Reaching Siem Reap from Poipet

19 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 –

  1. Part 1 – Bangkok to Aranyaprathet (Aran) Border (Thai border) by train, bus, mini-vans or taxi. – Already done and available at http://wp.me/p29z7S-iT
  2. Part 2 – Visa requirements, Visa on arrival Vs e-visa in Cambodia, the Border Crossing and the various scams near the border at http://wp.me/p29z7S-jo
  3. Part 3 – Transport from Poipet Border (Cambodia border) to Seam Reap by bus or taxi.

This post is part 3 of this 3 post series and in this I shall cover on how to travel from the Poipet border to the city of Siem Reap. This journey (Poipet to Siem Reap) takes about 2 – 4 hours (depending on your mode of transportation) and is best covered during day light hours.

Once you have cleared the Cambodian Immigration and have the Cambodian stamp, you exit from this small building. You are now officially in Cambodia and all set for the last part of your journey. From here there are 2 ways to go about the next part of the journey –

  1. You can book a travel agent in advance from Siem Reap. In this case they come to the border to pick you up and have a private transport ready to take you to Siem Reap. If you just book a travel agent for this journey it turns out to be pretty expensive. In case you plan to book a package with a travel agent for your local sightseeing, hotels etc in Siem Reap then you can also include this pick-up in it. This is the most convenient way and time efficient too, but also quite expensive.
  2. Travel via the local transportation and make this journey on your own. This needs some effort and is time-consuming but also the cheapest option.

Once you walk out of the Immigration building you reach a small shop cum bus stop that also sells some snacks, water etc. No private or local transportation can be arranged at the border except the local government bus shuttle that takes you to the Poipet Government bus stand. Even if you have booked a private pick-up through a travel agent, that car cannot pick you up from here. You need to take the local government shuttle to the main bus station which is about 6 km away from this place.

Government Bus Terminal, Poipet

Government Bus Terminal, Poipet – Pic courtesy – ://thetravellingfeet.com/

Please Note  –

  1. This government shuttle is free and you do not need to pay anything for it.
  2. The local government authorized personal and guides in Cambodia wear a light beige / very light brown shirt, black pants with a ministry of tourism badge. In case of any queries ask them and don’t speak with anyone else.
  3. Do not fall prey to any other services like cheap tour packages, translator services, transportation etc here.

The shuttle bus will drop you at the Poipet bus stand and from here there are a few options available to travel further.

  1. Transport via a Travel Agent – If you already booked this leg with a travel agent, then their car will be parked here. So once you reach this place, all you need to do is sit in your transportation and you are good to go.
  2. Government Bus – You can take a local government bus for a ticket of US$ 9. This trip takes about 4 hours so choose this if you are in no hurry. There are ticket counters of  2-3 bus companies and you can buy tickets from any of the counters. The buses do not depart immediately but wait for all passengers necessary to fill the bus and at times this wait can be for a few hours. So I suggest that before purchasing a ticket, check out the status of the buses and then buy a ticket of a bus that is filled the most. These buses drop you at the Siem Reap bus stand and from here you can take a tuk-tuk to your hotel. Siem Reap is a small city, so depending on the distance to your hotel, a tuk – tuk will charge anywhere between US $ 1 – 3.
  3. Shared Vans – At times when there are no buses available, you can look for a shared van with other travelers. They charge about US $12 for the ticket and the travel time is about 3 hours. Majority of the times they drop you at your hotel / hostel but if they drop you at the main bus station / any guest house then you can take a tuk-tuk to your hotel / hostel.
  4. Taxi / Shared Taxi – You can also take a solo taxi (then you pay the fare for 4 travelers) if you want to travel alone or share it with others. A taxi ride costs about US$ 12 per person and takes about 2 – 2.5 hours.  Normally these taxis drop you at your hotel / hostel but if they drop you at the main bus station / any guest house then you can take a tuk-tuk to your hotel / hostel.

Please note –

  1. The road is in a good condition so the road journey is very comfortable.
  2. Try and cover it all during day light hours as the prices of services may start shooting up once it starts nearing night fall.
  3. In case you are considering booking a taxi / van etc near the immigration office or anywhere other than the government bus stop, then be sure to negotiate really hard.
I hope this 3 post series has been helpful to anyone planning to travel from Bangkok to Siem Reap by road. While it may seem very tedious and mind-boggling, it’s actually not that bad. All you need to do is be confident, know your way about and don’t leave your guard. Also its worth the money saved on a budget travel. 🙂
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48 Responses to “Reaching Siem Reap from Poipet”

  1. pommepal September 19, 2012 at 15:33 #

    Excellent, I have saved all the 3 series for future reference. Thanks for all the information

    Like

    • getsetandgo September 19, 2012 at 15:37 #

      Hi Pommepal… Anytime.. Whenever you finalise your travel plans please feel free to write to me for any queries on this trip. I’ll be happy to help..

