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Crossing the Border from Cambodia to Thailand

Crossing the Border from Cambodia to Thailand: What to Know

So, you’re currently in Cambodia and you want to travel to the “Land of Smiles”, Thailand– but how do you go about it? Fortunately, you have a ton of options to get here and it’s quite easy to cross the border between these two neighbouring countries.

It’s simple but it’s something that you need to do with proper preparation and enough time. Not to worry though, as we’re here to give you some tips and the steps to get you from point A (Cambodia) to point B (Thailand) so let’s get right to it!

How to Cross the Border from Cambodia to Thailand

If you want to get from Cambodia to Thailand, then you need to choose how you want to travel, prepare your travel documents (if applicable) and book your ticket online or onsite. 

Once you’ve done all that, it’s time to cross the border from Cambodia and make the trip to Thailand via bus, plane, train, or taxi which will cost you anywhere from 800 THB to 7,200 THB depending on your preferred choice of transportation.

Let us give you the exact steps of how to go about it.

Step 1: Choose how you want to travel

Choosing the right transportation to get you from Cambodia to Thailand is crucial as the journey will require you to travel around 400 kilometres. Fortunately, you have a number of options to choose from– by bus, by plane, by train, or by taxi.

Going for the right option will ensure that you get the comfort and convenience you require based on your preference, budget, physical condition, or schedule.

By Bus

If you want to get the most budget-friendly option and have time to spare, then going by bus is the most ideal option for you. It will take you around 8 hours or more to get to Bangkok depending on the road situation, border delays, and the traffic once you arrive.

You also have two options when going for the bus as your preferred choice. There are ordinary buses that provide the bare minimum service and do not assist their passengers with border crossings.

There is the second option which is the tourist bus. It’s slightly more expensive than the local bus but it assists passengers during border inspection which is perfect if you’re a new traveller crossing the border or if you just want the convenience of this service.

It goes without saying that getting a bus to get to Thailand will give you the opportunity to enjoy the more scenic route and check out the fantastic views. You can also take in the local vibes of the area at each stop– ideal if you want some fun and adventure!

By Plane

Taking a plane to Thailand is the fastest and most direct option between these two countries. You can easily book flights that will take you directly to Thailand and most of the time, the only thing to consider when choosing flights will be the price. 

The flight from Cambodia to Thailand will usually take around 90 minutes or 1 hour and 30 minutes although keep in mind that you need to be in the airport 3 hours before your flight. In addition, you don’t have to stay on a cramped bus for more than 8 hours. 

By Train

Now going by train is the cheapest option you have to get to Thailand but it will also be the transportation choice with the longest travel time (around 10 hours) and will require you to go on a bit of an adventure.

If you go by train, the trip won’t be as straightforward as taking the bus or the plane.p For this one, you’d have to do multiple transfers and travel in between transfers which could mean taking more time but gaining more in terms of adventure and experiences!

By Taxi

Going by Taxi from Cambodia to Thailand is a bit of a mixed bag of pros and cons. First, it’s the most expensive one among all the options here and it’s certainly not the fastest option at around 6 hours total travel time.

However, for land travel, this is the fastest option and it’s also the most ideal one if you really want to take in the sights and the beauty of the surrounding area. 

This is especially important if you’re travelling with your family and loved ones as sharing a taxi ride while seeing the sights of these two countries is truly a memorable one!

Step 2: Prepare your travel documents

If you’re a Cambodian citizen and you want to cross the border into Thailand, then you can do so without the need for any visa as long as you don’t stay for more than 30 days. This is all thanks to the two countries Bilateral Agreement on travelling tourists.

However, if you’re of a different nationality and wish to cross the border into Thailand, then we recommend that you check with your embassy what documents you need to prepare as each country will have a different agreement with Thailand. 

In general, though, you will need to prepare the following documents (aside from a visa, if applicable) to ensure smooth admission through the border:

  • Proof of funds and accommodation
  • Confirmed travel itinerary
  • A passport that is valid for at least six months from your date of departure.

Take note that this applies not only to international airports but also if you decide to travel by land and go through a local checkpoint.

Step 3: Book your ticket

Booking a Bus Ticket

Booking or reserving a ticket if you want to go to Thailand by bus is pretty straightforward. You can book these online or you can also proceed to a bus terminal in Siem Reap (how to cross the border from Bangkok to Siem Reap) to book your tickets onsite.

