Because we are traveling for so long, we try to keep accommodation and travel expenses to a minimum, so that we have more to spend on the fun stuff.
Tim and I were due to renew our Thailand visa, so we thought we might as well go see Cambodia and Vietnam whilst we were at it.
The night before we left we searched online to see if there were any buses or trains that would take us to the border quite cheaply. We were surprised when we found that there was a local train that went from Bangkok train station to Aranyaprathet (6km from the Thai/Cambodian border) for as little as……. 48Baht (approx AUD$1.50)!! The route was meant to take 5 and a half hours, but we were on the train for at least 6 and a half.
We couldn’t believe the price, there were two times departing from Bangkok – 05:55AM and 13:05PM.
We decided on the morning train, so ordered a taxi for 04:45AM to pick us up from the hotel and drop us to the station. Once there we bought our tickets and went and grabbed some breakfast (which almost cost more than the train tickets 😉 ).
The train was surprisingly nice for what we were paying, the seats had a cushion so you weren’t just sitting on a wooden bench, overhead storage space and there was enough room to crouch up and go to sleep if you wanted.
Once we arrived in Aranyaprathet there were more Tuk Tuk’s than you could count waiting to pick up travelers and take them to Poipot (the border).
After negotiation the Tuk Tuk cost 100Baht (AUD$3.50).
****Now be careful!! The drivers will take you to a building and say you have to purchase your Cambodian visa there and exchange all your Baht as you can’t in Cambodia – this is a load of rubbish!!!!
You do not have to do anything regarding Cambodian visas until you have been stamped OUT of Thailand, it is a huge scam and they rip off so many travellers everyday.
Just say that you purchased your visa online (even if you haven’t) and they will show you where you need to go to get your departure stamp.****
Once you have been cleared through immigration, customs and stamped out of Thailand it is a short walk to the border – here is where you purchase your Cambodian tourist visa.
You can easily purchase your visa at the boarder, you just need 1 passport photo and USD$20. Tim and I didn’t have any passport photos on us, so paid the guy 100 Baht each and they sorted it out for us.
Once we were stamped into Cambodia and had cleared customs, we caught the free government shuttle bus to the bus depot. Here we had a choice to catch a bus or a taxi to Siem Reap. The bus was AUD$10ea, but we teamed up with two other travellers and decided on a taxi which cost AUD$15ea. The taxi is a lot quicker and they take you to wherever you are staying.