Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Bangkok-Siem Reap Overland Budget and Itinerary

by Regin Reyno

Ever since I visited Angkor Wat and did a Bangkok-Siem Reap-Ho Chi Minh overland travel, a lot of people were asking me itineraries, budget, and logistics about that route. I wasn't able to post a detailed itinerary about that. Now I notice a lot of people wants to visit Angkor Wat, so I wrote a detailed itinerary about this route. This route is part of the Banana Pancake Trail.

a backpacker aboard the train from Bangkok to Aranyaprathet
One of the things you must not miss if you are in Southeast asia, or if you are visiting Southeast Asia is Angkor Wat. It's a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the largest religious infrastructure in the world. It was built in 1125 AD without modern tools and an engineering genius which can only be matched by the Pyramids of Giza, Taj Mahal, and Machu Picchu. 

Here is an itinerary and budget on how to get to Angkor Wat if you are in Bangkok, Thailand.

Cambodia and Thailand are neighboring countries which you can just cross via land trip.

Day 1: Bangkok-Aranyaprathet by train

cost: 48 baht (1.66 US dollars) per person
travel time: 6-7 hours
time of departure: 5:30 am

The central train station in Bangkok is located in Hualamphong and is called Hualamphong train station. It is connected to Bangkok's subway called MRT. Just take an MRT, and head to Hualamphong Station. 

Since the train is leaving at 5:30am , it's either you should go to the station early morning via taxi or just sleep at Hualamphong. There are a lot of budget guesthouses around the area. 

Aranyaprathet Train Station-Aranyaprathet Immigration by tuktuk(rickshaw)
cost: 60 baht (2.07 USD) per tuktuk
travel time: 5-8 minutes

There are usually lots of backpackers taking this route, so befriend them and share tuktuk with them. Use your haggling skills here. It should only cost 60 baht. One tuktuk can accomodate 4-5 persons. 

There are scammers in this area. Some tuktuk drivers will take you to the fake immigration. And the fake immigration will list your names and ask for some money. Don't give them any money. Head to the real immigration instead. 

The fake immigration is located at the right side of the road (if you are facing Cambodia) near the real immigration. So if the tuktuk takes you there, just pay him the fare and walk calmly to the real immigration.

Poipet-Siem Reap by bus
cost: 9 US dollars
travel time: 3 hours 

Aranyaprathet is a border town of Thailand, in which you will cross the immigration and go to the border town of Cambodia called Poipet. From Poipet, there's a free shuttle bus going to the bus terminal. At the bus terminal, you can have a choice between shared taxis and buses.  Buses cost 9 dollars per person while shared taxi cost 12 dollars per person. The travel time for shared taxi is only 2 hours while the bus takes 3 hours to reach Siem Reap from Poipet. 

Don't buy dollars in this bus terminal, the exchange rate is not good. Bring dollars with you or just withdraw in Siem Reap. There are lots of ATM machines in Siem Reap. 
Cambodia accepts both US dollars and Cambodian Riel. 

Check-in at Yellow Guesthouse 
Single fan room: 5 US dollars/night
Single aircon room: 10 US dollars/night

Yellow Guest House is a family owned backpacker guest house where I usually stay whenever I go to Siem Reap. You can ask a discount if it is not peak season. 

Day 2: Angkor Wat Tour

tutuk cost: 12 US dollars
Angkor Wat 1 day admission fee: 20 US dollars

You shouldn't miss the sunrise over Angkor Wat. Inform your guesthouse that you'll be touring Angkor Wat a day ahead, and tell them that you will leave at 4:30am for the sunrise. The tour will usually last at 4pm. You will eat your lunch at one of the stores in the temple.

Some tuktuks comes with cold water bottles, some don't-just be prepared and bring your water bottle. You will have a whole day of walking exploring the temples. Don't forget your flashlight too for the sunrise. You don't want to trip and fall because you can't see your way. Remember, 5am is still dark. 

Day 3: Siem Reap City Tour, Pub Street and Night Market 

Siem reap is one of my favorite cities in Asia. You can basically explore it by foot or you can try their tuktuk, called remorque-moto-the most romantic tuktuks in the world. 

Try Khmer dishes, take photos, relax, feel and experience the place, unwind and enjoy. And in the evening, head to Pub Street where you can find great restaurants and lots of fellow travelers hangin' out. Angkor Night Market offers a lot of souvenirs and Khmer products. Never leave Siem Reap without trying Khmer whole body and foot massages. They're so good and inexpensive. Oh, and the fish massage too. 

meals: 1.5-3 US dollars per meal
tuktuk: 1 US dollar one way
massages: 1-3 US dollars per hour

Day 4: Back to Bangkok

Siem Reap to Poipet by shared taxi: 25 US dollars per taxi
tuktuk from immigration to train station: 60 baht (2.07 USD) per tuktuk
train from Aranyprathet to Bangkok: 48 baht (1.66 USD) per person

Last train to depart for Bangkok from Aranyaprathet is 1 pm. Be sure to catch it or else you will end up sleeping in Aranyaprathet or taking the van or bus which cost 100-300 baht (3.45-10.36 USD).

You just experienced Cambodia and Angkor Wat on a budget. Who says traveling is expensive? 


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  2. oo nga naman :0 akalain mo yun tipid tipid mode ..... ung mrt nila medyo luma na no?

    1. Bago yong MRT nila. Maganda. Pang-world class. Train to Cambodia yang nasa picture diyan.

  3. Great site, valuable and very useful information,you has provided us for that I really thankful to you.

  4. Thanks for this post Regin, very informative. I am planning to travel from Philippines to Bangkok-Siem Reap-Ho Chi Minh for a week. I know it is bit but I think it is worth a try. Do you have a complete itinerary for this? I would love to know. Thanks a lot! ;)

    1. Yes, I have. You can message me in my facebook page. But, I'll be writing a separate post about it as well. Hoping to be finished on Sunday.

  5. Planning to go t Siem Reap this October, thanks for the information you've shared...

  6. Thanks for this! I was wondering if it would be hard to travel if I brought a small luggage with me?

    1. Small luggage is no problem, as there's a compartment in the train. But backpack is still better.

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