Overland Border Crossing: Bangkok to Siem Reap

There are a lot of entry points when you want to travel to Siem Reap, Cambodia. One of those entry points is the overland border crossing from Aranyaprathet, Thailand.

Bangkok to Aranyaprathet

Aranyaprathet is a province in Thailand which have a border check point when entering from Poipet, Cambodia or exiting to get to Poipet.

To reach Aranyaprathet, you can ride the following transportation:

1. Bus

This is an airconditioned bus where you will pay approximately 200 – 500 baht. Travel time normally lasts for 4-5 hours. Buses leave Bangkok at around 8am. There are different travel agencies in Bangkok that offers this service. You can ask them to pick you up at your hotel/hostel/guesthouse. You can also catch a bus to Aranyaprathet at the Mo Chit Bus Terminal, Bangkok’s Northern Bus Station and it costs less compared to the bus service offered by travel agencies.

2. Taxi

This mode of transportation can be quite expensive but if you can make arrangements for a taxi to bring you to Aranyaprathet without the customary stop overs, you might reach the border in 3-4 hours.

Hua Lamphong Train Station

3. Public Train

This mode of transportation is the cheapest. You only need to pay 48 baht to get to ride the train to the border. The travel time takes 6 hours since it will stop at every train station to load and unload passengers. You can enjoy looking at Thailand’s scenic landscape on board the train. The train is non-airconditioned and you will sit with locals on your way to Aranyaprathet. The train station is located at the Hua Lamphong Train Station. The train has only 2 schedules: 5:55 am and 11:55 am.

train going to Aranyaprathet, overland border crossing to Poipet and Siem Reap

4. Private car

You can also drive your way to Aranyaprathet if you find a car rental service.

Once you reach Aranyaprathet via train, you have to hire a tuktuk driver to take you to the border. The fare is around 60 – 80 Thai baht. For solo travellers, you can also hire a motorcycle to bring you to the border. Fare is approximately 50 – 60 Thai baht. If you are quoted a higher price for either of the two modes of transportation, haggle.

Before you exit Thailand from Aranyaprathet, be sure you take your meal or have a full stomach since you may have a difficulty looking for food on the Poipet side.

For vans or buses, you will be dropped off at a restaurant before they bring you to the border. Be sure to grab a bite in there too.

Aranyaprathet to Poipet

border at Poipet, Cambodia

Once you complete the necessary steps to exit out of Thailand, follow the walkway after exiting Thailand’s Immigration Office. You will then see the big arch that tells you you are about to enter the Kingdom of Cambodia.

entrance arch leading to the Kingdom of Cambodia in Poipet

Hawkers wearing long sleeves will try to approach you and talk to you. It is best not to respond to them. Be polite and walk away. Most likely, they will still follow you. Just ignore them.

Poipet Immigration Office

You need to walk a few meters after getting inside the arch, way pass the casinos and hotels. Then you will see a small office which has a signage that says ARRIVAL. You enter the office and ask for a Cambodian Immigration Card. Fill up the form, line up and wait for your turn for the Immigration Officers to stamp you an entry approval into the kingdom.

Cambodia Immigration Card

Poipet to Siem Reap

Once you get your visa/passport stamped, exit the office and walk a few steps to a waiting station. A free bus is provided which will bring you to Poipet’s Bus/Taxi Terminal. If you decide to eat in Poipet first, most likely, the hawker who was following you earlier will continue to follow you and bug you on what mode of transportation you will take. Be sure to bring an extra potion of patience so that you can drink that when situations like this happens.

Poipet Bus Terminal

There are 2 bus terminals in Poipet. One terminal is 5 minutes away from the Immigration Office and the other one is around 15-20 minutes away from the border. The latter is much bigger compared to the former. Both are legit terminals. Once you reach the place, you have to decide what mode of transportation you want to take.

Private Taxi – The taxi costs $48 if you decide to rent the whole car. You can split the fare among 4 heads. You can look for other travellers who would agree to share the cab and split the fare with you. The cab leaves immediately when you have settled all your things inside the car’s trunk. Travel time takes 2.5 up to 3 hours. Unscheduled stop overs could happen when the cab ran out of gas. The taxi used in Poipet is the old Toyota Camry so do not expect any brand new cars since there’s none.

