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Cambodia Overland

Travelers' Reports:
Overland, Bangkok - Siem Reap

Page 12 of 22 (May 2005 - August 2005)

Easy ride Siem Reap to Bangkok (August 2005):

We were headed in the Bangkok direction from Siem Reap on 26 August 2005. We carried out the instructions we found on your site, this is how it went for us:

Booked taxi from guesthouse to Poipet, agreed $30 US, insisted on paying the taxi driver IN Poipet, NOT the guesthouse up front. Also agreed 30$ US in the morning with the driver. Maybe you can get it for less.

Left 8:30 am in a Toyota Camry. The road was hilarious, craters everywhere, journey took four hours. Passed two tourist buses at 9.30. Full of people covered in red dust and not happy, had a good laugh.

Arrived Poipet 12:30pm. Had all bags locked and stowed and were very alert for thieves, had no trouble from anyone. Got stamped out in 5 mins.

Walked on through, got on the left side of the 'Friendship' Bridge for Thai entry immigration.

Queued for an hour for Thai entry, passed through no problem. Had a few kids begging, to keep an eye on while queueing, but they were no real trouble and pointed us in the right direction a few times.

While arguing the price to the bus station with a tuk tuk driver a Songthew turned up so got that to the bus station 10 Baht.

Got a lovely Thai bus to Bangkok from 3.00pm arrived Bangkok Northern bus station 7:30pm. Plenty of Meter Taxis from here to whereever. Note: as we got off the bus a guy in a uniform asked if we wanted a taxi. We said 'No thanks' and walked the 50 meters to the taxi rank.

Arrived pretty fresh and early enough to sort out a guesthouse of our choosing, which was nice. It went 'Smooth as Silk'.

Cost 30$ + tuk tuk + Thai Bus 190 Bhat(each), more than the 4$ quoted in Siem Reap, but worth every extra cent.

Cab is always better (August 2005):

We did the crossing on the 17th Aug, bus to border from Bangkok took around four and half hours. We left at 8.30am. Tuk Tuk to border 70baht, to be honest we could probably have got 60 but we were keen to get through the border asap. No queues at border, 1000 baht paid for visa and no questions asked. Very few touts about on cambodian side. Cab to Siem Reap 38 dollars again we might have got less but as we had managed to tag up with two other travellers the combined rate was a lot cheaper than budgeted anyway. Would recommend this option of trying to get 4 people together for the cab. Arrived in Siem Reap at 7ish so cab took four and a half hours. Not sure how it could have been quicker as the state of the road was dry and we didn't stop, maybe we had a really slow cab but it didn't seem that way.
Returned to Bangkok on 21st Aug - couldn't find people to share cab so took the bus. Yes this definitely is a bad option. Bus was a wreck and very slow. Queue at the border was also horrible, total travelling time for this journey 13 hours and i think we were lucky to do it in that.
Conclusion - if you can afford it always take a cab.

Avoiding the new government service (August 2005):

Just made the trek today, Aug 16. Took advice from your website and it was extremely helpful so thank you.  No problems from Bangkok to the border.  I think we made it in about 4 hours (took the 9:30 am bus). Tuk Tuk to the border cost us 70 baht, not 60, but who cares. 

I think we (my girlfriend and I) were a little more skeptical of the border crossing than necessary. Although we were approached by a few beggars and kids, it wasn't as overwhelming as I expected.  We had it iin our heads to trust no one at the border besides someone behind glass.  In and out of Thai control in 10 minutes, got there just ahead of some big group, but they seemed to move quickly too as another line opened up.  Were hassled by a few people offering to take us on buses, but once we refused they more or less left us alone.

We didn't have visas (tried in Bangkok, but think we got to the embassy too late in the day (4:15)), so went to the booth.  Two people w/o uniforms told us to fill out forms and give it back to them, but we refused, thinking they wanted a fee. No one in uniform would help us, and we actually thought they were giving us the run around and forcing us to use one of the "services." As it turns out, we had no choice but to go to one of them (he was dressed in plain clothes, as oppossed to the guy that had something or another "tour group" on the back of his shirt).  He must have been some official b/c he didn't even attempt to charge a fee.  He was pretty no nonsense.  He refused dollars and insisted on 1000 baht per person.  Had to run accross the street to change some money--wasn't too big a deal.

Got our visas/passports back from him w/in 10 minutes, and then spent another 10 minutes at passport control. Small line--not a big deal.

