"We reached O'Smach pretty late in the afternoon, but just early enough to cross immigration without any problems. Well, let me take that back. After a pretty lengthy fuss about money exchange and the upon arrival visa process, we eventually crossed into Cambodian territory.
O'Smach is located at the border of Cambodian and Thailand, about 41 kilometers north of Samraong. The town boasts a large number of casinos, including fine restaurants and luxury hotels.
In neighboring Thailand one should not gamble, so just over the border in Cambodia, it is permitted for them.
The O'Smach Resort has an impressive entrance, complete with a gigantic, glowing green lotus in a fountain. The area is beautifully maintained and has, for unknown reasons, two military armored vehicles decorated with Christmas lights.
Since 2006 O'Smach easily accessible from Siem Reap. The road has been improved significantly. Previously, it took a whole day before you arrived in O'Smach.
The border at O'smach is open for foreigners. Someone, who wants to pass the border from Thailand, must purchase a visa for 30 days. The price of the visa is 1000 Bath.
The border was opened in 2002, after it had been closed for several years, because there was fighting at the Cambodian side. O'Smach in 1997 was the scene of heavy fighting. Peace came in 1998 and the army drove the people away, who lived in the area and they sold the land to developers, who wanted to build a casino.
The town on the Thai side of the border is called Chong Chom. The border town is located 440 kilometers from Bangkok and 68 kilometers south of the Thai city of Surin. From O'Smach it's 150 kilometers to the world famous Angkor Wat ruins, close to the city of Siem Reap.
On the Cambodian side of the border is the road from Anlong Veng to O'smach very good. You can easily get 100-120 kilometer per hour by car. They are still searching for mines along side of the road. There's also a good road from Sisophon to Siem Riep.
The O'Smach resort has a casino and 198 guest rooms and suites. Each room has satellite TV, air conditioning, private bathroom, minibar, etc.. Facilities at the hotel include a restaurant, 24-hour coffee shop, swimming pool, gym, sauna and massage parlor.
Across the street is the Royal Hill Resort, with yet another casino and hotel complex. Prices and the facilities are similar to those of the O'Smach resort. Playrooms and the interior of the Royal Hill Resort are quite business in stark contrast to the impressive entry with an arch over the road.
While gamblers have one way to go, trade and cheap goods to go the other way. On the Thai side of the Thailand - Cambodia border you'll find sprawling markets with cheap junk, second-hand clothing and goods, for which no one has much interest. A visit worth to this unique and bizarre market and it's a funny experience. We were visiting the Chong Chom Talad Market at Chong Chom - O'Smach border crossing.