Travel from Bangkok to Aranyaprathet Border (Thai border)

10 Sep

Cambodia is not a very easy place to reach, more so if you are budget traveler and looking to save money. It is not as well-connected by flights and the tickets are normally quite expensive. So, for my own budget trip, I had to put in numerous hours of research on the net and speak with loads of people and travel agents to decipher the best and cheapest way to reach Siem Reap. Since I had put in so much of an effort, I decided to write a detailed post on the best ways to reach Siem Reap from Bangkok for my other fellow travelers who too are struggling as I was.

Since the post is very long I have split it into 3 parts –

  • Part 1 – Bangkok (Thailand) to Aranyaprathet (Aran) Border (Thai side of the border) by train, bus, mini-vans or taxi.
  • Part 2 – Border crossing, Visa on arrival Vs an e-visa in Cambodia and the various scams near the border.
  • Part 3 – Transport from Poipet Border (Cambodia border) to Seam Reap by bus or taxi.

By Air: This is the best, easiest and a hassle-free way but it also is the most expensive way to reach Cambodia. Siem Reap and Phnom Penh are not connected to any city in India by air. So you will have to route your flights either via Bangkok or via Singapore.

For Siem Reap – From Bangkok your options are – Thai Airways or the Bangkok Airlines and from Singapore – your options are Vietnam Airlines or the China Southern Airlines. I have tracked this sector for months and the fare is never less than Rs. 15,000/- one way. Recently, Angkor Air has also started flights from Bangkok to Siem Reap, and if booked in advance, at times you do get some good deals.

For Phnom Penh – Phnom Penh has a much better connectivity with numerous options – Tiger Airways, AirAsia, Malaysia Air, Silk Air, Singapore Air, etc and some of these are very reasonable options.

There are quite a few other cities in South East Asia that have good connectivity by air for Siem Reap and Phnom Penh.

Overland Border Crossing: If you have to travel from Bangkok to Siem Reap than the overland border crossing is a long, hassled but the cheapest way to travel. The road / highway is in a very good condition and if you leave early then you will not encounter the Bangkok traffic. Also, the hassle is not the actual travel or the kind of conveyance, but it’s the touts and scams all around.

Train from Bangkok to Aran: This is one of the most time-consuming ways to travel but it’s also the cheapest way to reach the Aran border.

Pic courtesy – wikipedia

In Bangkok, you can hire a cab, or a tuktuk, or ride a public (government bus) to reach the Hualamphong Railway Station. You can also use the MRT Interchange link to reach the Hua Lampong Train Station.

Here there are just ordinary trains, only third-class compartments, no aircon, only non-reclining chairs, and the journey takes about five and a half hours to reach from the Bangkok Hualamphong Railway Station to the Aranyaprathet Railway Station. Also there are only two trains a day. The first train leaves at around 5:55 am, the second train leaves at 1:05 pm. The problem with taking the second train is that you will have to spend the night in Aran, thereby spending on a hotel and wasting about 2 days in commute. However the train fare is only 48 THB.

Then the Aranyaprathet station is about 6 kms away from the border. You will need to hire a tuk-tuk (they will take about 50 – 100 THB) or a motorbike (if you have very less luggage and the fee will be around 20 – 25 THB) till the Rongkleu Market.

Map Below – courtesy – http://wikitravel.org/en/Poipet

The border zone with tout zones highlighted

Bus From Bangkok to Aranyaprathet Border: This is more expensive than the trains, but the frequency of buses is better, there are lesser stops and the time taken is between 3 – 6 hours. You can take buses from the following 4 terminals –

1. Bangkok’s Northern Bus Station (Mo Chit) – To reach this bus station, you can take a public taxi, public bus or you can also take the Skytrain (BTS) to Morchit Station. Please note that the Morchit BTS (Skytrain) Station and the Morchit Bus Terminal are not the same, and the distance is quite a bit. So take a tuk-tuk or a cab. Bus #3, #136, #104 will take you to the bus terminal from Chatuchak. You can also ride the MRT all the way to the Kamphang Phaet Station and then take a cab, motorbike or public bus to reach the bus terminal.

These government buses are air-conditioned, with comfy seats and depending on the class (1st or 2nd) include a free – small drinking water bottle and a small snack. First-class buses depart regularly every half hour for Aranyaprathet from 3:30 a.m until 5:30 p.m. and the fares are around 200 to 220 THB depending on which route the bus takes. Fares for the second-class buses are roughly 150 to 170 THB. At the bus station the ticket windows for Aranyaprathet are on the ground floor inside the terminal. The ticket windows with red letters are for second-class buses, the windows with blue letters are for first-class buses. After purchasing the ticket, you just need to step out and walk towards the parking lot for your Bus.

