Bangkok to Siem Reap by Bus & Taxi
A friend sent me an instant message saying “What you doing tomorrow”, to which I replied “nothing”. He then booked a flight to Bangkok and woke me up at 10am the next day, to take local bus to Siem Reap. I’ll tell you how much it costs if you wanted to do it with no guidesque(sic) assistance and by bus, aka cheapo.
Many people believe you need to go to Morchit(?) bus station also known as the north station. You can also go through Chantaka or something like that, I just asked for bus station to Cambodia, maybe it’s the same place, who knows. Turns out it is a short bus ride from the Mo Chit sky train (bts) stop. All the Mo Chit & Morchit is confusing.
Sky Train: ~40 baht. – Wherever on BTS to Mo Chit station.
Bus 1: 7 baht – Number 77 but be sure to ask someone before boarding. Also there are 2 77’s one going west, one east or something, ask for the bus station.
Bus 2: ~120-207 baht. There are always buses leaving, just show up with the cash and you’ll get one. I caught a 12:30.
If you see other cool people on the bus, ask them about splitting a taxi. There were 2 other random gents on the bus and the first asked us if we wanted to split, I asked other. Then we met 2 other people and split 2 cabs, 3 people each when all started solo. Cheaper and safer.
Tuk Tuk: ~80 baht You get to last stop, mobbed by tuk tukists. It’s 80-100 baht to get to border, maybe you can bargain down, probably. Ride with someone and it is only 40 baht. The will take you to these bs “get a visa stops”. Probably take a right, then pull into this dirt drive way, just say no, we buy at border and if they say anything else, repeat it. Back on track to border.
Border: $20US – If you don’t have a pic they will ask 100 or 200 depending on how much cash is in your wallet when you pull it out. My friend had a pic but still had to pay 100 baht, supposedly you can get around it but we just didn’t care, get us to Siem Reap. If you do not have $20US, they will want 1000 baht which is more like ~$30us. Sometimes the additional 1-200 on top of that.
Taxi: $10-15US. Poipet is the town you end up in, it’s not so nice and tones of hustlers everywhere. Whether you buy a ride from some guy near the gate or further down the road… I think you can get it ~$30us-45us for 3 people on a ride to Siem Reap which is ~2 hours by taxi. The road is harrowing to say the least and supposedly it has just gotten a lot better. We paid 1200 baht which is 400 each. We arrived at dusk and after some looking around decided it was time to get out of dodge. Don’t expect to see a meter, name badge, nothing. Just some guy who has agreed to drive you to Siem Reap at 6:15 at night.
Lots of the guys near the front who harass you are just doing it because they know you are getting a cab and if they bring you to them, they get a kick back. Usually guys with no cars or special service to provide. As a result they work as hustling affiliates in the game of getting you to Siem Reap. If you need a cab and you walk away from the border or get one within say 50 feet from one of those dudes, it’s same type of guy most of the time.
Siem Reap is really nice and really cheap. Staying at a place with endless rooms that range from ~$1-10 or so. I’m in a $6 double and while playing on my ipod found it has free wifi in the room. For $1 you can get a dorm or a small tent near the river. Sounds nice but scores low on security of self and possessions as well as mosquitoes. This room has a sweet ceiling fan and 20 feet ceilings with private bathroom and it’s own patio.
The nightlife is alright, like any tourist attraction like this, it depends on the night. The infrastructure of nice clubs is definitely in place to host whatever may occur. Last night was “ok” and we didn’t just pain the town with a fine brush, we were emptying buckets on it. You come home to get something, go out again, yep $10US should be more than enough.
If you wish to take a bus to Siem Reap from Bangkok, you can also go through pre-arranged booking services. I reckon the whole trip cost me ~684 baht. Could have been a cool 600 had I taken the regular bus and ~500 had we gotten a taxi for ~30-35$US. Khao San and other places will want ~800+ but you have the security of a bunch of other people from the start and it’s more predictable. If you take local bus on Cambodia side as well, even cheaper, once more.
It’s gotten dark, and I’m sitting in this great hotel room with free wifi for $3. Place also has free internet terminals for guests, a restaurant, volley ball court. I like Cambodia thus far and have even met a few people who actually live here, home base so to speak. That said, it’s also much less affluent then many others around it, you can really see it and many streets are still dirt and extremely bump. Food is very cheap and beer costs ~$0.50 draft (good size mug, if not change bars) with two for one strong cocktails for $3 us.
You can also delve into a wide variety of different delicacies or delicatessens, if you want to call it that . You can crunch on crocodile, ostrich, kangaroo, snake and something else that eludes me. I eat snake last night, ginger snake, it was great except they just got it chunks and it had a bone, I never knew snakes had a bone? I guess it makes sense though.
If you’re stuck in Bangkok, make the move to Siem Reap, we took the 12:30 bus and arrived at 8:30PM that night. You just want to make sure you’re out of Poipet by night fall, if not you’re stuck there, gambling and not much else from what I saw. Hotels are also supposedly quite pricey. We were leaving the border at 6:15, I’d recommend getting there earlier.