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Author Topic: So You Want To Go To Poi Pet, Cambodia to Gamble  (Read 493 times)

fceligoj

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So You Want To Go To Poi Pet, Cambodia to Gamble
« on: August 14, 2018, 05:12:04 PM »
 Background:  Cambodia is an oppression constitutional monarchy, but the Prime Minister is essentially a dictator.  When the elections are about to happen, the political opponents seem to be ‘removed’ or disappear, so no competition.
The casinos along the border of Thailand cater to Thais and their type of gambling since very few Cambodians do gamble or are too poor to gamble.  A majority of those casinos (or most likely all of them) are owned or shared between the mafia and Thai politicians.  Note:  At all the casinos, only Thai bahts are allowed.  There are some tables that let you bet with bahts directly but most require you to go and buy chips.
Poi Pet, a dirty city.  The closest nice shopping area is in Thailand and it is just enough so you can even sit and relax at KFC.  BUT once in Cambodia, cannot go back and forth (unless you are Thai.)  We did not see any nice place to eat in the local casino area other than in the casinos, which was fair casino food and no buffets.
Note:  Once in the country, since we were driving, we were not allowed to leave the casino area without much more paperwork (more later.)
Taking a Car Across the Border:  We decided to drive our personal car so first, my wife got her International Driver’s License-a requirement-and then had to go to the Land Transport Office designated to issue car passports which you need to take a car over the border.  (As far as I know, car rental companies will not allow you to take a car across the border.)   Since I had to go through the border crossing via Thai Immigration, my wife had to go it alone.  From her opinion, a pain in the ass.  There are NO statements that say you have to have three copies plus the original of all pertinent documents, so she had to go find a copy service (about a kilometer away) to get several done.  Then there was the additional paperwork that had to be done on site.  All in all, it took her an hour to do it.  Now once you go under the Cambodian arch (the border), you have to change from the left-hand lane to the right-hand lane.  When we finally got back together, she said never again!  Said she should have parked in a secure parking lot (150 baht/night) on the Thai side about 200 meters from the border and walk.
Me Getting Across the Border:  Read all kinds of documents on the internet from other travelers, which lacked some of the critical details.  Even with that, I was snookered.  So to start, a few weeks ago, I went online to the Cambodian Immigration website and completed an eVisa.  This would allow me to bypass the Visa On Arrival building and go directly to the ‘Arrivals Hall’, which really is a open air structure with a canopy roof and 4 booths.  Cost 36$.
So, when my wife drove the car as far as she could, she parked in a busy intersection to go do her paperwork, I had to get out and walk to/through Thai Immigration.  The sign said ‘Foreign Travelers’, and you could see the building from where she parked.  Up the steps, and through Immigration.  Easy as pie, looked at your passport and put in the hand stamp.  Once through and down the steps on the opposite side of the building but on the left side of the road, I essentially was met by this young guy who became my magnet, couldn’t get loose from him.  I read that you had to cross the street to complete your entry into Cambodia-nothing marked but to a fence for about 100-150 yards kept you from crossing.  Then of course I started looking for the Immigration Office (but it is not called ‘Immigration’) and saw nothing, and I could not shake him.  Then his veiled threat of Cambodian Police will stop me unless I get the Visa stamp, which of course I need.  Cost me $18.  It should have been free at the right office.  And this took an hour.  (Later, I found the
‘Arrivals’ Office which every foreigner “HAS TO GO TO” to get the entry stamp (unless like me, I did get the stamp in another small building for $18-one marked with an “X” below.)  The real ‘Arrivals Office’ is just past the Grand Diamond City Hotel and Casino.  So, you actually traverse a part of Cambodia before you go through Immigration.
Grand Diamond Check-in:  This was our hotel.  Lobby?  Only functional.  While I checked in, my wife took the car and parked it in a dust laden ‘parking’ area.  Doubt if many drive and park there.  Just a dust bowl, but secure!  They put us on the 10th floor, had to walk through the gaming room to get to an elevator (other a freight elevator only one was working.)  We had reserved a Premier Deluxe Room with certain amenities.  No amenities.  When Tukta called down about nothing in the room, she also told the desk, it smelled of strong cigarette smoke.  They agreed and moved us to the 15th floor, nonsmoking.  The hotel décor, including the rooms, was at least 20 years old, maybe 25 or 30 or older!  I can see why the Bookings.com rating was less than 6 out of 10.  If there any really good ones, one has to be booked directly, to see IF they are available.
Gaming Area:  If you are Thai, you will love it.  They have many, many tables operating for Thai style gambling games.  There were 2 roulette wheels, only one operating, several pokers tables, 1 Caribbean (not working), 1 3-card, and 1 5-card with a few people there, 2 blackjack tables neither working (not even a dealer with spread cards in front of her), and 1 baccarat table slightly busy, but at least 50 tables playing Thai games of chance.  Yes, they had a huge number of slot machines, with very few people.  Went online to check and saw that the gaming area was busy from about 9AM to 2PM.  We noticed that very few Thais were in the gaming area during the other times.
Other Casinos:  We found out by accident, every casino has mini-shuttles to pick up gamblers and transport them to/from their respective casinos.  We went to the Holiday Palace, the Poipet Casino and the DNA Star Vegas.  The only place we saw Blackjack being play was the Holiday Palace and only 2 gamblers.  I would have played but there would have been nothing for my wife to do.  She likes the money wheel game.  Note:  From what I could gather, the Poipet and Star Vegas casinos do not have Blackjack tables.
All of them have ‘high roller’ areas but we did not check them out.  None of them looked that busy anyway.
Conclusions:   Poi Pet is not a good place to go, especially for Western style gambling.  It is a dirty, ugly city, as is the adjoining Thai border town, Aranyarathet.  One really doesn’t want to go far off down the main road, at least only to the Arrivals building.  After that, one needs to use the mini-shuttle services to get to your reserved hotel.  DO NOT USE MOTORCYCLE TAXIS, RIP OFF.  I did not see any normal Songthaews or tuk tuks.
If you have a crying need for gambling, we just found out the place to go to Savan Resorts in Savannakhet, Laos.  Will be checking it out over the next several months.



fceligoj

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Re: So You Want To Go To Poi Pet, Cambodia to Gamble
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2018, 05:15:17 PM »

HERE ARE SOME OTHER APPROPRIATE PICTURES TO ASSIST YOU IN CHECKING THIS OUT.


Rex (Admin)

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Re: So You Want To Go To Poi Pet, Cambodia to Gamble
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2018, 05:24:21 PM »
Charming, ain't it?



fceligoj

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Re: So You Want To Go To Poi Pet, Cambodia to Gamble
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2018, 05:31:17 PM »
Now you are dating yourself!  But many of those motorcycle drawn large carts/trailers have been replaced by 1 or 2 men pulling them through this main drag!!!  Then you have the opposite, huge double trailer trucks 'plowing' down the main street coming from Thailand!!  But your picture of all the people swarming around on the main street looks about the same today other than the addition of the big trucks!