At this time of year I strongly advise against taking a tourist minibus for this route.There are large numbers of people traveling,and very long delays at the border,so much so that on several occasions recently,the minibus has arrived too late and the ferry has already left.If it's at all possible,travel independently -the practicalities of this really depend on your budget and time constraints.If it's possible,go to Kep/Kampot the day before,and then travel by moto or tuk tuk to the border,through the border,and moto or taxi to Ha Tien,and the ferry A taxi from Sihanoukville to the border would be about 60USD,so if there are a few of you it's not much more expensive than the minibus,and a lot quicker.
There has been a plan to run a ferry from Sihanoukville to Phu Quoc. The ferry would also stop in Kampot. It would be quicker and cheaper. It seems like this is still in the future, or plans may have changed. Ask just in case.
It will be much quicker if you go through Kampot. You may need to buy a ticket in Sihanoukville to go to Kampot. Then buy a ticket in Kampot to go to Ha Tien. Then buy a ticket in Ha Tien to go to Phu Quoc. Ask at travel agents and see what you find out.
Do you have a visa? If you don't you can get one through a travel agent in Sihanoukville.
I recommend you don't cross the border on a motorbike or tuk tuk.
People have been beat up and robbed near the Vietnam border.
If you go in a bus or a minibus you are unlikely to get robbed.
If you leave Kampot early, you are less likely to arrive too late for the ferry.
If you do arrive too late for the ferry, It is better to stay a night in Ha Tien, than to be beat up and robbed.
take the advice given by poster #1 - as a local actually knows what's what
Re #3,I have lived here for 7 years,and I have NEVER heard of anything like this happening.Best to ignore this "advice"As for #2 this is complete and utter nonsense.There is no ferry from Sihanoukville to Phu Quoc,and there probably never will be.If you look at the logistics of such a ferry it doesn't make any sense at all.It would require Customs and Immigration facilities at each end,which would be expensive to run,and massive investment for a ferry which for 10 months of the year would be hardly used at all.Ignore this poster,who is talking rubbish.All I can say is to reiterate my advice.Don't listen to a travel agent in Sihanoukville,Kampot or kep,their only interest is to sell you a ticket,and either they tell outright lies to you about the time taken,or they just have no idea,and make it all up.In the last few weeks I have met countless people here in Ha Tien,who have waited for 2 hours plus at the border,and been fobbed off with all sorts of excuses about why the trip is taking 4 hours,instead of the 1.5 hours it should take if you travel independently.
OasisBarHaTien are you saying that it is best to do by ourselves? Take a taxi to the border, cross and then get a taxi on the Vietnam side to the ferry?
Are you saying that there are no travel agents in Sihanoukville that can just organise the whole thing for me? I am not worried about how long the trip takes...I just want to get to Phu Quoc in the same day and not get stuck anywhere.
Thank you for your help.
The way you do this journey depends on how many people there are in your group,and your time and money constraints.The quickest,easiest and simplest way to do it,is to travel independently.A taxi from Sihanoukville to the Prek Chak border will take about 2.5 hours(it's 160km) and coat about 60USD or less.From there a taxi to Ha Tien is 7km,and about 160000VND(7USD).If you choose the tourist minibus,which is probably the cheapest way.you will have to wait at your hotel to be picked up,usually about 30min,then travel around Sihanoukville picking up others.You will then go to Kampot,possibly change minibus,and then eventually get to the border via Kep,where you will stand around for up to 2 hours,being fed a stream of lies about where the minibus is,why it isn't there and when it will arrive.Usually,you will make the connection to Phu Quoc-but by no means always,if you miss the boat,the travel agent will shrug their shoulders,and say it's not their fault.If it is at all possible I would stay the previous night in kep/Kampot,as it's far easier and cheaper to make your own way to the border from there.Or,a night before in Ha Tien,and take the morning ferry the next day,not the 2pm one.
Thank you OasisBarHaTien for the information. So are taxis easy to catch once you go across the Vietnam border? How much should we expect to pay for a taxi to the ferry?
If we leave early in the morning from Sihanoukville how long should the journey take?
Also, are the ferries safe?
Thank you again for all of your help. I really appreciate it.Edited: 12 February 2017, 13:04
The journey from Sihanoukville to the border is 160km-about 2.5 hours.Try to get to the border as early as possible,at any rate before 10.30,to avoid the tourist minibuses.As long as the touts at the border realise you aren't in a hurry to get to the ferry,you should get a car to the ferry port or Ha Tien town for about 180,000 VND-8USD.Or a moto taxi for 3-4 USD p/p.Sit down in the cafe on the Vietnamese side,and have a leisurely ice coffee,and wait for the price to drop! The ferries are perfectly safe,they are fairly new purpose built fast ferries.The stories on the internet date back several years to when the boats covering this route were converted fishing boats