Bangkok to Cambodia

A lot of Southeast Asia backpackers are looking to get to somewhere in Cambodia from Thailand’s capital, Bangkok. There are different things to consider making this trip, such as your preferred mode of transport, your budget, and time constraints.

2014 Update: I’m updating this page because a new Government bus route run by the Thailand Transport Co has opened, the government bus takes you from the Mo Chit Station (on the Sukhumvit Line) in Bangkok all the way out of Thailand through the Cambodian border to Siem Reap.

The ticket can be bought online, and the cost for the government bus route is 750THB or in US Dollars that is around $23, which, even when factoring in the $9/$10 bus to Siem Reap from Poipet, is still more expensive than taking the train from Bangkok to Aranyaprathet as I have explained below.

As usual, beware of scams as it has been reported that even though this bus route is run by the Thai Transport Company on behalf of the Government, they still take you to the office before the border where they try to get you to pay extra for a Cambodia visa before going through the frontier.

The rule of thumb you should always go by when making the trip overland from Bangkok to Cambodia, is you do not have to get a Cambodian visa before you have been stamped out of Thailand, because Cambodia is a visa on arrival border. By following that rule you will never get caught out with the visa scam, it doesn’t matter if you go by bus, train, car, anything, you do not need a visa for Cambodia in advance, just like taking a flight.

2012 Edit: I’m getting a lot of visitors to this page and questions in my inbox, all asking about finding a cheap flight to Phnom Penh or Siem Reap from Bangkok. I recommend trying out the pre-filled SkyScanner search box to the right, as it enables you to search for flights from Bangkok to everywhere in Cambodia at the same time.

Skyscanner allows you to view ticket prices for the whole month, or even the whole year if you’re flexible, all the main airlines that fly the route such as AirAsia, Bangkok Airways and Thai Airways are included in the search, I’ve even filled it out for you, so all you need to do is click search!

The two main starting points for backpacking around Cambodia are Siem Reap and Phnom Penh, I personally recommend arriving in Siem Reap. Not only is Siem Reap geographically closer to Bangkok, but also because of how the local bus systems work.

The Bangkok to Cambodia Train

The Bangkok to Cambodia Train

Almost all long distance bus routes within Cambodia pass through Phnom Penh, and if you arrive there in the first place, you can be looking at some wasted time and money on bus fares. If you’re in Phnom Penh, visit Sihanoukville to the south, Siem Reap to the north, then onto Vietnam to the east, you are passing through Phnom Penh an unnecessary amount of times. From my experience it’s better to arrive in Siem Reap in the first place.

The Bangkok to Cambodia route can be done by almost all different modes of transport, looking at Siem Reap as your target destination, you have many options in your hands.

Listed below are the pros and cons,  of the different modes of transport from Bangkok to Siem Reap. From the fastest to the slowest.

Catching a Flight

Flying from Bangkok to Siem Reap is the most obvious option, tickets are easily booked, but for backpackers on a budget the expense comes into play. The more adventurous types going after unique experiences, along with the environmentally conscious can easily avoid flying this route.

Pros:

  • Speed – Flying is the fastest.
  • Convenience – Flights are easy to book online or at travel agents.

Cons:

  • Expensive – Getting a cheap flight from bangkok to Siem Reap can be quite difficult.
  • Boring – No adventures, no meeting people or interesting experiences.
  • Environmental Issues – Flying is the worst form of transport for pollution.
  • Seeing Less – You see less, and miss out on a lot by flying everywhere.

Getting a Taxi

It’s possible for a cab driver to take you to Cambodia, a cab driver at Bangkok train station quoted me 2000 Baht. The driver will most likely drop you off at the Poipet border, and there will be a 9 USD bus to Siem Reap for there.

Pros:

  • Speed – This is the quickest method to get from Bangkok to Cambodia by land.
  • Convenience – No waiting around to set off.
  • Comfort – You could potentially have the whole back seat to yourself.