Public Bus – The public bus costs $9/head. The bus leaves as soon as the bus is filled with passengers. Travel time takes approximately 5 hours with unscheduled stops at restaurants and souvenir shops.

road to Siem Reap

Before you leave Poipet, a tourism officer will introduce himself and ask your country of origin or nationality. They will also ask you if you have booked a place to stay and would ask you where you will be staying. If  you choose to ride a cab, they will give your hotel’s information to the cab driver and he will drop you off at the hotel/hostel where you booked your stay.

If you are unlucky, these taxi drivers will not bring you to your hotel. Instead, they will drop you off at certain drop off point where you will be forced to hire a tuktuk. These tuk tuk drivers will tell you that the ride is free but you need to hire them the next day for your temple tours. If this happens, walk a few meters away and hire a regular tuk tuk for $1-$2 to bring you to the town center or better yet, contact the guest house where you made your reservations and ask them to pick you up (most of them offer free pick up service anyway).

Note: The transportation fares may change without prior notice.

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Bou Savy Guesthouse: Budget Guest House in Siem Reap

Bou Savy Guesthouse is a family run-guesthouse in a peaceful, green area in Siem Reap. They have big rooms available that range from 6 USD to 18 USD.

This is just one of the budget-friendly guesthouses or cheap hostels available in Siem Reap, Cambodia that you can book for reservations. You can go to their website for more information about rates of the accommodation.

Room Rates: From 6 USD to 18 USD


triple room

The Bou Savy Guest House is located on the National Road N#6, along side Sokha Hotel. This is only  5 minutes walk to Royal Resident and Lucky Mall Super Market.

What’s nice about this guesthouse in Cambodia is that they offer different tour packages that you can take advantage and you’ll surely get a better discount as opposed to hiring tuktuk taxi drivers for the day. When you book those tours with them, they will handle everything for you and all you need to do is just stay in the hostel!

Bou Savy Guest House offers the following services:

  • FREE Daily Bottle of Water in Room
  • Free Pick up service
  • FREE Map of Temple & Town
  • 10% Discount on Food & Beverage
  • Included daily breakfast (Select from Munu) 64 International Satellite TV Channels
  • FREE 24-hr High-Speed Wi-Fi & Internet Access Travel and Tour Information
  • Emergency Medical Assistance service International Air Ticket Confirmation

Bousavy Guesthouse CONTACT INFORMATION:

Mr. Horn. Bovuth (Owner Bou Savy Guesthouse)
Address: #261 Group 17 Khum Svay Dangkum Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Office Tel: (855)63 964 967
Home Phone: (855) 12 898-627
E-mail: services@bousavyguesthouse.com 0r savy7777@hotmail.com
Website: http://www.bousavyguesthouse.com/

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Doctor Fish Massage and Spa in Cambodia

Dip your feet in the water full of doctor fish and prepare to be tickled as the fishes will eat the dead cells of your skin. You can pamper your feet after a long day of walking around the temples of Angkor Wat.

Sometimes they fish massage establishment even have package deals that they offer a beer or soda for a 30 minute spa for a price of 3 USD.

fish massage

Fish massage and spas are located almost everywhere in Siem Reap, Cambodia! These are mostly found near the Pub Street and Night Markets so you won’t have to worry searching for these tanks as they’re easy to find.

This fish pedicure is a nice way for you to relax after a long day. You can chill out with your friends over a can of beer as you listen to good music being played in the background too.

doctor fish massage spa

Caution: Many have shared the benefits of the Doctor Fish Massage that they remove dead skin as the fishes will eat the dead parts of the skin which will leave the healthy part to glow. But since this is a communal activity, you are also dipping your feet on water where other people have also done so.

A word to the wise is to make sure that the water is still clear and is not full of residue from other customers who have already used the tank before you.

dr fish spa cambodia

Other than that, you can enjoy the fish spa without the worry of piranhas attacking you. Enjoy!