Pic courtsey – globaltravelmate.com

The main bus station in Aranyaprathet is about 6 kms from the border and you need to pay about 80 – 100 THB for a tuk-tuk. If you have less luggage then you can take a motorcycle taxi which is around 60 THB.

If the Bus drops you at the Rongkluea Market Bus Terminal, (approximately 2 kilometers away from the border) then you can either take a tuk-tuk or a motorcycle to bring you to the border. The fare starts at 40 THB  and you can also walk.

Many a times buses drop you right near the Immigration area.

2. Take a Casino Bus from Lumphini Park – This is one of the best and most time efficient buses to the Aran border. Lumphini Park is a central location in Bangkok and you can take an MRT or a taxi to reach it.

The problem here is that there is no central bus station and buses are just parked around the Park. These buses leave around 5.30am – 6.00 am, the fare is around 200 THB and takes about 3.5 – 4 hours to reach. We really tried to take one of these buses but we just couldn’t find someone to book those tickets for us.

3. Airport to the Aran border – If you land in Bangkok in the morning and your timing matches with the bus schedule then you can leave for the border immediately from the airport itself. From the Suvarnabhumi airport there are two daily first-class buses at around 8.00am and 2.30pm with cost just under 200 – 220 THB. In the reverse direction, buses to the airport leave Aranyprathet at 08:30am and 12:30pm. These buses go to the Aranyaprathet bus station.

4. Bangkok’s Eastern Bus Station (Ekamai) – You can reach this station by taking a cab or a BTS.

This station also has buses to Aran leaving every hour or two (4.5-5.5hrs) and the ticket is around 200 THB.

Miniwans from Khaosan road – Khao san road is a complete backpacker and tourist section of Bangkok. As a result there are numerous travel agencies here offering transportation via minivans. There are major number of scams related to these minivans. Though the fare is supposed to be around 200 – 400 THB, these vans take forever to reach and have numerous scam stops. So they are best avoidable.

Catching a taxi from Bangkok: If you are a 4 people group and want to travel a bit more conveniently then you should consider booking your own cab. This mode of travel is convenient, flexible, time efficient but slightly expensive. You can just negotiate and book a metered public cab from Bangkok to Aran through your hotel or from the airport. Now the trick here is to find a good cab, negotiate really hard on the price and then stick to it. I have heard people quote from 2,500 THB upto 4,000 THB and any good cab will take from 2,500 THB to 2,700 THB. The toll on the way is not above 50 THB so if they start asking more for the toll then just say you will pay it yourself. Also there is no need to pay any return fare to the cabs.

While I have tried to make this list as exhaustive and informative, please feel free to drop in comments with suggestions on your experiences.

93 Responses to “Travel from Bangkok to Aranyaprathet Border (Thai border)”

  1. Niranjan September 10, 2012 at 16:35 #

    This is very very informative. Thanks for sharing.

    http://www.rajniranjandas.blogspot.com

    • getsetandgo September 11, 2012 at 13:16 #

      Hey, Thanks Niranjan

    • Alex January 29, 2013 at 11:44 #

      This is EXACTLY what I was looking for… i was not sure what to do about my stay in Phuket in March and you make it so easy to understand how to get to Siem Reap! THANK YOU!!!!!!!!

      • getsetandgo January 29, 2013 at 15:17 #

        Thanks Alex and I am glad this information is useful :)

  2. ATMA SEVA September 10, 2012 at 17:09 #

    Great post! I am making a visa run to Cambodia next month, this is perfect timing. Thanks for all the information :)

    • getsetandgo September 11, 2012 at 13:17 #

      Thanks A.S. I’ll add the balance info soon… :)

  3. Raunak September 10, 2012 at 20:00 #

    you’re threatening Lonely Planet :)

  4. Dheeraj Sharma September 10, 2012 at 21:35 #

    Just awesome details. May be once, I travel to this place leaving my mountain love, it would be more than handy

    • getsetandgo September 11, 2012 at 13:23 #

      Thanks… Actually need your help with some mountain travel. Will drop you a separate email / comment on your website..

  5. solobackpacker.com (@solobackpacker) September 10, 2012 at 21:41 #

    Hi Snigdha, You did an amazing homework to produce this post…its really very informative..waiting for the next..Regards.

    • getsetandgo September 11, 2012 at 13:43 #

      Hey, thanks… Was planning to do this series when I saw your informative post and hence delayed it. Do let me know if I have missed anything in these series and I will be happy to add it.

