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Siem Reap to Bangkok by Bus

  • robinow

    Joined Travelfish
    7th October, 2013
    Posts: 2

    Hi all,

    My girlfriend and I are planning to travel from Siem Reap to Bangkok by bus in a couple of days. I've read plenty of horror stories about going the other way but I was wondering if it's the same going into Thailand?

    Apologies if this has already been posted, I've had a search if the forum and Siem Reap guide but not really found anything.

    #1 Posted: 10/3/2014 - 00:57

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  • captainbkk

    Joined Travelfish
    16th February, 2012
    Posts: 427

    Horror stories abound in any trav-fora and even more between drunk ''experienced travellers''. Without telling what the horror was supposed to be this time, it is also quite hard to tell if it is same-same or different.
    In the current high season there are now 2 ''direct'' buses into BKK-Mochit. By the Thai ''govmt'' bus BoKoSo and a better Camb. buscomp.
    The main hurdle reported in this same current hi-ssn is quite long waiting times to come into TH-to many people for too few officers.
    Going IN to Camb most of the assumed ''horror'' is overpaying for the Camb. visum. But then those complainers also pay way too much for their BKK hostelbeds, their tuktuks and much more.
    And no sorry needed-no this topic has not been covered here on this site. But compared to the magnums of LP or TA and the like, not that many find it.

    #2 Posted: 10/3/2014 - 02:43

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6338
    Total reviews: 10

    The horror for me is that it's a bus and I'm stuck on it a long time. If you are OK with that, then it should be fine.

    #3 Posted: 10/3/2014 - 03:52

  • Muggles01

    Joined Travelfish
    15th July, 2011
    Posts: 8

    I went in and out of Cambodia via Poipet, and going out (ie back into Thailand) was totally different. If I recall (this was 2 years ago so it's a bit fuzzy) there was quite a bit of queuing involved but we weren't being followed by touts, none of us got scammed and the prevailing atmosphere was far calmer and less intimidating. I think there were a couple of drivers hanging around on the Cambodian side offering lifts - the trick is to keep walking until you clear the Thailand side, and then get a tuk tuk to the bus station (check where the BKK bus leaves from though - we were going elsewhere so needed to get to the Aranyaprathet bus station).

    I'm pretty sure someone has done a write-up about the Poipet border crossing on this forum though - maybe do a search as it never hurts to be prepared. But in my experience it was quite straightforward and nothing compared to the experience of doing it the other way round.

    #4 Posted: 10/3/2014 - 06:35

  • robinow

    Joined Travelfish
    7th October, 2013
    Posts: 2

    Thanks for the responses guys.

    The horror I was referring to was being overcharged/having to pay for fictional charges, decrepit and overbooked buses, having your belongings stolen, and generally taking an unnecessarily long time. As I say, this seems to mostly be going from Bangkok to Siem
    Reap rather than the other way but there's very little info on the SR to BKK route (which I hope is a good sign).

    We've been quoted $9-10 by several companies which seems a bit too cheap to me, so we may opt for the "government" bus.

    We've spent 27 hours on the back row of a sleeper bus with broken seats between Luang Prabang and Hanoi, so my tolerance threshold for bus journeys is quite high :)

    #5 Posted: 10/3/2014 - 10:38

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6338
    Total reviews: 10

    "We've been quoted $9-10 by several companies which seems a bit too cheap to me, so we may opt for the "government" bus."

    As the saying goes, you get what you pay for. If it's really cheap, there's probably a reason. Go with your intuition.

    "We've spent 27 hours on the back row of a sleeper bus with broken seats between Luang Prabang and Hanoi, so my tolerance threshold for bus journeys is quite high."

    You're a better man than me. I wouldn't do this if I was ending up in nirvana with 72 virgins ready to do me! What a nightmare!

    #6 Posted: 10/3/2014 - 11:33

  • exacto

    Joined Travelfish
    12th February, 2006
    Location United States
    Posts: 2404
    Total reviews: 47
    Places visited:
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    We did that Siem Reap to Bangkok overland trip several years back now and had no problems. I think the road has been paved since, so the trip from Siem Reap to the border should be smooth and relatively quick. Often times you can find a taxi trying to make gas on the return trip and get a pretty good deal on a taxi if you didn't want to bus it from Siem Reap to the border.

    Once you cross into Thailand, you can hire a tuk tuk for the trip to the bus station and the onward bus back to Bangkok. That was our plan, but after crossing the border we saw a few taxis trying to make gas for the trip back to Bangkok and hired one. There were four of us, and the taxi was cheaper than the tuk tuk-bus-taxi combination would have been to get to our hotel in Bangkok. With two of you, you'll have to decide if the extra cost is worth the convenience.