Cons:

  • Cost – You can get to the Poipet border for a lot cheaper than 2000 Baht.
  • Boredom – Like flying, you are unlikely to meet interesting new people.
  • Trust Issues – I’ve had bangkok cab drivers give my the runaround more than once.

Taking the Bus

You can purchase a bus ticket all the way from Khao San Road in Bangkok, through the Poipet border and on to Siem Reap. Tickets are readily available everywhere, but do your homework and look for a reputable tour operator or bus company, as this route is notorious for scams.

Pros:

  • Meeting People – There’s a chance you may meet some great backpacker friends on the bus.
  • Convenience – No need to worry about buying a bus ticket in Poipet, it’s a straight shot.
  • Ride Sharing – better for the environment.

Cons:

  • Scams – There’s many reports of the famous ‘Bangkok to Siem Reap scam bus’.
  • Delays – Buses often break down, or make two hour long impromptu stops.
  • Comfort Issues – Buses in Thailand can often be quite a squeeze.

Taking the Train

In my opinion this is absolutely the best way to get from Bangkok to Cambodia, I have made this trip a number of times and you really do get to see the great scenery in comfort. The price is only 48 Thai Baht, by far the cheapest option. The train stops near the Poipet border and you can catch a bus to Siem Reap from there for 9 USD.

Pros:

  • Price – At only 48 THB it’s supremely good value.
  • It’s Greener – The train is more environmentally friendly than the flight, bus and taxi.
  • Seeing the Country – Sit back, relax and stare out of the window at the Thai countryside.
  • Experience – Making this trip by train with the locals is a really great experience.
  • Meeting People – You may get chatting to some really cool people on the train.
  • Safety – This is the safest way to get to Cambodia from Thailand.

Cons:

  • Time Constraints – This is the slowest way to get to Cambodia, taking 6-8 hours.

So there you have it, four different ways to get from Bangkok in Thailand to Siem Reap in Cambodia. There’s obviously more ways, you could buy a motorbike, the more energetic can cycle to Siem Reap, or even trek it!

If somebody asked me the best way, I’d say take the train to Cambodia every single time, it requires a little more work but is well worth the effort.

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56 Comments on “Bangkok to Cambodia

    • haha, I definitely prefer the train! It’s probably not even that much slower either.

      After you’re got transport to Bangkok airport, checked in, waited around, took the flight, landed, collected your baggage and taken transport to the Siem Reap town centre, the flight probably clocks in at five or six hours itself!

  1. Hey Slice,
    Because you wrote about crossing from Thailand to Cambodia I think you’ll get a kick out of the
    opening to my up-coming book. It is the trauma of my visa run.
    I think you like to laugh so I’ll add a bit more about getting kicked out of the bar in Saigon…When I questioned my change, the waitress started screaming about lying American women, she did this for the entire time we took to finish our drinks. The owner came over and ask us to please leave so she would shut-up. He also told us we shouldn’t never come down that alley again, because she would start screaming every time she saw us.
    You know the bars are all open onto the street, so everyone on the block was hearing this and we became the toast of the alley that night, because all the foreigner thought it was so funny.The Vietnamese were just embarrassed for us. For weeks she screamed at us–Lying, Cheating, Americans. I’m not too sure if that is a good thing to be famous for!
    Happy travels!

    • Hi Slice,

      Good write up, really appreciate your advice,I’m heading there 2mrw to Phnom Penh, was hoping somone could give me some tips on bars, that would behelpful =) and also where people traveling hangout cheers

  2. great job with this compilation Slice! We took the train due to budget constraints. The ride was worth it with how great the view was from the train. Can’t wait for my trip next year!

  3. im glad i was able to read this site. Very helpful! I’m going to Cambodia with my husband this September. I can’t wait..Thank you!

  4. Did i read it right? 6-8 hours going to cambodia riding a train? if you take the bus how much in baht do you spend and is it just a one ride bus to reach Siem Reap?