      Like

  2. 0theory September 19, 2012 at 16:12 #

    Fun and informative post. Reminds me of when I took a bus trip from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap in 2009. The connecting roads were mostly dirt and the bus made stops at exotic markets where locals offered dead and live insects for snacks. Apart from Angkor Wat I though the Siem Reap River was very interesting with the floating villages.and markets.

    Like

    • getsetandgo September 19, 2012 at 19:51 #

      We did the road trip from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh and I must say that thankfully the roads are much better now. They have a good highway and are also broadening it. The markets still have all kinds of insects on offer though…

      Like

  3. Ron Scubadiver November 25, 2012 at 20:20 #

    I want to try this.

    Like

  4. fgassette April 10, 2013 at 08:05 #

    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!

    Like

  5. cyleodonnell April 29, 2013 at 07:21 #

    Great info (and on the other links, too). I was passing through there in 2010. Interesting place to cross. Not recommended, but if you’re in a financial jam, you could do worse, I guess.

    Like

  6. Kim 24/7 in France July 19, 2013 at 22:48 #

    Thanks so much for visiting/following my blog, and I wish you all the best for yours! Bon weekend.

    Like

  7. Lissa Rabon August 1, 2013 at 20:34 #

    This is a part of the world I’ve never seen. Thank you for sharing!

    Like

  8. seecambodiadifferently August 9, 2013 at 23:59 #

    More good information about the border crossing.

    Like

  9. coloradotravelingducks August 31, 2013 at 01:33 #

    Great advice. Visited Siem Reap about 10 yrs ago. Worth any effort. Enjoy your blog!

    Like

    • getsetandgo August 31, 2013 at 22:58 #

      Thanks and I so agree with you. Siem Reap is worth every hardship 🙂

      Like

  10. bellyfulloffood November 25, 2013 at 02:44 #

    Thanks for checking out my blog. Great post….I would love, love, love to visit Cambodia one day

    Like

  11. psychologistmimi December 21, 2013 at 00:57 #

    wow what a journey

    Like

  12. Irwan Nuryadi April 10, 2014 at 02:01 #

    Thank you!! I will travelling there next year 🙂 Irwan, from Indonesia

    Like

  13. Matius Teguh Nugroho March 12, 2015 at 06:30 #

    Hello, there. I’m a travel-blogger from Indonesia, going to Siem Reap from Bangkok on October.
    Please help me conclude the trip:
    Bangkok – Aranyaprathet by train or bus
    Aranyaprathet – Cambodian border by tuk tuk
    Border – Poipet Bus Stand by government bus
    Poipet – Siem Reap by government bus.

    Like so?

    Like

    • getsetandgo April 10, 2015 at 20:43 #

      Hi, sincere apologies for the delay in response and please find my response below –
      Buses are really good on this route
      Depending on where the bus drops you, you can either walk or take a tuk tuk
      Yes
      Yes

      Like

  14. shiela October 10, 2015 at 14:52 #

    Hi. I can see that the price is stated in US Dollar. Do we have to pay only in USD, or the local currency? Or do they accept Thai Baht as well?

    Like

  15. Bernard Tan February 19, 2016 at 20:38 #

    This is very informative as i am planning to cross from thailand to cambodia.

    Like

  16. Madhu March 5, 2016 at 10:43 #

    You r an angel. God bless! I will follow your suggestions and see.

    Like

  17. Sahil May 9, 2016 at 14:49 #

    Very Informative. Planning to visit Cambodia in June 2016, will follow these instructions. Thanks again !!!

    Like

  18. Suke June 7, 2016 at 16:48 #

    Do you know what time the final bus leave from Poipet?

    Like

  19. ELLEN GUMASTIN September 13, 2016 at 19:14 #

    Hello! Your post was really informative. We will be doing this coming September 26. If its okay, how many people will there be in shared vans?

    Thank you.

    Like

  20. Young December 31, 2016 at 05:48 #

    Thank you so much for your kind information

    Like

  21. getsetandgo August 3, 2013 at 11:54 #

    Thanks for the share 🙂

    Like

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