Private boat hire to Lao border is a transport option for those who are either travelling from Pream Rumkel further from Cambodia to Lao or those without their own transport wishing to leave Pream Rumkel on other times than the only local public transport minivan from Pream Rumkel to Steung Treng at 7am.
The boat trip itself take 30min. You will be taken on a small boat that accommodates 3-4 people. You are paying for the cost of the boat hire, so the price is same for one person or 3-4 people. The crossing of the river is comfortable, and generally smooth without any large currents.
Once in the community, just let the homestay owner know what time you wish to leave, and they will make the arrangements. If possible, please let them know the day before you want to leave to enable them enough time to organise it for you. If for some reason, you change your plans or leave it last minute to them, be aware that it might take them up to 1 hour reach the boat driver and get the boat ready for you.
Please note, this is not a large crossing with lots of boats and people, therefore we suggest that you leave enough time to make this trip. The transport to the Lao border is relatively easy, however there is no official “system”, but the community will help you to organise it. After crossing the Mekong river on the boat, the boat driver will organise a transport for you (most likely the community member/local officials) to take you to the border. It sounds a bit messy, but we have personally visited the Pream Rumkel and did exactly the same trip and it was very smooth, without any trouble or difficulty. In Cambodia, you just negotiate with the driver a small fee for the drop off, it is a short distance but relatively isolated so there is no public transport there. The lift from the river to the border should be few dollars.
Once at the border, you can cross on foot and continue your journey on the other side of the border. If you are planning to travel from there to Steung Treng, you can wait at one of the local coffee shops/restaurants just next to eh board crossing – most of the minivans/buses stop there and wait for people. There are several companies taking tourists from Pakse/4,000 Island in Lao to Steung Treng- Phnom Penh- Siem Reap. Again, there is no official system or bus ticket office, you just wait for one to have available seats. Most of these minivans arrive here from early morning till around 2/3pm, after that you will need to organise a private car hire or local shared option. If you are super organised, you might even be able to pre-book your bus it with one of the companies.
In terms of crossing to Lao, this is really the only option coming from Pream Rumkel. One the other hand, if you are planning to travel south to Steung Treng this is not probably the easiest option, but it is definitely an adventure one that gives you some flexibility… recommended for those enjoying relaxed and slow travel options.
From Laos to Preah Rumkel: Although still the most flexible way to get into Cambodia, this needs a certain amount of coordination and patients before. Once booked, we will provide the concrete point for the boat to departure, but you have to manage on your on to get there in the expected time.
- Boat tour to the boarder
- Transport to/from the guesthouse
- Extra food/beverages