However, we recommend that you do this in advance as availability may be an issue if you book close to your planned dates of travel. We also strongly suggest that you take advantage of booking your tickets online to save you the hassle of lining up onsite.

If you’ve checked into a hotel in Cambodia, you can also ask hotel staff for assistance although you have to be specific about the dates you want. Some hotels will just book any available slot for you regardless of travel time and the price of the ticket.

Prepare to shell out around 900 THB for a bus ticket.

Booking a Plane Ticket

If, on the other hand, you want to go by plane, then you can simply book your plane ticket online. However, you can book this ticket through a travel agency if you want convenience but it’ll cost you a bit more owing to the agency’s service charge.

Also, when booking a plane ticket, keep in mind that you need to consider your preferences and requirements as a passenger. For example, additional luggage and in-flight meals will obviously cost more so be prepared to pay extra for these.

In general, though, you will need to pay around 2,200 THB for a plane ride (one way) to Thailand.

Booking a Train Ticket

Before booking a train ticket, you need to consider that you have to take a short bus ride to get to the train station. As such, you have to time the train ticket you will book to coincide with the bus ride going to Poipet (the train station going to Thailand). 

The bus ride to Poipet will usually take around 3 hours and will cost you just around 360 THB. Here, you can choose to book 1 of the 4 train trips going to Thailand via Virak Buntham Express.

Some of the scheduled trips here include one for 4:30 AM, 8:30 AM, 2:00 PM, and 6:00 PM and each trip will cost you an additional 360 THB (still pretty cheap, if you ask us). Again, choose to book the train schedule that coincides with your bus trip to Poipet.

You can choose to book online or onsite but we recommend that you do the booking via the internet and in advance as tickets can get sold out fast (especially during weekends and holidays).

Hailing a Taxi

Taking a taxi from Cambodia to Thailand will have you take a two-part trip. First, you take a taxi from your location to Poipet station before taking another taxi from the border of Cambodia to Thailand– no need to book but you do need to wait and call for one. 

As mentioned earlier, this is the costliest option (7,200 THB) among the four choices we laid out so think about the advantages of getting a taxi compared to taking the bus, the train, or even the plane.

You should also be aware that taxis can charge you crazy amounts instead of the estimated fare discussed in the previous section. These drivers know that you don’t have much of a choice so they might take advantage of these and charge extra.

Step 4: Cross the Border and Take the trip to Thailand

After booking your ticket, make the trip to Thailand as scheduled. Aside from preparing your travel documents and actually taking the trip, below are some other tips to make your trip to the “Land of Smiles” much more enjoyable!

Taking the Trip via Bus

If you’re travelling via bus, then it’ll take you 8 hours or more depending on the road and traffic conditions. Hence, we strongly suggest that you charge your mobile phones and bring a power bank in case you need to recharge your gadgets on the go.

There will be some stopovers for you to grab a quick bite but we recommend that you bring some snacks and some bottled water that you can refill during your trip. 

Also, we recommend that you travel light as you probably won’t like dragging around huge luggage while getting on and off the bus.

Taking the trip via Plane

It’s going to take you just 90 minutes to travel from Cambodia to Thailand but you should be at the airport 3 hours before your flight. 

As such, we recommend that you bring some snacks, water, and a neck pillow especially if you’re travelling early in the morning or late at night. Also, we suggest that you travel light as excess carry-on bags will need to be checked in and will cost extra.

Taking the Trip via Train

Since this will be the longest travel time among all the options here along with the multiple transfers needed when travelling by train, we recommend travelling extremely light (like one backpack if possible) and bringing your essentials with you.

This means taking some bottled water with you and some easy-to-eat snack items in case you get hungry in the middle of your trip. Also, make sure you charge your gadgets fully and bring an extra power bank if you need to charge on the go. 

You wouldn’t want to miss taking pictures of the different locales you’ll get the chance to visit when you travel by train, now, would you?

Taking the Trip via Taxi

Depending on how many will join you on your trip to Thailand via Taxi, you can bring enough luggage with you as long as it will fit the taxi’s luggage compartment. 

Also, power banks and charging your phone shouldn’t be an issue here as long as you check with your driver beforehand if their taxi charging port works and if he’ll allow you to use it to charge your gadgets.

We recommend bringing bottled water as well since you might need to take a drink while enjoying the views sitting inside the taxi. You can ask your driver for breaks if ever you need to use the restroom or if you want to buy some snacks.

FAQs about Crossing the Border from Cambodia to Thailand

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