BANGKOK TO SIEM REAP by Bus or Train: BORDER CROSSING

Detailed guide on BANGKOK TO SIEM REAP by Bus and Train border crossing.

Over the years, I’ve crossed the border from Bangkok to Siem Reap a few times, and my first time was quite funny and stupid.  It is no secret that the border crossing between Thailand and Cambodia is chaotic and full of scams.  So, I made my research and ignored the touts offering the fake visa.  But  what I failed to realised was, that at Aranyaphrathet (the Thailand border), I need to walk on the left side and enter the building on that side.  Because I grew up in the Philippines and I was so used to walking the right side, I went straight to the right building which is the  Thailand Immigration  for those entering Thailand.  And because of the language barrier, it took a while before I understood what the Immigration Officers were looking for. LOL They were looking for my exit stamp in Cambodia, and I only realised I was at the wrong side after 1 staff figured out I was headed to Cambodia and not exiting Cambodia. That is why I wrote a detailed blog on Bangkok to Siem Reap by train HERE  a few years back to help other who plan to use this border crossing route. I am writing this updated guide now, to help you plan your trip.

 


Bangkok to Siem Reap, Cambodia by bus


There are buses from Bangkok’s Northern and Northeastern (Mochit) Terminal to  Aranyaphrathet/Poipet border. There are also buses from Suvarnabhumi (Airport) bus station to Aranyaphrathet, as well as minivans from Victory Monument to Aranyaphrathet.  But I will be discussing here the border crossing from Bangkok city to Siem Reap, Cambodia.

There are 2 ways to travel to Siem Reap from Bangkok by bus: by direct bus from Bangkok to Siem Reap and by regular bus wherein you travel to Aranyaphrathet (the town border in Thailand before you enter Cambodia) then switch to another bus on the Cambodia side (Poipet).

Take note that both the Thailand and Cambodia Immigration Office opens at 7:30 AM and closes at 10:00 PM.

bangkok to siem reap Friendship bridge
Aranyaphrathet border (Thailand border)

By Direct Bus


 

When you book a direct bus, you will still get off the bus at the border, pass through Immigration on both countries (Thailand and Cambodia), and then ride your bus again on the other side (Cambodia side).

Here’s a detailed guide on crossing the border from Bangkok to Cambodia:

1.Go to the bus terminal and ride your bus. Make sure you have the correct bus.

2.Alight at the Thailand-Cambodia border. Once you reach Aranyaphrathet, get off the bus.

3.Clear Thailand Immigration. 

Walk  to the building on the left side to reach Thailand Immigration (See picture with arrow above). If you are an ASEAN resident, get the Departure Card and fill out the form, it’s FREE. Queue at the Foreigner’s Lane and hand your passport to the Immigration Officer to have it stamped for exit. Do all this quickly as your bus will be waiting for you on the Cambodia side.

4.Clear  Cambodia Immigration.

After you exit Thailand Immigration, continue walking on the left side of the road until you see the Cambodian Arch. Enter the Cambodia Immigration office, get an Arrival Card (it’s FREE), and fill out the form.  Line up, and have your passport stamped for entry.  If you are an ASEAN resident, there should be NO FEE to enter Cambodia. If you need a visa, you can get a visa on arrival for Cambodia at the border for $30.  Again, ignore any touts, transact directly with the Immigration Office. Once you get your passport back, double check it to make sure it is stamped.

5.Find your bus on the other side.

Board your bus quickly. Your bus should take you to Siem Reap city center.

If you need a direct bus, book only with the following reputable bus companies:

 

Giant Ibis (Khao San)

Terminal: 22 Tanao Rd, Taladyod Phanakorn, Bangkok

Fare: ฿ 1,052 (₱ 1,701 /$32)

Travel time: 8 hours 30 minutes

Departure: 7:45 AM

 

 

 Travel Mart

Terminal: 51 Trokrongmai, Chaofah RD., Pranakorn, Bangkok 10200

Fare: ฿720(₱ 1,165/$22)
Departures: 9:00 AM, 1:00 PM

 

 Transport Co.