Went through and had to turn down a few solicitors for bus services again.  We were never pushed by the government or whomever to take some sort of cab service for a set rate.  After walking past the traffic circle, and already being tired of this process, someone offered us a cab and we followed him. We went past the traffic circle and off to the right, where there were a few Camrys waiting.  No other taxis in sight.

The guy who first asked us if we wanted a cab--the taxi "pimp"--then began bargaining with us. He started with $45.  B/c I thought the gov't price was $35, I started with that rate, which was probably a mistake. I could have gotten him down more, but since I started w/ $35, I couldn't get him below $40.  Oh well--lesson learned in bargaining.  The pimp asked for a tip, which I politely refused giving him.

Taxi seemed worth it as we flew ahead of any other group.  Driver was good.  Stopped twice along the way--for gas and a "car wash."  Made it to Siem Reap by 6:30.  Driver got lost trying to get us to our hotel, but it wasn't so bad.  Oh ya, he got a phone call while we were entering Siem Reap from a friend, and he handed the phone to me.  I think the guy wanted us to go to his hotel, but we refused and that was that.  Our driver was a good guy, but he was more than happy to either take a commission or help a friend out.  Although he wanted me to take the phone call, he could have cared less what I said to the guy on the other end.

Lastly, I would also recommend that, although I know the journey was long, once I hit the roads in Cambodia, I was pretty happy that I had skipped lunch in favor of speed.  Don't think my lunch would have lasted long...

Getting a pick-up truck (August 2005):

I did the border crossing on August 6, on my real own, I was alone, it was Saturday morning. I slept in Aranyapratet and at 8:30 AM I was in Thai border ready to pass in Cambodia. The Thai queue lasted 80 minutes, althought the presence of two queues (for Thai only and not Thai)...there were dozens of `aliens` (included me). Only one tout spoke to me between the two immigration posts. I spent another 20 minutes to be admitted by Cambodia. I had a visa, obtained the day before in Bangkok.

When I went out form the Cambodian immigration I expected (reading what described in previous post) a real touts assault...only two of them approached me..taxi, taxi.. I say"pickup trucks to Sisophon", they immediately leave me alone. NO ONE made me any pressure, in any part of the border, to take the tourist bus, not at all !!! If I didn't know it's existence I would have not received any hints or advice of its presence.

I walked in the road opposite to where I arrived from, and started walking looking for pickup trucks ...after 20 minutes I started thinking "I miss something", I took a moto, asked the usual magic words (trucks to Sisophon) and he took me where four trucks were waiting (coming from border is a road to the left...after 10 minutes walking). I don't know if I went to another trucks station than the one described in this web site...It was very close (30 meters) from the depot were many tourists, may be linked with KSR travels agency, were waiting.

Thai border    8:30 AM
immigration procedures: 100 min.
wait in Poipet: 2 h
trucks Poipet-Sisophon: 100 min
wait in Sisophon: 90 min
truck to Siem Reap: 4 hours !!!

In both occasions I got into the most crowded truck.

In my opinion the road was in a good conditions (considering which road we are talking about)..no very difficult spots, only a low medium speed...for future travellers...I hope I met the slowest and most unexperienced drivers in the area, and that day there were no locals who needed a truck (I waited so much !!!)....I arrived in Siem Reap at 18:20.

The only "not nice" experience has been the Sisophn touts assault, they touched me, my bags..10-20 times. I had to stand up, take their hands and detach them from my bag and my shoulders...be prepared

I confirm 1.25$ and 2.5 $, inside the trucks...but you have to "fight" for these prices, speak only with the driver (at the beginning you don't understand which is...you have 3-4 men/guys around you)...so wait and tell "I pay the driver at Sisophon/Siem Reap"), he is your only counterpart..the others are trying to earn money.

Try to stay in the front, I seated back...my face and my knees were very close to each other.

Enjoy and respect cambodia...

Siem Reap to Bangkok (July 2005):

The day before leaving SR I had checked out the bus option at the various bus travel agents in SR (US$4 was the standard fare) but the warnings and the ominous absence of pictures of the bus (there were pictures of decent buses for other routes) confirmed me in my resolution to spend US$25 for the taxi even though I didn't know anyone to share with to split the cost. After all, I rationalised to myself, if I was flying out of PP, I would be paying US$25 for the departure tax.

