Poipet to Bangkok by Train

Taking the Train from Poipet to Bangkok

March 2011 UPDATE: I made this trip in the other direction from Bangkok to Poipet in March 2011, the price hasn’t changed, but you can only buy tickets at the train station for this route around one hour before the train leaves. Poipet isn’t a nice area, but there’s only two things you need to worry about taking this trip;

1. When you’re arriving in Aranyaprathet coming from Bangkok, more often than not you will get a Tuk Tuk driver who will take you to the “border” – and it won’t be the border, it will be an office just down the street from the entrance to the border. They will try to make you fill out some forms to get a Cambodia visa for 1,200 Baht, this is the scam. Cambodia issue visas on arrival for $20, a good tip is to make sure you do not give anyone any money or fill out any forms until you have been stamped out of Thailand. Just get out of the Tuk Tuk, and walk onto the main road, turn right, walk for a few minutes and you’re at the border.

2. The official place where you get the visa for Cambodia, is an office to the right of the road as you walk through the frontier after exiting Thailand customs. Often the man stood in front of the window will try to charge you one or two dollars, or 100 THB for “express service” – Just say you don’t have it and it’s no problem, he’s just trying to get extra cash out of gullible tourists, the wait is about only about 5 minutes anyway, there’s no need for express!

Just remember that all you need to get across the Poipet border into Cambodia is $20 USD and one passport photo for the visa. No passport photo and it will be a $1 charge.

If you’re looking to either get to Bangkok from the Poipet border, or make the trip the other way coming from Bangkok to pass through to Cambodia, there is no better, safer or cheaper way than taking the train from Aranyaprathet train station at the border, to Bangkok Hua Lamphong train station or vice-versa.

I’m saying safer, because you avoid the Khao San Road scam buses and mainly because the Poipet border is not what it used to be, many outdated reports you read (pre-2009) on the border have made it notorious for pickpockets, scams, inside-job entrapment and aggressive beggars. It’s not like this anymore, I heard about this so I had the confidence to make the trip in January 2010, crossing the border from Cambodia to Thailand without a hitch, the only thing I saw was some begging children that didn’t cause anyone any problems that i saw.

Tickets for this route are available from each respective station. Aranyaprathet station only has one platform and one ticket window which opens about an hour before the train leaves, it should cost you no more than 80THB for a Tuk-Tuk to get from the Thailand side of the frontier to the station. Bangkok station has lots of ticket windows, but people are employed there to help you find the right place to buy a ticket and to make sure you get on the correct platform. The best way to get help at Bangkok train station: stand around the ticket windows or the platforms entrance with a puzzled look on your face, usually you will be approached by a member of staff and they will help you out.

Aranyaprathet to Bangkok train ticket

My Aranyaprathet to Bangkok train ticket

The trip is straighforward, the train route is direct along one line so you don’t need to switch trains or anything confusing like that.

The best thing about it is the price, 48THB for a six hour train ride, and compared to getting ripped off by dodgy Khao San Road tour companies or paying up to 1000THB for a legit one, it’s a total bargain, budget traveller types will love the actual ride too.

The train ride itself is a real experience, there is only one class, which is comfortable regular seats, and it’s very scenic, moving through a lot of rural Thailand, and it’s interesting when entering or leaving Bangkok, because Bangkok seems to go on forever, you really get a scope of the sheer size of the city when you’re moving toward or out of the train station on this one line.

Train Schedule

Give yourself plenty of time , because the train rarely runs to it’s schedule, my ticket said:

DEP TIME: 13:55

ARR TIME: 19:55

But it took longer, arriving at around 10PM in Bangkok, taking around 8 hours in total.

Two trains per day leave in both directions.

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

Travel Tips

The train passes by many scenic routes, including lots of rice fields, but make sure to wear something either dark or old that you don’t mind getting dirty. Many of the fields that the tracks passed through were on fire, as the farmers burn the crops to start fresh ones, this caused a lot of ash to go into the carriages and all over us.

If you miss the train coming from Cambodia, or happen to arrive in Aranyaprathet after the border has closed, it’s possible to get a hotel or guesthouse in Aranyaprathet, it’s a nice little town but there’s not much to do in the way of activities.

Overall this journey is a highly reccommended fun experience, it’s by far the cheapest way to get to Cambodia from Thailand, but I was wearing a white t shirt and by the time I got to Bangkok it was almost black, so was my face!

