Yes, you read it right and no this is not a scam as this bus route is certainly not that new. This may not be the cheapest and fastest route going from Bangkok to Siem Reap but I found that this had to be the most hassle-free way of crossing the Aranyaphratet-Poipet border (well, except for directly flying in).
There was a bit of a traffic going out of the city. During this time, the bus conductor will be distributing the morning snack and your IDs which you will hang around your neck for the whole duration of the ride.
The bus will also have its first stopover at a gasoline station with a few restaurants and stores. You can eat here and have your toilet break (squat potty girlies!).
The second stopover will only be just for a couple of minutes, wherein the bus conductor will be getting the passenger’s lunch.
Booking the bus from Bangkok to Siem Reap
Claim your ticket at least one hour prior to departure at the Thai Ticket Major counter at Mo Chit Terminal
2. Buy your tickets directly at Mo Chit Bus TerminalNow this can get tricky if the bus is fully-booked online. I went last January 2015 and the direct bus was not full. So if you have a tight schedule, better book beforehand. But if your schedule is flexible, I say swing it. 😉
Note: There is also another bus company – AIR ARAN PATTHANA – offering Joint bus service Bangkok-Aranyaphratet then Poipet-Siem Reap (via Angkor Amazing Holiday and Tour) for THB 600. We did not choose this one because we didn’t want the hassle of exchanging buses due to our bags.
Crossing the Aranyaphratet – Poipet border
Time check: 2:30 PM.
Now remember, photography and taking videos inside that room is not allowed. And ready your documents like passport, departure card, etc. Since I’m from a Southeast Asian country, it is our privilege that we are visa stamp on arrival for fellow Southeast Asian countries. If you are looking for tips on how to get a visa for Cambodia, there are countless of posts out there. 🙂
Now that the immigration officer has let you out of his/her sight, head on now to Cambodia side!
Leaving Poipet for Siem Reap
By this time, it’s already 4 in the afternoon and it’s still a long way to go, 152 kilometers to be exact. After Poipet, the scenery turns into rural landscapes until you get to Siem Reap.
We reached the bus stop, in front of Nattakan office beside KFC, around 6 PM. A total of 9 hours travel time! It was still a good experience though, but next time when I have fewer things with me, I’ll probably use the train since I’m very fond of using the public transport.
It was nerve-wracking preparing for my first overland border-crossing experience what with all the blogs online recounting how they got scammed at the border. The direct bus route was really a big help despite the long waiting and travel time.
Do you have tips you would like to add? How about sharing your border-crossing experience? 🙂