Asia, Cambodia, Thailand

Ultimate Guide to Border Crossing: Bangkok to Siem Reap, Cambodia by Bus

Our journey started at the Bangkok Northern Bus Terminal (Mochit 2 Station) for an early morning bus ride going to Cambodia.

The station is just near the center of Bangkok, you can just hail a taxi and you’ll reach the bus station in minutes. Just tell the taxi driver that you’re going to Mochit 2 Bus Station, or you can print out the words in Thai character for easier communication.

This is a huge and more organized terminal than what we have in the Philippines. Some westerners would find the station inferior, but for a Filipino, it’s way better than the bus stations we have back home.

There are two early morning bus schedule going to Siem Reap (8am and 9am), travel time from Bangkok is about 8 hours.

Traffic is not going to be a probem in Bangkok in the morning, but it is still encouraged that you go to the station at least an hour earlier than schedule.

The place has enough waiting area and facilities for you to relax while waiting for the bus.

Border Crossing Bangkok
Sit back, relax and observe the crowd.
border crossing bangkok
Ticket Booths and 711.
Border Crossing Bangkok to Siem Reap
Ready for the bus? 🙂

I even managed to have a quick breakfast at the nearby 7-11. My personal favorite is the Sausage Mini Bun. It’s a great pair with coffee.

Hmm, I wonder why we don’t have this at 7-11 stores in the Philippines?

Bangkok bus station
The delicious Sausage Mini Bun.

1 | Book Your Bus Ticket in Advance

One important thing that you have to do if you plan to travel from Bangkok to Siem Reap by bus is to book your ticket in advance. This will not only ensure you of seats but will let you travel with more ease, as you don’t need to worry of buying tickets when you get to the station.

You may book your ticket through thaiticketmajor.com, the price is 750 baht or 23 USD.

Just present your printed booking confirmation at the Thai Ticket Major Booth and they will give you your bus tickets.

Ticket Booth Border Crossing
The Ticket Booth.

Buy Tickets At the Station

For those who are going to buy tickets at the terminal, the ticket booth is located at the first floor near the entrance. Only one-way ticket is available there. If you plan to go back to Bangkok from Siem Reap, bus tickets can be purchased in Siem Reap.

To save time, just present these information to the ticketing officer.

  1. You just have to mention your route (Bangkok to Siem Reap).
  2. Provide the date of travel
  3. Present your passport and other documents like e-visa if available.
  4. Pick your seat number and wait for the officer to process.
  5. Pay and get your tickets. The price is 750 baht each.
Border Crossing Bangkok to SIem Reap
Bus Tickets!

 

2 | Enjoy While Waiting For Your Bus

We were early for our scheduled bus, so we had the luxury to take some breakfast and explore the station.

The waiting time is also a chance for you to observe other passengers and even be friends with them. It was also a chance for some selfies. LOL!

Mochit Station Bangkok
Selfie while waiting for our bus
Border Crossing Bangko to Cambodia
Another one?
Bangkok Bus Station
Wacky!!! LOL

 

Due to low number of passengers at that time, the 8am and 9am schedule were merged into one trip, so we were able to hop on the bus around past 9AM.

The bus is comfortable, the seats are just right for a big man like me. LOL! There’s also a toilet on the bus, but never tried it.

Border crossing bangkok Seim Reap
The Bus!

 

Bus to Siem Reap
The Bus going to Cambodia
bus to cambodia
Yes, another shot is necessary. LOL
toilet bus to cambodia
The Toilet.

3 | The Bus Ride And Some Bus Stops

Most of the passengers were Westerners, there were just a few Asians. It was a refreshing sight to witness the Bangkok metropolis then slowly turning into lush green trees and sceneries as the journey went on.

The bus company provided a small breakfast snack – bread/cookie with orange juice and bottled water.

Border Crossing Bangkok to Siem Reap
A solo female traveler going to Siem Reap

Looking for hotels in Bangkok? Check this out

Border crossing Bangkok Siem Reap
Bangkok

 

Border crossing Bangkok Siem Reap
Thailand Countryside

 

After a couple of hours, the bus stopped at a check point and two Thai armies showed up and asked us to show them our passport and tickets.

I wasn’t sure if that was really a protocol for every bus that goes to Cambodia, but during our travel there, it was Martial Law in Thailand, so maybe it was just an additional process at that time.

Two locals/Asians were not allowed to go on and they were escorted off the bus by the Thai Army. Maybe they weren’t able to present the necessary documents. 🙁

During the travel, there were a couple of more bus stops for the staff to pick up the food for the travelers’ lunch.

The food wasn’t that special but it was enough to fill an empty stomach. Of course, I ate all of mine. It is suggested that you buy food at the terminal (711) just in case you travel with kids, a vegetarian buddy or with a picky eater.

lunch Border crossing Bangkok Siem Reap
Our Lunch

 

4 | The Border Crossing

Once you arrived at the border (Aranyaprathet – Poipet border) and got off the bus, just walk towards the Immigation Building to get the Thai Stamp, you’ll present your passport there. Also, fill out the departure card.

