Bangkok to Siem Reap by minivan and taxi: trip report
May 14, 2013 at 4:48 am #742
You are in Bangkok and you want to reach Siem Reap in Cambodia. I will, on this topic, show you my easy and different way to do this trip and to avoid some traps.
No direct bus from Mo Chit station or minivan from the crowded Khaosan Road, I always travel with minivan companies which leave from Victory Monument to the border. Those companies are the way that most of the Thai and Khmer people use. A case of quality and also I think one of the fastest transportations to do the trip.
The “Victory Monument” is on a large roundabout in the center of Bangkok. The best way to get there is to use the BTS, until the station with the same name.
When you get out of the train, take the exit number 3 & 4. There is an elevated walkway doing almost half of the roundabout, just follow it.
Go down the stairs on the right side of the walkway. The minivans in direction of Aranyaprathet and the border are located under the highway bridge in front. They leave every 30 minutes and the ticket costs 230 baths (almost $8).
The minivan will make a short stop after 2 hours, to fill up its gas tank, allow you to stretch your legs and go to toilet. You will arrive to the border after 4h.
Be warned that when you arrive to the border, many “visa officials” scammers wearing fake badges will try to convince you to follow them to get Cambodian visa (for 1000 baths or even more). Answer them politely that you already have your visa and continue to walk. The real immigration office is a bit further after leaving Thailand.
The corridor to the Thai immigration:
The queue inside the office:
Cambodian visas on arrival are available in a small office on the right hand side of the road, just after the big arch with Angkor Wat on the top (picture below). It cost only $20, not more. The officials will sometimes try to get 100 baths extra for it, just give them a smile and say no. Wait in front of the counter, they will give up pretty fast, especially if busy behind you.
The real Cambodian immigration office in Poipet:
Once you have your visa, head down the street by passing in front of the casinos. Get the entry stamp into Cambodia at the check point, after having filled up the declaration form you must provide to the officer.
Free buses or shuttle should wait for you around the corner just after the office. They will try bringing you to the transportation depot about 1km away, where you will be trapped to the monopoly and of the remoteness (the taxi are around $48 there and the bus ticket more than $12). You just have to refuse this “obligation”, walk less than hundred meters on the main road, and negotiate directly with taxi drivers who will jump on you. A taxi until Siem Reap normally costs $25, but before bargaining they will ask you up to $50!!! Better to make some friends at the border and to share it with them to reduce the bill.
The drive will take 2h to reach Siem Reap, and if you are lucky the driver will drop you off directly to your hotel. If you are not, which is not really a problem, he will let you at the city’s entrance where some tuk-tuk are waiting.
I hope my report will help you if you decide to travel like this. As I told you, it’s one of the faster and also fun way to do this sometimes annoying trip, without much trouble and for a reasonable price if you can share the taxi like I do.
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