These are two of the best bus services for tourists visiting Thailand who want to extend their tour to Cambodia and keep the cost of travel low. Speaking of costs, these are not actually the lowest cost bus services that one can take from Bangkok to Cambodia. There are always the so-called “Khao San Scam Buses” that cost a bit less for those who can spot bargains. There are two major problems with the cheaper bus services – (1) the buses are not “direct” and (2) these are not called “scam buses” without reasons. A direct bus is the one that goes all the way from Bangkok to Cambodia (Siem Reap or Phnom Penh) stopping on the way for food, visa / immigration, and restroom breaks. The bus does not change, you keep the same seat in the same bus and reach your final destination. The scam buses are not direct. In their case, one bus takes you to the border between the two countries and after you do the visa / immigration formalities and cross the border, you get to travel by another vehicle which may be a bus or a van or another vehicle which may or may not be air-conditioned. The seats will not be as comfortable and the staff of the scam bus company will try to extort more money from you by forcing hotel bookings on you in Cambodia. The time this “scam bus” trip takes is almost always uncertain. The direct buses on the other hand arrive within the expected time. No wonder many tourists love the direct bus services between Thailand and Cambodia even if they cost more.
Bangkok To Phnom Penh Direct Bus
The Bangkok to Phnom Penh Direct Bus is a daily service. The bus from Bangkok starts at 5.00am from Mo Chit Bus Terminal 2 whereas the bus from the other side, Phnom Penh, starts daily at 6.00am. Both buses take 12-13 hours to reach the respective destinations, covering a total distance of 739 kilometres. As such, the bus from Bangkok that starts at 5.00am will reach Phnom Penh after 5.000pm and that is a very convenient time to arrive. Of course the departure time is a bit too early. The bus starting from Phnom Penh at 6.00am will arrive at Mo Chit Bus Terminal 2 after 6.00pm. The total fare for a single ticket on the Bangkok-Phnom Penh route in September 2018 was 900 THB. The bus stops for visa / immigration formalities on the way at Poipet/Aranyaprathet while the complete route is Bangkok – Poipet – Battambang – Phnom Penh.
Bangkok To Siem Reap Direct Bus
There are two daily services for the Bangkok to Siem Reap route, at 8.00am and 9.00am but one of the two services is many times not available for individual booking on account of booking for some tour group. This bus also starts from Mo Chit Bus Terminal 2 and costs 750 THB on the Bangkok-Siem Reap route. From the other side, the regular ticket price is 28 USD. This ride takes approximately 8 hours. I have personally travelled on this bus from Siem Reap to Bangkok and shared my experience in this article. The visa / immigration formalities on this route are also completed at Poipet/Aranyaprathet border crossing between Thailand and Cambodia.
From the Thailand side, both these bus services are operated by The Transport Company Limited but their website is only in Thai language and hence not of much help. From the Cambodia side, the buses are operated by Nattakan Transport.
Where To Book Ticket
For both the bus services from Bangkok side, booking of tickets is possible at thaiticketmajor.com or by phone at call centre number 1490. Other options for buying these bus tickets are Tesco Lotus, Bliss@tel shops, and across the counter at Mo Chit Bus Terminal 2 in Bangkok. For buying tickets from the Cambodia side, you may go personally to the Mekong Express office in Phnom Penh/Siem Reap or buy tickets online from camboticket.com
Buying Tickets Personally in Bangkok
Its not very difficult actually. The ‘Mo Chit Bus Terminal 2’ ticket counter for these two bus services opens daily from 4.00am to 10.00pm. This counter (number 22) is located inside the terminal building on the ground floor. There is a counter number 22 outside the hall also but that one is different. Take a look at the entrance door shown in the above picture. You need to go in through that door and then locate the counter number 22. A ticket can be booked here one month in advance on cash payment.
How To Reach Mo Chit Bus Terminal 2
Start with BTS Skytrain or an MRT train. Reach Mo Chit BTS Station or MRT Chatuchak Park Station. Come to the main road and locate the bus stop of public bus number 138. This bus stop is on the same side of the road that goes towards Chatuchak Weekend Market. There are area maps / sign boards on tbe BTS / MRT stations showing the way to Chatuchak Weekend Market. Once you get to the correct side of the road, locate the bus stop on which bus number 138 is written. Before boarding the bus, ask the bus conductor to make sure that the bus is going to Mo Chit Bus Terminal because from the other side of the road, the 138 bus will go in a different direction. This bus ride costs 11 THB per person and takes about 15 minutes. After getting down at the bus terminal, ask someone about the entrance to the bus terminal or ticket counters. They are not far but you will need to walk through a narrow lane with shops on either side selling mobile phones and other stuff.
The return trip to Mo Chit BTS / Chatuchak Park MRT can also be done on this bus number 138.