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Going to Siem Reap through Poipet. Best options?


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I will be going to Siem Reap by way of Poipet. What is the best way to get to Poipet from Pattaya? Visa run service? Is there any way to go from Pattaya to Siem Reap by van directly?

Thanks.

 

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Personally, I would rather go to Bangkok and fly to Siem Reap (there may be flights from U-Tapoa as well).

 

I went through Aranyaprathet into Poi Pet a year and half ago (Jan 2017) and came back the same way 4 days later. Frikken nightmare. The g/f's family lives a little north of Aranyaprathet so we had a relative drive us to the border.

 

You enter the Thai side, walk down a long corridor, up some stairs, through Immigration, down some stairs and out the other side. I was through and waiting (in Cambodia) in about 15 minutes. My g/f took nearly an hour to get through.

Virtually no signs anywhere anywhere telling you where to go or what to do. I looked. I had about 45 minutes of standing around while waiting for the g/f. You cross to the right side of the main road and then walk for a bit until you get to the white building to the right of the large Arch that has Kingdom of Cambodia on it. Go into the white building, fill out the paperwork and pay for your Visa.
After getting the visa you then saunter down the road further (another 100 meters or so) past a larger white building (a casino) and then you get to the little "Arrivals" area. By this time you could have just wandered off anywhere in Cambodia without anyone every checking you.

Just past the Immigration office is a roundabout. We caught a bus there and went to a bus terminal where we ended up getting a taxi to Siem Reap. As we shared the cab with a French couple it wasn't very expensive. The cab drops you off at their office and of course, there are eager "tuk tuk" drivers waiting to take you to your hotel.

 

Getting back was almost as much fun. The taxi dumps you off near the Cambodian "Exit" point so getting through their Immigration was pretty quick. Into the Thai side, (on the left side of the road) there is a set of stairs and 2 (Police ? Customs ?) that were searching some bags. They waved me through. Thais go a different way. Foreigners go up the stairs and .........

into a room that is one massive zig-zg line and moves at a snail's pace !

2 1/2 frikken HOURS to get through that line (glad I brought a book).

The only good part of it was when some "white" foreigners (Russian I think) tried to sneak up the side of the wall and cut in front but got caught and sent to the back of the line.

Finally get out the other side and the g/f is there waiting. Apparently took her just 15 minutes to get through (so the reverse for her, easier to get back into Thailand than to get out while it was easier for me to get out than to get back in).

Friends of mine that we were meeting in Siem Reap flew in from Bangkok and said it was a breeze. From landing to hotel - about an hour total (so they said anyways).

 

Next time, if I'm going overland I think I'll go through Ban Laem instead. Otherwise I think I'd rather fly. There are flights from U-Tapao to Siem Reap but I don't know the schedules/prices.

Some places to look if going by mini-van/bus:
 

http://www.kctangkor.com/PATTAYATOSIEMREAP.html

 

http://www.angkorwat-services.com/$/laem-chabang-to-angkor-back-3d2n-56-footer-links.angkorwat-services

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Do yourself a massive favor and fly there!!  Cut down on your accommodation costs if you have to, but fly there.

 

Poipet is as Kerryd stated a bloody zoo and a nightmare. They attempt to cheat you as much as they can pretending to do health checks that are not required and asking for money to name just one! The more of you there are, the more you draw attention to yourselves for being set up to be scammed.

 

I WILL NEVER USE THAT BORDER AGAIN!

 

It's a mafia gangster-run scam by the Thai and Cambodian immigration.

 

Queues galore, highly dangerous roads, A taxi from Poipet to Siem Reap is at least $35 each way, and that is an old beat up car if you can be allowed to get it without immigration seeing you, smelly stinking immigration queues in boiling heat, the Cambodian immigration then try to force you onto their ' free taxi buses ' which take you to a depot miles away and then you are forced to use their taxis at inflated prices........ why would you do that?

 

AVOID, AVOID AVOID.

 

Be sensible and travel stress-free!

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I know the Cambodian police there. Have his number. There ok no scam. Just doing there best. No Thai scam just standard rude Thais. Fling the Cambo police outside 200 baht they will do your passport and ignore and refuse the inside VISA EXTRA CHARGE attempts 

They will give in

 

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FLY, FLY, FLY from either of the Bangkok airports. Air Asia from DMK or Thai Smile, Bangkok Airways, Cambodian Angkor Air from BKK. You can get a visa on arrival in Siem Reap airport. Like other members travelling into Cambodia via Poipet, it was a nightmarish experience for me. What made it worse were the thousands of people going back home for Songkran - horrendously long queues. I had no option but to use the "fixers" to get me the documentation and "fast track" me into Cambodia. What would have cost $30 for my visa ended up costing 3,000 baht ($90 approx). The price did include a "private" bus ticket to Battambang - another horrendous story. Unfortunately Battambang airport is currently closed to civilian airlines. 

