What I wish I knew before the BKK - Siem Reap journey....
27th July, 2007
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1) There is a bus from Bangkok to the Cambodian border that is faster & more direct than the government bus. The CASINO bus leaves Bangkok just in front of the Lumpini Park (across from the HSBC bank). There are no signs but we asked around and managed to find it. We found out about it from a Chinese traveler, and I'm not sure many foreigners use it. In fact we were the only non-Vietnamese people on board. Everyone was very welcoming, and we even received some ice cold water. The cost was about 200B & the journey took about 3 1/2 hrs. It went directly to Poipet, so no need to tuk-tuk over to the border... we simply walked 50 metres. Not sure what the scheduling is like but our source thought it left every hour. May be worth looking into...
2) I would highly recommend buying a Cambodian VISA before reaching the border. After reading all of these posts I was shocked that presenting the border guards with my "crisp $20US bill" did not work. They demanded 1000B (ie. $30US) for themselves. We argued & argued, pointing out the sign above their heads & eventually bargained them down and gave an extra 200B. This was after receiving threats of being sent back to the Bangkok embassy! Meanwhile all of the foreigners were slipping them the money & having their visas processed. I would definitely get it ONLINE if I had to do it again... $5 more but avoids the hassle of dealing with corruption!
Otherwise it was well worth it to see Angkor & Siem Reap, & we loved our time in Cambodia:)
#1 Posted: 27/7/2007 - 10:32
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