I was staying at the Green Garden Guest House. I asked the manager if he could organise a taxi for the trip. He said that it was $30. This was not the first time I was glad to have read your website. I said "No, the price is $25", although, I would have paid a bit more for the petrol price rises if the issue had arisen. The manager said that he would see if anyone was willing to do the trip for $25, and later reported back, that he had a taxi organised for $25 for 8am (the time I requested) the next day.

The taxi arrived on time and I had my bags with me in the back seat. I decided to do this so that I could get loaded up at Poipet inside the taxi and therefore be less vulnerable to any passing thieves. I had a large backpack, a small daypack that I could wear on my front and a medium sized sports bag – all locked.

I asked the driver his name and it sounded like "Sam". My Khmer language ability is a bit limited and his English was only a bit better so we didn't chat much.

The first 45 minutes was ok: the road was sealed with several large holes. After that it was a dirt road and all holes. With the bangs and bumps, I was very glad I wasn't in a bus.

A couple of times during the trip, the driver stopped to have a pee on the side of the road. At Kralanh, the driver offered to stop so I could use the toilet, but I opted not to, a decision I had some regrets about later in the trip. With all the bumping because of the potholes (some the size of a couple of cars), I think my bladder was put under a lot of pressure!


It's been an hour plus of dirt road now. The driver is outside checking the car for second time. It's still holding together so we're off again!

On route to Sisophon, there was a bridge: one side steel and the other side seemed to be dirt. The trailer of a semi-trailer had fallen on the dirt half blocking that side of the road. 


We've just stopped to change a flat tyre.


Spare tyre on. On our way again. Hope we don't get second flat because there are no other spares.


I'm in Sisophon now.


We're leaving Sisophon now. Seem to have had the rear shock absorbers reconditioned and the engine tuned but no replacement spare tyre! Glad I wasn't in a hurry. I considered negotiating for a cheaper ride due to this delay but reasoned with myself that anything less than $25 probably would take away the driver's "income" from the trip and he had to pay for the reconditioning as well.

The driver said just after we left Sisophon, "police station, pay $3 in taxi". I said I had no reason to pay the police anything. We didn't stop for any police and I didn't see any either. It was sealed road after Sisophon but mostly there were lots of holes.

I only saw two buses on the road to Poipet and both were very poor excuses for buses, so I was glad I had chosen a car. The buses in Poipet were no better.

Arrived at Poipet about 1.20pm. The driver had done a small detour shortly before reaching the border to what seemed like a carpark. He indicated that he had to register his arrival or something like that with the guy in the uniform at the gate. Who knows?

At Poipet I was ready. I had my pack set to wear and I paid the driver inside the car (not wanting all the touts and potential theives to be involved). I walked past the touts 10 metres to the passport control where there was a very short queue (about 4 people in front of me). Then I walked past the casinos to the bridge that is the border. My sports bag was very heavy (stupidly packed my books in it instead of in the big backpack) so I had lots of stops. I considered using one of the carts that were offered, but decided I could manage. In hindsight, I was probably a bit too paranoid about thieves. The queue at the Thai side of the border was a lot bigger than the one on the Cambodian side but not too bad. I guess these people must have overtaken me as I inched along between border controls.


Safely across border, through passport control and on a tuk tuk to Aran.

From the Thai passport control, it was a much longer walk to the tuk tuks lined up waiting for fares. It was 60 baht (as you had said) to the bus station. The tuk tuk pulled up at the first class bus at about 2.15pm. I wasn't approached by any touts. I didn't have quite enough baht for the bus fare (176 baht) but the people at the ticket office let me pay in US$ (with a slightly inflated exchange rate (about 40 baht to US$1 normally): I had a US$5 note and I was given 12 baht change. Not too bad. And very convenient! Passengers are given a bottle of water when paying for their tickets. 


We set off for Bangkok. Thailand seemed positively rich after living in Cambodia. The bus trip was very pleasant. The bus was clean and comfortable. Seats reclined. Toilet on board.

We arrived in Bangkok at the bus terminal about 8pm. I followed your instructions for finding the metered taxis and the two touts who approached me at the bus left me alone – I seemed to know what I was doing!

At the metered taxis, there were uniformed staff who wanted me to take a taxi that was in the far lane. I thought taking one from the nearest lane would be far more convenient. We couldn't communicate (my lack on Thai), so they put my bags in the taxi in the nearest lane.

