Overland Travel Between Bangkok and Siem Reap by way of Poipet / Aranyaprathet
#4 - Conclusion
Information current as of May 11, 2010
The Future of Highways 5 and 6 in Cambodia
The future is that after much dawdling and delaying this road is finally finished and it is the proper fully paved highway it was supposed to have been back in 2002.
The first attempt never even got off the ground, while the second attempt at least progressed to the point of putting the work up for bids when on November 27, 2002 a US $50 million loan from the ADB (Asian Development Bank) to complete this road was approved.
The Cambodia Road Improvement Project was to rebuild the enture road from Poipet to Siem Reap, build all new bridges, and construct a loop up to and back from Samrong.
The total cost of the project was placed at US $77.5 million with the Cambodian government putting up US $17.5 million and the remaining US $10 million coming from the OPEC fund for International Development.
The bids went out in June 2003 with four separate projects up for grabs. One, Highway 5 from Poipet to Sisophon. Two, Highway 6 from Sisophon to Kralanh. Three, Highway 6 from Kralanh to Siem Reap. And four, bridge and culvert work on the northern loop to Samrong.
The completion date was set for 2006. But work didn't start until October 2005 when the Cambodian government announced that additional funding from the governments of Thailand and Japan was forthcoming and the long-awaited construction would finally begin (what happened to the original funding???). PM Hun Sen attended a ceremony some 35 kilometers west of Siem Reap, up went some large billboards announcing the project and for awhile well, there were large billboards announcing the project. But starting with a trickle in 2006, work did indeed begin and now into 2008 they've managed to pave better than half the section between Poipet and Sisophon and the rest of the project is well underway.
Although the announcement said the road would be finished in 2008 it took until May 3, 2009. Why? Because it's the year the 12-year Bangkok Airways monopoly on the Bangkok - Siem Reap air route is set to end. Imagine that.
Still not sure which way to go?
Bangkok to Siem Reap on a Khao San Road purchased package
Bangkok to Siem Reap on your own
And please, If you'd like to share your experiences, good or bad, either from traveling independently or on a tourist bus, e-mail me your overland travel stories: or just e-mail me anyway.
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