Crossing the borders from Siem Reap to Bangkok or vice versa is very popular especially to backpackers travelling to Indochina countries. It’s quite famous in the Philippines too. Last December 2019, I went on a solo travel to these countries and here is a guide I created for solo travelers and backpackers.
First thing you have to know is that the border crossing from Siem Reap to Bangkok is no walk-in-the-parks. It may be confusing especially if you’re traveling alone. The border crossing from Singapore to Malaysia and Vietnam to Cambodia may be different in terms of the whole process. This is because the bus is usually outside every immigration gate and it will take you to cross the boarder and enter the next immigration office. Siem Reap to Bangkok is opposite to this process and has a very different way of crossing the border.
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Purchase your ticket with Virak Buntham (Siem Reap to Bangkok)
First thing you have to do is to secure your tickets with Virak Buntham at least 24 hours prior your date of travel. Walk-ins are accepted but making an advance reservation is highly recommended especially if you are traveling in a time-sensitive manner. You can’t afford to go to the office and find out that there are no vacant seats available. So, best to book early!
Below are the only 2 schedules available with Virak Buntham:
• 00:30 – 13:30 (13 hours)
• 08:00 – 20:00 (12 hours)
Once you board the bus of Virak Buntham, the bus conductor will explain the whole process. Don’t worry because the instruction is in English. All you have to do is to listen very carefully since his instructions are loud and clear. You will be asked to bring your bag and luggage with you and leave some unimportant things in the bus like your neck pillow or water bottle. It will be the same bus waiting for you outside the Thailand Immigration gate.
Entering the Cambodian Immigration
In about 1 hour and a half, you will reach the immigration office of Cambodia. Remember to stick with your group when you get off the bus especially if you’re traveling alone. Memorize the faces of the people inside your bus, at least that tactic worked out for me. Lol.
When you enter the Cambodian Immigration, just line up and get your passport stamped. Reminders to Philippine Passport Holder that doesn’t have working visa/permit in Bangkok, there will be a USD3 payment at the Cambodian Immigration.
Word of advise: outside the Cambodian Immigration office there will be lots of scams. Just tell them politely that you are all set and you don’t need visa to enter Thailand since you are a Philippine passport holder.
Crossing the borders by foot
Here is where the border crossing from Siem Reap to Bangkok gets different from other border crossings in Asia. You’ll have to walk by foot from Cambodian Immigration across the Thailand Border and into the Thailand Immigration office. The bus will not wait for you outside the Cambodian Immigration office. Hence, you will carry your bags including your luggage across the border.
It’s about 200 meters from Cambodian Immigration office to Thailand Immigration. After crossing the border, follow the signs that says Thailand Immigration. Again, this is a bit confusing, there are lots of people passing by. Just ask the officers around if you think you’re lost. At least that’s what I did.
Entering the Thailand Immigration
After walking in about 10 – 15 minutes, you will see an immigration information desk and ask for a disembarkation card. Fill it up and proceed upstairs and clear Thailand immigration. Note that there are a lots of people trying to cross the border and the line could take up to an hour. Total process time was 2 hours from 6-8AM.
Tip: For Philippine passport holders, prepare a copy of your flight from Bangkok to Manila if you will be exiting there.
Look for your bus in the parking lot (Siem Reap to Bangkok)
After exiting the Thailand immigration, your luggage will be checked and you will exit on 2 lines divided by male and female. When you exit, walk towards the parking lot on your left. The officer in charge will ask for your bus ticket, and will point you towards the direction of your bus.
Traveling With Virak Buntham buslines Review
- English speaking bus conductor
- Free water and snacks
- There’s no wifi so better buy a sim card that works for Cambodia and Thailand
- The bus conductor is really nice, you can ask him any questions if you’re confused with the instructions.
- Hassle-free booking
- The bus left Siem Reap on time
Important tips from Joan’s Footprints (Siem Reap to Bangkok)
- For solo travelers, stick with your group. Especially while crossing the borders on foot.
- Beware of scams outside the Cambodia Immigration office. Just ignore them and tell them that you do not need visa to enter Thailand since you are a Philippines Passport holder.
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