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9 minutes ago, Burma Bill said:

FLY, FLY, FLY from either of the Bangkok airports. Air Asia from DMK or Thai Smile, Bangkok Airways, Cambodian Angkor Air from BKK. You can get a visa on arrival in Siem Reap airport. Like other members travelling into Cambodia via Poipet, it was a nightmarish experience for me. What made it worse were the thousands of people going back home for Songkran - horrendously long queues. I had no option but to use the "fixers" to get me the documentation and "fast track" me into Cambodia. What would have cost $30 for my visa ended up costing 3,000 baht ($90 approx). The price did include a "private" bus ticket to Battambang - another horrendous story. Unfortunately Battambang airport is currently closed to civilian airlines. 

 

 

 

Agree...... but I would pay a tad more to get the e-visa.

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I done last time in 2015, me and friend join a travel arranged by an agency, I forget the name but there is many in patts doing this service, just go ask and  choose one you feel good.

 

A minivan take us at our condo and leave us at poipet border, the driver tell us how to pass the border, no issue.

On the other side, in Cambodia, we waited at bus station another minivan that bring us to Siem Reap.

At Siem Reap they left us at a "square", there you could take "tuk tuk" that bring you at your hotel.

To came back we meet in the hall of one guest house with other travellers and everything goes in other way since we arrived in patts.

 

Like the others says already,  at the border there was many people try to scam you but just ignore and go on your way.

They try 2 scams with us:

1 pay a fee to go on "fast track" to pass the immigration

2 at bus station a guy offer us to go to Siem Reap

 

Poipet for sure isn't a nice place but anyway for me it was an experience ?

 

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I can only give you the Irish answer, succinct and accurate (forgove the phony accent, I'm a Scot)

 

"Sure an if I was goin' there, I would not be after starting from here!"

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Went through three years ago on my Kawasaki. A pleasant Cambodian immigration office looked aghast when I said I had no visa. But took my money and passport, gave me a seat in front of a fan, (it was May and hot) came back fifteen mins later and gave me my stuff and told me to get in a line in an office and I was soon finished. Tried to buy insurance for the motorcycle and nobody had a clue, so I gave up and just started heading south to Siem Reap. Of course you are driving on the other side of the road and the drivers are worse than here. Bloody dangerous. The best suggestion is FLY. Siem Reap is a fun place. I was there for a month. But the power does go off after rain storms, one time for days, and you need a/c so find a hotel that has its own generator, it will save your life.

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3 hours ago, Burma Bill said:

FLY, FLY, FLY from either of the Bangkok airports. Air Asia from DMK or Thai Smile, Bangkok Airways, Cambodian Angkor Air from BKK. You can get a visa on arrival in Siem Reap airport. Like other members travelling into Cambodia via Poipet, it was a nightmarish experience for me. What made it worse were the thousands of people going back home for Songkran - horrendously long queues. I had no option but to use the "fixers" to get me the documentation and "fast track" me into Cambodia. What would have cost $30 for my visa ended up costing 3,000 baht ($90 approx). The price did include a "private" bus ticket to Battambang - another horrendous story. Unfortunately Battambang airport is currently closed to civilian airlines. 

I also would suggest you fly. Bangkok Air has a special of 6,170 THB return (including all taxes) at the present moment - not sure how long this price will last.

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I went to Siem Reap by VIP-bus , it takes 8 hours from Bangkok and no stress at the border.  

 

Bus company is Cambodian and name is Giant IBIS, the ticket cost 1000 baht . They will make sure you will not get scammed at the border.

I recommend to get an E-visa online  for $36  , or you can let the bus company take care of it for $40 so you don't have to talk to any immigration officials. 

 

Giant IBIS is probably the most comfortable bus you'll ever find on this route. 

 

http://giantibis.com/

 

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I took the 4am mini van from top of south pattaya road (Around 250 Baht) which dropped us off at the "International bus station" just outside of Aranyaprathet.

 

From there we got on a "Baht Truck" (10 Baht) which dropped us off outside the 7-11 at the border, no ques to speak of at Thai immigration.

 

Place you get your Cambodian visa from was packed with officers and the infamous "200 baht extra" sign was not on display and I got my visa in under 5 minutes,  on previous occasions I've always politely declined to pay the 200baht and said that I was happy to wait and I have not waited more that 10 minutes for my visa.

 

Once through Cambodian immigration I bought a Smart card  sat down and spoke with the taxi touts, the cost of a taxi to Siem Reap is $7, yes $7, again remain calm & polite & keep telling them that you know that the cost of a shared Taxi is $7. At that time in the morning you will likely get a car that is taking goods back to Siem Reap with a seat to fill.

 

If for some reason they insist that it costs more than $7 then again politely thank them and walk past the roundabout heading away from the border and you'll find many motor bike taxis to take you to one of the many staging areas where you can pick up a taxi for $7.

 

Don't get on the "Free Bus" to the international bus/transit station as once there you are a captive audience and at the mercy of higher prices.

 

I've found that remaining calm, polite & smiling when interacting with people goes a along way to getting what you want.

 

 

 

 

 

 

picture.jpg

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cant really tell you

 

ive lived in both cities and would just pay the 2000 baht to fly into / from bkk. stay one night in my goto hotel with a pool. reserve bell trans online for pickup from my hotel to door in pattaya. vice versa. 2-3 hrs travel time total??

