I had a friend from back home visiting me for the past two weeks. I knew she wanted to see something new, as she had been in Thailand a couple of times before. It did not take me long to convince her to come to Cambodia with me. Ah- actually there was no convincing at all! I love how some of my friends are so adventurous and spontaneous! I also quickly managed to get Espen and Tom to join us on the journey too. It was great fun. I had never planned a trip over to Cambodia on my own before. There are loads of tips online already and it’s pretty straight forward. We spent a total of 15USD each to get from Bangkok to Siem Reap. Which I would say is quite affordable.
We started in Bangkok at 6.20 in the morning leaving from Makkasan Railway station. Guys- make sure to emphasize that you want to be taken to the railway station and not the airport link. We even spoke to the driver in Thai and he still took us there. It took a lot of explaining for him to take us to Makkasan as he ended up taking us to the Klong Tan Railway station. (We later found out that the train stopped there too so he wasn’t wrong). Just be on your way to the station early. The train costs 48 baht (free for Thai’s) and takes you to Aranyaprathet or อรัญประเทศ, not far from the boarder to Poipet. A little insider’s tip is to get on in Hua Lamphong station. The train departs earlier from there but at least there might be a chance that you guys get to sit together. There are no numbered seats and they never sell out so be prepared to have to stand for an hour. Many people get off in the outskirts og Bangkok. So don’t worry. We had the pleasure of sitting with this cute lady and man from Sa Kaeo exchanging life stories.. It was nice. We also later got accompanied with a wonderful lady from Cambodia. I promised to meet her exactly one year from now on the train to come and chill at her place, ha-ha.
You can take a tuktuk to the boarder for almost nothing, then mini bus, bus or taxi from the boarder to Siem Reap. There will be a free shuttle bus waiting for you at the border. Whatever they advise you, go on a taxi. (48USD) It’s much faster and you don’t have to be bombarded with tuk tuk drivers to take you to the hotel once you touch down in Siem Reap. We took the mini bus as we bumped into another traveller on the road and didn’t want her to have to travel alone. Let’s just say the tuktuk driver in Siem Reap ripped us off!
Angkor Wat was beautiful. We went for the sunrise and it was amazing. We hired a tuktuk for the day (i’ll leave his contact on the bottom- this guys service is great, and he will not rip you off) for 25 USD. The TukTuk will pick you up at your hotel at 5am so you have plently of time to find a good spot. A good reminder is to get your tickets to Angkor the day before so you don’t have to line up in the morning. The price is 20USD for a day pass and grants you access to all the temples.
We only stopped at Bayon temple, Ta Prohm (the temple from Tomb Raider) and Angkor Wat the rest we just cruised by, as we were a bit scarce on time. We spent 7 hours in total exploring the grounds on Angkor and I must honestly admit I wish I had more. Beforehand I was thinking we would be tired after only two. However, the area is huge and there are so many nice photo ops!
We also had time for some chilling in the pub street and I obviously fell in love with their draft beers and prices. 50 cent for a pint hello?! They also have so many good things to eat, Cambodian and Western! We made sure to only fill our stomachs with Khmer food though… although we did stop for one of the best gelatos I’ve ever tasted! Make sure to visit Gelato lab if you go there!
We stayed at Villa OK 1, which had a great vibe and location. The staff was nice too. We paid around 400 baht each for a private room with six beds so it could have been even lower if we went more people. There are loads of cheaper accommodations but we wanted to pick something we were sure was going to work out. It had so many great review.
To make the most of our time we decided to stay in Siem reap until the afternoon. So we had to take a taxi all the way back to Bangkok. It was all a breeze. 48 USD to the boarded in Poipet and then 58 USD from Poipet to our place in Bangkok. Divide that by four and you can say we paid 29 USD to get back home. That’s still a bargain! Obviously, it would save a lot more time to fly, but the prices was so high now as this trip was spontaneous. That being said I quite enjoyed the feeling of this trip and it was so cool to ride the train through Thailand. It was painful to sleep but hey- it was an experience. I definitely think I would do it again.
Contact for TukTuk and other Services:
Ok then- I hope I set a spark to your wanderlust fuse now. See ya later! <3