bangkok, Thailand.

NATTAKAN Cambodia Co. Ltd during the night when I had dinner in KFC the day before my trip.

NATTAKAN Cambodia Co. Ltd during the night when I had dinner in KFC the day before my trip.

NATTAKAN bus ticket

NATTAKAN bus ticket

It was a fine day, the sun was up and everything was going smooth as planned for my trip. I had a tuktuk pick me up at the hotel for bus transfer. When I got at the station, the staff asked me of my passport and ticket. By the way, you need to purchase the ticket way ahead of time like a day before your trip. So going back, I was assisted on getting my bags inside the bus and after that I went to the office to get my passport with my ticket. I headed inside the bus and looked for the seat I was assigned to. Actually, it was the staff who pointed me where my seat was. Every passenger got settled down and so, the journey began.

On the day of my trip

On the day of my trip

Bus routines

Bus routines

It was a 3-hour ride from Siem Reap to Poipet border in Banteay Meanchey Province. The bus company prepared for us a delectable snacks paired with an orange juice.

Snack pack

Snack pack

Some sweet pastries

Some sweet pastries

Orange juice

Orange juice

When we were closed to the border, they handed us this to hang on our necks.

Our Identification card

Our Identification card

Cambodia - Thailand border

Cambodia – Thailand border

We were told to get out of the bus along with our bags to go to the Poipet border and have our passport stamped with the Cambodian departure card filled out.

Going to Poipet border pass

Going to Poipet border pass

We walked about 5 mins to Cambodian border and have an exit stamped on our passport. The next journey was the tiring one. We walked about 20 mins to Aranyaprathet border and passport control.

The walk towards the International Border of Thailand

The walk towards the International Border of Thailand

Thailand Border Control Office

Thailand Border Control Office

For foreign passport holders, the immigration office is located at the second floor. They will give you an arrival and departure card that looked like this.

Immigration card, information asked such as name, date of birth, nationality, gender, address where you will stay in Thailand, mode of arrival.

Immigration card, information asked such as name, date of birth, nationality, gender, address where you will stay in Thailand, mode of arrival.

Once you finished filling it out, just head directly to the immigration officer and hand it with your passport. Mine, it took me a smile to finish the transaction within a minute. After I had an arrival stamped on my passport, I went out and look for the bus. The bus companies do wait few meters away from the immigration office. It is a parking area for buses.

Sawadee Khrap Thailand

Sawadee Khrap Thailand

Final security check before entering Thailand

Final security check before entering Thailand

Parking Area

Parking Area

The Bus

The Bus

With toilet

With toilet

We were in Aranyaprathet in Sa Kaeo Province, Thailand and somewhere there, the bus employee picked up packed lunches and food was served to every passenger.

Now in Aranyaprathet, Kingdom of Thailand

In Aranyaprathet, Sa Kaeo Province, Kingdom of Thailand

Restaurant where our packed lunch were picked up

Restaurant where our packed lunches were picked up

Packed Lunch

Packed Lunch

Delicious Lunch

Delicious Lunch

We traveled about 3-4 hours going to Bangkok. The views were all the same, rice fields almost all throughout the trip. We arrived in the busy city of Bangkok at 1630H.

I hailed a taxi to send me to the hotel I have made reservation which is located in Sukhumvit Soi 30/1 which is near Philippine Embassy. Upon getting there, I had all my things unpacked and when I had everything in place. I went out to have some dinner in a tourist haven of Bangkok which is the Khaosan Road and had my first Thai food. I ate in Tom Yung Kung Restaurant. I also had my first BTS/ Skytrain ride.

Khaosan Road during night

Khaosan Road during night

Tom Yung Kung Restaurant

Tom Yung Kung Restaurant

Tom Yung

Tom Yung

Skytrain ticket

Skytrain ticket

My first BTS ride

My first BTS ride

With regard to my whole experience of crossing Poipet – Aranyaprathet borders, I can say that it was tiring but fun, draining but educating, and worth the try of a lifetime.

