Step by Step – The cheapest way from Bangkok to Siem Reap

To avoid confusion about the cheapest way from Bangkok to Angkor Wat. Siam Reap is actually the gateway to Angkor Wat. So if you want to go to Angkor Wat you will most likely stay in Siem Reap. So I write in this post about The cheapest way from Bangkok to Siem Reap!

Some people would argue that walking, biking or hitching is the cheapest way. And they might be right. But this is not for everyone so let me show you the easy way. And I challenge you on the first leg of this trip. How about you get from Bangkok to the border of Cambodia for less than 2 US $? Only hitching would be cheaper. But since you have to wait for a lift in the heat of Thailand you will probably drink for more than 2 US$. And the wear and tear to your shoes if you walk or your bike would be more than 2 US$ as well. After you cleared the border it is another 9 US$ to get to Siem Reap – the gateway to Angkor Wat.

So let’s break this overland trip down in small pieces.

The cheapest way from Bangkok to Angkor Wat

From Bangkok to the Cambodian border by train

From Bangkok, it is about 265 km to the border in Poipet. The train goes all the way from Bangkok to Ban Klong Luk which is only 200 meters from the Cambodian border. It is a 3rd class train only but the Thai 3rd class trains are quite nice. There are vendors walking the train that sell food and drinks and it is quite clean. You can open the windows and enjoy the breeze while your eyes travel along the countryside.

Fare Bangkok to the Border

Bangkok to Aranyaprathet: 48 baht

Children aged 0 to 3 and less than 100cm in height travel free.
Children aged 4 to 11 and under 150cm travel at half fare.
Children from 12 years or over 150cm high pay full fare.

No reservation required
, just show up, buy a ticket and board the train.

Train Time Table

Bangkok to Aranyaprathet
Train Number275279
Bangkok Hualamphong05:5513:05
Phayathai06:1013:13
Makkasan06:2013:17
Asoke06:2613:20
Aranyaprathet11:1017:20
Ban Klong Luk Border11:1717:27
Aranyaprathet to Bangkok
Train Number280276
Ban Klong Luk Border06:5813:53
Aranyaprathet07:0514:00
Asoke11:4319:19
Makkasan11:4719:24
Phayathai11:5219:29
Bangkok Hualamphong12:0519:35

The train also stops at Phaya Thai Station next to the Phaya Thai BTS Skytrain station. And Makkasan Station which is not the same as the Makkasan Airport Rail Link Station!! But Asoke Station is close to Makkasan Airport Rail Link Station and Phetchaburi MRT Station. Boarding at these stations can be more convenient if you’re staying in northern Bangkok.

The Route on Google Maps

Crossing the Border to Cambodia

You can stay one night at the Thai side of the border or cross the border and stay one night on the Cambodian side.  Or you continue the trip on the same day.

After you are done with the paperwork at the Poipet border post-walk to the big roundabout. You will see an official free transit bus to the Poipet Tourist Passenger International Terminal about 10 minutes down the road. From here all the shared taxis and buses leave for Siem Reap  (and Battambang or Phnom Penh).  The shuttle bus (and the man with the official badge who guides you to it) is legitimate. Beware of touts along the way and read up on all the border scams to be prepared. This is the worst border crossing I ever saw – talking about scams here only!

Take a Bus to Siem Reap

I would take a bus but you could try to hitch from here. Usually, cars in Cambodia are full of people but you might get lucky with a truck. Try for a while if you like and if you have no luck you still can take a bus.

The 150 km (94 miles) from Poipet to Siem Reap should take about 2½ hours by shared taxi or 3 hours with a  bus.  Prices are posted at the ticket counter at the Poipet Tourist Passenger International Terminal.  A shared taxi costs about 12 US$ per seat.  A bus will cost you about 9 US$, a minivan about 10 US$.

If you left Bangkok with the morning train at 05:55, you should reach Siem Reap around 15:00.  If you left Bangkok at 13:05, you should reach Siem Reap around 22:00. Keep in mind that the low season or the high season makes a difference at the border. For sure it will be more busy at weekends. Some people are lucky and make it in 20 minutes or less. And some take hours. This will affect your time – and Monsoon rain or a clear sunny day will make a difference for the bus as well!

The Poipet Tourist Passenger Terminal on Google Maps

The fastest way from Bangkok to Siam Reap

I get it – some people are in a hurry and do not want to go with the slow train and have to cope with all the hassle on the border and want to avoid the scams that still exist.
For you guys, there are flights from both Bangkok Airports. The flight takes about one hour and starts from 40 US$ without extra check-in bags. Usually, you should find a flight for 60 – 80 US$ with tax and check-in bags.

Choose the right Airport!

If you are in Bangkok it does not matter too much from which airport you leave. There is the Airport Rail Link to Suvarnabhumi Airport so if you are close to a station you might want to fly from this airport. There are airport buses from downtown Bangkok as well as from the Khao San Road area to both airports. And there is a free shuttle from Suvarnabhumi Airport to Don Mueang Airport as well as the other way round if you have a valid ticket for a flight. Keep in mind that the trip might take longer than two hours in rush hour traffic.

Check flights from the old airport: *Don Mueang Airport to Siam Reap
Check flights from the new airport: *Suvarnabhumi Airport to Siem Reap

Arriving by Plane?

If you come by plane you should choose the airport where you arrive. Plan some extra time if you have to get your bags and check them in again or if you need to go through immigration.

Check flight from both airports: *Bangkok to Siam Reap

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Marc Hastenteufel

I like to travel and I like to snap pictures! My mother got me a Eurorail ticket when I was 15 and together with 2 friends we adventured into France. This was the beginning of a new addiction. On this site, I want to share some tips and trips with you! Now I am on the road for more than 8 months every year. Visiting old friends and making new friends while exploring this big blue ball. My Blog with a lot of travel pictures: https://hastenteufel.name

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