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Banana Fries: Cheap Food in Siem Reap

There are cheap foods in Siem Reap but you need to look for them to find one. Just a few meters away from the back of the Angkor Night Market, you will find locals selling different sorts of food. The converge near a river and sells meals and snack foods.

One of the food that you can try eating in is this weird looking long fried brown food with what looked like kiwi seeds all over it. You don’t need to be intimidate by the way it looks. These are banana fries also known as check chean in Khmer.

banana fries aka chek chean

Banana is abundant in Siem Reap. It also goes to show how innovative Khmer folks are as they came up with this food for only 1000R. That’s actually the price when you ask them how much it is. But if you have good haggling skills, you can try and haggle up to 40% off the price of the banana fries.

So how is it cooked? You take one banana and then flatten it. Then dip and coat it in a pre-mixed flour bowl full of black sesame seeds. Afterwards, drop it in a boiling wok and turn the banana fries from time to time until it becomes golden brown.

banana fries chek chean

When you flatten a banana fruit, it extends thus the reason for one long crunchy and golden brown color once cooked.

This cheap snack food is a great alternative to bread and can be considered as a staple food if you want to. Happy Eating!

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Learning to Speak Numbers in Khmer

Siem Reap uses the dollar currency in all of its business transactions. Though their national currency in called Riel, the USD is the preferred currency. $1 is equivalent to 4000R in Cambodia. When you ask a Khmer how much a certain food or service is, the answer would always be $1 or higher. However, you can get away with the one dollar rule if you only know how to speak in Khmer.

Knowing how to count in Khmer can greatly help you get cheaper goods. Here’s a few numbers you should learn when visiting Siem Reap, Cambodia.

When you ask someone how much the tuktuk ride is or the vegtables in the old market, you need to say

“Tom Lai Pon Marn?”

 

Numbers In Words
0 son
1 muoy
2 pi
3 bei
4 buon
5 pram
6 pram muoy
7 pram pi
8 pram bei
9 pram buon
10 dop
11 dop muoy
12 dob pi
13 dob bei
14 dob buon
15 dob pram
16 dob pram muy
17 dob pram pi
18 dob pram bai
19 dob pram buon
20 muoy pei
30 sam seb
40 se seb
50 har seb
60 hok seb
70 chet seb
80 pet seb
90 kao seb
100 muoy roy
200 pi roy
300 bei roy
400 buon roy
500 pram roy
1000 muoy poan
10000 muoy moen
100000 muoy sen
1000000 muoy lean

Noticed the pattern when you repeat the numbers when it reaches twenty?

When learning how to speak numbers in Khmer, you also learn how to do simple math by adding the basic numerical numbers to form another set of numbers.

Cambodian riel

Enjoy counting!

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Cheap Gym in Siem Reap at 1 USD/Hour

Since I was going to stay in this side of Cambodia for at least a month, one of my goals was to get physically active again. I scouted through a few hotels to find a place to workout but most of the gyms in hotels available only have treadmills and some bicycles.

Also, those hotels that have free weights and fitness machines cost a minimum of 50 USD/month and above. I couldn’t be any happier when I came across this gym in Cambodia.

gym siem reap cambodia

I just needed a place to work some sweat without costing too much. 2 blocks after the Wat Bo Bridge, you can find a cheap gym in Siem Reap at 1 USD per hour.

siem reap gym

This is the gym that’s nearest to Pub Street and the Angkor Night Market. As for the number of people around, it can get crowded from 7am to 9am and from 5pm to 7pm.

cheap gym siem reap

This is a no frills gym for only a dollar per hour.

Siem Reap Gym Rates and Fees:

Hourly Rate = 1 USD
Monthly Rate = 20 USD
Sauna Rate = 3 USD

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Welcome to SiemReapUnlimited.com!

Welcome to SiemReapUnlimited! This website was created because we want to provide information for travellers who want to know more information about the third largest city of Cambodia.

We are here to become your reliable guide to places to see, things to do, hotels and guesthouses, food, and getting around in Siem Reap.

We aim to be your unlimited source as you discover this city beyond the temples and beyond Angkor Wat.

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