Thanks for your help in advance.
Im arriving in Bangkok April 3rd at night and leaving April 24th in the morning. I REALLY want to go to Angkor Wat from April 5th-8th (including travel time) and go back to Thailand and head to Andaman Sea Islands then go to Gulf Islands for the new year and to spend the rest of our time. The airfare roundtrip is $550 US from BKK to Siem Reap. Its insane! Overland from BKK seems like a lot of time will be wasted in getting there and back. My friend doesnt really care to go but she says if we go she doesnt want to waste time traveling overland and will pay the money for the flight.
Therefore, I am really stuck on what to do. We are going to be in the islands from the 9th-23rd and I've been wanting to go to Angkor Wat for years. I dont know when I will be back in the region, but I know we are wasting a lot of precious travel time and money. Can you give me some advice on what to do?
Thanks a lot!!!!!
#1 alenoles31 has been a member since 15/2/2011. Posts: 10
You could always fly into Phnom Penh (cheaper) then get the bus back to Siem Reap (about 6 hours). Not sure how much you would actually save time-wise in the end compared to going overland, but it will be cheaper than flying into SR.
Bus between PP and SR is about USD$6-7.
You could possibly bus back to PP, then fly direct from PP to Phuket.
Yes, I thought about that too. Just checked prices and not much on saving time and not so much cheaper. This has been such a tough decision and I cant make up my mind. Im about to flip a coin and call it a day :(
#3 alenoles31 has been a member since 15/2/2011. Posts: 10
You should be able to get to Siem Reap overland for much cheaper:
4-5 hours BKK to Cambodia Border
get through the border
Share taxi to Siem Reap about 2 hrs max
by bus 4 hrs max
With a full day you can travel to Siem Reap overland, then a full day back. If you can extend your time for SR by 1 day it's just the right amount of time for a 3 day pass to Angkor.
"Therefore, I am really stuck on what to do"
You and thousands of other travellers over the years, in light of Bangkok Airways monopolistic ridiculously expensive fares between BKK and REP. Good news lately is the roads are vastly improved so as stated above you can easily go by bus and shared taxi in about 7-8 hours (flying then bus via Phnom Penh is no longer a time-saving option). Angkor is well worth a few days while you're on this side of the world. Allow an extra day or two in your schedule for the transport, then you'll still have nearly two weeks for southern beaches (even sand sea and sun get boring after a while). Happy Travels.
If you've been wanting to go Angkor Wat for years, and if you're going to be in the area, and if you don't know if or when you'll ever be back, then you might be kicking yourself down the road if you don't go. A couple hundred extra dollars won't seem like all that much. I would hardly call that "wasting a lot of precious travel time and money." I'd call it a sound investment.
Angkor Wat park is owned by crooks. It's a shame most people dont know that. Your money is going to bad people.
I'd suggest visiting the Kymer ruins in Issan instead if you have any morals.
#10 Krabiman has been a member since 2/1/2011. Posts: 223
In April 1999, Cambodian People’s Party gave Sokimex Group full control over the Angkor Archaeological Park entrance ticket concession sales. This was done without any input from the public or Cambodian opposition. Angkor, which is the cultural heritage of all Cambodians was taken away from them by their corrupt government and given to the private company to financially benefit from its worldwide popularity while ordinary people get nothing. The deal required Sokimex Group (Owners of Sokha Hotels chain) to pay the government One Million Dollars per year with all excess kept by the company.
Photo: Angkor Archaeological Park Entrance Ticket Bears Sokha Hotels Co. LTD Name To Show Who Controls the Temples
Due to strong opposition, the agreement between the CPP and Sokimex was amended a bit, but Sokimex Group still remains in full control over ticket concessions at Angkor and keeps a large part of the profits. To further benefit the company that supports the government, the CPP also commissions Sokimex Group to supply uniforms, food and medicine for Cambodian military, as well as the gasoline for the governmental agencies which is run through well performing voucher scam.
Apsara Authority, governmental body responsible for preservation, maintenance and protection of Angkor Archaeological Park gets small part of the profits, however being CPP controlled, Apsara Authority is also a dubious organization with shady practices violating the poor. There have been many cases of large groups of Apsara enforcers coming to villages with guns to threaten the villagers who “dared” to modernize their “traditional homes”. Many people have been evicted and had their property repossessed by Apsara Authority with all rights removed and no voice to stand by them (all voices that oppose the practices of Cambodian People’s Party get silenced).