    As MADMAC says, those cheap buses give you exactly what you pay for. I'd recommend paying extra for the government bus for a more comfortable and relatively hassle-free ride. If you've got the time, an overnight in Aranyaprathet wouldn't be the worst thing, although few people seem to do it. You might also look into taking the train back into Bangkok instead of the bus. It's a third-class only sitter, as I recall, so the seats could reduce your butt to tears, but it is relatively short and lots of folks seem to enjoy that particular train ride. Sorry but I don't remember the departure times. Have a good trip. Cheers.

    #7 Posted: 10/3/2014 - 17:07

  • vbeck

    Joined Travelfish
    22nd December, 2013
    Posts: 9

    The Buses to Bangkok all invole a change at the border to a Minibus which should terminate in the Kuaosan Rd area.
    The only hassle is the wait to exit the Thai immigation which could range from 20 minutes to2 hours
    There is 1 direct Bus for$25 that terminates at the Mo Chit Bus Station.
    Which is Nattakan Cambodia Sivatha Blvd.From the river it is in the block after the Central Market.
    O ne other poster claims there is a 2nd direct Bus. IF there is it must have comenced recently

    #8 Posted: 11/3/2014 - 00:47

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6338
    Total reviews: 10

    After careful consideration of all options... I'd fly. Did I mention I hate buses? I just took a mini-van from Ubon to Mukdahan. We made good time - two hours flat. It still sucked.

    #9 Posted: 11/3/2014 - 03:58

  • LeonardCohe-
    n1

    Joined Travelfish
    24th July, 2012
    Posts: 2148
    Total reviews: 11

    2 hrs isnt much. I can handle 3 hrs. After that it gets boring.

    #10 Posted: 11/3/2014 - 09:34

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  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6338
    Total reviews: 10

    It can always be worse... Buses - I hate 'em.

    #11 Posted: 11/3/2014 - 14:04

  • exacto

    Joined Travelfish
    12th February, 2006
    Location United States
    Posts: 2404
    Total reviews: 47
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    Buses - I hate 'em.

    So you've mentioned. But there is a difference between an older gentlemen who lives in Thailand and is stuck taking buses for those long trips to Bangkok (when will Muk get an airport - it's due don't you think?) and young independent travellers making their way through Southeast Asia for the first time. For quite a few of us, getting there is part of the adventure and can even be part of the fun.

    It used to be you had your choice of Bangkok Airways or Bangkok Airways on the Siem Reap to Bangkok route, and because of the monopoly, the price was sky high. I've heard that isn't the case anymore, and that those flights are more affordable for the average traveller, but does anyone know what the typical fare is these days?

    Even if money were no object, I might fly one way but definitely not both. I remember that overland trip to Siem Reap well, and that was back when the road was a complete mess. It wasn't comfortable, but we had fun anyway and it was interesting. I'm glad we did it.

    #12 Posted: 11/3/2014 - 15:12

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6338
    Total reviews: 10

    "older gentleman"??? Man, I still train at the TKD gym every day. It's not like I'm falling apart or something. But I do agree there is a type of tourist who likes not only the scenery, but also destinations that seem to be exotic or sufficiently different from where they come from to add to this sense of adventure. But they temper that with a desire to not leave the familiar too much. This is why I think they seek out each others company - a sort of safety net. But yeah, if there is any way possible to avoid a bus, I will avoid it.

    #13 Posted: 11/3/2014 - 23:56

  • LeonardCohe-
    n1

    Joined Travelfish
    24th July, 2012
    Posts: 2148
    Total reviews: 11

    If they want scenary why arent they hiring cars and driving around? They take the bus to save money for the most part.

    #14 Posted: 12/3/2014 - 09:37

  • exacto

    Joined Travelfish
    12th February, 2006
    Location United States
    Posts: 2404
    Total reviews: 47
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    MADMAC,

    You and I are pretty close to the same age as I recall. I was just trying to be funny while drawing the distinction between how folks of different ages might view things. Plus, like you mention, perspectives are heavily influenced by how different things are from your normal daily routine - that exotic factor. For example, most of my friends who visited Singapore while living in the states were a bit disappointed at how similar it was to back home. But my friends who visited Singapore while they were living in Bangkok had a great time because it was so different. Same place. Different context. Regards.

    #15 Posted: 12/3/2014 - 13:44

  • LeonardCohe-
    n1

    Joined Travelfish
    24th July, 2012
    Posts: 2148
    Total reviews: 11

    I just found Sing boring fullstop.

    #16 Posted: 12/3/2014 - 18:52

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6338
    Total reviews: 10

    And perhaps because I've lived in eight countries now, the "different" factor no longer plays. Either a like a place, or I don't. But I am not drawn to something because it's different from where I came from or haven't experienced before. But I never liked buses at any point in my development. Not when I was a kid going to school, not when I was in the Army and being pressed into the cattle cars, not when I lived in Germany and buses were often used to get around town - I just don't like them as a form of transportation.

    #17 Posted: 12/3/2014 - 22:40

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