I was booked into a guesthouse and had instructions on how to get there in Thai and a map both of which I gave to the driver. Just after we set off, he said that he would do the trip for 200 baht, which reminded me of the advice of a friend that this might happen. I said "No, I want the meter, turn the meter on". The driver said "No, no meter". I said turn the meter on and he said the meter doesn't work. I said turn it on or I'll get out of the taxi (we were stopped at traffic lights). So he turned the meter on and the cost (including the 40 baht for the tollway) was 135 baht (which the guesthouse helped me pay as I didn't have enough baht).

Altogether, the trip was a positive experience, even sitting in a garage in Sisophon for an hour was educational. But without your words of wisdom, I am sure that the experience could have been a lot more expensive and frustrating, so thank you very much.

Before the new regulations (July 2005):

We're just back from a 20 days trip to Thailand and Cambodia and we made the Bangkok to Siem Reap transfer overland following your suggestions and everything worked perfectly. Great job Man, everything happened exactly the way you described it and it was easy and straightforward, taking just 9 hours from BKK to SR. It was early July when we made it, so we had no problem to hire a Camry from Poipet to SR and share it with a couple of Swedish met at the border. One of them was at his second experience to Cambodia and made his first journey with a KSR tour. The description he gave us about that trip was even worst than what we could read on your site, a sort of nightmare lasted almost 22 hours. That's why, he told me, he searched the internet before planning this new holiday to Cambodia and found a very good site named Tales of Asia where he found a lot of useful information to make the trip on his own... You look quite popular...

The way back from Cambodia to Thailand, as you mentioned, was even easier without anybody trying to "help" us in any way. There's one thing I'd like to highlight about this route, in the hope it may be my small contribution to the great job you did. As you wrote a chance exists to meet a KSR guy at the border offering a seat on a direct minibus to Khao San Road. This actually happened to us, the guy offered us two seats at 280 Baht each, stating the trip would last 3 hours and a half. As KSR was our final destination and the minibus looked quite nice, I asked him when he was planning to leave. He told me he already had 3 people waiting, five with us, just wait for the sixth and we are ready to go. Well I told him, I'm gonna take something to drink and be back, if you're ready to go I'll pay you and jump in. I was back half an hour later and the minibus was leaving, the guy looked at us and said don't worry I've got another almost ready to go, we just need to wait for some more people to show up. He then offered us a couple of chairs where we could wait, along with five other guys willing to take the same bus. Amazing I thought, six pax were supposed to be enough but we still have to wait. I gave a look at the leaving bus and it was completely full, over-crowded at the point that most of the luggages were put outside on the roof. I realized they don't leave until they're full, so we decided to go on our own. It was the right choice, we reached  the bus station just in time to catch the government operated bus which was very fast and confortable. We then hired a meter-taxi to KSR and the overall time to destination was 4 hours and 45. We spent 80 baht for the tuk-tuk to the station, 390 baht (for two people) for the bus and 110 baht for the taxi which in total is 580 baht, few baht more than what requested by the KSR guy. But our trip was very confortable with plenty of room available on both the bus and the taxi, and our luggages arrived dry, we had heavy monsoon rain all the way from the border to KSR so it's easy to imagine the status of the roof carried luggages without any rain protection. I wouldn't really reccomend the minibus to anyone unless beeing really in a hurry, trusting the 3 hours and a half stated for the minibus as the real overall time (but we have no proof for it, so does it worth the risk for a drowned backpack...?).

Tout nonsense (July 2005):