128 Thailand Baht in total from Poipet to Bangkok, Bargain!

On a side note, the Aranyaprathet wiki travel page is useful, but  incorrect when it states that visas on arrival coming from Cambodia to Thailand are not available, they are because I’m a UK citizen and got a 15 day visa stamp on arrival in Thailand at the Poipet border.

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24 Comments on “Poipet to Bangkok by Train

  1. Why does everybody keep saying on every website that you need $20 USD? Do they not accept baht? Wouldn’t most people coming from Thailand have baht on them and not USD? Doesn’t make sense.

    • Hi CJ, the reason is that once you’ve been stamped out of Thailand and crossed the border – you’re now in the jurisdiction of Cambodia, which uses US Dollars and Cambodian Riel side-by-side for it’s currency.

      After you’ve left Thailand, getting that visa and paying for it has nothing to do with Thailand. It’s the same $20 USD cost no matter where you enter Cambodia, if you fly into Phnom Penh it’s still a $20 charge for the visa.

      It’s a good tip to have a fair amount of USD on you if you’re entering Cambodia anyway, as they use it for their currency, the USD are the dollars, and the Cambodian Riel is the change (about 1000 riel is 0.25c).

      Hope this helps.

    • They will take baht at most borders- at the Lao/ Cambodian border they wanted 1,000 baht ($32.) In fact they will take pretty much anything, but at a massively increased rate with the difference going into the border official’s pockets (Cambodian officials are notoriously corrupt.) Up to you if you want to overpay, but I would make the effort to just change the money and pay your $20, which is the official charge for the visa. Cambodia uses US$ internally but plenty of other countries also price their visas in US$ (Syria at the Turkish border, Nepal at the Indian border, Chinese embassy in Kathmandu, Laos at the Vietnam border, Thai embassy in Phnom Penh, of visas I got on this trip- all required dollars.)

    • Hi there, loved ur tips!! I was wondering if the train station is nearby the airport? And I am Brazilian, how does the visa work for me?! Would be the same as Australian people for example?! Just geyting the visa in the entrance?
      Tks a lot
      Hope hearing from u soon
      Maria

  2. I have done the journey twice. Taking the 13.55 and arriving at dusk. The second time I walked from the train station to my hotel. the second time around is always better. From my hotel I tokk a local bus to the border, cheap. At the border I paid $23 as I wanted to catch thye bus to battambang. A great place to visit and a break before Pnom Phen. Both the vietnamese and laos border exits wanted a dollar exit fee. When I asked for a receipt I immediately got my passport back. I noticed that the visa scam was still operating. This was april 2012. Absolutely a great litte train journey. I have now done all of the trains in se asia

  3. I just have a question about where to get off of the train from Aranyaprathet to Bangkok if I am taking a flight the next day from DMK to Krabi. I am travelling with my kids, 16 and 9 and we are only planning on staying in Bangkok the one night. Is it worth taking the train to Khao San Road and then a taxi to DMK for a flight at 12:00. Or should we get off the train at an earlier stop and take a taxi to a hotel near DMK?

    • Hi Melanie, you should get off at Bangkok Hualamphong Train Station, it’s the main central station and you can get anywhere from there. On any route, that’s the closest you can get to Khaosan Roan by a train anyway, then it’s a bus or Tuk Tuk from there.

      You need to change trains at Hualamphong to get to Don Muang by train anyway, the Aranyaprathet > Bangkok train doesn’t stop there because the rain comes to Bangkok from the east, Don Muang is to the north of Bangkok.

      So you will still have to make the journey to Don Muang either way you do it, so by staying on Khaosan Road, you wouldn’t be making much of a detour at all.

  4. Hello I am leaving Bangkok on the 02 of january 2013 I have not booked my flight yet is it possible to get from Bangkok to Siam seap I think that second name is incorrect,I’ve checked out the flights and they are like $450 return this is to expensive for me.Please help me out I have booked my hotel in Siam for four nights 45$ this is good I just need the best way to get there thanks

  5. Awesome advice on the train journey. Iam planning to do the journey from Bangkok to Aranyaprathet by train (Nov second week). I understand the train leaves at 5:55 AM. Two questions

    1. If, I do the train journey, is it possible to cross border and reach Siem Reap the same day? You mentioned the train journey is normally delayed.

    2. Will the train be over crowded? Will we be able to find seats to sit? Asking because I would not prefer standing throughout the journey of 6-7hours

    • Hi Shiva,

      If you get the 5:55 AM Train, you will have plenty of time, the early train isn’t usually as delayed as the later departure. Even if the train is delayed by two or three hours you’ll arrive easily with enough time to make it across the border.

