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A direct bus from Siem Reap to BANGKOK!

Brisbane, Australia
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A direct bus from Siem Reap to BANGKOK!

Hello, I have never tried to cross the border between Cambodia and Thailand and I am planning to give it a shot.

The thing is, where can I take a bus and how long does it take?

I've googled it and already read heaps of information but most of them are from 2013. So I cant trust it that much.

Plus, on the border of Cambodia and Thailand, what do I need to pass there?

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Bangkok, Thailand
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1. Re: A direct bus from Siem Reap to BANGKOK!

The primary discussion thread has posts even from 2016:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g297390-i9163-k644…

At the border you need :-

- your passport;

- the filled in Cambodian departure card. If you have lost the one you got together with the arrival card you can get a new one at the border;

- you get the Thai arrival/departure card form at Thai border post and fill it in;

- you may be required to show a printout of a ticket out Thailand within the visa exemption period;

- you may be required to show proof of funds equivalent to 10,000 baht.

With an Australian passport you get only 15 days exemption at a land border, 30 days at an airport.

In the past Westerners have apparently very rarely been asked to show the ticket and proof of funds, but Thais are clamping down on people abusing the system and using exemptions to stay in Thailand in practice permanently.

I have no personal experience about land border visa exemptions since I have crossed into Thailand overland only while holding valid visas.

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2. Re: A direct bus from Siem Reap to BANGKOK!

Oh thank you so much! So it is quite okay to take a direct bus right?

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3. Re: A direct bus from Siem Reap to BANGKOK!

This will be interesting, If I was catching a bus Giant Ibis would be the only company I would use.

'We now have buses travelling to Vietnam and in two or three months we will launch buses to Thailand'

phnompenhpost.com/business/competition-push-…

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4. Re: A direct bus from Siem Reap to BANGKOK!

We just took a "DIRECT" bus from Bangkok to Siem Reap and wanted to write this to avoid scams, as they did to us. Do a good choice and don't believe in anyone.

We bought the ticket in a agency called "Coco Voyage" and paid 550 bath. The lady told the price was a bit higher due to the fact it was a new bus of a new company. Even showed us the picture of the supposed bus.

Long story short; everything was a lie. The bus was really old, no wifi, no meal, arrived 5 hrs later than told (arrived at 9 pm instead of 4pm) and stopped many, many times in associated stores. The guides, that talk as they were very honest, will give you the worst advices. Please do not pay the extra Bath for the VISA (real price is 1,200 bath) and do not change USD to Cambodia's currency (riel) were they stop you. Its always more expensive (they receive a commission).

Everybody says the most reliable company is Giant Ibis, but I haven't tried it by myself.

I hope this can help others and good luck with your choice!

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5. Re: A direct bus from Siem Reap to BANGKOK!

[The topic is about direct bus from Siem Reap to Bangkok.]

Tomas U, unfortunately you did not research the direct bus from Bangkok to Siem Reap carefully enough.

The ticket for the real Transport Co.Ltd./Nattakan direct bus costs 750 baht at the Mo Chit bus station ticket counter. You can buy the ticket online at www.thaiticketmajor.com/bus/ttmbus/index.php… or https://bookmebus.com/ but it may cost more. Apparently Giant Ibis is more expensive. If you do not by directly any travel agency would charge an additional commission for the real thing instead of charging less.

The real cost of a Cambodian visa on arrival is exactly 30 US dollars paid in US dollars (now about 1060 baht) so you were misinformed about that, too.

Edited: January 04, 2017, 11:58 pm
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6. Re: A direct bus from Siem Reap to BANGKOK!

Direct bus offered by the Real Transport Company (as the_goodsoil_family outlines) is the most reliable bus package. We actually *just* did this route a few days ago. We found it quite confusing. Here's what I can add:

You purchase one way Bangkok-->Siem Reap, either online or at the window. You purchase the return at the station in Siem Reap when you arrive.

They provide a bottle of water and a couple of small snacks. The ride, including customs/passport control, was about 8/9 hours. Customs/passport control in non-trivial (over two hours on the way there, over three hours on the return).

The bus there was newer and fairly comfortable. The bus back was older, not as nice, but not terrible. There are no pit stops outside the stop at border control. Return ride, oddly, had Thai karaoke and other dance music playing (probably related to the porter/driver guy handing out his DJ business card to the Cambodian/Thai folk). It got annoying by, say, hour 7.

You will need your passport, a passport-style photo, a copy of your return itinerary from Thailand to your next destination (after re-entry, e.g. we had a copy of our BKK-->USA trip because we were going home after) for re-entry, $30 USD per person for your Cambodian visa fee, and probably some assorted USD and Baht for incidentals or, ahem, helping hand funds. You will also need cash if you’re booking a return bus fare.

The order of necessary things is (to Siem Reap)

1. Thai exit passport control: big white building on the right side

2. Walk through to Cambodia; Cambodian visa control. Right hand side, smaller building with PoiPet as part of the name. Here you get your visa for $30 (or maybe a little more – see below)

3. Walk past the casino, on the right, another small building for visa stamp and passport control

4. Go back to your bus

The order of necessary things return (to Bangkok)

1. Cambodian exit passport control: small building on right side

2. Walk through Cambodian section, past casino, cross the street and then over the bridge into Thai passport/visa control. Non-Thai go upstairs; if there is an attendant, grab an entry visa form before going upstairs.

3. Go back to your bus, who should now be parked past all of this

EVERYONE who might need something from you, except maybe your driver, will have a uniform. Everyone else is, ahem, unnecessary.

