If you’re on a very tight budget, here are the cheapest ways to get from Siem Reap to Bangkok:
- To hitchhike, you need to have guts, patience, and time.
- You’ll need to plan approximately:
- 3 to 4 hours of just from Siem Reap to the border
- 30 minutes at the border
- 4-5 hours of just driving to get into Bangkok
- I can’t factor in wait times to find drivers because this can vary on time of day, season, what you look like, if you have a sign in the local language, etc.
- FYI I did not use this method and am not an experienced hitchhiker
Bicycle or Motorbike
If you have your own bicycle or motorbike, these can be cheap and convenient ways to get from Siem Reap to Bangkok. However, they definitely take the most time as you can only ride during daylight hours.
Bus – recommended!
- The most convenient option is taking the day bus, which is cheaper than the night bus (and you don’t share the same bed with a stranger!) This journey took me from about 8 am until 6 pm. However, if you’re accounting for time waiting for pickup and getting to your accommodation in Bangkok, it’s really from 7 am until 7 or 8 pm. It has air-con, slightly reclining seats, and about 3 stops along the way.
- Go to the booking office at the following coordinates and ask them for a ticket price to Bangkok. I got mine down to $12 USD but you may be able to get it for $11. They even include pickup from your accommodation, but make sure to be ready outside 5 minutes early in case they show up and leave without you (they did that to me, but mostly my hostel’s fault!). They drop you off on Khao San Road with no stops before that. I was told differently and even passed the airport I needed to go to. This added 2 hours to my travel time AND about $12 USD in taxi fare! Bangkok is a city of traffic.
- I found varying bus prices from my $12 to $18 by asking around at a few places. There *may* be a cheaper place if you spend lots of time inquiring. However, I heard from other travelers that this was a great find.
- Note: you have to bring your bags with you off the bus to the exit immigration booth, a 500-meter walk, the entry immigration booth, and about 100 meters after that to the bus.
- Bonus: if you’re injured like I was and unable to carry your bags all the way across the border, emphasize that disability/injury – the bus driver may take pity on you and leave your bags on the bus. It’s not like your bags get scanned anyway!
- Bring a book, audiobook, music, or something else to entertain yourself. It’s a long journey!
- The booking office coordinates and map:
13.356569, 103.853837 or 13°21’23.7″N 103°51’13.8″E
The short of it: For the cheapest way to get from Siem Reap to Bangkok, get a day bus for $12 USD from this office and expect a whole day gone due to the travel time.
Info as of January 2020. No commission received from promoting this booking office.