Journey To The Border

In a big continent with lots of countries, going through other nations is fast and easy. It is just a journey to the border. I experienced that when I had my trip to Southeast Asia. I was in Saigon, Viet Nam and I planned to cross border going to Cambodia. I did a lot of research in different blogs and web and it was really helpful. I found out that there are bus companies that drive directly to Cambodia if you are from Saigon/ Ho Chi Minh City. But, it wasn’t confirmed yet since it was only online until I got to the hotel and let them arrange a transportation for me. I was staying in N.Y. Kim Phuong Hotel at Hai Ba Truong Street, check out my blogpost by clicking here.

I have different choices of bus companies such as Sapaco Tourist, MaiLinh, Mekong Express, and etc. I chose Mekong Express Limousine Bus since I read good feedback about it. I made sure that I have arranged it ahead of time like a day before my scheduled trip. They have different time trips. Anyway, I paid the ticket for USD15.

Departure Time Schedules with Route

Departure Time Schedules with Route

Ticket from Ho Chi Minh City to Phnom Penh

Ticket from Ho Chi Minh City to Phnom Penh

Instructions to Passengers

Instructions to Passengers

The bus station is just located at 275F Pham Ngu Lao Street, District 1. For a trip from HCMC, Viet Nam to Phnom Penh, Cambodia, it will take about 6-8 hours but it depends on the border and immigration process.

Pham Ngu Lao Street

Pham Ngu Lao Street

Mekong Express Limousine Bus banner

Mekong Express Limousine Bus banner

So, I started the day early since I have booked an 0830H bus going to Phnom Penh, Cambodia. I had a taxi drove me from my hotel to the bus station and paid only 50,000VND. When I arrived there, the bus still hasn’t arrived so, I have to wait in their office. But 10 minutes before the schedule departure time, the bus arrived and with the assistance of the staff, they took our bags and placed it on the compartment area in the bus and we also showed our tickets since they needed to put the seat number on the bags so when we will claim it, there will be no loss or picking up the wrong luggage issue.

Mekong Express Limousine Bus office

Mekong Express Limousine Bus office

At exactly 0830H, we went our way to our destination. Snacks were served while en route.

The bus spacious with toilet at the back.

The bus is spacious with toilet at the back.

Snacks for the passengers

Snacks for the passengers

Snacks

Snackbox

Snacks en route to the border

Snacks en route to the border

It took about 3-4 hours to get to Moc Bai, Tay Ninh Province which is the border of Viet Nam. We went inside the immigration office and have our passports taken by the bus staff. Staff will bring the passport for exit stamping in Viet Nam. We waited there for about an hour since there were a lot of travelers crossing borders and also waited for our names to be called. Once they called you, you just get your passport and go back to your bus since it will be another ride going to Cambodia border. You will see these views in the border.

Moc Bai Viet Nam International Border Gate

Moc Bai, Viet Nam International Border Gate

Moc Bai Viet Nam International Border Gate

Moc Bai, Viet Nam International Border Gate

Bavet, Cambodia International Border Gate

Bavet, Cambodia International Border Gate

Bavet, Cambodia International Border Gate

Bavet, Cambodia International Border Gate

For just 5 mins, you will get to see the Cambodian immigration building and directly proceed to the immigration officer to have your passport stamped for entry. The officer usually asked for how many days you will be staying in their country. It was fast and easy. I had mine stamped in just a minute. Then, I crossed the border with ease and stepped my first foot on the land of Cambodia. I was in Bavet, Svay Rieng in Cambodia and traveled about 3-4 hours again to get to Phnom Penh. We even passed through the Mekong river via ferry.

Neak Loung ferry crossing at Mekong river

Neak Loung ferry crossing at Mekong river

I arrived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia at 1630H. I headed directly to the hotel to take a long rest. The whole experience was amazing and it was my first time to cross borders and hopefully, it won’t be the last.

Note:

Contact details of Mekong Express Limousine Busmekongmekong1