If you’re traveling around Southeast Asia, at some point you’ll likely want to visit the major travel destinations of Bangkok, Thailand, and Siem Reap, Cambodia. Getting between the two, though, can be a bit challenging if you’re new to the region. You have a handful of options and each option offers its own benefits, depending on what’s most important to you — speed, comfort, price, etc. Here’s what to consider before choosing your transportation option for traversing the 254 miles journey, so you arrive safe, sound and ready to explore.
|Bangkok to Siem Reap by bus
|Bangkok to Siem Reap by plane
|Bangkok to Siem Reap by taxi
|Bangkok to Siem Reap by train and bus/taxi
|Bangkok to Siem Reap by private tour
Bangkok to Siem Reap by bus
Time – under 10 Hours
Price – approximately $20 to $30
Comfort – 2/5
Traveling between Bangkok and Siem Reap by bus is particularly popular for one primary reason: it’s cheap.
Direct buses do not require you to transfer buses when crossing the Thailand-Cambodia border. Direct bus providers include Nattakan and Giant Ibis. Both companies run full-size buses and pricing for tickets is $28 with Nattakan and $32 with Giant Ibis, with additional minimal fees if you book online versus purchasing your ticket in person the day of your travel. Online booking is advised, as it reserves your spot on the bus and your seat.
Mini buses are another bus option for traveling between Bangkok and Siem Reap. Mini buses do require that you change buses at the border, which means that this option is a bit more of a hassle than the direct buses and you may have to wait up to three hours at the border. Not only do you have to deal with finding your next bus at the border, but, due to the more affordable cost of the mini bus ride, they’re often far more crowded. Mini bus pricing varies, but you can expect to not pay more than $20 for your total trip. Mini bus tickets will have to be purchased in person and mini buses depart Bangkok’s Northern Bus Terminal (at the Mo Chit Station).
Of course, while traveling from Bangkok to Siem Reap by bus is affordable and popular because of it, it’s also not that comfortable. It is bus travel, after all. Expect occasionally cramped conditions. You will, however, enjoy the opportunity to take in the scenic views from your seat throughout the journey.
Bangkok to Siem Reap by plane
Time – around 1 hour
Price – anywhere from $70 to $300
Comfort – 3/5
When it comes to flying between Bangkok and Siem Reap, you have four airline options. While flying is the overall priciest way to get between the two destinations, it is by far the fastest. Additionally, if you’re not familiar with traveling on public transportation, like buses and trains, while in a foreign country, you might find flying is more comfortable for you, as the process is generally much the same all over the world.
Airlines that fly between the two destinations include Bangkok Airways, Cambodia Angkor Air, Thai Smile and Air Asia, with service out of Bangkok’s two airports, Suvarnabhumi and Don Meung. Flights start at around $70, but can run as high as $300, depending on when you make your purchase and with which airline; keep in mind that some airlines charge additional fees for luggage. For the most affordable flights, try AirAsia. Flights can be purchased on travel aggregators (like Hotwire) or directly through the airlines’ websites.
While flying between Bangkok and Siem Reap is relatively easy and comfortable if you’re already a frequent flyer, it is worth noting that air service between the two destinations is sometimes unreliable, with delays and rescheduled flights common.
Bangkok to Siem Reap by taxi
Time – under 8 hours
Price – approximately $100
Comfort – 4/5
If you like the idea of ground transportation between Bangkok and Siem Reap, but aren’t too keen on sharing your transportation with a gaggle of other travelers on a crowded bus, you might want to consider a private taxi service.
As with the mini buses, when you take a taxi between the two destinations, you’ll have to switch taxis at the Thailand-Cambodia border. After crossing the border, if you want a more affordable taxi price, you can walk a bit, as the further you go from the border, the more affordable the taxi rates, generally.
More expensive than a bus or train, but still often more affordable than flights, taxi service between Bangkok and Siem Reap takes around eight hours.
However, do keep in mind, while taxi service does give you the added comfort of privacy, it can make you more susceptible to travel scams, as taxi drivers may attempt to charge you a higher fare, sometimes even deciding to jack up your rate mid-trip, when you have little choice but to agree or exit the vehicle. On the other hand, if you have a taxi driver with a penchant for customer service, you’ll find they’re more than agreeable and you might even be able to negotiate small stops for food or to break up the monotony of the eight-hour drive.
Taxi service can be booked ahead of time at 12Go.asia.
Bangkok to Siem Reap by train and bus/taxi
Time – around 9 hours
Price – $15-60
Comfort – 3/5
If you want to mix up your ground transportation and possibly not take a taxi or bus all the way to Siem Reap, you can take a train to the border — to Aranyaprathet specifically — and then switch to your choice of a bus or taxi. There are two daily trains from Bangkok to Aranyaprathet, one in the morning and one in the early afternoon, with train rides taking about six hours.
The trains aren’t the most comfortable, but some enjoy the experience, as it’s a very “local” thing to do and there’s plenty of scenery to admire. Additionally, the trains are known for being very clean and safe. You can only purchase train tickets in person the day of your travel and the fare is only a few dollars.
Once you reach Aranyaprathet, you can take a tuk-tuk to the border (about $3), then cross the border and board a bus or taxi at Poipet Tourist Passenger International Terminal. From there, a bus ride is about three hours and $10 and a taxi is about three hours and up to $50.
Bangkok to Siem Reap by private tour
Time – 2-4 days, depending on preference
Price – $300+
Comfort – 5/5
Lastly, if money is no option and your primary focus is comfort, you can choose to book a private tour company to ferry you between Bangkok and Siem Reap, which is especially a good option if you plan on returning to Bangkok after seeing the sights in Siem Reap. This is by far the easiest and most comfortable option, but it’s also by far the priciest.
There are several companies that offer this service, such as travel aggregator Viator. Generally, a private tour will take you door-to-door from one hotel to your next, and make stops along the route at prime tourist points of interest. You typically have access to your own guide, who can help you navigate the journey with ease, so that really all you have to do is sit back and enjoy the ride.
However you decide to travel between these two culturally rich and fascinating destinations, it’s sure to be an adventure!
Bangkok to Siem Reap FAQ
The most affordable way to get from Bangkok to Siem Reap is via either a bus or a train-bus combination. Bus rides can be booked via 12Go.asia, but train fare can only be purchased in Bangkok in person. While train rides are scenic and safe, don’t expect any fancy frills. The same can be said for bus rides, as the buses are sometimes cramped and prone to delays.
By far the fastest way to get from Bangkok to Siem Reap is via a flight. Four airlines service the route: Bangkok Airways, Cambodia Angkor Air, Thai Smile and Air Asia. However, flights on this route can often be pricey. If you’re looking to save cash, you can book other forms of transportation between the two destinations at 12Go.asia.
You have several options for getting between Bankgok and Siem Reap, including bus, mini bus, private taxi, private tour, train and plane. Many of these can be booked easily and affordably with 12Go.
There is not a train that goes directly between Bangkok and Siem Reap, but there is train service from Bangkok to the Thailand-Cambodia border. From there, you can take a bus or taxi to Siem Reap. Bus and taxi service are bookable on 12Go.asia.
The bus ride can take up to 10 hours, depending on delays and how long you are required to sit at the border crossing at the Thailand-Cambodia border. Bus rides between the two destinations are very affordable and can be booked right now at 12Go.
As many as you can! Siem Reap is a popular resort town and considered the gateway to the famed Angkor ruins.
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