Don’t worry, all you got to do is to follow the crowd. You’ll get there in just a few minutes.

Border Crossing Bangkok to Siem Reap
Just follow the crowd…
Border Crossing Bangkok to Siem Reap
Prepare your passport and get the Thai stamp here

 

Then as you leave the building, just walk until you pass by the Thai border gate. A few meters more, you’ll see the majestic Cambodia gate entrance.

Being a Filipino and as a member of the ASEAN countries, we are not required to have a Visa and can stay in Cambodia for 21 days. So for fellow ASEAN members, just proceed to the arrival area to get the arrival stamp from Cambodia Immigration.

You can easily see it as it has a huge “Arrival” sign.

Border Cambodia
Border Crossing in Cambodia by bus.
Cambodia Border gate
The Cambodia Border Gate

Looking for hotels in Siem Reap? Click here

Border Crossing Bangkok to Siem Reap Arrival
Get your arrival stamp here.

 

Then you’re done. The same bus will be waiting for you near the Arrival area to wait for all the passengers. Expect at least 30 minutes to 1 hour waiting time since some of your fellow travelers still need to process their visa which is explained in detail below.

 

How To Get a Cambodian Visa (For Non-Filipino, Non-ASEAN countries)

To save time and effort, it is recommended that you plan ahead and get your visa before your trip. You may apply and get your e-visa at http://www.mfaic.gov.kh and click the icon e-visa.

Fill out the online form and pay 25 USD using your credit card/debit card, and it is expected that you’ll receive your e-visa after 24 hours.

This will definitely save time not only for you but also for your fellow travelers in the same bus, because they still need to wait for you while you process your visa at the border. 🙂 It will take about one hour.

 

Get Visa at the Border

In case you weren’t able to prepare everything, you may get your visa while crossing the border.

Just proceed to the cream building beside the Cambodia gate to get your visa. This is called “Border Checkpoint. ” You need to pay 20USD and don’t forget to bring your own passport photo because their is a small fine for not having one.

There are some reports of scams while processing your visa at the border. Just keep in mind that you just need to pay 20 USD only, if their are people there asking for additional fees please refrain from giving money, or you may ask the help from fellow travelers or the authorities.

There you have it. The same bus will be waiting for you outside, so enjoy and continue the journey.

Border Crossing Bangkok to Siem Reap
The Border Checkpoint building. You can get your visa here.

 

5| Travel and Arrival to Siem Reap

From this point, all you have to do is relax, sleep and enjoy the Cambodia countryside. There will be some quick stops along the way like we experienced, when the bus company staff bought some food along the road.

Border crossing bangkok to siem reap
Cambodia countryside

Border Crossing Siem Reap

 

After a few more hours of travel, you will be welcomed by the calm and relaxed town of Siem Reap!

The official bus stop is located near KFC. This is the only KFC in town situated in a long row of small shops. The bus company name is Nattakarn Bus Company, the place where you’ll also buy tickets going back to Bangkok.

In case your hotel is not aware of the bus company, just tell them it’s near KFC and they’ll take you there. Bus departure going to Bangkok is also 8am and 9am.

Border Crossing to Siem Reap
Welcome to Siem Reap!

So now that you have all you need, it’s time to explore the beauty and culture of Cambodia. Enjoy! 🙂

 

——-

Where to Stay in Siem Reap, Cambodia?

Bou Savy Guesthouse Siem Reap Cambodia
Credit: Bou Savy Guesthouse

We enjoyed our stay at Bou Savy Guest House (Bed and Breakfast) at the center of the town near every tourist spot in Siem Reap.

The rooms are clean and comfortable at a very affordable price. The staff are also friendly! Room rates starts at 14 USD a day!  CHECK ROOM RATES HERE!

 

More Stories Here!



9 Comments

  1. Sab

    Hi po! Super love this detailed guide on how to go to Siem Reap from BKK.
    Just wanted to be sure, you just brought with you your ticket and your passport? And nothing else? For the visa, we, filipinos are eligible to stay up to 21 days so no need to prepare anything right? Do we need to sign anything or what? Or just present the passport?

    Thank you and God bless

    Reply
    1. Jon Espina Author

      Hi Sab,

      Happy that you find this guide helpful. Yes as part of the ASEAN countries we are not required to process VISA.

      Just present your passport and also docs from immigration when you arrived in Thailand. They need to check and put a stamp as a proof that you crossed the border.

      Jon

      Reply
  2. DonnaQ

    Hello, just want to know if its possible to go to Siem Reap then go back to BKK the next day? Just to be sure, we no longer have to pay for visa for PH passport holder, right? Thanks for your input 🙂

    Reply
    1. Jon Espina Author

      Hi Donna,

      Yes, the bus terminal is just beside the KFC. The same drop off point if you came from Bangkok.

      And yes, we Filipinos, as ASEAN members, we are allowed to enter Cambodia and Thailand even without a visa. Thanks

      Jion

      Reply

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