From Bangkok to Siem Reap by bus. Easy way to get from Thailand to Cambodia.
When I finished my volunteering job in Bangkok it was time to move on. My next destination was Cambodia. I did some research and I found a direct bus from Bangkok to Siem Reap. I was going to Siem Reap, because it’s where Angkor Wat is located – ancient complex of temples and one of the wonders of the world.
Bus from Bangkok to Siem Reap
As it turned out, there are only two bus companies, that offer direct tickets from Thailand to Cambodia. Any other company offer “direct” tickets from Bangkok to Cambodia, but in reality those tickets involve 1-3 interchanges and changing buses. I went with Transportation Co. Ltd company an it was really direct trip to Siem Reap without any problems or inconveniences. The trip from Bangkok to Siem Reap took us all day and we had around 2 hour stop at the border, cause the line was really long to get through immigration.
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Scam on the way to Cambodia
Usually when we travel abroad there is a risk we will get scammed. It happens cause some local people will take advantage of travelers and in the worst scenario they will charge you 500% of normal price. Cambodia and Thailand are not the exceptions so travelers have to be cautious and it’s good to do some research before visiting the country to find out what are the most common scams and how to avoid them.
There is one ongoing little scam on the way to Cambodia from Thailand. It happens few kilometers before the border. Here is how it looked like when I was traveling from Bangkok to Siem Reap. The bus stopped at the border town still on the Thai side of the border. Some Asian guy entered the bus and gave “visa forms” to everyone. He said that everyone should fill the form and everyone will receive their visa soon. Of course most tourists filled the form and received their visa, hovewer they had to pay 5-10USD more than as if they got the visa at the border. Me and traveler sitting next to me knew about that, so we didn’t fill the form and got the visa without any problem at the border. We didn’t even have to wait in any queue, cause most travelers paid 5-10$ in the border town.
Visa to Cambodia
There are two types of visa to Cambodia available at the border – tourist visa and business visa. There is a slight price difference between those two types of visa. Tourist visa costs 30USD and business visa 35USD. We don’t need any additional paperwork to get business visa and there is one advantage of this visa above tourist visa if we are planning to stay in Cambodia for a long time. We can extend business visa as many times as we want, always for 35USD.
If we have travel visa, we can extend it only once, so we can stay in Cambodia for 2 months maximum. If we have business visa we can stay in Cambodia for 6 months, 12 months or longer. And we can do some business while we are there. So if you are planning to stay in Cambodia for more than 2 months I would recommend you to get business visa to Cambodia. It’s definitely worth it’s price.
Scams in Cambodia
When we arrived to Siem Reap, the bus stopped near the travel agency. They unloaded our luggage and taxi / tuk-tuk drivers were hunting for tourists. One of the drivers came to us and told us he will give us a ride for free to our hotel. We followed him to the car, although we knew he will try to sell us something else. As soon as we got into the car, he said he will take us to the hotel for free, if we choose his tuk-tuk to visit Angkor Wat complex the next day.
I planned to travel around Angkor Wat on a bicycle, so for me that was a “no”, however my friend started considering this offer. At first the driver asked for 50USD for a day of sightseeing. I gave him a sign to negotiate, as I’ve read that the price should range from 12-20USD per day. He beat down the price to 16USD per day and a free lift to the hotel, so it was quite a good deal after all. Unfortunately in Cambodia they will often try to ripe you out of money. So always try to negotiate and beat down the price. It is also good to do some research before visiting the country or city, to check what is an average price for most common services and to avoid getting scammed. If you don’t do the research they will try to charge you 200-500% of normal price, so always be aware.