OK, onto the meat: As many have noted, there are many ... obstacles ... to be aware of.

On the BKK-->Siem Reap journey, we were approached immediately upon leaving the bus by a handler, to work us through immigration. We did NOT remember to get passport photos, so in a way it worked out. We paid 250Baht for passport photos. Then he proceeded to take us to an office to fill out immigration paperwork for an astonishing 1600Baht/person. We were happy to pay the funds for the photo (even though I'm reasonably sure the Cambodian office would have just scanned our passport), but we - forcefully - declined the immigration paperwork.

So folks, here's your first thing to be aware of. A handler will likely approach you immediately upon exiting the bus, to guide you through immigration. His purpose is (1) to sell you a photo if you need one, and (2) sell you “paperwork” services, which are wholly unnecessary and take a lot of time. The Cambodian visa paperwork is basically name/address/passport/destination and should take you 3 minutes to fill out while standing in line. Your handler will likely be aggressive. If you don’t need passport photos, I would recommend declining the handler’s services. Just proceed to the Thai passport control (step #1 from my list).

The handler thing is really confusing – even reading about it ahead of time we almost did it. Here are your clues that someone attempting to help you is not official: (1) he's not in tha government passport/visa control office, and (2) he isn't in uniform. He may try to get your passport, and that is hint # (3) because no one will ever take your passport unless it's for inspection at a control point. Final insult is that people who did take advantage of the paperwork service (or get taken advantage of) simply added minutes - 20 or so - to the total time it takes to get through.

In the Cambodian passport/visa control you will fill out a form. Everyone there has uniforms, and the office is clearly marked (on the right of the compound). They will take your passport, form, and payment, and then tell you to wait. There was a hand-written sign that announced the payment for today was $30 USD and 100Baht. I politely pointed to the real sign that said $30 USD and he pointed to the handwritten and said "today only". My general rule of thumb in such situations is to politely point out once, and then just pay. Others in articles have talked about getting argumentative, but - sorry - this isn't, for me, the time and place and especially over about thirty-five cents. Just be aware.

Then, believing you're done (you're not), walk past the casino and then toward a little building. This is ... well... I don't know. Another line, where they sort out your visa with more paperwork. Lot's of waiting. We heard reports of "helpful money" but we had no issue or exchange, just a long wait.

Your bus driver will help point you in the correct direction for things. He is *unlikely* to help with the initial paperwork scam; he has to see those guys every day and I suspect it's easier for him to turn his shoulder. I cut him a break because he's in a tough spot.

Once everyone makes it through, you're back on your way. At the arrival station you can purchase return tickets (cash only - USD is best), and they will have tuk-tuks waiting to take you to your hotel. They're supposed to be complimentary, but ours was not only not complimentary, but he ditched us at the wrong location. That's another story...

The return trip was, as mentioned, filled with music. They also stopped to pick people up at a few roadside stops to add to the group (typical of busses, but we only experienced it on the return). What's noteworthy at the border crossing was that the first step - Cambodian exit - had fairly long lines. They're on the right as you're walking from the bus. Some people in line were asked for an exit "fee" (we witnessed this), though we were not asked - not sure why not. Average was $5 or 300 baht (we had some Thai friends with us).

Then you walk past the casino, cross the street, and walk on a bridge over the little river into Thai passport/visa control for reentry. If you are a foreigner, you will go upstairs. Try to grab your form from the attendant, as there were no forms upstairs and people had to go back down – losing their spot in line. The line was spectacular – a 3-hour odyssey. Things moved at a decent clip, there were just a lot of people. No funny business experienced or seen, just straightforward entry. Here is where you may need a copy of your itinerary in Thailand and proof of your return/exit arrangements.

We returned to the bus and it was uneventful from that point. Given how long it was, and the sheer frustration of wait/wait/wait and the uncomfortable nature of some of the helping hands, I would only recommend land travel if you (1) cannot afford a flight, and (2) really want to see the countryside. However, if those are your criteria, the government bus still seems the way to go – just keep your wits about you. Overall, we felt quite safe and the driver double/triple-checked to make sure everyone was aboard, etc.

Good luck.

Edited: January 06, 2017, 1:02 pm
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Bangkok, Thailand
Austin, TX
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7. Re: A direct bus from Siem Reap to BANGKOK!

Oops - I reported this as our journey (BKK-->Siem Reap and then Siem Reap -->BKK). I think it all still applies, just in reverse order.

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Siem Reap
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8. Re: A direct bus from Siem Reap to BANGKOK!

Hello,

I am not sure why noone is mentioning the busses you can book at basically any "tourist office" in Siam Reap for 10$ one way. We did it two weeks back and it was completely fine. Not a luxurious bus, but not bad either. And compared to the fare of 28$ that everyone talks about at tripadvisor you save nearly 20 bucks. The trip took 7 hours alltogether with two toilet stops and border crossing.

Edited: July 09, 2017, 8:25 pm
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9. Re: A direct bus from Siem Reap to BANGKOK!

Hi prediivo, how was your overall experience taking the $10 bus? I read quite a lot of unpleasant experiences from many travelers traveling from Siem Reap-Bangkok using the bus they booked from travel agents in Siem Reap. Some said the bus driver drove recklessly and it wasn't very safe and comfortable. I'll be taking the same route on September, so I'm doing my research in advance to assure everything's gonna be fine.

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Siem Reap
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10. Re: A direct bus from Siem Reap to BANGKOK!

Hello! Did they check your onward flight information at the border?

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