Terminal: Morchit (Mo Chit) / North Terminal

Fare: ฿ 750 (₱1,212/$) at the terminal ,฿ 87 (₱141/$3) if online

Travel time:  8 hours 30 minutes

Departure: 8:00 AM, 9:00 AM

 

You can buy tickets at the terminal, but I recommend buying in advance to secure your seat as there are limited buses per day. RESERVE HERE or below.

 

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By Regular Bus


bangkok to siem reap - Poipet
Poipet (Cambodia border)

 

If you miss the direct bus and you have no other choice, you can ride a regular bus to Thailand border – Aranyaphrathet, cross the border, and board a different bus on the Cambodia side, all the way to Siem Reap city center.

You must be at the bus terminal early as the border crossing process can take up the whole day. Avoid arriving at night in Aranyaphrathet as the Immigration Office might be closed by then. Take note that both the Thailand and Cambodia Immigration Office opens at 7:30 AM and closes at 10:00 PM.  Although there are hotels in the border, there’s nothing really interesting to do here, except if you like to play at casinos.

Here’s how to cross the Thailand-Cambodia border by regular bus:

1.Go to Mochit (Morchit) /North Terminal.

2.Buy a ticket to Aranyaphrathet.

Fare is ฿205 (₱331/$6). Buses deart hourly from 3:00 AM to 12:00 PM, and there are about 3 buses from 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM.

3.Get off at Aranyaprhathet bus stop, take a motorbike (฿60/₱97/$2) or tuktuk (฿100/₱162/$3) to the border gates.

The border gates is also called Friendship  Bridge (Rong Khlua border market).  Your driver might take you the fake visa border, for faster processing of visa, refuse firmly. They will just try to squeeze money from you. Do everything on your own at the border gates.

4. Clear Thailand Immigration.

Walk towards Thailand Immigration building on the left side. Have your passport stamped for exit. Double check your passport, make sure the stamp is there.

5.Clear Cambodia Immigration.

Once you exit Thailand Immigration, walk towards the Cambodia Immigration building.  You will see it after the large luxury hotels. Fill out the form (it’s FREE), and submit your passport to the Immigration Officer to have it stamped for entry. Once your passport is returned to you, double check to make sure the stamp is there. If you are an ASEAN resident, there should be NO FEE to enter Cambodia. If you need a visa, you can get a visa on arrival for Cambodia at the border for $30.  Again, ignore any touts, transact directly with the Immigration Office.

6.Take the FREE shuttle in Poipet to the transport depot.

Once you exit the Cambodia Immigration building, you will emerge at Poipet, the Cambodia side. Beside the Immigration building is the waiting shed where the free shuttle bus (OSP bus) and taxis await passengers. Board the free shuttle bus. 9 km east of Poipet and take roughly 15 minutes from the border.

7. Take the government bus to Siem Reap at the transport depot.

There are 2 bus terminals in Poipet: one is the International Tourist Terminal, near the border, about 1.5 km away on the east side. The other one is the Poipet Tourist Passenger International. Wherever terminal the bus takes you, you can ride the government bus to Siem Reap for about $11 (PHP / $ ). Buy the ticket first before boarding the bus. The bus should take you all the way to Siem Reap city center. Travel time is about 4 hours.

Alternatively, you may also take a taxi to Siem Reap. Negotiate with the driver, should cost about $35 – $55. You can even form a group with other travelers and split the cost. Taxis can accommodate 3-4 passengers.

 

Important: The Thailand to Cambodia border crossing is burdened with scams.  One infamous example is the FAKE VISA. Basically, the fake visa scam works like this: your van, bus, motorcycle driver, or tuktuk driver will take you to the Fake Visa border.  They will ask you to pay for them to process your visa. Do not fall for it. If you are from an ASEAN country like the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia or Vietnam, YOU DON’T NEED A VISA. There should be NO FEE for your to cross the border between these 2 countries. And if you country requires a visa, go to the Immigration Office at the Thailand Border, VISA IS ON ARRIVAL is $30 for countries that require a visa, do not let anyone process it for you.

