Last updated: 11:00 PM ET, Sat March 05 2016

Opinion Home | Tales From the Leap

  • Shannon Wolf | March 5, 2016 11:00 PM ET

    How to Enter Cambodia From Thailand With Ease

    How to Enter Cambodia From Thailand With Ease

    PHOTO: Our group of seven ecstatic after we managed to catch a ride all the way to Siem Reap! (photos by Shannon Wolf)

    If you’re in Thailand and planning to cross by land into Cambodia, I’m sure you’ve heard all the stories of scams and pandemonium when crossing the border by bus.

    A few friends and I however, decided to take the route less traveled and go the cheaper and (hopefully easier) journey by train into Cambodia.

    We awoke at 3 a.m. groggily, catching a ride in a taxi just down the road from Flapping Duck Hostel in Bangkok for $1 each to make it to Hua Lumphong train station in time.

    We purchased our tickets easily and boarded the tin box train (reminiscent of an old army porter) at 5:55 a.m.

    For less than $2, we had started our 5-hour journey to the border crossing into Cambodia.

    VIDEO: Walk around the city of Siem Reap in Cambodia 

    As we left the city, the sky transformed from black to purple, pink then blue and my heavy eyes struggled to stay open, but the sense of a new beginning was palpable.

    PHOTO: The early morning train ride may have not been the comfiest but it sure was beautiful!

    Waking from our nap, we had arrived at Aranya Patent train station, took a tuk-tuk to immigration at Poipet and flew through the visa process easily and without hassle.

    We were offered a free ride out of immigration to the bus station (no strings attached) and from there, hitched a ride all the way to Siem Reap — fitting seven people into the back of a van!

    Here is a step-by-step guide on how to cross into Cambodia with ease:

    • Take the 5:55 a.m. train from Hua Lumphong station (cost: 48 baht).

    • From Aranya Patent train station (last stop) take truck for 15 baht instead of tuk-tuk to immigration at Poipet.

    PHOTO: Jerry hanging out the window watching as Bangkok faded into the distance. 

    Note: be aware of tuk-tuk drivers scamming you by taking you to the wrong immigration office!

    Once arrived at Immigration:

    • Get stamped out of Thailand.

    • Head to red building and fill out visa on arrival application.

    • Pay visa fee of either $30 US + 100 baht or 1,200 baht.

    • Wait for passport with Cambodian visa.

    • Continue down the road, fill out arrival/departure card and wait in line for your stamp.

    • You're done! Welcome to Cambodia!

    READ MORE: ATF 2016: The Latest Southeast Asia Travel Trends Revealed

    Getting to Siem Reap:

    • People will come up to you offering you to take a free bus to the bus station and you should — this isn't a scam and actually free!

    • From the bus station you can take a bus, taxi or tuk-tuk to Siem Reap. Otherwise, if you'd like to hitchhike, there's only one road that goes directly to the city, so stand on the road and you can easily catch a ride. (Just be sure to tell them "no money" or they'll expect you to pay!)


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Shannon Wolf Tales From the Leap

Shannon Wolf Shannon Wolf is a freelance photographer and writer, traveling across the globe with an open itinerary and no intent of stopping. Originally from Toronto, Canada, she left behind a fast paced life to truly live and not just exist in an attempt to inspire others to follow their bliss. At age 26, Shannon has visited 20+ countries on four continents around the world. She has travelled overland by chicken-bus and tuk-tuks, hitchhiked by fruit trucks and through islands on horse and buggy. She has slept in the jungles of Nicaragua, on benches in London, secluded hidden beaches and she’s only getting started.
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