Southeast Asia forum

Thailand to Cambodia Help!!! Please!!!

  • dreiman

    Joined Travelfish
    24th May, 2010
    Posts: 2

    Dear Forum,

    On June 21st of this year, my girlfriend and I would like to travel from Ko Samui , Thailand to Phnom Penh, Cambodia (or Angkor). However, given the recent developments in Bangkok, we are quite nervous to travel through Bangkok on the way to Cambodia. Is there any way to get to Cambodia from Ko Samui avoiding Bankok? Thank you so much for any help you can offer!

    #1 Posted: 24/5/2010 - 20:49

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  • sayadian

    Joined Travelfish
    15th January, 2008
    Posts: 1557

    The short answer is there is no way of doing it without passing through Bangkok but there is a way of doing it without leaving the railway station in Bangkok.
    If you look at www.seat61.com you'll see that there are trains from Surat which arrive in Hualamphong station at 0445 until 0535.You can then hop on the 0605 train to Aran (the border).
    While there has been a lot of nasty trouble in Bangkok it seems to have calmed down for the moment, also, remember Bangkok is a huge city and the area around the railway station has not been affected by disturbances.

    #2 Posted: 24/5/2010 - 22:27

  • Lother

    Joined Travelfish
    12th May, 2006
    Location Earth
    Posts: 214
    Total reviews: 31

    I agree that changing trains in Bangkok would be no problem even if trouble persists/reappears. If you really wanted to, you could also avoid Bangkok altogether by changing buses three or so times (e.g., via Ratchaburi, Kanchanaburi and Lopburi/Saraburi) should be possible. Not worth the trouble in my opinion though.

    #3 Posted: 24/5/2010 - 22:49

  • dreiman

    Joined Travelfish
    24th May, 2010
    Posts: 2

    Thank you so much for your help! I think we will just take a train from Ko Samui to Bangkok and then stay in the train station until our train to Aran.

    Can you get a bus from Aran to Siem Reap ?

    If I want to visit Angkor, is it best to stay in Siem Reap?

    Also, are there busses available from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh?

    Thank you so much for your help! Obviously, this is my first trip to Cambodia!

    #4 Posted: 28/5/2010 - 10:09

  • Tilapia

    Click here to learn more about Tilapia
    Joined Travelfish
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    Location Canada
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    At least 71

    Agree with Lother. There are a couple of ways to get around Bangkok, but they are time-consuming and not worth it.

    Get the 16:46 or 17:42 sleeper from Surat Thani to Bangkok. The 16:46 train will get you into Bangkok in time to grab something to eat and then catch the ive you time to get off the train, get something to eat, and then catch the 05:55 train to Aran. You'll arrive in Aran around noon.

    Otherwise, the only other train going there is at 13:05 and won't get you into Aran until 17:35.

    Book your tickets before going to the island, or while you're on it. Don't leave the island and expect to get a sleeper without a pre-purchased ticket. That is, unless you don't mind sitting up all night in 3rd class, or in the dining car. Don't forget that you'll have another 5 hour, or so, train trip to Aran in 3rd. class. It will be a long, long day.

    Lots of transport from the border to Siem Reap.

    Siem Reap is the place to stay.

    Buses to PP from SR, but boat is much better in my opinion.

    #5 Posted: 31/5/2010 - 23:32

  • sayadian

    Joined Travelfish
    15th January, 2008
    Posts: 1557

    A little off topic but I notice, Tilapia, you recommend they take the sleeper at 16.46 or 17.52.In my experience unless you book well in advance you end up with the upper sleeping berth which is far from ideal. Being high up the swinging of the train is accentuated and for those less agile it is difficult climbing the ladder.I have been choosing the Diesel Railcars on my travels in Thailand.The train gets you there faster and the reclining airline style seat gives you lots of room to get some sleep, much more comfortable and even cheaper than the antiquated sleeping cars.There is one that leaves Surat at 20.25 and arrives Bangkok 05.15.Not a lot of leeway but an option nevertheless.If you do miss your train to Aran a taxi to Morchit bus station is the best bet. I think buses leave for Aran every hour and are quicker and more comfortable than the train.

    Boat from SR to PP. I thought it was a bit of a tourist rip off at $35, (I think?)

    #6 Posted: 1/6/2010 - 00:21

  • Tilapia

    Click here to learn more about Tilapia
    Joined Travelfish
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    Location Canada
    Posts: 1421
    Total reviews: 15
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    At least 71

    The boat was about $10 when I took it. I'm not surprised that it's gone up, but I am surprised that it's gone up so much. I still think it is a better option than the bus, though.

    Buses to Aran are, indeed, faster than the train, and much cooler. I like that train, though. It's always full of Thai school kids in their snow white shirts ... compared to my seemingly perpetually dust-caked clothes. They always manage to make me feel like an utter slob.

    I've tried the uprights for a few overnight trips. I'm a light sleeper and didn't catch a wink during any of those journeys ... especially with the lights on all the time. Maybe a couple of Gravols and a bottle of Sang Som would have helped. Partial reclining is nice, but for me it doesn't come close to getting horizontal, regardless of the berth.

    Yep ... book early. That's why I suggest getting the ticket before going to the island, or while there.

    #7 Posted: 1/6/2010 - 00:53

  • hamilove

    Joined Travelfish
    12th December, 2009
    Posts: 25
    Total reviews: 4

    Posted from within Vietnam.

    Was just in Cambodia and unless you get a massive amount of rain in the next two weeks the boat isn't running between siem reap and phnom penh. A bus is fine. Cost us $7.00 for a VIP air con bus with a toilet. Cheaper options are available.

    The border crossing was fine however be prepared to pay Cambodian gaurds 100 baht or have an argument with them and try and organize a share taxi with some other travellers to siem reap.

    Have fun!!

    #8 Posted: 1/6/2010 - 07:09

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