14 replies to this topic
Posted 2011-05-11 18:35:28
I've only been to Bangkok and Pattaya In Thailand and am wondering if this would be a bit on the overly adventurous category for a single traveler who speaks nary a word of thai or Khmer.
Posted 2011-05-11 20:06:39
Perhaps a bit ambitious being that there is no train service from Bangkok to Phnom Penh.
Posted 2011-05-11 20:14:45
Bkk. to Aran.is possible . Lovely 3rd class trip,, albeit slow. 2 trains a day.NO train from Aran to Sisophon, in Cambodia. My understanding is the line has finally been rebuilt . I am not sure if it runs to Sisophon any more, or terminates at Battambang .But there is road transport from Poipet, in .Cambodia , to where the train runs from .If you do it , it will be an adventure, very well worthwhile doing. Maybe you can enquire at Hua Lumphong Railway Station, Best of Luck to you, would love to join you, Bill
Posted 2011-05-12 06:06:41
What is described at the seat61.com site is fully feasible, even not speaking Thai or Khmer.
I would opt for taking the bus from Bangkok to Aranyaprathet (Rongklua).
The bus leaves from Ekamai busterminal and is significantly quicker than the train.
Some buses stop at the terminal in Aranyaprathet, some continue a bit further to Rongklua.
Rongklua is a big market "next door" to the border, within easy walking distance to the border.
Then I would take bus or taxi to Siem Reap and boat from Siem Reap to PP.
Last year I paid USD 25 for taxi.
Aranyaprathet, Poipet (the border town on the Cambodian side) and Siem Reap all have plenty of inexpensive accom. on offer.
Posted 2011-05-12 08:08:11
I saw a news story a few months back, that an Oz company had finished re-building the line . From memory ,Battambang to Phnom Penh. . That does not guarantee that trains are running now. I have actually travelled on the Sisophon to Battambang leg , some years ago. Wonderful trip. Thoroughly enjoyed it- very slow mixed train ,no stations, just wayside halts, Condition of the carriages was appalling, great fun!! There certainly are Air-Con buses running to Phnom Penh from Poipet. If you have the time ,what might be an interesting way to go :: Bkk., To P.P. to Siem Reap to Osmach Cambodian border,Thai side - Chong Chom.(Surin Province).As I said ,if you have the time. Bkk. train to Aran. , is a lovely trip, just very slow. Far superior to going by bus.
Posted 2011-05-12 15:06:17
Thanks for the link. Odball train journeys much more interesting travel when you are not in a rush.
If you are a travel junkie and have time then I would recommend not going back the same way. Can return from PP via Siem Reap, Anlong Veng (northern Cambodia), Anlong Veng/Choam Sa Ngam border, Si Saket, Bangkok. This gives you another train journey opportunity on the North East line. Or can go to Sihanoukville for a couple of days and then back through the Koh Kong/Had Lek border, Trat, Bangkok.
Read this thread, of today also, for more practical info on the train journey to Aranyapratet and accom thereabouts.
Edited by SantiSuk, 2011-05-12 15:20:50.
Posted 2011-05-12 15:47:45
There are still no passenger service in Cambodia and won't be for sometime, late 2012 at the earliest. Toll is the Oz company which has been funded by ADB to rehabilitate all lines. Kampot seems ot be the priority. Here is a Toll media release from last year, http://www.toll.com....a_22Oct2010.pdf. for those interested you can also check out the 2bangkok.com site for updates.
I agree with the round trip idea. Be warned the 3rd class journey to Aran takes 6 hrs on wooden seats, catch the morning train. VIP buses from Mochit take 4-4.5hrs and if you get the 5am, 5:30am or 6am it can take as little as 3 hrs.
Poipet is an annoying place to cross, Make sure you have $20- for the visa fee as the Cambodia immigration will ask for 1000baht. They will also ask for 100 baht extra, refuse to pay. Getting to SR is easier than going to PP and usually by share taxi though there are a few buses. Spend a few days in SR to check out Angkor Wat then a couple in PP. Then head south.
Come back through Hat Lek. The trip from Shinanoukville to Kong is very scenic. The trip from the border to Trat is also scenic and you can peruse another thread in the SE Asia Forum for more details.
Posted 2011-05-13 11:28:36
Done the rain journey to aranya last week then 25 dollar taxi to Siam reap all went smoothly
however got my cambo visa from embassy Bangkok knew it should be $20 so handed her all paperwork with $20 she gave me $20 back and pulled out sign saying visa fee $25 or 1000 bhat what can you do couldn't be bothered to start arguing that it should be 20
Posted 2011-05-13 12:26:10
the e-visa is $25. If you enter PP by air you will only be charged $20. Poipet will demand an extra 100 baht. I look at this as graph for sure but it does speed up the process and a small price to pay. Or you can choose not to pay and som num na. I am leaving tomorrow and will take the Sorya public bus,which is always an adventure. some interesting suggestions on return travel here and greatly appreciated. dan
Edited by dananderson, 2011-05-13 12:30:31.
Posted 2011-05-13 17:46:18
I had often bad experience with Sorya, it is worth paying a few bucks more for the better companies/buses
Posted 2011-05-13 20:33:07
I have taken the vip bus(overnight) on the return trip from PP to Poipet/BKK. My last trip on Sorya last month was lengthy and the bus took forever as they are older,slow and prone to overheating etc. I am always open to alternatives. Please elaborate on the better buses,locations,price and schedule. Thanks, dan
Posted 2011-05-13 21:20:43
Dan, click on any given link on this forum _ The Man in Seat 61,will give info re: Buses to Battambang, Sisophon, Poipet. There is also local rail movement on the line . Don't know if they allow Westerners to travel - not trains, as we might know them, But there are motorised 4 wheel "things" up and down the line. Private ,not Govt.. Look to be great fun, if you can get on one
Posted 2011-05-14 06:21:27
This post brings back memories. Read they were going to open the first overland crossing to Cambodia via the border at Aranya Prathet when I was hanging around in Bangkok, about '98 I guess. Bangkok Post I think, internet still very much in its infancy then. Turned up there only to find that the Cambodian officials were not prepared to let a single person do the trip to Siem Reap, certainly not a single farang. There was virtually no cross border traffic apart from traders to Poipet. After about half a day a Kiwi turned up with the same idea as me and we managed to persuade some very nervous Cambodian border people to let us cross. All our details had to be recorded and phoned through to Siem Reap so they could check we arrived ok, the road went into lock down at dusk and we had to make it in before then. My Thai is fine but the only Khmer I had was what I had learned from teaching in an Issan village where the dialect was totally different. But you didn't need any Khmer to understand how much these guys impressed on the pickup guy we hired how important it was that we actually arrived at our destination.
We did get there. However as was to later become apparent its difficult to threaten someone who managed to survive under the Khmer Rouge. What laughably was called a road was not full of potholes, they were bomb craters and shock absorbers did not seem to figure very highly on Cambodian vehicles. The trip would have been made considerably easier had not the driver tried to sneak past a checkpoint and a dosing kid soldier, remnants of a disbanded Khmer Rouge army who earned their living this way. The fee was $1, USD being the currency then. We were dosing peacefully in the back of the pick up only to be awakened rudely by a driver accelerating like hell over craters and in doing so propelling us up in the air to be shot at by a now awakened and very pissed off kid soldier.
Whatever way you get there I wish you a less eventful trip.
Posted 2011-05-15 12:19:06
Not true. I arrived with an e-Visa at Poi Pet and did not have to pay an extra THB 100. They just looked and stamped, as they also do at PP airport.
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