Overland Journey From Bangkok To Siem Reap

I recently received this short travelogue from one of our tuk tuk guests about their experiences traveling overland from Bangkok to Siem Reap. I thought it may be interesting for other travelers as we often get questions about it. Our thanks to Christine!!

“The train journey from Bangkok was very cheap, on time and very crowded! As we started in Bangkok we had a seat, but some people who boarded later stood almost all the way, over 5 hours! For the first 90 mins or so people boarded at Bangkok suburb stations… At one time i estimated our carriage contained about 300 people.. As there is no pre-allocation of seats if you got up to go to the toilet you would lose your seat – thus we were sparing in how much fluid we drank over the journey! Fortunately it was not a hot day on the outward journey but it was hot on the return. The return train was also very crowded. Interestingly although we arrived early they would not sell tickets until 12 – the same time as the train was due to arrive! Obviously there would be a long queue to buy the tickets then…. and maybe if you were at the end no seat would be available.

We decided to split up to assure ourselves of a seat; when the train arrived in, one of us queued for tickets and the other acquired the seats. This worked OK but thought you might like to pass this tip on if anyone else enquires of you.

Some of the carriages only had wooden seats – a few had some upholstery, another reason for getting on as soon as possible. On the return journey there was a 2nd class coach which you could upgrade to directly with the conductor, unfortunately i missed seeing this. I had looked for it on the outward trip as i had read it was sometimes available.. but there wasnt such a coach on our day and assumed it would be the same on the return..

Crossing the border was simple – the tourist police made sure no one “scammed” us but also made sure we were guided to the free transfer bus to the NEW bus and taxi station. The bus departs instantly , ie. no wait to make sure it is full. 2 of the policemen came with us and gave us a little talk on Cambodia and how tourists were of great value. The one i spoke to in detail said the taxi drivers we were allocated to would be recorded with our names and destinations – so a track could be kept on our safety.

There was a standard charge of 60 USD for the taxi – we had already paired up as we crossed the border but 2 girls on their own were told they could wait and the police would pair them with another couple so cost would only be 15 USD each. The new bus station had clean toilets and this was most welcome as you can imagine. I did not resent paying the 60 USD to feel we would be in good hands… and some of the stuff you read on travellers sites is a bit scary!!”

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~ by Leonard on January 26, 2009.

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