Hi guys...i plan to travel by road from bangkok and cross border over to siem reap. Can somebody guide me about the travel options available at bangkok and the estimated cost. Also how is the visa processing at the border and the fee charages for the same.
I would recommend doing this journey independently rather than having direct transport from Bkk to SR arranged for you by a travel agent. This will save you a lot of time and hassle, allowing you to avoid scams and potentially long waiting times, as well as giving you a chance to negotiate the local transport system which I find to be rewarding and useful. The direct tickets from travel agents will save you a small amount of money, but will cost you a lot more in time and hassle (and if you fall for the visa scam at the border, that small saving will be cancelled out anyway). I estimated I paid $4 more by travelling independently from SR to Bkk in July, but saved myself about 5 hours.
First go to Mochit Bus Terminal as early as you can (ideally 7am or 8am), and purchase a ticket to Aranyaprathet (or Aran). Buses leave roughly every 30 mins, cost about 200B and take about 4 hours. From Aran you take a tuktuk to the border for 40B, which takes about 10 minutes. Your bus may even drop you at the market town at the border, in which case all you need to do is head straight for Thai passport control to get stamped out of Thailand. Ignore anyone who approaches you to help you with your visa for Cambodia - you do NOT need a visa for Cambodia BEFORE you leave Thailand.
Once stamped out of Thailand you walk for about 5 mins through the border complex until you reach Cambodian immigration, where you get your visa. It will cost you $20, with a $1 'fine' if you do not have an extra passport photo. Once you have received your visa, you have officially arrived in Poipet, Cambodia! From here, the best option is to get a shared taxi to SR for $30 (you may have to walk a small distance away from immigration to get this rate, as the drivers waiting just outside immigration can easily find another group who will pay more). If you can find 3 other people to share the taxi, it works out cheaper than getting the bus, is a lot quicker, and you can leave straight away rather than having to wait up to 2 hours to leave! If you are travelling alone you will be able to find people in passport control who are also going to Siem Reap. The taxi will take max. 2.5 hours, whereas the bus could take up to 5 hours, including waiting time and stops at overpriced roadside restaurants along the way!
Any more questions, feel free to ask. Don't worry too much about the crossing, once you have a clear idea of what to expect and what you need to do, it's really not that bad. The reverse journey from SR to Bkk using this method took 7.5 hours, which includes a delay at the border because Cambodian immigration stamped the wrong date on my passport! Hope that helps!
JaiYen, I agree with all the info you have provided. I researched the internet for all the info I needed travelling from Pattaya to Siem Reap. 5yrs ago after crossing the border a minibus (free) would take you to the bus station, so I assume that doesn't happen anymore. Anyway, I was travelling solo so I had a cardboard sign saying 'share taxi-siem reap' which proved successful. I just hope the OP thanks you for doing all the legwork for him/her.
There's also a detailed write-up on the various options for this trip here. I agree with Jaiyen, I'd do it independently - not through one of the organised minibus things.
#5 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,789
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'Once stamped out of Thailand you walk for about 5 mins through the border complex until you reach Cambodian immigration, where you get your visa. It will cost you $20, with a $1 'fine' if you do not have an extra passport photo. Once you have received your visa, you have officially arrived in Poipet, Cambodia!'
Pretty much accurate description but the immigration guys do try to get a bit of tea money off you, although they are not as stubborn as the Koh Kong crossing if you refuse. These guys get low pay so I am happy to give them a couple of dollars but that is up to you.
'border complex' is that a euphemism for the casinos and touts which inhabit this no man's land?
Poipet has a weird vibe about it. I've been told it's an 'anything goes' town but I wouldn't fancy the streets after dark.