      I have always got a seat on the train, as Bangkok is the first stop, the train probably won’t be full. I’m not even sure if they sell standing tickets for that train, I’ve never seen it so full that somebody has to stand. The seats are actually quite comfortable too.

      Keep in mind that you can only buy tickets for that route on your day of departure, so get to the station between 40 minutes to an hour early, buy your ticket and hop on.

  6. Hello guys ,,,i would like to ask you about train from Poipet to Siem Reap.
    Is there a possibility to get there with train within 5 hours?
    how much cost a ticket for train…?
    thank you

    • Hi Da,

      I’m sorry to say that there is no train all the way from Bangkok to Siem Reap, the train only goes as far as the border between Cambodia and Thailand at Poipet/Aranyaprathet, then from Poipet you have to get a bus to Siem Reap.

      The train from Bangkok to Aranyaprathet takes over five hours alone, you won’t make it, the bus from the border to Siem Reap takes 3+ hours.

      If everything runs on time, the trip will take at least 9-10 hours minimum, the longest it’s taken me is 13 hours. Don’t forget you have a border crossing, the queue in immigration might take an hour alone, then you have to wait for a bus, that could be another hour.

      The train costs 48 THB, which is around 1.25 EUR – really cheap, the bus on the other side will be around $9-$10. Entry into Cambodia will cost you $20 +1 passport photo for the visa. the Tuk Tuk to the Border from the station will be 60-100 THB.

  7. Hi,

    I am going from poipet-bangkok in Feb-2013. I am planning to take train from Aranyaprabhatet to Bangkok, but am not able to locate it on thai railway website.

    Is this train still operational ? please confirm.

    Regards,
    Jinesh

    • Hi Jinesh,

      It probably won’t be on the website, as you can only buy tickets at the station on the same day you travel, you can’t book this train in advance. This route is operational, popular and I expect it will remain operational for a very long time.

  8. thanks for the tips. I will be off to Bangkok next week and so looking forward to going by train from Aranyaprathet. Siem reap is not as cheap as I thought it would be, especially with buses and taxis to bangkok. so this is a wonderful tip for us as we do want to see the countryside. I am currently staying at the Pool and Palm Villa in Siem Reap, a fantastic place, very quiet and feels so much like home. Huge compound and garden and the best, part, fantastic swimming pool.

  9. Super post. I’m travelling this week from Bangkok to Siem Reap for my first time. I plan to take the train and then a bus. But I’m not too clear on where to get the bus.

    • Hi Sheri, you won’t have a problem getting the bus, once you’ve gone through Thai then Cambodia customs, you will find a guy (or he will find you!) that fills up a bus that will take you and a load of other people on a short ride to the main bus station at Poipet, where you can get the bus to Siem Reap, or anywhere else in Cambodia that might take your fancy.

      If you’re bussing it around Cambodia, it’s worth taking the time to find where the actual public bus ticket offices are, the buses are great value, and even cheaper if you don’t book through an agent.

      If you plan to move on from Siem Reap at some point, the local bus ticket office is around the street where the Siem Reap KFC is.

      Hope this helps!

      - Slice.

  10. Hi! I have read that we need to pay 20$ upon leaving cambodia. Is this true for everybody or it depends on the country where the passport was issued? We are planning on visiting siem reap later this year from the philippines entering HCMH to PP to SR then proceed to BKK.

  11. Hi,

    I am Indian national planning to travel Siem Reap from Bangkok by train. I’ll spend few days in Bangkok then to Siem Reap, again back to Bangkok to catch my return flight.
    I got 2 entry Thai vis and single entry Cambodia visa.with this can i enter Thai from Poipet border?

  12. Hi,

    Looking for some help!

    Travelling in China at the moment. I’m going to Thailand soon and I’ll arrive by plane in Bangkok. I’ll be staying for less than 4 weeks and plan on going to Cambodia next, from Bangkok to Siam Reap by bus.
    My concern is to prove I’ll be leaving Thailand within 4 weeks, which means I don’t need a thai visa.
    Does anybody know how to provide this proof to thai immigration authorities, as I’m not quite sure i can really book my seat in the bus in advance lol

    Thank you in advance for your advice,

    Val

  13. Hey Slice. I am wondering if the train is a good method for a border run. If I take the early train from BKK to Aran, go to the border and deal with all of the formalities, what are the chances of me getting back to the station in time to make the late train back to BKK on the same day, at 13:55?

  14. Hi! Can you tell me clearly how much that go to Bangkok from Poipet by bus?? and by train??

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