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Our Guide to Crossing the Border from Bangkok to Siem Reap

Our Guide to Crossing the Border from Bangkok to Siem Reap

Are you an intrepid traveller or an expat seeking a thrilling escapade? Embark on a remarkable journey from the bustling streets of Bangkok to the captivating city of Siem Reap!

Our comprehensive guide is tailor-made for tourists and locals, providing you with all the essential information and step-by-step instructions to ensure a smooth border crossing experience.

How does one cross the border from Bangkok to Siem Riep?

How does one cross the border from Bangkok to Siem Riep
Image source: iStock
DifficultyModerate ●●●○○
Time required5-7 days
Things you needPassport, ticket fee (varies depending on your choice of transportation)

You can cross the border from Bangkok to Siem Reap by either taking a flight or riding an overland transport which includes buses, trains, taxis, or shared vans. 

The most common border crossing is at Aranyaprathet-Poipet, where you’ll go through immigration procedures to get to Siem Reap.

Step 1. Choose your transportation option

Step 1. Choose your transportation option
Image source: iStock
Transportation OptionApproximate CostTravel TimeInstructions

Bangkok to Siem Reap by Direct Bus

720 THB to 1000 THB

8 to 10 hours
> Book a direct bus ticket from reputable companies like Giant Ibis, Mekong Express, or Virak Buntham.

> Buses usually depart from Khao San Road or Mo Chit Bus Terminal in Bangkok.

Bangkok to Siem Reap by Regular Bus

170 THB to 270 THB

5 to 6 hours
> Take a local bus from Bangkok to Aranyaprathet (the border town in Thailand).

> After crossing the border, take another bus from Poipet to Siem Reap.

Bangkok to Siem Reap by Train

Starts 45 THB

4.5 to 5 hours
> Take a train from Bangkok to Aranyaprathet, the last stop in Thailand.

> From Aranyaprathet, hire a taxi or tuk-tuk to reach the border.

> After crossing the border, arrange transportation to Siem Reap, which can be a shared taxi, van, or private hire.

Bangkok to Siem Reap by Flight

2,700 THB to 5,200 THB

1 to 1.5 hours
> Book a flight from Bangkok to Siem Reap with airlines like Thai Airways, Bangkok Airways, or AirAsia.

> Flights usually depart from Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) or Don Muang Airport (DMK) in Bangkok.
NOTE: Costs and travel times are approximate and subject to change. It’s recommended to check with the respective transportation providers for the most up-to-date information.

Step 2. Secure the documents needed for crossing the border

Step 2. Secure the documents needed for crossing the border
Image source: iStock

When crossing the border from Bangkok to Siem Reap, make sure to have the following documents ready:

Valid Passport: Ensure your passport has at least six months of validity remaining from the date of entry into Cambodia.

Cambodian Visa: Depending on your nationality, you may need to obtain a visa in advance or can obtain it on arrival at the border. 

Good news is, you can also easily apply for an eVisa online to visit Cambodia. It’s important to note that this type of visa is specifically for tourists, allowing a maximum stay of 30 days in the country. 

However, keep in mind that there are eight nationalities that are exempted from visa requirements. Citizens of Brunei, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam can enjoy visa-free access to Cambodia. 

Departure Card: Fill out the departure card provided by Thai immigration when leaving Bangkok. Keep it safe as you’ll need it to exit Thailand.

Arrival Card: Upon entering Cambodia, you’ll need to fill out an arrival card. It’s usually provided at the border, but it’s a good idea to have a pen handy to fill it out quickly.

Supporting Documents: Carry any supporting documents required for your specific visa category, such as invitation letters, hotel bookings, or proof of funds.

Transportation Tickets: Keep your bus, train, or flight tickets easily accessible as you may be asked to show them at immigration checkpoints.

Step 3. Cross the border at Aranyaprathet-Poipet

Step 3. Cross the border at Aranyaprathet-Poipet
Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Once you’ve departed Bangkok and arrived at Aranyaprathet, the border town, it’s time to tackle the second step of your tour. This step involves crossing the border from Thailand to Cambodia at Aranyaprathet-Poipet. 

Here, you’ll pass through the immigration checkpoints of both countries, with Thai immigration on one side and Cambodian immigration on the other. 

Be prepared to present your travel documents, complete necessary forms, and follow the instructions of the immigration officers. 

Once you’ve successfully cleared immigration, you’ll be officially entering Cambodia and can continue your adventure towards Siem Reap.

Pro tip: No need to bother with changing your money into Cambodian riel, it’s just a scam! Stick with US dollars, they’re widely accepted everywhere in Cambodia (though some places might take Thai Baht—but at a poor rate). 

You don’t have to pay any border crossing fees either. Plus, don’t fall for anyone offering help to get a visa or cross the border, they’re probably up to no good. Only get your visa at the official Thai visa office, unless your bus company offers a special “VIP” visa processing. 

Step 4. Continue the journey to Siem Riep

Step 4. Continue the journey to Siem Riep
Image source: iStock

Now that you’ve crossed the border at Aranyaprathet-Poipet and officially entered Cambodia, it’s time to make your way to the captivating city of Siem Reap. You have several transportation options to choose from:

Shuttle bus: Convenient shuttle bus services are available from the border to Siem Reap. These buses typically cater to tourists and offer a comfortable and hassle-free ride to your destination.

Taxi or private car service: If you prefer a more personalised and direct transportation experience, hiring a private car or taxi service is a great option. 

This allows for flexibility in terms of departure time and provides a comfortable and convenient journey to Siem Reap.

Shared van or minibus: Another popular choice is to join a shared van or minibus. These vehicles often depart from the border and gather passengers heading to Siem Reap. 

It’s a cost-effective option that offers a shared travel experience with fellow travellers.

Tuk-tuk: For a unique and authentic Cambodian transportation experience, you can opt for a tuk-tuk. These three-wheeled vehicles are a common mode of transport in Cambodia and provide an open-air ride to Siem Reap. 

Tricky Tuk Tuk Tactics in Siem Reap

Tricky Tuk Tuk Tactics in Siem Reap
Image source: iStock

As you near Siem Reap, be cautious of drivers who conveniently forget your accommodation or insist that taxis are prohibited. 

Beware of tuk-tuks appearing out of nowhere, offering “free” rides, as they often seek commissions from guesthouses or tours. 

To avoid falling victim to this scam, it’s crucial to stay vigilant and be prepared. When dealing with the driver, firmly insist that you will not be paying any additional money or booking any tours through them. 

If you prefer to keep the peace and avoid unnecessary conflicts, you may consider tipping the driver a few dollars. However, remember that you are not obligated to do so. 

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