    Thank you.

    • Yes, the train does take 6-8 hours.

      The bus is possible too, it will cost 10-20 dollars more than the train and will be a lot more uncomfortable. The way the bus works is, take the government-run bus from Bangkok’s Northern Bus Station to Aranyaprathet, which is 200THB, and then a bus from Poipet to Siem Reap (about$10).

      The bus to the border will take 4-6 hours as opposed to the 6-8 hour train ride, it’s more expensive and quite uncomfortable. I recommend the train.

  5. wow.. great..work slice… very informative , i and my friend plan to travel from bangkok and a side trip to vietnam…thnks for the detailed travel tip..

  6. Hey Slice. Good info. Do you also have information on a trip from Cambodia to Vietnam because I’m planning to go on a trip from Bangkok to Cambodia then to Vietnam?

    • Hi Chase, of course, there’s a whole host of buses that go from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh City, they take you across the border safely and the bus stop is about a one minute walk to the backpacker area of Ho Chi Minh called Pham Ngu Lao.

      There’s no need for taxis when you get off the bus, some drivers might try to give you the runaround but you should already be where you need to be. Check out ‘Mini Hotel Street’ which is just off the main road there, it has tons of accommodation options you can walk in and out of checking them out and bartering for room rates.

      Pham Ngu Lao is within walking distance of the main sights like the market and the war museums, check out the market at night, it’s an awesome place to eat.

      • Cheers mate!!!
        for the advice… am going there in Dec…planing to take a train. hope it turns out fine.

        • Hi Giridhar,

          Thanks, the train will be fine, you will have a great time, it’s the cheapest and best way from Thailand to Cambodia!

  7. Hey, Slice.

    Thanks for the write-up, somehow helps me to decide. I have one question though about the Visa on the border if i have to take the train, would you know if I need to be cautious of any scams? I’ll be travelling by myself in May to BKK and plan to cross Cambodia to see the Angkor Wat. I hope my excitement won’t turn into delusion :(

    • Hi Alhena, the PoiPet border is fairly scam-free, except for the fake ‘border’ visa office that’s not at the border. You could apply for a Cambodia visa before you go if you really want to make sure. I’m not familiar with Philippine residents crossing the border, but if you do some research online or contact the Embassy who issues the visas, they could answer your questions.

      You can easily get Cambodia visas in Bangkok too, it will be more expensive than the border though.

  8. I’m from the Philippines, by the way, and read about not requiring Filipinos of a Cambodian Visa, but I am clueless of how it will go in reality..

  9. Nice info Slice. Especially the part of setting Siem Reap as a starting point. This was my first inquiry in planning a tri-country trip (Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam). Thanks

  10. thanks for the info slice.. me, my cousin and our friend are planning to go to Cambodia via bkk 2 weeks from now.. we will be coming from Sg to bkk by plane and i was hoping to see some temples there before going to cambodia.. any suggestions? maybe a temple which is just near the bus or train station would be better..

    lastly, we want to go to halong bay from cambodia- any tips?

    tnx
    Aly from PI

    • Hi Aly,

      If you got a train or bus from the airport to anywhere near the center of Bangkok, Wat Pho is a great temple to see, it’s a giant golden Reclining Bhudda. Surrounding that are you have a lot of beautiful temples, the palace, the park, so I’d say look at trying to get there.

      Halong Bay from Cambodia can be quite a long journey overland, the easiest way if you’re short of time would be a flight from Phnom Penh or Siem Reap to Hanoi. You could also try getting the bus to Ho Chi Minh City from Phnom Penh and taking a flight or bus from there, a bus would take a long time though, maybe 48 hours or over, I’ve been south to north in Vietnam, and it involved two or three night buses.

  11. Hi slice. Thank u for the info. My friends and I were planning to visit Bangkok,Cambodia & Vietnam
    sometime next year and were searching what ride to take from BKK to reach our other destination.