Welcome to real Cambodia, one of the most corrupt countries in the world
#11 Krabiman has been a member since 2/1/2011. Posts: 223
I'd suggest visiting the Kymer ruins in Issan instead if you have any morals. (Krabiman)
That is a load of shite Krabiman. There is a ton of corruption in every place. That means people should not see a place they want to see? Who are you to judge? If you want to avoid corruption don't come to SE Asia at all!!!! That said if you don't see it now you can't guarantee you'll ever see it an if that is what you want then that is your business.
So Krabiman, do you donate money to grow trees everytime you fly? Do you make sure all your t-shirts were made in a country that has a good distribution of wealth to all poor folks? Do you refuse to eat beef because it contributes to too many cows and methane gas? Do you make sure your leather shoes were made from an animal that died in a humane way? If you are in a foreign country do you make sure you mail in a vote to your local elections back home so the local kids have a chance for a better life? Stop being the moral police in so many threads and mind your own business. We have no idea how corrupt YOU are so grow up.
alenoles....i feel it too....have plans around the same time and it comes down to biting the $ bullet or staying in Tland. it will be a good adventure either way.
#13 papajembe has been a member since 17/1/2011. Posts: 5
Thanks for the advice. Seems like everyone (except Krabiman) are saying to go instead of staying in the north of Thailand. Always trust your instinct :)
Papa, let me know what you end up doing! I am thinking of heading to Angkor from Bangkok the 5th overland or air!
#14 alenoles31 has been a member since 15/2/2011. Posts: 10
Yes, we often say that you should stick to one country for three weeks - but if there is a sight like Angkor you really want to see, then of course you should duck out of Thailand for a little under a week in order to see it. Chiang Mai is very nice, and if this is your first time in SE Asia I imagine you'll be back to see Chiang Mai someday.
. . . . as for corruption . . . i live in China so I can't say much about all that . . .
i think i'd jump on the "go to Angkor" bandwagon too. for the overwhelming majority of people who go there, it is the type of experience they remember for a lifetime. i suspect you will too.
to save time, i'd take a taxi from bangkok to the aranyaprathet/poipet border crossing (won't be cheap but not too much compared to an air ticket) and then a second taxi from poipet to siem reap.
coming back from siem reap to bangkok by taxi should be cheaper still, but you might also consider taking the bus from siem reap to phnom penh and then flying back to bangers. one reason is because phnom penh is a cool place and easily worth a night. but the other is that if you cross back into thailand by land, you'll only get a 15-day visa exemption at the border, which by my maths leaves you a day or so short. if you fly back from phnom penh to bangkok, then you'll get a 30-day exemption on arrival, which will cover the rest of your trip.
so, no matter how you do it, figure the visa exemption into your plans so you won't have an unhappy experience at the airport on your way out of thailand. go to angkor. it will enrich you life much more than those extra three days on the beach somewhere. cheers.
I'm afraid Thomas is right - all the governments in this area, and particularly in Cambodia, get very poor corruption ratings. That means money you pay for Visa fees is going into the coffers of corrupt governance. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. The situation at Angkor Wat isn't even particularly eggregious.
As for Alenoles - there was another option no one mentioned, but your friend could go kick it on a beach in Thailand and you could travel alone, and then link up with your friend on the return. Dragging someone along who isn't particularly enthusiastic might put a damper on the whole event.
Excellent point, Madmac! I did this when travelling with my sister a couple of years ago. We parted company for a few days and it was a fantastic little break from each other after living in such close quarters for over a month at that point. It gave us breathing space, the opportunity to have our own little adventure, and lots to talk about when we caught up again. And most importantly, we each got to the thing that interested us the most (without even having to compromise). I loved travelling with my sister - but those days on my own ended up being quite special to me too.
I infinitely prefer traveling on my own, although when traveling with my four year old daughter that can be really special because she's at an age where everything is so exciting for her. I took her horseback riding yesterday, and the joy she got from that was infectious - even to the horse who loved her. But there is nothing more enjoyable in travel terms than getting on my chopper and just cruising the countryside, going where the wind blows me without considering the desires of others.
Couldn't agree more Madmac.
Seems I'm way too late for the main discussion here, but my choice would be overland to Siem Reap every time. You've got three weeks, so a day overland getting there, a couple of days there and a day overland back (or fly one way but not the other if you really are worried about time?) still leaves you over a fortnight for the beach - which I agree is equally important! :p
$550 just seems ridiculous when the train to from Bangkok to Aranyaprathet is 48B, and then not much more to get to Siem Reap from there, by comparison with the airfare at least.
I see you've made your decision now anyway, so enjoy the trip!