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