  12. Hi Slice!

    Thank you so much for the much needed info here^^* I will visit Thailand this Dec, and I’m planning to visit Cambodia and Vietnam as well. I’m 101% clueless about traveling abroad (this is going to be my first time) I would like to know which of these 2 options do you think is much better.

    Option A: Bangkok-Cambodia-Vietnam-Bangkok
    Option B: Bangkok-Vietnam-Cambodia-Bangkok

    Thanks so much!

    • Hi Leeshinyoung,

      You’re in for a great trip, those countries are awesome. There’s going to have to be a flight in there somewhere whichever option you choose.

      If you choose to go to Vietnam after Bangkok, then fly from Bangkok to Hanoi in the north of Vietnam. This way you could travel south through Vietnam, take a bus from Ho Chi Minh City to Phnom Penh, see Cambodia, then take the train from the Poipet border back to Bangkok.

      Or the other way, you would be taking the train and going overland all the way through Cambodia to Hanoi, then flying back to Bangkok.

      There’s good bus services between Phnom Penh and Ho Chi Minh City, the actual buses are great too, it’s much cheaper and a better experience than flying too.

      Vietnam has a network of sleeper buses that go between the cities north to south.

      Hope this helps!

  13. Hi Slice.

    Firstly thanks for writting down and publising all the tips. It saves lot of time and guide well to choose among all the options available.

    I have one more querry _ if i take the 13:05 train to poipet then is it safe to travel overnight to SIEM REAP( especially for a single female ) ? How long does it take? or better to stay overnight at POIPET and take bus next day?
    I have searched the net quite a bit but couldn’t get reliable answer…

    Awaiting reply.

    • Hi Payal,

      I’m not absolutely sure if there’s night buses at that time, but the border closes at 8PM, and taking the 13:05 train you may not make it, as the train is often delayed by a couple of hours. If you want to go through on the same day, it’s always best to take the early morning train.

      If you end up staying a night, it’s always better to stay overnight in Aranyaprathet on the Thailand side than in Poipet on the Cambodia side, then cross the next day. Cambodia is great, but Poipet isn’t really a nice town.

  14. Hello Slice, thank you very much for your information, I have one question regarding visa, I am currently in Bangkok, and planning to go to Cambodia by crossing border.

    My question is do I need to get Thai visa again at border, when I enter from Cambodia to Thailand?
    Please let me know the process of it.

    Thank you very much!!

    • Hi Phyu, the borders are just like airports, depending on what kind of passport or visa you have, you cross over just like the immigration borders like you would from a plane. They scan your bags for security and stamp you in just like any airport would.

      Different passports sometime get different stamps at the border, coming to the airport I get around 30 days, coming overland I get 15 days on my UK passport.

  15. Hi Slice, thank you for this information. Travelling on October 20, 2012 from Siem Reap to Bangkok by train. Wheredo i start from SR.? Thank you.

  16. Thank u so much for the nice info u posted. I have a question, from Bangkok, better visit Myanmar or Cambodia?

    • Hi Ilk, I can’t tell you because I have never been to Myanmar, but I would love to visit. You won’t be going wrong by visiting Cambodia though, the country is awesome!

      • Thank u Slice! Btw, I have 9days (total days I have for the trip).. How many days do I need if I wanna visit Bangkok+Cambodia + maybe Vietnam?

  17. Hi Slice, thank you for your good travel tips, im based in Singapore and planning to visit Thailand,Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos for an average of 9 days only. Any advise on whether is it advisable to get a return ticket to BKK without compromising my limited time? Thanks

  18. Hi slice may i know what time does the train leave? i only have a very limited time and would like to know the time the train leaves. thanks

    • Bangkok > Aranyaprathet Schedule;
      DEP 05:55 > ARR 11:20
      DEP 13:05 > ARR 18:05
      Aranyaprathet > Bangkok Schedule;
      DEP 06:40 > ARR 12:05
      DEP 13:55 > ARR 19:55

  19. Hey, i loved your recommendations, i ll def take the train, but i have some more questions about it and hope you ll find a few minutes to answer them, since you wrote, that you took this route a few times already :)

    - You said its 6-7 hours, with that you mean to Poipet border right?
    - From there how much longer is it to get toSiem Reap?
    - and now most importantly, do we need a visa to enter cambodia? We ll only have the regular visitor visa (30days) that you get when you fly into Bangkok.

