How to get from Kep to Phu Quoc in a day

After doing the most scant research on the Internet, it seems that although many people mention that the new border crossing between Prek Chak in Cambodia and Xa Xia/Ha Tien in Vietnam is open to foreigners, nobody tells you how to get from Kep to Phu Quoc in a day or that two of the world’s best seaside destinations are now less than 12 hours apart. Here’s how:

From Kep/Kampot, catch a tuk tuk, taxi or moto to the border, departing no later than 8:00am (if you were keen on an early start, you might attempt a taxi at dawn from Phnom Penh). The price seems to be set at $15 for tuk tuks but this should drop. The last section of the dirt road to the border post has turned from OK to horrific over the wet season and is unapproachable by tuk tuk. We swapped onto some motorbikes for the last two kilometres and negotiated with them to take us all the way over the border to the Ha Tien bus station, a few kilometres into Vietnam and just over the bridge from Ha Tien town for $3. The border post is unassuming, being a few sheds on the Cambodian side and a huge edifice on the Vietnam side. Getting through the post is fast and neither side asked for a bribe. Visas for either country are not available at the border.

The journey from Kep to Ha Tien bus station took roughly two and a half hours. Although we’d heard that there is a ferry from Ha Tien to Phu Quoc, we couldn’t confirm this with anyone in Ha Tien and so headed onward to the speedboat at Rach Gia, about 100km away. At the bus station, there are two buses that you can catch to Rach Gia: a green express bus or a purplish slow bus. We only discovered that the express buses existed after a few passed our local bus. Local buses to Rach Gia cost about 35,000 VND which take about 3 hours depending on how often they stop to pick up passengers/crates of fish along the way.

From the Rach Gia bus station, grab a motorbike to the speedboat to Phu Quoc, which leaves at 1:30pm and arrives in Phu Quoc at 4:00pm. The speedboat is 180,000VND for foreigners, air-conditioned, and the plushest boat that I’ve been on in two years.

Total travel time from Kep to Phu Quoc: 8 hours.

As a smal addendum: I discovered the ferry from Ha Tien to Phu Quoc once we’d arrived in Phu Quoc. According to a sign painted on it, they left Ha Tien at 10:30am and weren’t at all keen on selling me a ticket.

Addendum (13 March 2009): Paul (commenter below) says the ferry from Ha Tien to Phu Quoc is now running. Can be organised through Sok Lim Tours and is even cheaper than the way that I did it.

12 Comments How to get from Kep to Phu Quoc in a day

  1. Pingback: Kep to Phu Quoc overland « Details are Sketchy

  2. Ron

    Great information THANK YOU, There is only a ferry that leaves approx 20 klm from Ha Tien but it is not very reliable, they have stopped the fast hydrofoil service. that is why we are going to Rach Gia . once again THANKS

  3. Phil Lees

    No problem – I’ve since talked to some people who hired a fishing boat out of Ha Tien (although the degree of difficulty was high: they speak fluent Vietnamese) – and it ended up getting into Phu Quoc later than the ferry from Rach Gia. Rach Gia is definitely the port to head towards. How was the road looking on the Cambodian side of the border? Still bad?

  4. Paul

    I know it is a bit late.
    I have just done the journey from Kep to Phu Quoc via Ha Tien.
    Leave Kep at 6a.m by moto. Insist on one that can take you across the border to Ha Tien.
    Take the ferry ato Phu Quoc at 8:a.m. Cost 190000 Dong.
    This is not a fishing boat but a proper ferryy run by Vinashin. You arrive in Phu Quoc 90 minutes later.
    I used Sok Lim Tours in Kampot to organise all this. Total cost $22.50 including ferry ticket.

  5. Pingback: Update: How to get from Kep to Phu Quoc in a day - The Last Appetite

  6. adrian

    Hi all
    I’m bound for Phu Quoc rather soonish.
    The way, i’d like to get there is by ferry from kampot. i heard once about a ferry service. Is there anymore?
    If anyone knowledgeable could jump in here i’d be very grateful.

  7. Paul O'Neill

    We took the ferry today (28th Nov 09) from Ha Tien. We booked the transfer from Kep, to the border, on to Ha Tien and the ferry ticket through Rith travel (by the crab market in Kep for around $23 each).

    It all went well until we got to Ha Tien and found that our ferry reservation hadn’t been made. Normally there is a fast ferry at 8am and 1pm, and a slow boat at 10am, but the 8am one is out of action being repaired (for a week or so they said). I guess this made it busier than usual, and they said that the boat at 1pm was full. We waited until about 12.15 until they decided we could have tickets (but only for plastic stools, not seats – lots of locals sit on the stools), however then we were given the final two seats. The journey is 190,000D pp & takes just under two hours.

    There was no bus at the Phu Quoc dock – we had to to take motos – $2pp to Duong Dong (14k).

    I think both the 8am and 1pm ferry are hydrofoils, cramped but modern. I think the 10am one (which arrives at 2pm) is the rustic version!

  8. Pingback: Leaving Cambodia | The Last Appetite

  9. murray davies

    Do not trust Rith Trave in Kep..

    We booked transport and ferry to Phu Quoc through Rith Travel in the last week of January 2012.

    They lied to us, cheated us – and finally abandoned us.

    We had to pay an extra $22 to the ferry’s captain to travel in the cockpit of the ferry.

    We were told we were nbooked on the 1.30 fast boat from Ha Tien to Phu Quoc.
    The day of travel, we were woken by someone from Rith Travel knocking on the room door telling us that the 1.30 ferry had engine problems and that we’d have to catch the 11.15am.

    (There was not an 11.15 ferry – and there was nothing wrong with the engines of the 1.30 ferry. We watched it sail – unable to board bcs we did not have a valid ticket.)

    At Rith’s offices it emerged we were expected to take a tuk tuk the 40ks to the border. We declined and had to pay an extra $10 for a car.

    At the ferry port, it became clear that our ticket was not valid.

    Rith’s representative vanished.
    We finally managed to get on the 2.15 ferry by paying the captain to allow us to travel on the bridge.

    Don’t get ripped off as we were.


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