Poi Pet Scams
Khao San road minivans
The minivan drops you off in a restaurant/waiting area about 1 km away from the border. And then someone tells you that the visa is 1200 bahts and they will get it for you for 1300 bahts (+100 if you don’t have passport sized photos). If you refuse they just say “OK no problem, you can get the visa and we meet in Cambodia”. The thing is, you don’t know where you are or where is the border.
How to avoid Poipet visa scams
- Do not comply! This scam works only because the majority pays even if they know it’s a scam. Just get the visa by yourself.
- You will have to walk 10 to 15 minutes to the border. You are already on the road to the border (route 33 or Suwannason road).
- You check out of Thailand and the official visa office is between two borders on right hand side.
- The price you should pay is 800 bahts + 100 bahts if you don’t have your photo or 20$ USD + 100 bahts (if no photo).
- Stamp your passport at the Cambodian border.
- Right after someone will guide you to the shuttle bus to the bus station where you will wait your bus to Siem Reap.
- Or save a walk and get your visa online: Cambodia eVisa
Visa in Aranyaprathet, Thailand
Aranyaprathet, Thailand is the town on the Thai side of the border. A tuk tuk from the bus station or train station to the border may lead you to an Official Cambodia Visa office or something like that. Again this is wrong and the price is highly inflated.
Where the real Visa Office is
Here is where you find it, just beside the Cambodian gate. Fill up the form and pay the fee.
Transport from Bangkok to Siem Reap
Recommended! Government bus from Mo Chit (Bangkok) to Siem Reap
We just tested The Transport Company bus from Mo Chit bus terminal to Siem Reap. The company offers an excellent services, your meal, snacks and water are included in the price. They stop at their office in Aranyaprathet where someone collects the money and your passport to get the Cambodian visa. However the price is the same as you pay at the border. No forcing, it is up to you to take your visa at the border if you don’t mind having most of the passengers waiting for you later.The bus will wait up to 2 hours at the border.
- Journey total 8-9 hours
- Price 750 Baht
- Depart 8:00 from Mo Chit bus station (Bangkok)
The bus arrive in Siem Reap at their office. They offers free tuk tuk to your hotel. However the office is not far from the central area Pub street.
Bus from Ekkamai or Mo Chit
The bus end up at Aranyaprathet bus station or at Rongkleu Market.
Train from Hualamphong (Bangkok) to Poipet
2 trains depart daily from Bangkok. The first one depart at 5:55 and the last one depart at 13:05. The journey take 4 and a half hours and cost 48 Baht for the Third class.
I have taken the bus or the train to Aranyaprathet and even managed it to Poipet. Now in Cambodia, how to a get from Poipet to Siem Reap?
Great, you made it! Now you face another challenge. Get from Poipet to Siem Reap. As soon as you are outside the passport checkpoint, someone ask you where are you going and invite you to take the free shuttle bus to the bus station. The so called Poipet Tourist Passenger international Terminal is way out of town and you can’t really get back on your own. Again everything here is overpriced and on top of that you will wait for hours for the next bus and the bus stop for half hour at a restaurant along the way. The journey finish at a hotel who paid the bus company (not always a bad hotel).
- Bus 9$ and terribly slow
- Minivan 12$ when full, not always available
- Taxi 48$ (almost 2 times the price from SR to Poipet)
To avoid the tourist bus terminal I recommend you to take a taxi from Poipet. Taxi is the fastest way and not really more expensive when you split the bill with other travelers. The correct price is 30$, but it up to the driver and your bargaining skills.
In one day you experience the worst of Cambodia. This is only few persons in the millions of Khmer. This country is full of amazing people. Please don’t let days like that change your mood. The next day will be better. I hate to talk about those annoying scams because there is so much more positive things Cambodia as to offer.
Now that you travel smarter, don’t be greedy and share the knowledge with the world.