Do you need to know how to travel overland to Siem Reap from Bangkok? From Bangkok, the easiest and cheapest way to travel to Siem Reap is by bus. There are many buses to choose from, but I prefer taking the direct bus – the same bus will cross the border (with your bags on board) and will continue the journey to the final destination.
Do not purchase your visa on the Thai side of the border.
Nattakan Bus Company operates two daily buses from Bangkok, departing from the Northern Bus Terminal (Chatuchak). The nearest BTS station is Mo Chit, however the bus station is not within walking distance, its best to take a cab from the BTS (a cab from Sukhumvit will cost around 150 Baht).
Bangkok > Siem Reap
08:00AM or 09:00AM Departure approximately 8 hours travel time (incl. immigration clearance)
The bus is well-equipped with reclining seats (reclining much more than expected, so watch out for the person behind you when you lean back). The air-conditioning is adjustable and some snacks and refreshments are provided on board.
As you board, the conductor will take you to your seat and hand you a brown paper bag (containing snacks: cake or sausage bread, biscuits and an orange juice) and a bottle of water.
At around lunchtime, the bus stops at a 7-Eleven. You can quickly use the bathroom and/or buy something from the store. But the conductor will again provide a light meal, mine was fried rice with some sort of seafood extender – not bad for fast food.
You never need to leave the bus, except at the Thai border. The bus should arrive at the border at around 1-2PM. The conductor will give you a laminated pass to wear – this is just to make sure only the correct people are on the bus later on.
The bus driver will say: “Those with a visa, please proceed through there *pointing at the entrance*. Those who do not have a visa, please wait here.”
This is a mega scam. Do not purchase your visa on the Thai side of the border. The visa is legitimate, but you will pay nearly double the price of its value. The visa costs US$30 on arrival at the Camdodian side and they will accept US currency. On the Thai side, the cost is upwards of 1500 Baht (US$44) and they only take Thai currency.
Remember, you can exit Thailand without the Cambodian visa. The Thai officer only cares whether you have stayed in Thailand for the allowed period of time, they do not check your Cambodian entry status.
Once you pass this sign, then you be sure to purchase your visa at the correct price.
Go to the building that has large brass lettering : THE OFFICE OF THE INTERNATIONAL BORDER CHECK POINT OF POIPET. This is the ONLY place you should be purchasing the visa-on-arrival. Make sure you have US$30 in cash to pay for it. The process is immediate and they will affix the visa into your passport on the spot.
Walk out of the building and about 150 metres down the road, you will see the ARRIVALS office. You MUST get your passport stamped here, otherwise you may run into trouble as you exit Cambodia.
The bus will wait for all passengers to board – even if it takes hours. Be patient, you’d want the bus to wait for you, too.
Once all passengers have been cleared through immigration, the bus will resume its journey to Siem Reap, another 2.5-3 hours from the border.
Bus ticket Bangkok > Siem Reap : 750 Baht
Walk through Thai Immigration (without the Cambodian visa)
Go to Office of the International Border Check Point of Poipet to get the Visa-On-Arrival : US$30
Go to the Cambodian Immigration for a stamp in your passport