 

immigration and visas when flying is a non-issue (easy)

 

one day i may try the land route just for the experience ?

 

side note if you have a lot of heavy luggage these types of moves are pretty much non-doable with mini vans / land borders, only really doable for  day trips or backpacker type travelling esp in the hot season

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Can't believe all this bad advice to avoid land option with only one person mentioning the VIP bus option which is by far the best option. You would think that with the internet, people would be able to figure this stuff out instead of doing it all wrong and then passing that bad information along.

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Some good advice here. Can't believe complaints about those prices. Nose in the air: back when, it was longer, dirtier and pricier, what a great trip. Three times, so far.

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6 hours ago, lapd said:

Can't believe all this bad advice to avoid land option with only one person mentioning the VIP bus option which is by far the best option. You would think that with the internet, people would be able to figure this stuff out instead of doing it all wrong and then passing that bad information along.

 

What I do not understand is how ridiculous are people who take a bus to go to countries as Cambodia where there is not even 1 good road, especially during rainy season.

 

 

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1 hour ago, gaff said:

What I do not understand is how ridiculous are people who take a bus to go to countries as Cambodia where there is not even 1 good road, especially during rainy season.

What I do not understand is how ridiculous people are claiming there is not even 1 good road , when in fact the new road from Poi Pet to Siem Reap  is normal standard , just like any Thai road . 

Do you think the bus from BKK to SR could be there in 8 hours without good enough roads ? Maybe that was the case 20 years ago .  Maybe time for you to revisit. 

 

I made some calculations before I went and compared it with a flight to SR.  I would have to be at the airport 3 hours before the flight , so that's 3 hours saved. Then the flight itself is 1-2 hours. Then waiting to get through immigrations , and find a taxi to get downtown .  So all in all it would take you 6 hours anyway in time. 

 

With Giant Ibis I left BKK 7:45 AM  and would be in SR at 3:30 PM .  No stress , comfortable seats , a few toilet breaks along the way . At the border you just follow the leader of the group and do not talk to anyone .   

I will take this bus trip again for sure. 

 

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8 minutes ago, balo said:

What I do not understand is how ridiculous people are claiming there is not even 1 good road , when in fact the new road from Poi Pet to Siem Reap  is normal standard , just like any Thai road . 

Do you think the bus from BKK to SR could be there in 8 hours without good enough roads ? Maybe that was the case 20 years ago .  Maybe time for you to revisit. 

 

I made some calculations before I went and compared it with a flight to SR.  I would have to be at the airport 3 hours before the flight , so that's 3 hours saved. Then the flight itself is 1-2 hours. Then waiting to get through immigrations , and find a taxi to get downtown .  So all in all it would take you 6 hours anyway in time. 

 

With Giant Ibis I left BKK 7:45 AM  and would be in SR at 3:30 PM .  No stress , comfortable seats , a few toilet breaks along the way . At the border you just follow the leader of the group and do not talk to anyone .   

I will take this bus trip again for sure. 

 

 

same me, would never fly to sr

 

arrange visa at kamen embassy in bkk

go to border, bus from ekamai to rongklua

or taxi meter to rongklua

or train to aran and bahtbus to border

 

walk through borders

 

take free bus to bus station - discuss prices a bit, if not happy

back to border and spend the night in one of the pretty good hotels close to border

spend some time arranging transport next day and some time drinking beer and some time chatting with people

 

a breeze

 

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1 hour ago, melvinmelvin said:

a breeze

Well, yes but sounds a bit more complicated than just going with the VIP bus.   But I guess it will be a lot cheaper . 

 

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1 minute ago, balo said:

Well, yes but sounds a bit more complicated than just going with the VIP bus.   But I guess it will be a lot cheaper . 

 

cheaper? dunno

 

but more relaxed and entertaining - yes

 

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11 hours ago, balo said:

What I do not understand is how ridiculous people are claiming there is not even 1 good road , when in fact the new road from Poi Pet to Siem Reap  is normal standard , just like any Thai road . 

Do you think the bus from BKK to SR could be there in 8 hours without good enough roads ? Maybe that was the case 20 years ago .  Maybe time for you to revisit. 

 

I made some calculations before I went and compared it with a flight to SR.  I would have to be at the airport 3 hours before the flight , so that's 3 hours saved. Then the flight itself is 1-2 hours. Then waiting to get through immigrations , and find a taxi to get downtown .  So all in all it would take you 6 hours anyway in time. 

 

With Giant Ibis I left BKK 7:45 AM  and would be in SR at 3:30 PM .  No stress , comfortable seats , a few toilet breaks along the way . At the border you just follow the leader of the group and do not talk to anyone .   

I will take this bus trip again for sure. 

 

 

Hey champion, do your life ! No need to explain, everybody can be proud to be an idiot and want to die on the road !

 

 

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18 hours ago, gaff said:

 

What I do not understand is how ridiculous are people who take a bus to go to countries as Cambodia where there is not even 1 good road, especially during rainy season.

 

 

That road has not been dirt/gravel in at least 15 years and is quite modern.  Have you even been to Cambodia?

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