  6. pommepal September 11, 2012 at 17:41 #

    Found all this information very helpful. We are thinking of flying to Bangkok then overland to Cambodia next year. What months did you go?

    • getsetandgo September 13, 2012 at 09:52 #

      We went in – endJune of this year… Though the weather was quite hot and humid, we went because June – July has the lowest number of visitors and hence we could see the temples more easily.

      • pommepal September 13, 2012 at 10:46 #

        It will probably be March if we go

      • getsetandgo September 14, 2012 at 10:25 #

        I think that should also be ok…

      • pommepal September 14, 2012 at 10:58 #

        That’s good thank you

  7. aquacompass7 September 12, 2012 at 05:49 #

    good morning from Japan. Is it how to go into Cambodia through the inside of Thailand?
    It is uncanny courage. Does it go alone? Did you have already carried out?

    • getsetandgo September 13, 2012 at 09:54 #

      Hey, we went to Siem Reap from Bangkok and it is safe (we were a group of all women).

      • aquacompass7 September 13, 2012 at 16:34 #

        I see. It is good. I want you must write the great trip.

      • getsetandgo September 14, 2012 at 10:37 #

        Thanks and I hope so too :)

  8. gold price October 1, 2012 at 07:31 #

    You can take a minivan from Victory monument in Bangkok. These vans bring you straight to the border. The minivan is a bit faster than the bus and train and still has the same price range. The minivans depart every 30 to 45 minutes from 05:30 until 18:30 from Victory Monument. You can buy the ticket directly at the station. In case you have big luggage you have to pay a little extra.

  9. Bryan (UK) November 10, 2012 at 08:05 #

    Thanks for taking the time to share – very useful and well written information :)

  10. phishsays November 17, 2012 at 10:45 #

    Thank you for this! Do you think the 2:30 am bus from the airport to the Thai border is safe?

    • getsetandgo November 18, 2012 at 12:55 #

      That should be fine but plan on spending the night in either Aran or Poipet as you will not be able to reach Siem Reap before night fall

  11. Anshul November 21, 2012 at 03:31 #

    great post…really quite informative! :)

    I wanted to know about the visa:
    1. thai visa – did you get the double entry visa beforehand or got the on-arrival visa twice?
    2. cambodia visa – which is preferred the online $25 or the $20 one that should be available at the crossing

    I am reaching BKK at 3.30AM in the night and then thinking to take the earliest bus to Aran from Mo Chit bus stand.

    • getsetandgo November 21, 2012 at 09:15 #

      Thanks Anshul…

      For the visa –
      1. We took a double entry visa beforehand. This was because we had the time and wanted to spend the least amount of time in the queue for the visa. Additionally for visa on arrival you have to carry and pay in THB and we carry very limited currency.
      2. I prefer the e-visa as it doesnt leave you at the mercy of the immigration officer at the border and to pay any bribes, but I have known people who have take the visa on arrival and that was ok too.

      Your plan seems fine and you can take a taxi from the Bangkok airport and ask it to drop you to the Mo Chit bus station.

      • Anshul November 21, 2012 at 09:39 #

        thanks for the information! :)

        Another point you can add in your blog is that Now Angkor air is also starting flights between BKK and Siem Reap from 30th Nov onward at very low rates (1500BHT). I am thinking to take that one way on return.

        Do you think 2 days would be sufficient in Siem Reap? Actually I have very few days and was thinking to cover some places more in the limited time I have.

        thanks!

      • getsetandgo November 21, 2012 at 09:54 #

        Thanks for the info. I didnt know about this new flight by Now Angkor. I will include this in my post and do let me know your experience with these airlines.

        You can complete the main things in Siem reap in 2 days. What else do you want to cover during this trip? Are you planning to visit Phnom Penh?

  12. Anshul November 21, 2012 at 10:13 #

    I haven’t been to Bangkok or even Thailand before so wanted to check out at least one of the beach destinations (either Phuket or Pattaya) and spend 1.5-2 days in Bangkok as well.

    Do you advise visiting Phnom Penh? after Angkor I don’t think we would be much interested in seeing more temples. plus not very keen on seeing the killing fields either.

    • getsetandgo November 21, 2012 at 22:07 #

      In that case you can skip Phnom Penh and come back to Phnom Penh. 1.5 to 2 days is less for Bangkok you might want to increase that.

