Siem Reap is not that far from Bangkok, it is an enchanting place to visit especially the majestic Wat’s.
We are often warned about this overland journey being dangerous and difficult, well I can assure you it’s really easy.
After all, we are travelers and travel is our passion.I hope you find my experience of this journey helpful.
I made this journey with my eight year old daughter and she enjoyed ever single moment of it. She has gained so much knowledge of the worldthanks to our travels.
If I thought there would be any danger we would of flown in, but that’s the easy way.Typical girl, has to have her nails painted everywhere. OK, here we go.
The sky train in Bangkok will take you to Mo Chit station.The northern bus station is just a short taxi ride from there, we actually jumped on a moto taxi cost 80 baht.
You need the bus going to Aranyaprathet.I do believe these buses start at about five in the morning and leave every half hour.The fare is around 200 baht and you get a bottle of water and a cake thrown in.There are plenty of food shops at the station if you need some supplies for the journey.The trip takes about three to four hours.This bus will take you right to the border, so no need to get a tuk tuk.
You could of course take the train.Two trains leave daily from Hualumpong station, one at five to six am and another at about 1 pm.It’s best to get the early train as you will have a problem getting all the way to Siem Reap on the same day and will have to stay the night at Aranyaprathet or worse, Poipet, which is not a good place to stay. Poipet is like a cowboy town from the old days.
The fare is around 50 baht, but it’s third class only and if your not quick enough to get a seat, tough luck you have to stand all the way, about 5 hours.
Once off the bus just walk to the Thailand immigration building so you can stamp out of Thailand, very easy.
Once through here you will be surrounded by little kids trying to shade you with their umbrellas, if you allow them they will expect a tip.
Head straight towards the Cambodian immigration, you cannot go wrong, most travelers are following each other.
I prefer to get my visa on line which is very easy and quick which saves all the hassle with the touts trying to get you to buy your visa… rip off.The most important word you need now is “NO”.You will need it everywhere in Siem Reap.
You can get your visa on line at evisa Another good tip to save you money.
Make sure you have some US dollars before entering Cambodia preferably smaller denominations of $20 or under.Using $50 bills and upwards can create a problem with your change.
Going through Cambodian immigration is easy, just join the queue get to the counter hand over your passport with your evisa, smile for the camera and you will pass through quite easily and quickly.No money, no mess, no fuss.I always have at least two copies of my evisa. So now you have cleared immigration and your on your way.
Not long now and you will be in Siem Reap, the home of the majestic Wat’s.
Outside the immigration office there will be a bus waiting.This bus is a freeride that takes you to a depot which is not far.
You DO NOT have to take this bus, but believe me it is the easy option.
When you get to the depot you can choose to get the bus to Siem Reap or the taxi share system.The bus can take up to 6 or 7 hours to get there.I choose the share taxi, it’s a lot quicker and as most of the road is now sealed with bitumen it only takes about 3 hours.
It’s only the last few miles of the road which has not been completed yet, and this part is a bit bumpy but not too bad.The share taxi fare is about $20 US, and the bus about half that.
The taxi will stop just at the edge of town, here you will be transferred to a waiting tuk tuk.
There will be a driverand his friend.There is NO charge for this journey and they will take you to your pre booked accommodation.
If you have not pre booked, they will try to offer places to stay.They do get commission from the hotels for this, but it’s entirely up to you.You DO NOT have to choose the places they offer to you.
I have stayed in the Golden Banana, great place, quiet and relaxing with a beautiful pool.
If you prefer to be closer to the “action” a great place is the Heart of Angkor.This guest house is close to everything and at $10 per night it’s good value.
Just across the road by the elephant statue is the Capitol bus ticket office where you can book and board the bus for Phnom Penh. Well there you go, your in Siem Reap, how easy was that, I am sure my daughter could do it on her own. If your looking for a good place to stay, take a look at the golden banana. The temple’s and Wat’s are not far from the town, here is some information on how to visit them including the famous Angkor Wat