Siem Reap to Bangkok is quite a common route for backpackers travelling around South East Asia, but even so getting from one to the other can sometimes feel like a mission, a mountain, some other hideously big obstacle that at 4pm on a Friday my mind cannot think of. We’ve all heard horror stories of 6 hours spent at the Poipet border waiting for a tiny little stamp in your passport. As a Brit i’ll obviously happily queue for any prolonged amount of time to get what I want … so long as no one jumps the frickin’ queue, but the border crossing isn’t in Blighty is it? No its in Asia where queue jumping is an every day occurrence evoking in rage amongst pale backpackers everywhere.
… erm anyway, getting back on track.
Siem Reap to Bangkok via Poipet
So the border, whats occuring then? Well, after your 2 hour ish minibus/coach/taxi journey from Siem Reap to the border (Poipet), you will be dropped off at a rather large roundabout and given a wonderfully colorful sticker. Next will come some instruction for your ‘tour’ leader. Something like this …
Keep sticker, see you on the other side
You swear at that point to guard your new sticker with your life and then look around for signs that might provide direction to ‘the other side’ or at least something to that description. Truth be told, whilst the border crossing process isn’t all that complicated, a little bit more info or someone to point you in the right direction wouldn’t go a miss.
So here they are, not comprehensive, but this should still be enough to get you to the other side and essentially from Siem Reap to Bangkok. I even made a little map for your and took a couple of sly photos – I’m such a rebel. Unsurprisingly looking at the map below you’re aiming to get from A to B. Off you go.
At worlds biggest roundabout (probably not an entirely true statement) stand facing Thailand and then navigate your way to the right hand side of the roundabout.
Get your passport reading and a completed leaving card. Queue up at the appropriate window and get your leaving stamp(s).
Walk. Yup walk in a straight line for a couple of minutes. The casino should be on your right hand side and after a few minutes you’ll pass through a big golden gate.
Now that you’re through the gate, gravitate over to the left hand side of the road.
Now you should have arrived a little cluster of buildings. There’s likely to be large groups of Cambodia and Thai people sitting outside of the first building waiting for some kind of approval I would guess. You need not do this. Head past the throngs of people till you see 4 or 5 lanes covered by blue-green canvas. You should also see a big sign saying something along the lines of ‘Tourists please complete X form’. Behind the sign is a official at a table who will provide said forms. Make sure the official stamps your form. They should then direct you to the correct lane, but if they dont just ask.
Fill out your form whilst in the queue.
When you reach the front of the queue you will enter an air conditioned (thank god) building where you shall again queue up. This time its to get your Thai visa.
Once you have your visa you walk out the back of the building to have your bags scanned.
After bags its customers. They just waved us through in all honesty, but that might not always happen.
Locate your tour leader who will then take you to your mini bus/coach/taxi which in turn take you to Bangkok.
That’s it, done, Siem Reap to Bangkok via the Poipet border. Easy huh!?
All in all it took us about an hour to get through, but as mentioned I’ve heard horror stories of 5+ hours. Hopefully this doesn’t happen to you, but just en case its worth stocking up on water and nibbles before leaving Siem Reap.
Siem Reap to Bangkok info, tidbits and pointers
- From Siem Reap to Poipet is around 2 hours
- From Poipet to Bangkok can take anywhere between 5 and 7 hours. The traffic on the outskirts of Bangkok can take a long time to navigate through if you hit rush hour.
- At the Poipet border there are plenty of chances to get food and water before and after you stamp out of Cambodia and into Thailand – my advice is to get some water before stamping out of Cambodia.
- A Thai visa for a UK citizen costs £0.
- There are fines for overstaying in Cambodia. If you know you’ve overstayed I would take some cash with you as paying by card didn’t look to be an option.
- Take a pen, don’t rely on other people to help you out there when you have forms to fill in.
- Our tickets cost us $15 each for the entire journey. Good value if you ask me.
Siem Reap to Bangkok … enjoy!