  13. gianfranco December 12, 2012 at 00:12 #

    ma partendo da siem reap per andare a bangkok incontro meno problemi ?da siem faccio prenotare il bus dall’albergo ma poi dal confine per arrivare a bangkok che bus devo prendere? o mi conviene prendere un taxi?siamo in due quali sono i costi? grazie

    • getsetandgo December 13, 2012 at 11:48 #

      Hey, I do not speak Italian but with a translator understand you are asking about how to reach Bangkok from Siem reap. I suggest you take a bus from the Aran border in Thailand from the bus station as it will be the cheapest and most convenient. You can take a taxi but they might be overpriced and tend to charge a lot more. Hence after crossing the border, take a tuk-tuk to the bus station and then take a bus from there back to Bangkok.

  14. Anshul December 28, 2012 at 20:03 #

    thanks a lot for the information…I was able to do the entire BKK-Aran-Poipet-Siem reap and return quite cheaply all thanks to you! :)

    • getsetandgo December 28, 2012 at 20:56 #

      Hey Anshul, thanks for the kind words and I am glad my posts were helpful. How was was Your trip? Did you try the Angkor Airlines? Did you take the e-visa?

      • Anshul December 28, 2012 at 21:09 #

        the trip was good, did a two day tour of the Angkor park. Bus from Mo chit to Aran was 220B, took close to 5 hours. then an hour for the border crossing, and $6 per person for taxi from Poipet to Siem Reap which took 2 hours. same charges for the return journey, though I took a minivan from Aran-BKK which was faster.

        when I told you about the Angkor airlines deal they had just opened the bookings and were offering BKK-Siem Reap tickets for 1500B. But when I checked a week later to make the bookings, prices had shot up to 4500B. Also their timings are in the middle of the day, not letting one utilize the day, so I went ahead with the road trip option.

        yes I took the e-visa for Cambodia, everything went very smoothly. Thanks again!

        now I am onto your posts for Europe, planning for a bigger trip! :)

      • getsetandgo December 29, 2012 at 23:16 #

        Hey, thanks. Will keep your points in mind for my next travel queries :)

        Happy new year 2013 and have a happy time planning for your EU trip… :)

  15. Piou piou December 31, 2012 at 04:28 #

    Hi getsetandgo,

    I read in your topic the time schedule for buses from the airport to Aran. And you wrote for the first one 8:00am and for the second one 2:30am. Are you sure for the last? Because if it could 2:30PM and not AM, then it could change my plan. So can you confirm the time schedule, please?

    Have a good time for tonight :)

    • getsetandgo December 31, 2012 at 10:39 #

      Piou Piou…. Apologies, for the typo… When I went they had a bus for 2.30pm but I am not sure if there are any changes now. Would be best if you could check with the online bus schedule.

  16. Siem Reap restaurants January 4, 2013 at 20:18 #

    Actually, if you bargain a bit, you can find a private taxi from Bangkok to Aran for only 2000 bath. I never paid more than this…

    • getsetandgo January 6, 2013 at 17:32 #

      Hey, thanks.. will add that to my post…

  17. Stan January 13, 2013 at 14:21 #

    Hi, Can you please tell me on which side of Lumphini Park the Casino buses stop and can I purchase tickets in advance. Thank you.

    • getsetandgo January 14, 2013 at 14:55 #

      Hi Stan, my understanding is that there is no fixed bus stop for these buses. You will have to ask some travel agents / your hotel to book these tickets and advice on the location.

      • Stan January 14, 2013 at 20:52 #

        Thank you for your assistance.

  18. CAPTURED BY CANON February 24, 2013 at 03:25 #

    This is a well researched post!

    • getsetandgo February 24, 2013 at 18:45 #

      Thanks :)

      • Borut February 25, 2013 at 17:03 #

        Hi,

        I will go soon to Aranyaprathet / Poipet border to activate my 2nd entry.
        After I read here, I am considering Casino Buses from Lumpini Park as I live near Lumpini (I go there running almost every day).

        I would like to ask the following:

        -Are buses leaving every day? I am likely to leave on Friday.
        -Please again if you can explain from when to when do buses wait there, if I am there between 6am and 7am, am I sure to catch a bus?
        -Are the more buses going to the border or just one or two?

        Thank you in advance for these important information.

        Regards,
        Borut

      • getsetandgo February 25, 2013 at 17:26 #

        hi, I havent taken the casino bus but my understanding is as follows –
        - Buses leave everyday.
        - There is no fixed bus stop and you have to check around. Hence I suggest you try looking for one a day or two in advance early morning around 6pm.
        - There are just one or two buses.

        Regards
        Snigdha

      • Borut February 26, 2013 at 14:28 #

        Thank you, Snigdha, for answers.

