Many tourists that visit Thailand choose to cross the border over to Cambodia by land rather than flying in. Going from Bangkok to Siem Reap by bus allows tourists to visit the breathtaking Angkor Wat ruins. It is really a worthwhile trip and an easy one as well, especially once you are in the area.
Depending on your nationality, you may be required to carry more than a good camera while making this journey, since passport holders from most nationalities require a visa to enter Cambodia. If you would like to avoid waiting in line at the border, it is advisable to go for the much faster and simpler option of getting your Cambodia eVisa online beforehand.
Read our recommendations about entering Cambodia from Thailand and follow our advice in order to avoid getting scammed at the border.
Cambodian Border Crossings
There are different ways to enter Cambodia at different points along its Thai border. The most popular one is the Aranyaprathet-Poipet entry point.
The bus route from Thailand to Cambodia takes about 8 hours and you are advised to arrive well prepared:
- Get there early to make the most of your day
- Buy your ticket in advance
- Apply online for an eVisa Cambodia if you are entering Cambodia, or an eVisa Thailand if you are traveling in the opposite direction, to ensure a smooth entry
You can also cross the Thailand-Cambodia border at any of the following points:
- Hat Lek, Thailand to Koh Kong, Cambodia (Cham Yeam Checkpoint), which is the most direct access to Sihanoukville
- Chong Jom, Thailand to O’Smach, Oddar Meanchey, Cambodia
- Chong Sa Ngam, Thailand to Anlong Veng, Oddar Meanchey, Cambodia
- Ban Pakard, Chantaburi, Thailand to Phsar Prom Pailin, Cambodia (Prom Checkpoint)
- Ban Laem, Chantaburi, Thailand to Daung Lem, Battambang, Cambodia (Daung Checkpoint)
Cambodian border crossings usually open at 8:00 AM and close at 8:00 PM.
Many visitors going to Cambodia choose to apply for a Cambodia online visa before setting out to cross the border. That way, they ensure easy entry into the country. The process is straightforward and involves no more than a few minutes to complete.
How to Cross from Thailand to Cambodia by Land
If you are staying in Bangkok, then you have a few options to get to Poipet:
- Take a bus or train to Aranyaprathet. Note that the train leaves Hua Lamphong Railway Station at 5:55 AM
- Continue to the border either on another bus or tuk-tuk
- Take a direct bus to Siem Reap from Khao San bus station or Mo Chit bus station, both are about a 10-minute walk away from where the train stops
- Fill out your Thai departure card and present it to Thai immigration authorities along with your passport
- Get Cambodian immigration authorities to stamp your entry. This will require filling another short form and presenting your passport along with a recent passport-style photograph and your Cambodian visa
- Take the free shuttle to the bus station. If locals offer to take you there, they will likely ask for a tip for helping you out.
Visitors that arrive at the border unprepared may have to endure long lines and dodge scammers or immigration officers asking for bribes while they queue to obtain a Cambodia visa on arrival. Make sure to have all the requirements on hand if you choose to get your visa on the spot. Should you refuse to pay extra, you will likely be made to wait in line even longer.
From the bus station where the free shuttle drops you off, there are 3 options to get to Siem Reap:
- Taxi: You could book the whole cab for yourself, or wait for other people to get in and share the $48 fare
- Bus: Usually costs about $9
- Minivan: You will likely have to wait until 10 passengers are on board to share the van. The fare is usually $10
Beware of Scams on the Border
Travelers are advised to watch out for some of the following scams they may come across while traversing from Thailand to Cambodia by land:
- While standing in line in Aranyaprathet, you may be approached by people claiming to be officials offering to assist you in crossing the border. Since they are not immigration authorities, you are advised to not hand them your passport.
- Some bus drivers taking you to the border may stop at a little office on the way to the border. Tourists are usually interrogated to discover how familiar they are with visa policies in order to ask them for a bribe or surplus on the visa on arrival fees. Beware!
Your safest bet in order to enjoy a hassle-free entry when crossing from Thailand to Cambodia by land is to arrive with an approved Cambodia Tourist visa. The approved eVisa Cambodia is delivered via email within 4 days. While planning your trip, make sure to check whether you are eligible to apply online and avoid long lines and scams in just a few clicks.