How do I get from Siem Reap to Bangkok?
(Trip originally taken February, 2011. Updated September, 2012)
How to do this trip easily (below I have a story about how I did it in a much harder way)
The best way I have found to do this trip is to sort it yourself.
- Take a bus to Poi Pet on the border. You can sort this out through your guesthouse.It will probably be Sorya. Sorya is fine. No, you don't want a ticket all the way to Bangkok.
- When your bus arrives at the border, get out (you're welcome). There will be foreigners on the bus who bought tickets straight through. They will begin to get herded. You are an individual, not an animal. Grab your stuff and walk towards the border.
- Leave Cambodia on the right. Walk a couple hundred meters. Enter Thailand on the left.
- Walk from the border 50m. Turn right. Use the bathroom. Get some Baht from the ATM.
- Sometimes in that area you might find a casino or tourist bus headed direct to Bangkok for 200 baht. If so, get on. Score.
- If not, ask a tuktuk to take you to the bus station with busses that go to Mo Chit (a bus station in Bangkok). 80 baht is what we paid for that tuktuk ride.
- 220-ish baht for the bus ticket. You can go to Mo Chit or Ekemai station in Bangkok. Busses leave like every 30-45 minutes. 5-6 hour trip.
- If you go to Ekemai, the sky train is right next to the bus stop, you can see it. If you go to Mo Chit, you will need to take a tuktuk or taxi from Mo Chit bus station to Mo Chit BTS Station. 50 baht or so.
- Take the train to your preferred Bangkok destination.
The Hard Way (or "How to Learn Lessons" or "The Saga of Jenny")
Wow, this was a much harder trip than it should have been and a much harder trip than the time I went from Phnom Penh to Bangkok.
Went with a company called Angkor Magic. Don't go with them.
So at the designated time in the morning, whatever that was, a couple of other folks and I waiting in the lobby of the beautiful Angkor Pearl Hotel, were led to a bus waiting just a hundred meters away or so. We got on. Picked up a few more folks and we were off. Many people had seats to themself so it was looking like a pretty comfy trip. Not so much, for most.
Just out of town, the bus stopped and we were herded onto a minibus. Yeah, not so spacious anymore. This kinda pissed me off 'cause I had just started up some Dexter on my laptop. And we were piling into a tiny bus. Well, most of us. Some were being put into a comfy looking sedan next to the minibus. Lemme see what i can make happen...
So I take out my cell phone. Fake dial. Start telling the mystery guy at the other end (in Khmer), that we (my company? my family?) should never use Angkor Magic again. Eventually I got put into the posh front seat of the sedan. Don't know if it was my clever ruse, or just luck, that I scored it, but whatever. Anyway, the trip to the border was smooth and fast. We arrived like 20 minutes before the rest of the passengers. Problem was that my bag was on the minibus already, so I had to wait for them anyway. No worries, gave me a chance to grab a bite to eat.
Eventually the bus came, we met up with the guy from the company who put stickers on us and we went through the border stations. When we got across, we were met by another representative of the company who wrote numbers on our stickers and we waited about 30 minutes. Then we walked a few hundred meters to a convenience store where a small minibus was waiting. The numbers designated who could pack onto the bus and leave. So we got on and... headed to the next waiting place, a cafe/bar where we were going to wait for a big bus. And it seemed we were going to wait for a while. And we did.
Eventually, maybe an hour after we arrived in purgatory, this cute English chick and I decided to head out and look for the bus station with buses that would take us to Mo Chit station in Bangkok. As we headed out of the cafe, a woman pulled up, asked where we were going, threw us into her car and took us to where a bus was waiting. 200-something baht and 10 minutes later we were on our way and confident we made the right decision.
We arrived at Mo Chit, took a tuktuk to the skytrain and headed to our hotels. We met up again later and had a wonderful evening. Don't forget me Jenny (I think that was her name)!