        Just, you mean to check for buses at 6am, not 6pm, don’t you?
        I will make sure to be around the park by 5.45am and hope I can catch one. If not, will have to move to Victory Monument immediately to take a van. Because I will go on the last day of my visa validity, so I have to cross the border that day by any means.

        I am afraid I can not wake up days ahead just for going checking for casino buses, too early….

        Borut

      • getsetandgo February 28, 2013 at 02:44 #

        Apologies, for the typo and I meant 6am. Do let me know your experience with the casino bus. Thanks

  19. photobycraig March 12, 2013 at 00:08 #

    Thanks for stopping by my blog! Much appreciated!

  20. fgassette April 12, 2013 at 00:54 #

    Thank you for visiting my blog today. I appreciate the time you took to stop by. May your day be filled with joy and peace.
    BE ENCOURAGED! BE BLESSED!

  21. kindadukish April 13, 2013 at 23:53 #

    Thank you for visiting my blog and happy travelling.

  22. George Hardwick May 29, 2013 at 07:49 #

    This is a place that I have always wanted to visit. Nice post!

  23. Cheap Thailand Hotels June 2, 2013 at 00:49 #

    I would like to thank you for the efforts you have put in writing this site.
    I really hope to see the same high-grade blog posts from you later on
    as well. In truth, your creative writing abilities has motivated me to get my own site now ;)

  24. pinay travelaholic July 11, 2013 at 15:06 #

    now, i don’t need to research for this topic. its all in here. thanks thanks :)

  25. Rowena2020 July 21, 2013 at 17:16 #

    thanks for visiting my post. :) more power!

  26. Nia Simone July 26, 2013 at 00:53 #

    I nominated you for Versatile Blogger today on niasimoneauthor.com.

    Cheers,

    Nia

    • getsetandgo July 27, 2013 at 13:08 #

      Hi Nia, thanks for the honor and the award. I shall write the thank you post soon :)

  27. Michael Evans Photographer August 5, 2013 at 04:29 #

    Brilliant stuff! Thank you for checking out my photographer’s blog also – all the best, Michael

  28. kimberly August 12, 2013 at 20:06 #

    Wow! If we ever take a trip to Thailand I know exactly where to get some traveler information!

  29. shellahudaya August 13, 2013 at 09:19 #

    Very informative post! ^^ Will going next January and this will be my guide :)

    • getsetandgo August 13, 2013 at 21:21 #

      Thanks and please feel free to write to me for any specific queries :)

  30. Bob August 13, 2013 at 21:13 #

    Reblogged this on PATCO Blog It All… and commented:
    Let’s travel!

  31. Jorge August 18, 2013 at 19:22 #

    I’m going to Cambodia at the end of August from Bankok and this information is very useful thanks for sharing Michael.

    • getsetandgo August 20, 2013 at 21:12 #

      Thanks and please feel to write to me in case you need any additional info on this :)

  32. Mary Jordan August 25, 2013 at 19:41 #

    Great information. Thanks for taking the time to organize and share….

  33. Subbu September 24, 2013 at 10:18 #

    Reblogged this on Wandering Soul and commented:
    How to reach cambodia from Bangkok

  34. manoj patel January 31, 2014 at 17:49 #

    thank you very much for useful info i am grateful to you.

  35. jaynezak February 19, 2014 at 23:08 #

    very helpful I’m going to thailand and cambodia in the fall so i will have to read all of these. thanks for finding me.

  36. Calvin Klein Zwembroek April 3, 2014 at 14:43 #

    Hello, just wanted to tell you, I loved this blog post.

    It was inspiring. Keep on posting!

  37. getsetandgo July 27, 2013 at 13:07 #

    Thanks for the kind words :)

  38. Nia Simone July 28, 2013 at 01:49 #

    You are welcome! Hugs,

    Nia

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Travel from Bangkok to Aranyaprathet Border (Thai border … | Tour Cambodia - September 10, 2012

    [...] here to read the rest: Travel from Bangkok to Aranyaprathet Border (Thai border … Useful [...]

  2. Anety - September 11, 2012

    Recent Blogroll Additions……

    [...]usually posts some very interesting stuff like this. If you’re new to this site[...]……

  3. Versatile Blogger Award and new Romance: mine! | Nia Simone, Author - July 25, 2013

    […] Getsetandgo produces very informative as well as beautiful posts on travel; learn how she gets in and out of exotic places on a budget. […]

  4. Siem Reap, Cambodia | Splendors of the Khmer Civilization, the Royal Roads to Angkor… | tHe ErRaTiC LaKwatSeRo - November 15, 2013

    […] Part 1 – Bangkok (Thailand) to Aranyaprathet (Aran) Border (Thai side of the border) by train, bus… […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: