Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Siem Reap to Bangkok by bus

I know that when I was looking into traveling from Siem Reap to Bangkok by bus recently, there was very little information available that was less than a few years old. From my own experience I can tell you that the roads are a lot better than those posts make them out to be.

I also want to clarify something: it really does take nine hours however, this is divided up into three parts: sitting in a minibus in Cambodia, standing in line at immigration at the Thai boarder (for an hour and a half, maybe two hours), and sitting in a minibus in Thailand.

Honestly, it's not that bad. I even managed some sleep.

Here's what you do (#10 being the easies to mess up, in my opinion):

1. Ask your hostel owner! I was staying at a rather helpful hostel where I was able to book the entire thing without getting out of my PJs. Most hostels, I imagine, are equally as helpful (it's good business).
If your hostel owner doesn't have something set up himself, he'll know where they do.

2. Wake up at about 4:30AM, maybe earlier. Have snacks with you, because you won't have much of a chance to eat all day. Or even buy anything.

3. Get in a tuktuk sent by your bus company.

4. Chat with your future bus mates for a while while the guy who overslept gets dragged out of bed.

5. Watch in amazement as a small, impoverished Cambodian man somehow fits 15 bags in a cubic meter worth of trunk space.

6. Squish. As you get out of the van, a man will put a sticker on your shirt. Don't take it off (your shirt or the sticker).

7. Fill out a quick form and get it stamped. You have now exited Cambodia. That was the easy part.

8. Take that form to another building, where you will wait in line for what seems like an eternity without it moving. Then, suddenly, you will all be ushered into the building together to...
Continue waiting.

9. Get a quick stamp from a chubby Thai man and wonder what took so long for the line to move (I think this may have something to do with my ownership of an American passport: Them be rich people! No questions, move along!)

10. As you exit the immigration building, that sticker on your shirt will get you grabbed by a random dude who will tell you to wait in some random open space. You will then have to wait for every other person that was on your bus (regardless of how slow they were getting in line/how far behind you they are; I was first through immigration of my group, so I sat around for at least a half hour).

Be warned: the man whose job it is to spot the sticker on your shirt is LAZY. Keep an eye out for the people who were on your bus. One guy on my bus walked right past us, and if we hadn't literally run after him, he would have wandered off, and likely would have never found us again.

11. Be put on another bus before you are given any time to buy anything to eat.

12. About three an a half hours later, arrive in Bangkok.

13. Enjoy your stay!


  1. hi amanda! i just want to say your blog is very informative and i was wondering if I could contact you through via email about teaching in korea?

  2. This is great experience for me.I miss it too much.