How to get from Bangkok to Siem Reap
The route from Bangkok to Siem Reap is one of the most popular routes in South East Asia. Siem Reap is not far from Bangkok and it can easily be reached by different transportations: air, bus, train and private transfers.
It is the easiest and fastest way. There are several flights operating on the route Bangkok – Siem Reap. From Bangkok, you can take flights with AirAsia which you fly out from the old airport, Don Muang, or Bangkok Airways and Cambodia Angkor Air from Suvarnabhumi. The flight takes one hour.
Going by bus from Bangkok to Siem Reap now is hassle free. There are several direct buses taking you directly from Bangkok to Siem Reap. You can get tickets from different travel agencies as well as main bus stations of Mochit (Northern) terminal and Ekkamai (Eastern) terminal in Bangkok.
Buses leave from Mochit every morning at 8:00 and 9:00. Mochit Bus Terminal is situated at the same named BTS Skytrain Station Mochit. The bus takes you directly to the border at Aranyaprathet with some stops on the way. Staff on the bus should provide some instruction for getting through the Thai border control and helping you with visa applications. Once crossing Poipet in Cambodia, the same bus will be waiting to take you onwards to Siem Reap. From Bangkok’s Ekkamai (Eastern) terminal which is situated at the same named BTS Skytrain Station Ekkamai, buses to Aranyaprathet ( Thai border) depart every two hours from 06:30 to 16:30. It is recommended that taking buses from Ekkamai seems to be easier.
There are other departure points where you can get a shared shuttle to Siem Reap from Bangkok. There are three buses running from Khao San Road at 1:00, 6:00 and 9:00 and one bus leaving from Hua Lamphong Railway Station at 9:30.
Immigration and customs
The Poipet border crossing is open daily from 07:30 to 20:00. Buses normally leave you at the Thai border control Aranyaprathet, from where you walk a couple of 100 meters before securing your Cambodian visa. Clearing Thai immigration and customs can be done quickly and straightforward. Once you’ve been stamped out of Thailand, you walk further to Cambodian immigration customs where you receive your visa. Please note that there will be some men approaching you and telling you about extra fees for your visa application which is a total scam.
For ASEAN country citizens, you do not acquire to apply for a visa to enter Cambodia. However, there will be people telling you to pay 200 Baht for the stamp which is again a scam. If you are not from any ASEAN countries, it costs US $35 at the border, and you’ll need to supply one passport photo (make sure you have your passport photo before hand to avoid extra fees). Some bus companies would provide you fast track service which you do not have to wait at the Cambodian border for collecting the visa. However, they charge you $5 extra. The standard tourist visa is valid for a 30-day stay. The Poi Pet crossing also now supports e-visas which you can apply beforehand.
Going by train might take you longer to get to Siem Reap from Bangkok. The journey is divided into two parts: Thai side (Bangkok to Aranyaprathet) and Cambodian side (Poipet to Siem Reap).
Two ordinary trains (third class) depart for Aranyaprathet daily from Bangkok’s Hua Lamphong Railway Station. The morning train leaves at 05:55, the afternoon one at 13:05. The trip takes six hours or more. If you want to arrive in Siem Reap on the same day, you must take the morning train. You can also accommodate yourself a night in Aranyaprathet.
Once you reach Aranyaprathet train or bus station, you need to take a tuk-tuk, motor taxi or songthaew to Rong Khlua border market where you clear both Thai and Cambodian immigration and customs. When you cross the Thai border, you will be approached by several locals who will explain to you how complicated the procedure is. They are just trying to scam you so ignore them and walk away. Also, do not take any offer from taxi drivers saying that they can take care of your visa in Cambodia.
After stamping into Cambodia, you simply cross the border and take a shuttle bus to the transport depot. Sometimes, there are some people asking you if you need a bus at the border. However, be careful because they could be scam buses. From the transportation depot, you have some choices: share- or private taxi, government bus or pick-up truck.
By Private Transfers
Make your journey hassle free by Bangkok to Siem Reap by private transfers. You are provided with door-to-door service and full comfortability. You still have the same visa procedure as going with shared shuttles which you cross two borders in order to get the visa to enter Cambodia. Once you are stamped into Cambodia, another car will be waiting for you to continue the journey to Siem Reap.
If you don’t have much time in Siem Reap or look for a tour to visit Angkor Wat, you can make a 2-day trip to the Angkor Wat from Bangkok.