When I started my Indochina trip earlier this year, I basically knew where I wanted to go for the trip. Since it wasn’t my first time in Vietnam, I already know the estimated cost of traveling around Vietnam, and I did some research on the approximate cost of crossing the border to its neighboring countries as well. However, I didn’t have a fixed itinerary during the trip because there were some changes that I ended up making along the way. One of them was my decision to stop by Ha Tien from Chau Doc.
The thing is that I couldn’t find any transportation options from Chau Doc to Kampot online, and I figured that the only option to go to Kampot from An Giang Province is to go to Ha Tien first.
From Ha Tien, there is a minibus that directly goes to Kampot on a daily basis but the latest departure is around 1 PM. So I should either start really early in Chau Doc if I wanted to catch the bus to Kampot from Ha Tien or stay overnight in the city. I chose the later and managed to book a bus ticket from Chau Doc to Ha Tien from the hotel where I stayed in An Giang Province, Hai Chau Hotel.
Bus from Chau Doc to Ha Tien
Faishal assisted me to book a bus ticket from Chau Doc to Ha Tien. It cost VND 150,000 (around $6.3 USD) for the bus, it includes the pick-up service from my hotel to get to the bus station.
There are two options given by Faishal for the bus, I could either take the one with pickup time at 6 AM or 8 AM. I had no choice but to wake up early, so I picked the one at 8 AM instead.
Faishal told me to just wait at the hotel lobby as the meeting point would be at our hotel. When I checked out, there were already 6-8 people waiting at the lobby, and those include the people who didn’t stay at Hai Chau.
I paid the bus ticket to the lady who assisted the other guests and asked us to wait since the bus was coming.
The Pickup Service from Hai Chau Hotel to the Bus Terminal in Chau Doc
At first, I thought that we would all go directly to Ha Tien with the minibus. However, it turned out that the minibus just took us to the main bus terminal in Chau Doc.
The minibus was full since in total there was 10 of us going to the bus terminal. Some of us would be heading directly to Cambodia after Ha Tien, as I suppose it was already included in their ticket. However, most of us would stay overnight in Ha Tien.
The bus terminal wasn’t too far from the hotel. It was only around half an hour from the hotel, and after that we changed the bus to a local bus.
Mind you, don’t expect some fancy, luxurious bus to take you to Ha Tien. It wasn’t even a shuttle service, because the local bus would occasionally stop to drop off some passenger.
The Local Bus from Chau Doc to Ha Tien
The good thing is that the bus still got some proper container for our big bags and luggages. I really couldn’t imagine if they didn’t provide it as I had a super huge luggage with me.
There’s nothing fancy about the local bus, but just like almost everyone in Vietnam, the bus attendant was super friendly. When I went there, the bus attendant was a woman in her 40s.
I suppose they already have some fixed schedule for the local bus from Chau Doc to Ha Tien, because the bus was almost full despite the fact that we dropped off passengers a few times.
The journey took around 2.5 hours from Chau Doc to Ha Tien, as I left around 9 AM from Chau Doc and I got to Ha Tien some time before 12 PM.
To be fair, I could just go straight to Kampot with the last minibus, but I wanted to see how Ha Tien was. I ended up not going anywhere in Ha Tien, but to be fair I quite like the city.
Unlike the bus terminal in Chau Doc that was relatively small, Ha Tien bus terminal was huuuuuuge. However, even though it was quite big, it looked somewhat empty. Mind you, I was there around Tet holiday so I expected it to be more crowded.
The Final Verdict: Bus from Chau Doc to Ha Tien
To be fair, if you want to conveniently travel from Vietnam to Cambodia, I’d strongly suggest you start from the big city like Ho Chi Minh City if you’re heading to Kampot. It’d be more convenient if you’re planning to commute as there are a lot of bus options that you can book online.
However, if you’re planning to stop by Chau Doc first before heading to Cambodia, then the easiest way to do is if you’re straight off to Phnom Penh from Chau Doc since there are a lot of ferry boats and buses with that route.
But if you want to go to Kampot, then the only way to go is to take the local bus to Ha Tien first. It’s not the most convenient way to travel for sure, but until they open Chau Doc-Kampot route, I think you’d have no choice but taking this route.
- Since I stayed at Hai Chau Hotel, I suppose it’s quite convenient that I could just wait at the lobby and the pickup service would pick me up there to take me to the terminal.
- I couldn’t book the bus trip anywhere online.
- With all the facilities as well as the length of distance between Ha Tien and Chau Doc, I find VND 150,000 for the ticket too expensive. Like I’m not sure if it was Hai Chau scamming me but with that price, the comfort and facilities for the transportation could have been a whole lot better.
- It’s not a shuttle bus, so I strongly suggest you to plan a stay overnight in Ha Tien instead of having some panic attack as you’re not able to catch the last minibus to Kampot.
Is Ha Tien Worthy Staying Overnight?
Yes and no. I mean, it really depends on the plans you have when you stay in Ha Tien.
As for me, I didn’t have any exact plan in Ha Tien as I only decided to stop by Ha Tien for my convenience to travel the next day. With that being said, I ended up not going anywhere except for my hotel areas.
But mind you, I kinda love the view around Ha Tien. My hotel is located by the river, and it has a really good location even though my room didn’t come with the river view.
The only downside is that Grab taxi is the only option for transportation around the city. There wasn’t Grab bike or Grab car option when I was there, so the transport price was slightly higher than those in Chau Doc or Ho Chi Minh City.
So, have you been to Ha Tien? Could you share what you’ve done in the city that is recommended there? Leave your comment below, and cheerio! 😀