    It would be great to hear back from you! Thnx in advance!

    Cheers,
    Tamara

  20. Hi there

    Planing a trip from Bangkok to Cambodia, but we have lots of luggage, say 60kgs. Is there a weight allowance if we go by train? Are the trains safe and luxurious? Or shall we opt for a flight?

    If we only have 3 days in Cambodia, where do you recommend we go?

    Thanks

    Sam

  21. hi i have the same query that if i m travelling through train from bangkok to combodia do i need to get a visa for that and after reaching combodia and having a two or three days trip there how many days extension will i get on my visa for bangkok ,plz answer me i m waiting

    • Hi Fran, you get a visa for Cambodia after you have been stamped out of Thailand customs, then on re-entering Thailand you will likely get 15 days if you go for a normal stamp. Fifteen days is the usual for overland, compared to a month arriving by flight.

      Hope this helps!

  22. Hi slice, this is very informative. Me and my girlfriend will visit cambodia for 5days next month but im planning a side trip to bangkok for 2 or 3 days, do we need to take the same route since its just vice versa (siem reap to bangkok)? Thanks

  23. hi slice
    you are really giving very important and perfect tips to travel neighbour countries of thailand . we are coming India to visit thailand in feb . do u tell me that it is safe to go for combodia or not. we want to stay there only 2 days in combodia or combodia is a tourist conutry or not. we have 5 days plan to stay bangkok so it is suitable to visit other country like combodia or not beacuse we have a limited time ,

  24. hi slice
    do u tell me that which country we should choose to visit , combodia or vietnam , we want stay only 5 days in bangkok so you tell me which one is better to go from bangkok .

  25. To Jammy J,:

    I’ll be going to Cambodia and Thailand next week. Today, travel between the two countries is relatively straightforward and easy, especially for ASEAN nationals. There is only one route. SIEM REAP-SISOPHON-POIPET-ARANYAPRATHET-BANGKOK and VICE-VERSA. I recommend Penpark Hotel near Khaosan road in Bangkok. Not the cheapest but offers calming revier view and rooftop lounge.

    • Hi Marc, meron ka bang email address na pde akong mag ask sayo directly I am planning to go to Bangkok and Cambodia gusto ko lang makakuha ng advise thanks.

  26. am planning a trip to thailand and combodia. Can anyone help to get some information about travel from bangkok and accommodation in combodia.

  27. Hello,

    Your blog was interested to read, and a few question came into my mind. Perhaps you can answer them. I am going to Cambodia on September this year. Besides Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam are also listed to be visited. But still I have a question about a hotel you might have seen during your visit in Siem Reap. I booked the following hotel: Tara Angkor Hotel. You know if it is a good hotel? I heard good stories about it. I want to book the Winter Breath package. Hopefully you know something about that. What are the best attractions to visit in Siem Reap and in the surrounding?

    My birthday is in September as well, and want to have a fancy meal in Siem Reap. Some friend recommended the following restaurants; Tonle Sap, Tonle Mekong and the Tonle Chaktomuk. Do you know them by any chance?

    Thank you in advance.

