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Ha Tien

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Dec 16, 2021

Ha Tien is a seaside town in Kien Giang Province in Southern Vietnam. It is at the west end of the Mekong Delta close to the Cambodian border. Although a tourist spot, it doesn’t see many western visitors due to its remoteness.

. . . Ha Tien . . .

From Vietnam :

The bus terminal is west of the city centre. There are buses from Ho Chi Minh City‘s Mien Tay terminal; Futa -Phuong Trang BuslinesKumpho Samco Buslines operates modern coaches leaving Saigon regularly from 06:30 to 23:00 (170,000 dong). The journey takes about 8 hours. The bus station is a bit outside the city, so you can to take a motorbike taxi to get to town. The price is normally 20,000 dong but the driver will probably ask you more. Walking to town will take you about 30min.

There are also buses from Can Tho and Chau Doc. The connection from Can Tho often requires a change in Rach Soi or Rach Gia from where it is about 1 hr.

From Cambodia :

From Phnom Penh: (Mar 2018) There is company that serves Ha Tien direction: Champa Mekong Travel (USD12). They promise that the journey will take 4.5 hours, but it takes 6 hours in real world. You will be required to change 3 buses (in Kampot and after the border crossing, the last two will be without air conditioning). A guy from the company will take your passport before border crossing and will carry it until all procedures end. You cannot track your own ID and it can be quite scary. They force everyone to do some medical check (temperature measurement) and charge USD1 for it. No documentation of this check is provided and it could potentially be unnecessary. People that travel on their own may pass the border more quickly. It may make more sense to travel using local transport and tuk-tuks, especially if you aren’t solo traveler.

The border near Ha Tien (7 km to the north) is open for tourists. As of late 2010, it is possible for tourists of most nationalities to enter Vietnam via this border crossing without the need for a visa. However it applies only to stays of up to 15 days, and you can only visit the so called “Special Economic Zone”, which is essentially the town of Ha Tien, and the area between the town and the border, including Mui Nai Beach. You must not travel further into Vietnam. (The officials at the border will tell you that you cannot go to Phu Quoc Island with the visa and may not issue you a visa at all without a small bribe.) For ventures further into Vietnam, a visa is needed prior to arrival at the border.

People of some nationalities (e.g. British, French) may be permitted to enter Vietnam without a visa for 15 days. There are no restrictions were you are allowed to go.

To get to the border from Cambodia you can ride a bus or van or hire a motorbike taxi from Kampot (USD8), Kep (USD5), or Kampong Trach (USD5). The road can vary in condition from paved and bumpy to packed dirt and bumpy, be prepared for a slightly white-knuckled ride depending on the daring nature of your driver and the road can also be very dusty in the dry season. Also, be aware that there seem to be Vietnamese drivers now waiting well inside the Cambodian side waiting to pickup (poach) prospective travellers to take them across the border into town. Your driver may stop here to talk with them and seem to suggest you go with them. A ride to town should be USD3-4 or less (it is only 7 km and the road is well paved on the Vietnamese side.) If you can’t agree on a price there you can simply have your Cambodian driver take you to the border where you can cross over and have the drivers on the other side fight over you.

From Kampot you can take a bus or minibus to Ha Tien. Champa Mekonk runs Buses at 10:30, 1:30 and a later bus (USD8). The driver collect the passport at the border and will do the process at both borders for you. On the Vietnamese site another minivan will wait for you to bring you to the office of the travel agency in Ha Tien just in the middle of the town center.

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