In the far eastern reaches of Sa Kaeo province, Aranyaprathet is a small town situated six kilometres west of the most popular border crossing between Thailand and Cambodia. The town is home to a mix of Thai, Khmer and Vietnamese, and while some good local food can be scored here, the only real draw for travellers is the border itself.
Most shuffle through Aranyaprathet en route to or from the not-so-charming town of Poi Pet on the Cambodian side, from where it's easy to get to/from Siem Reap and the temples of Angkor. All that many travellers see of "Aran" (as it's known to locals) is the so called "friendship border market" (aka Rong Khlue market) where sweet talking scammers attempt to lure travellers into buying fake Cambodian visas and unnecessary "immigration forms". Both on the Thai and Cambodian sides of the border, it's wise to have your guard up.
The town itself is far more laid back than the border market, and we find it best to catch onward transport from the main bus station in the centre of Aran rather than the border due to there being a far lesser chance of theft or scams occurring on the government buses and trains caught from here. If needing to overnight in Aran, the town has a handful of accommodation options that get the job done but probably won't make you want to stick around.
Aranyaprathet's centre is clustered around a clock tower where the town's main west-to-east thoroughfare -- Route 3 (aka AH1) -- cuts briefly to the north. The bus station is just northwest of the clock tower and the train station just north of it. Route 3 goes straight east from the bus station to the border.
A tightly packed network of streets that can easily be covered on foot are found just south of the clock tower. Some passable accommodation and decent restaurants are scattered around here, and a good day market occupies both sides of Ratuthit Road to the southeast of town.
Both the hospital and police station are located less than one block southwest of the clock tower on Santiphap Road.
Banks and ATMs are scattered around town, including a large SCB branch near the clock tower.
WiFi is free at most places to stay, but Aran Home Sweet Guesthouse next to the bus station has several computers available for 20 baht per half hour.
At the border, Rong Khlue market sprawls just north of Route 3. You can either skip the market and head straight to Thai immigration along the main road or walk through the market and take a right near Border's cafe and where the buses depart from to stamp out of Thailand.
Plenty of eating and shopping options (beware: it's all fake merchandise) are available in Rong Khlue, and a few family-run guesthouses are found along Route 3 just west of the border. Several ATMs and currency exchange booths are also available in this area.
Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Aranyaprathet or check hotel reviews on Agoda and Booking . Hungry? Read up on where to eat on Aranyaprathet. Want to know what to do once you're there? Check out our listings of things to do in and around Aranyaprathet. If you're still figuring out how to get there, you need to read up on how to get to Aranyaprathet, or book your transport online with 12Go Asia.
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