This post's overview:
Hi guys, planning a trip to South-East Asia and particularly interested in visiting Bangkok (and maybe even Pattaya) and Siem Reap on the same trip? Don’t worry, in this post, you will find a lot of useful information on how to travel between Thailand and Cambodia or vice versa.
Without further ado, let’s get started!
Decide when you’re going to travel between Thailand and Cambodia
First of all, you need to decide, when are you going to travel between Thailand and Cambodia. Depending on how much time is left before your trip, you can decide on the transport you’re going to take. There are planes, trains, buses and minibuses connecting Thailand with Cambodia, so all you have to decide is when to buy tickets and what’s the mean of transport that is most convenient for you (we actually took the coach, so I will tell you about my experience later in this post).
Thailand to Cambodia by plane
If you’re planning your trip well in advance, you might be able to book a flight between Siem Reap and Bangkok. If you find some really good deals, the price can be as low as $40-50 per person for a flight, however, you would need to pay extra for the baggage. In the end, you might pay $70-100 per person. Flying between Siem Reap and Bangkok is certainly not the cheapest way to commute between two cities, but it’s the fastest. It’s also easy if you have multiple large suitcases or just a small backpack.
Thailand to Cambodia by bus
If you’re looking for something more affordable and exciting, you can take a bus. The ride by bus from Siem Reap to Bangkok can last from 8 up to 12 hours depending on many factors. Among these factors are road conditions, traffic, queue at the border passport control (1-3 hours), issues with the bus and so on.
A really nice thing about the bus is that you can travel directly from Pattaya to Siem Reap or another destination and you don’t need to go to Bangkok to grab a bus. You can check the availability and prices for the buses from Pattaya to Siem Reap in the link in the previous sentence. You can even hire an entire minivan if you’re travelling with a group of friends. If you’re interested in visiting Pattaya, you can read my post about the best things to do in Pattaya.
If you don’t want to / can’t pay online, you can buy a tour in one of the travel agencies in Siem Reap (or Bangkok) for as low as 8-15 dollars but you risk a lot. Your bus can leave you at the border and disappear or break and you will wait till it is repaired. I have found a lot of horror stories all over the Internet, so I personally wouldn’t risk.
Last option: bus + bus or train + bus
Finally, you can take a minibus or tuk-tuk to the border with Thailand and take a casino-bus from there to Bangkok. However, in case you have some pretty massive pieces of luggage with you, it most probably won’t work. Alternatively, you can take a tuk-tuk to the Aranyaprathet station, and from where it’s possible to take a train to Bangkok for around 1-1.5 dollars! The train doesn’t go so often, so make sure to check the schedule in advance. In fact, last time I checked, it said that the train only runs twice a day.
Our experience travelling from Siem Reap to Bangkok by bus
Our journey from Siem Reap to Bangkok by bus took about 8.5 hours. Our seats could be inclined almost horizontally and there were only 10 people in a huge bus. However, we didn’t have much luck with the AC, so it got pretty hot in the middle of the ride. For some reason, only the front of the bus had AC and the back didn’t, but the hot air from the back was getting to us. If I had a choice now, I would probably go for a minibus, just because they are faster and more convenient. We also spent about 2 hours at the border control – it was very crowded. However, we didn’t have issues finding our coach after passport control. Passport control was pretty straightforward, however, in the room, there was no place so seat. Overall, as our bus was affordable, we couldn’t complain, as it delivered us where we had to be – beautiful and vibrant Bangkok.
I hope this post about how to visit Bangkok and Siem Reap on the same trip and how to travel between Thailand and Cambodia was useful for you!