Cambodia Thailand Travel

Taking the direct bus from Bangkok to Siem Reap

 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).

mo chit waiting platform

Mo Chit waiting area
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.

Picture

Booking the bus from Bangkok to Siem Reap

Pre-departure

mo chit thai ticket

1.       Book online through Thai Ticket Major. I’ve posted a walk-through guide on booking online the direct bus in my previous site.
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.


direct bus from bangkok to siem reap
THIS is the bus!

interior direct bus bangkok siem reap

this is what it looks like inside

thai bus

No, this is not the bus!
Okay, now that you have your ticket, you can either eat breakfast at the food court or at the 7/11 at the left side before the loading bay or just relax at the seats provided throughout the terminal.
The direct bus will be waiting for you in loading bay 107. Estimated time of departure from terminal is either 8 AM or 9 AM. Estimated hours of travel is 6-8 hours depending on traffic, how fast you go through the border and how soon the bus will depart. In our case, our bus departed at 9:30 AM from the terminal.

Crossing the Aranyaphratet – Poipet border

The bus will let you off near the Aranyaphratet-Poipet border, and you will have to walk a few meters along the left side of the road until you see this signage: PASSPORT CONTROL – DEPARTURE.
Time check: 2:30 PM.

passport control aranyaphratet

turn left when you see this sign

aranyaphratet border

just follow the crowd until you see a building

sakaeo province

nope not this one yet

Picture

this is the right one!

aranyaphratet immigration

into the rabbit hole you go!

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!

immigration

poipet border

Picture

At the end of that walkway is the quarantine post and before you can proceed, you will be asked to sign some forms.

quarantine form

poipet quarantine

After getting that done, more walking will commence. Not unless you have time and a lot of money on your hands, resist going inside the casinos that are on both sides of the road before reaching the immigration office.

casino poipet

Picture

arrival office

bus direct

our bus parked beside the casino

poipet

152 kms to go!
The ARRIVAL office is quite a bit small so be prepared to get a little sweaty. Make sure to again prepare the necessary documents like passport and arrival card. There are four counters but the queue could get long a little quickly so better line up while writing your arrival card for a faster processing. After getting your visa stamp, do not head north but rather go back to the casino because that is where the bus will be waiting for you. We had the mistake of walking forward but luckily we went back to the casino and there we saw our bus waiting for its passengers. Since we were not required to process a visa, we had to wait for the other passengers to finish theirs. We ended up waiting for around an hour more or less.

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? 🙂

 

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