 

bangkok to siem reap border crossing
Siem Reap, Cambodia

Bangkok to Siem Reap by Train


The cheapest way to cross the border from Bangkok to Siem Reap is by train. I’ve tried this once before and it was manageable. Here’s how to do it:

 

 1.Go to Hualamphong Station in Bangkok and buy a ticket.

 You may take a bus, taxi, or BTS skytrain to Hualamphong Station. However if you are leaving early, taxi or Grab is your best bet. Last time I used this route, there are 2 trains daily from Bangkok to Aranyaphrathet where the Thailand border is located. The trains ply this route every 5:50 AM and 1:05 PM.

Travel time: 6 hours

Fare: ฿48 (₱78/$1.46)

Departures: 5:50 AM, 1:05 PM

 2. Get off at Aranyaphrathet Station.

Exit the train at Aranyaphrathet Station and board a motorbike (฿60/₱97/$2) and tuktuk (฿100/₱161/$3) to the Friendship Bridge (Rong Khlua border market). But make sure you negotiate the fare with the driver first.

3. Clear the Thailand Immigration.

 Walk to the Thailand Immigration on the left side of the road. Get the FREE Departure Card, and fill it out. Make sure you bring a ballpen. Queue at the Foreigner’s lane to have your passport stamped for exit.

4. Clear the Cambodia Immigration.

Exit the Thailand Immigration building and walk towards the Cambodian Immigration building, just right after the big casinos. Get an Arrival Card, fill it out and queue to have your passport stamped for entry. If you need a visa, you can get a visa on arrival for Cambodia at the border for $30.  Again, ignore any touts, transact directly with the Immigration Office.

5. Ride the FREE shuttle bus to the Transport Depot.

Once you exit the Cambodia Immigration building, you should see the FREE shuttle bus to the transport depot. Board the bus.

6. Ride the bus to Siem Reap at the Transport Depot.

At the transport depot, buy a bus ticket to Siem Reap. Fare is about $11 (฿ 363/₱587). Board the bus all the way to Siem Reap. Travel time is about 4 hours.

There are also taxis available, for about $35 (฿1,154/₱2,446 – ฿1,813/₱2,930). You can ask other travelers if they want to join you and just split the cost. Taxis can accommodate 3-4 passengers.

 


TOP BUDGET HOTELS IN SIEM REAP


There’s a wealth of budget hotels in Siem Reap, Cambodia, you’ll never run out of a place to stay.  Here’s a list of some of the top budget hotels there according to confirmed guests.

 

bangkok to siem reap

 

Lub d Cambodia Siem Reap

Location: Siem Reap Central Area

CHECK RATES HERE

 

Vilada Angkor Boutique

Location: Sala Kamreuk

 CHECK RATES HERE

 

Oriental Siem Reap Hotel

Location: Siem Reap Central Area

  CHECK RATES HERE

 

 Golden Butterfly Villa

Location: Siem Reap Central Area

 CHECK RATES HERE

 

 


ALSO READ:

  SIEM REAP TRAVEL GUIDE

 BANGKOK TRAVEL GUIDE

 


 


About the Blogger : Gael is a Filipina travel blogger. Her work has appeared in local and international publications.

Follow her on  Facebook Twitter and   Instagram.

For advertisements, sponsorship and partnerships, you may reach her at gaelhilotinblog (at) gmail (dot) com.


About the Blogger : Gael is a Filipina travel blogger. Her work has appeared in local and international publications.

Follow her on Facebook , Twitter and Instagram.

For advertisements, sponsorship and partnerships, you may reach her at gaelhilotinblog (at) gmail (dot) com.


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