Remember when I was all like, “I am taking the bus for a billion hours to reach Cambodia!” When I could have just taken a short flight?
I decided to take the bus, because I wanted to enjoy the view. Oh, who am I kidding – I opted to book bus tickets for a portion of my journey from Thailand to Cambodia, because AIRPLANES you guys!
And then my friends started giving me that look.
Well, it is possible they gave me that look because not only have I opted to take the bus for forever, but I have also decided to travel overland from Thailand to Cambodia. Or because I had to drag them with me on this possible-need-of-a-knee-cap-replacement-surgery type of trip. Our journey included a ride in a minivan, sort of sailing on a ferry, bus ride to Bangkok and another bus ride from Bangkok to Siem Reap.
In case you’re not following along at home, that’s A WHOLE LOT OF OVERLAND TRAVEL.
When anyone tells you that they’re considering taking a bus to anywhere from anywhere for any reason for any distance longer than about hundred kilometers, you should probably go ahead and give them that look.
Not that I am complaining. We did save some money, but I really can’t think of anything nice to say about the first bus we took from Chumphon to Bangkok. But I still count it as a success in my book.
There was the one time I ended up crossing Cambodia on a public bus with Cambodian pop karaoke playing at full blast the whole time.
And there was that time I had to sit for few hours with my knees pressed against my chest at the back of a minivan travelling to Malaysia. I was almost sure I would need a knee cap replacement surgery after this trip.
After reaching Bangkok we had to book a hotel for the night, before taking the bus to Siem Reap the next day. And since my friends weren’t very happy of the prospects of spending another billion hours in another bus, I was really hoping this bus journey was going to make all the difference to our trip.
We reserved the bus tickets online through ThaiTicketMajor’s website. I would recommend it as it is so much easier to book your tickets online, rather than having to haggle with the local tourist operators. After completing your booking you can pick up your tickets from the bus station. The ticketing counter is located on the right side, next to the main entrance. The tickets cost 750 baht and you will have to pay additional 20 baht booking fee. The direct bus departs every morning from the bus station at Mochit 2.
It is a direct bus, so you won’t need to change at the Cambodian border and probably to be forced to listen Cambodian karaoke tunes at full blast.
Because, CAMBODIAN KARAOKE you guys!
It takes around 8 hours to reach Siem Reap with the direct bus from Thailand to Cambodia and you will be served free breakfast and traditional Thai lunch on board. Plus you will get free snacks and refreshments throughout the journey. This bus offers a better service than most of the budget airline companies that fly to Cambodia. And better food too.
Scam alert (travel experience as of April 2015): Before you get to the Cambodian border, the bus will stop at the Thai side claiming that you can get your visa done. They will charge you around 1,200 baht ($40) for filling the visa papers for you. This won’t be the actual visa and you will have to pay accordingly when you reach the Cambodian side. To avoid this, simply walk your way to the proper visa office at the actual border. At the immigration office in Cambodia you will be asked to pay additional 100 baht on top of the visa fee. This is another scam and you can just say you don’t have any Thai baht on yourself.
Being able to avoid both flying and the Cambodian karaoke made this journey a huge success. Although I don’t think my friends think the same.