We left our Khao San Guesthouse at 4.20am and to Mor Chit Bus station at 4.50am and got the 5am 1st class A/C bus. It cost 180 baht each and they threw in a cake and water for each of us. We arrived at Aranya Prathet at 9.45am and straight away got a tuk-tuk to the border (60 baht between two of us, we didn't even try and haggle considering this seemed to be the going rate on this website). We met a tout straight away he told us he would get us a taxi for 1300 baht. I said I'd pay him 900baht and he said that was not possible. I told him we would get the bus then and he said he would then accept 900baht for a taxi - I knew it was too easy to be true.
Anyway we proceeded to the Thai immigration. The queue 30 people long when we arrived but it only took us about 10 minutes to get through it. Our tout then brought us to Cambodian immigration (we already had our Cambodian visas - we got them in Bangkok though a travel agency 850baht plus 100baht commision for them and three day wait). We were expecting them to try and lay a scam on us but they just quickly stamped our passports and waved us on - so far so good.
Then the fun and games started. Our tout changes his story and tells us that for 900baht we must take a pick up. I tell him no and try and look elsewhere but of course we are not shaking him off. Another tout tells us he can give us a car for 1000 baht. I jump at this and we follow him. At this stage we meet two Korean girls who want to share with us. Great - no problem. However straight away they say it is 1300 for four passengers. Eventually we barter them down to 1200. They kind of agree but say they want a 50 baht tip also. I say 'No''. Then they try the "You must change Thai baht scam as it you need riel''. I tell him this is not true and that I have been to Cambodia before - which is true. They then say we need to pay the police man beside them a tip to let us go. Again we refuse stating 1200baht is our final price. Eventually they let us go and the driver pays the tout 10,000 riel (100baht). The tout then hands the policeman money - talk about corruption at all levels.
While all this bartering is going on my girlfirend lets out a yelp anf tells me that another small guy was trying to open the zip of her bag. I in the anger of the deal and hearing this can't stop myself from giving this guy a guy a good shove and roaring at him. Of course he plays dumb and trys to be angry back to me. I really wanted to go for him (not in my nature by the way - but I was furious), but am glad I didn't lash out as who knows what might have ensued.
The trip was as crazy as ever. The roads (or not roads) where incredible. More corrupton to follow:
Once we left Sisophon (Svay as most people on this site call it - I didn't know this) we were stopped by two guys on the side of the street in semi uniform. They asked for money from the driver. He didn't want to pay but reluctantly did. He gave them 2000 riel (20 baht). I very much believe they were some kind of local mafia. About an hour later when slowing for a bridge a crowd of youths swarmed the car waving and smiling. They were speaking to the driver and again demanding money. I don't think these were mafia just local lads trying there luck. However I was very sure that they threatened the driver with either his or our theft if he didn't pay. Again he reluctantly paid out 1000 riel (10 baht). When we moved on he looked at me and smiled (he had no English), I know for sure his smile was saying "You don't know but I probably saved your bacon."
After getting to Siem Reap while trying to find accomodation we were inundated with tuk tuk drivers trying to get us to go with them to a hotel or arrange for them to take us to Angkor the day after. This was very frustrating. Eventually we went into a restuarant had a beer, hmmmm beer lao  and Angkor beer, and my girlfirend stayed there with the bags while I ran out on my own and got us accommodation.
Now its a day later and we are very happy with our accommodation and Siem Reap. We had a great night last night and found the Cambodians to be great people. As I said before I was in Cambodia four years ago and it is trully a fabulous, great place. Please don't let what I have written above put you off, just use it to ensure that you have your wits about you at all times while in Poipet, etc. Enjoy Cambodia as I did and hopefully will. Off to Angkor tomorrow so will try and secure a tuk-tuk driver with top notch English tonight.

Robbery warning (July 2005):

We just crossed from Thailand to Cambodia via Poipet following the directions given on your site, but unfortunately, we weren't prepared for the gangs of kids with quick fingers who surrounded us and began unzipping our bags and helping themselves to our things faster than we could stop them. Amazingly, luckily we got everything back, but a pair of 150 baht sunglasses, but were really shook up as we hadn't expected that at all. I'm not sure how often this happens, but it might help other overland border crossers, if you add a warning about having locks on zippers and being aware that groups of begging kids could have more than just begging on their minds. [Gordon here: I do warn about this in my Overland Guide and regrettably this is a daily occurrence. If it needs to be said again: Do not let any kid near you when in the border area! And save your sympathies for somewhere else, these kids will steal everything you have if given the chance.]

Visa scams (June 2005):

While travelling overland recently between Thailand and Cambodia, I came across two different visa scams. The first, of all places, at the Royal Embassy of Cambodia in Bangkok itself! In both instances each unsuspecting traveller was defrauded (or an attempt was made, in my case) to the tune of at least 12 US dollars.

1) Royal Embassy of Cambodia in Bangkok

On 1st June 2005 I went in person to the Royal Embassy of Cambodia in Bangkok, filled in the required application form in duplicate, plus two photocopies of my passport and two photos. The visa clerk stated that the visa fee was 1,500 Thai baht. I asked if it was possible to pay in US dollars but he stated that the fee could only be paid in baht. I was surprised at the amount o baht required for a single-entry, one-month business visa, which I believed it to be 25 US dollars, or 1,000 baht at today’s exchange rate (40 baht = 1 USD).

