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Bangkok to Siem Reap by train/bus: Think twice!

Amsterdam, The...
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Bangkok to Siem Reap by train/bus: Think twice!

We bought a train / bus ticket at Bangkok train station for the train of 13.05h and arrived aprox. 18.30h in Ayanaprathet (almost an hour later than scheduled) We expected a bus to be waiting at the train station, but there was nothing. We showed a tuktuk drive our "bus ticket" and he made a call, said there was no more bus. We already booked hotel in Siem Reap for this night, thus we had no choice. The tuktuk driver took us to a "visa office" at no charge. Luckily we had obtained an eVisa ahead. Because there was no more bus, we had to pay 1000 THB for a private taxi. Another guy joined us towards the Poipet border. He asked us to get some money, but the ATM only gave THB at the moment, which we did not needed at that moment. We got our passports stamped by customs and the guy wanted to take us to ae money changer. We refused, he got a bit pissed of,but took us to the taxi and did not need Cambodia money at that time and just wanted to go to our Siem Reap Hotel. The taxi took us to the city limits of Siem Reap, said he was not allowed to take us to the hotel. A tuktuk driver was waiting for us take us, and was very friendly in the beginning. His mood changed quickly when we did not want him for tomorrow to the Angkor Wat area. He took some detours and stopped in a dark place to persuade us to hire him the next day. We only had some small Thai money, no USD or riel at that moment. We just want to sleep and explore Siem Reap by ourselve. Finallly he took us to our hotel, refused the thai money and began shouting and threatening us. A bad experience I wanted to share with you. We left Cambodia 3 days later by plane and enjoyed the rest of our holiday in Thailand, which is much better organized. Tip: go to tourist information office and arrange your trip to Angkor Wat there and you will be save.

Sydney, Australia
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1. Re: Bangkok to Siem Reap by train/bus: Think twice!

Hello dgoedh,

I have read your posting a couple of times and in doing so also note that you are a first time poster to this forum.

As readers/researchers on this Forum will know, the Railways of Thailand trains to Aranyaprathet are mostly, all-stops trains, and both slow and subject to delays. This is just the way it is if you choose to travel by train from BKK to Aranyaprathet. It is for this reason that most travelers who post on this forum, other than the train buffs, advocate taking a bus or taxi to the TH/KH border.

If you paid THB 1,000. circa US$32. to travel by taxi from the Aranyaprathet train staion to the border please ask yourself just how naieve was that? Or was that THB 1000 from Poi Pet to Siem Reap outskirts? Your posting is unclear about this. If from Poi Pet to Siem Reap then you paid over the odds but not by too much given the lateness in the day. If the "taxi" stopped outside the Siem Reap city limits then there is a fair probability that it was an unregistered taxi and the driver did not want to risk being caught inside the town.

As for the waiting tuk tuk that met your taxi this cleary was pre-organized by those that "set you up" and you have been, once again, played for a sucker.

As for your use of currencies you seem all over the place. In Thailand the currency is Thai baht. In Cambodia the de facto currency is the United States Dollar but the Cambodian Riel - KHR - is readily accepted assuming that you have enough space to carry sufficient of it around with you in the quantity required.

Sorry, dgoedh, but you appear to be a victim of your own lack of basic travel research. There are hundreds of recent postings about - Train Travel - Poi Pet Border Crossing Scams - the Taxi Mafia etc etc for those Forum readers that actually read and research on this forum.

It's a pity that your first posting to this Forum is the one you have just made. Everything you have described is totally avoidable if a bit of basic travel research had been undertaken on Forum or elsewhere.

Best regards. Ian

Italy
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2. Re: Bangkok to Siem Reap by train/bus: Think twice!

As Ian says if you had got more info before your trip you probably would have been able to avoid this unfortunate situation but now that you've found us i hope you'll continue to come here and get advice but in any case thanks for posting as it will help others planning the same trip.

Siem Reap, Cambodia
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3. Re: Bangkok to Siem Reap by train/bus: Think twice!

For future readers who are researching this (sometimes) troublesome crossing, always good advice to leave bangkok on the morning train/bus, not the afternoon one, to avoid these sorts of problems.

Oudendijk, The...
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4. Re: Bangkok to Siem Reap by train/bus: Think twice!

Another sanctimonious sermon from the " Gentleman in the Parlor".

Manicus.

Siem Reap, Cambodia
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5. Re: Bangkok to Siem Reap by train/bus: Think twice!

Not quite P.C , but true.

Depends on which user name he uses as to what you get.

North Queensland
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6. Re: Bangkok to Siem Reap by train/bus: Think twice!

I agree with Ian especially if you are visiting an area for the first time you must do your homework, there are plenty of travel books and forum type wesbsites you can visit although TA is in my opinion the best. It is like anything you only get out of it what you are willing to put in. People have to remember that places like Asia/South America etc., do not operate to the same standards as Europe.

So people do your homework

Siem Reap, Cambodia
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7. Re: Bangkok to Siem Reap by train/bus: Think twice!

i heard to same or similar story a few times.the taxis and the tuk tuks.the best advice i can give is tell them the taxis you need to be taken by the taxi to your hotel door and only than will you pay him.i write it down so no misunderstanding.no hotel no money and the price. welcome to cambodia

Wyong, Australia
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8. Re: Bangkok to Siem Reap by train/bus: Think twice!

"welcome to cambodia"

:)

Have fun

Amsterdam, The...
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9. Re: Bangkok to Siem Reap by train/bus: Think twice!

Thanks for the replies. I certainly agree that it had been avoidable, because afterwards I read many posts on scams and so on. I only had the Angkor Lonely planet as my "preparation" but there is no mentioning about scams in that one as far as I can recall now. We really enjoyed the train ride, and it did not bother me that it took longer, indeed what I meant was to advice to take the morning train. Nevertheless we had a good time in Cambodia, saw Angkor area and Tonle Sap and had a good Khmer massage. Indeed this was my first posting, just to warn people,who are ignorant as we were before. Unfortunately our first impression was a bit scary.

Happy travelling. Be safe.

North Queensland
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10. Re: Bangkok to Siem Reap by train/bus: Think twice!

dgoedh, you can't go past TA for ANY advice for anywhere so hope we will see you as a contributor in the future, I know I use it for wherever we are planning a holiday, even to places that we always think 'we know' because there are always new things cropping up.