From Trat, follow route 318, heading for Klong Yai. It is about 100km to the border crossing and the road winds along the narrow strip of land between the hills that form the border with Cambodia, and the sea. Along the way there are many un-spoilt beaches with white sands, where basic accommodation is available in beach side huts.
Pass through the village of Klong Yai, and after a few more kilometres you will reach the border post at Had Lek.
Crossing the border is relatively easy.
All people, including Thai citizens, require a valid passport and visa to cross into Cambodia. The visa can either be obtained from the Royal Cambodian Embassy in your country, or in Bangkok. Alternatively you can get the visa at the border crossing.
Obtaining the visa at the border is preferable as it only takes a few minutes, whereas the Cambodian embassy will take several days.
The cost of the tourist visa is US$25, but the Cambodian officials at the border will only accept Thai Baht, and at the present they calculate the price as 1200 Baht. This tourist visa is valid for one month and can be extended once. You need a passport size photo for the visa application. A business visa costs US$25, and with this multiple extensions can be obtained, making a longer stay possible.
If you own your car then you can drive across the border with a minimum of fuss. You will need the registration book for the car, which must be in your name. Contact the Immigration desk on the Thai side and tell them you are taking your car, complete a simple form and pay 50 Baht. The Thai Customs office will then stamp the paper. After completing normal immigration formalities drive across the border and clear Cambodian Immigration. Then proceed to the Cambodian Customs post, which is located on top of the small hill. They will issue a temporary laminated card number plate to be displayed at the front and back of the vehicle. They will also levy a small fee of 250 Bahtfor a one week stay. You are limited to driving in the immediate area which is Koh Kong province of Cambodia with your car. On the most recent trip we were required to report to the Customs post every day. This appears to be an effort to stop people travelling to far from the border with a car and is the result of a memo from the Deputy Prime Minister' office. However the customs officers did not seem to be too clear on the matter.
Thai Bahtis readily accepted in the areas across the border, and you will very likely receive change in Thai Bahtas well. US dollars can also be used.
There is a Casino and good class hotels in the border crossing area. Officially a visa is needed to travel into Cambodia but we understand that there are Cambodian brokers who will get you into the casino compound if you do not have your passport available. The hotels have swimming pools and access to the beach. However without the visa you will not be allowed any further into Cambodia.
Beyond Mean Chey the Thai army is cutting a road through virgin rain forest which will allow access to Sianoukville and Phnom Pen. The road goes for 30 km before you reach another river which can only be crossed by ferry at the present time.
At the moment the road is very new with a surface of red earth, and was in quite good condition when the first bridge was opened. However with the rains and heavier vehicles it is deteriorating after only 3 months of use. We do not recommend any major journeys without a 4 wheel drive vehicle.
Along this first 30 km section of the road access has been opened up to a number of waterfalls, such as the Tatai Falls, about 22km from Mean Chey