On 3rd June I went to collect the visa and before leaving the embassy I checked that all the details were accurate. To my dismay, I noticed on the visa slip on the passport that the fee was USD 25. I went back to the same visa clerk and pointed out that 1,500 baht is much, much more than 25 US dollars. He dismissed my remark, but said, more or less: ‘OK, OK, you pay in US dollars then’. I told him that on Wednesday I had asked if I could pay in dollars but he said the visa could be paid only in baht. I replied that I wanted to pay in US dollars. He then tore up the old receipt (showing that the application form had been lodged on 1st June 2005, for collection on 3rd June 2005, with a visa fee of 1,500 baht). He wrote out a brand new receipt where all the dates are given as 3rd June 2005, and a visa fee of 25 US dollars. I handed over 25 US dollars and I had to start tapping my fingers on the counter to remind him to give me back my 1,500 baht!

Even if mine is an isolated incident, it is sufficiently serious and other visa applicants should be warned, irrespective of whether they apply for a business visa (25 USD) or tourist visa (20 USD). Needless to say, if the visa fee had not been printed on the slip in the passport, I would never have found out (nor suspected) that I was about to be defrauded at a Cambodian embassy abroad.

2) Visa to Cambodia at Aranya Prathet, Thailand

This is another sad tale at the hands of the ever-resourceful scam boys from Khao Sarn. In large measure, however, I blame the travellers themselves for not doing their homework.

On Tuesday 7th June 2005 I travelled by tourist bus from Bangkok to Aranya Prathet, via Poipet, for final destination Siem Reap in Cambodia. I already had a tourist visa (for which I applied at the Cambodian embassy in Bangkok, and where I was almost defrauded to the tune of 12 dollars).

At Aranya Prathet travellers were asked to pay 1,300 Thai baht (32.50 USD) for a one-month, single-entry tourist visa. Ordinarily, it should cost 800 baht, or 20 USD (1 USD = 40 Thai baht). Each tourist handed over 500 baht (12.5 US dollars) in excess of the regular tourist visa fee.

Even more disturbing, none of the tourists complained! They obviously had not done their homework, or, possibly, could never conceive being defrauded when applying for a simple visa at a recognised, international border crossing between Thailand and Cambodia.

Though this was none of my business (I already had a business visa), I questioned the tour operators who were collecting passports and 1,300 baht from each tourist, and their reply was that the extra 500 baht was for 'express' service! Rubbish. This 'express' surcharge does not apply at border crossings, or indeed at airports. I know because I have been all over Southeast Asia by bus and have obtained countless visas at international border crossings.

Try the casino bus (June 2005):

We went to Siem Reap a couple of weeks ago. Long weekend so it took about an hour to get out of Thailand. We took a casino bus directly to the border for 100 baht. They leave from Lumpini park the Rama 4 side between 5 and 6 am. Nice comfortable bus. One stop only for diesel. Good trip no problems. Shared a taxi with a Korean guy arrived in Siem Reap at 2.30pm.

Easy... as it should be (May 2005):

My wife and I had a very easy border crossing. We took the afternoon train from Bangkok to Aranyaprathet. Despite not being too comfortable the 48 baht fare was not to be sniffed at and the scenery was interesting. We got accomodation for the night in Aranyaprathet and had a meal out at one of the best night markets we have yet found.

In the morning we took a Tuk Tuk from our hotel to the border (60 baht) and were there by 8:30am. We walked straight through Thai immigration and headed to the Cambodian visa post. Knowing the 20 dollar / 1000 baht scam we had our USD 20 in hand. This we handed it with completed form and photo to the official. He tried to tell us it was 1000 baht but we hit him with a killer! We told him we had been to the Cambodian embassy in Bangkok but were too late to get a visa in

advance and the officials there had told us that it was definately only USD 20 for a visa at the Poipet border. This very quickly shut him up as I am sure that telling tourists that don't know the visa costs only USD 20 is very different from directly contradicting his own embassy. The official then told us that it would take much longer if we paid in dollars - we told him we didn't care as it was only 8:30 am and we had all day. He took our passports and 3 minutes later we had a visa!

We then tried to find the taxis but got lost and were eventually picked up by a tout! I am not a tout fan but we really couldn't find the taxis. We paid 1000 baht for the taxi to Siem Reap. The taxi driver paid the tout 10000 Riel for finding us. So if you find the taxi stand yourself it should be that much less if you negotiate directly. The stand is on the right-hand side of the round-about as you leave immigration, in the front car-park of a big, green hotel. We were not hassled by touts much on the border as we were there so early so it should be o.k. to find taxis with a better sense of direction than us. The journey was uneventful and the road good, we were in Siem Reap by lunchtime.


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