  28. HI Slice,

    Traveling from Bangkok to Cambodia for 4 days how much do I need to bring for pocketmoney .Is that safe to go there. Thanks

    Mike

  29. Great review. One question – We plan to go from Bangkok to Siem Reap this Sat, April 13th, and were originally going to take the train as you recommended. Our son is concerned because of the New Year celebrations that start that day, esp all the water being thrown and dumped. Could this be a problem w/ a train and the open windows? Took a train from Yangon to Bagan, Myanmar and got water thrown at us numerous times. We were able to close windows but still got soaked the first time since unexpected. Wonder if you have heard of this being a problem during the New Year train runs. Thanks. Also, supposedly there is a new servie involving a direct bus to do this route – yes? no?

  30. Hi Slice. Thank you for the very informative travel tips. Had I read your article earlier I would have booked for a longer travel dates to include a side trip to Cambodia for my Bangkok tour. I will ask just the same: with my limited travel dates 29 April-3 May, is it practical to go to Cambodia? I have to be in Bangkok again to fly back to the Philippines. What’s your suggestion? Thanks very much.

  31. Hi slice,

    Can you give us directions. we plan to visit bangkok from cambodia via train.

    thank you

  32. M indain I travel to Bangkok but I want visit Cambodia so to I getting Cambodia visa in Thailand border you are really giving very important and perfect tips to travel neighbour countries of thailand . we are coming India to visit thailand in feb . do u tell me that it is safe to go for combodia or not. we want to stay there only 2 days in combodia or combodia is a tourist conutry or not. we have 5 days plan to stay bangkok so it is suitable to visit other country like combodia or not beacuse we have a limited time ,

  33. Hay slice

    Good info and really helpful.

    Can you tell me where the station is in Bangkok
    And where I get tickets from to Cambodia as I doing this trip in
    Three days time!

    Cheers…

  34. Hello Emma,

    I read your message and wanted to help you, because I have been in Siem Reap a lot of times. The Tara Angkor hotel is a beautiful hotel and is ideally and conveniently located, Tara Angkor Hotel is situated only 6 km from the Angkor Wat Temples, 15 min drive from the Siem Reap International Airport, a few minutes stroll to the Angkor National Museum and a short ride to the city town center with an array of Cambodian souvenirs, shopping and culture. They have a few promotions that you can make use of if you haven’t booked already: Last minute bookings, summer sales, early bird promotion or Angkor temptations. Of course there are a lot more, but have a look at their website. It is not that far to the Angkor temples that I would advise you to see for sure. I would say, grab yourself a 3 day pass and find yourself a decent tuk tuk driver to take you to the farther ruins and for a drive in some of the outlying villages. If you’re up for it consider renting a bike and checking out Angkor Wat on your own. There’s a lot to see and do so a lot depends on your time and budget. A few temples I would strongly suggest you check out besides Angkor Wat itself are Bayon Temple, Angkor Thom and of course Ta Prohm just to see the amazing tree. The Banteay Srei temple is farther out of Siem Reap but has a very different feel than a lot of the others. If you want to do something else as well, you can visit the day and night market. I can really recommend these attractions. If you need to know more, let me know.

    Regards,

    Alicia

  35. I prepare reading some of your experiences.Thank You so much it’s been a great help.My husband and I will be going on a trip Thailand,Cambodia,Vietnam trip by Augost. How much does it cost me going to Cambodia then Vietnan.Usually how much is the fare and a not so expensive ,safe Hotel.Its so wonderful and a great help hearing from you guys.I also love street food. I want to try it.

  36. do we need to have a visa? How much is a Cambodian Visa and a Vietnam Visa.We have 7 days on this trip.I want to vicit Malaysia also if there is much time left.

  37. Thanks Slice,

    Very informative planning to travel there by August 2013, i’ll gonna take the train as it was highly recommended by you BKK to Siem Reap. How many days its needed to tour around the significant places in Siem Reap? Hope to hear from you.

    Ysel

  38. If I were there in Thailand… I’d travel up to Ayutthaya from Bangkok by boat. Then I’d head up to the Golden Triangle area and would sail down the Mekong visiting Laos and Cambodia. Only then would I take a bus to Angkor Wat. Then down to Saigon, Vietnam!

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