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I received an email from a reader asking for tips on how to get to Siem Reap from Aranyaprathet. She was hesitant because of scammers that are prevalent in the area which I’ve also read about. I already wrote an article about it (read article here) however, it seemed as if I haven’t fully tackled our story. Hence, this post will serve as a guide for those travelers who will opt for the Bangkok to Siem Reap route via train and avoid touts in the process.

How To Avoid Scammers from Aranyaprathet (Thailand) to Poipet (Cambodia) Border

After taking the regular train ride from Bangkok and arriving in Aranyaprathet, we freshened ourselves in the huge bathrooms at the station and let everybody go first. We’ll all just meet each other at the immigration office so there was no need to rush.

thailand border scammers
tuktuk taxis and pseudo-agencies

Tuktuk (motorized taxis) are abound, waiting for passengers and you can ride one of them to take you to the border. We aranyaprathet borderwere charged more but we insisted on paying only 1 USD for the drive. There were three of us inside the tuktuk and it was full but it didn’t matter. The drive to the border lasted only for 10 minutes.

Prior to the driver bringing us to the border, he made a side trip and brought us to an office where long-sleeved men asked if we were going to Cambodia.

Take note: Do not believe them!

These men wearing long-sleeved shirts will convince you to get inside their office agency so you can apply for a Visa for Cambodia. However, if you’re a Filipino, there is NO NEED for a Visa as it is NOT a requirement. It’s sad but this is a protocol for tuktuk drivers in Aranyaprathet to hopefully earn extra income.

It was lunch time when we arrived near the border so we stopped again to eat. There are small eateries nearby and the food was really good! I chose sweet pork and chicken curry on rice. This was my second time to eat Thai food and the spices were dominant without affecting the taste. Just recalling the food is making me miss Thailand already.

bangkok food
sweet pork and spicy chicken curry on plain rice – 40 Baht

We walked a few meters to get to the border in Thailand. After going through Immigration, we walked a few more steps and then lined up this time at the Immigration check for our Cambodia entry. You can tell the difference between the two countries and how the other one differs from the other in terms of wealth.

cambodia thailand border
Immigration Check at the border of Aranyaprathet, Thailand

arrival cambodia
Immigration Check at the border in Poipet, Cambodia

After waiting for my companions, we rode a red shuttle bus going to the bus terminal in Poi Pet. The shuttle was free so there’s no need to pay and the ride lasted only for 5 minutes.

Arriving at the Poipet bus terminal, we checked on the fares from Poipet to Siem Reap via bus or taxi.

Poi Pet to Siem Reap Rates taxi poipet
Bus – 9 USD per person
Taxi – 12 USD per person

We opted for a taxicab by paying 450 Baht each which turned out to be a total rip-off as we could’ve paid in US Dollars at a cheaper cost. However, we were too tired with our Math as it was a very long traverse from where we started.

We searched for a payphone and called our hostel (Bousavy Guesthouse) so that they could talk to our driver to bring us directly to the guesthouse.

Another Warning: On the road from Poi Pet to Siem Reap, the driver will take you to another office where men with long-sleeved shirts (again) will advise you to step out of the vehicle.

They tried their hardest to convince us to get whatever service they were offering. I’m not sure what they were for but I guess it’s the same as that of our previous incident. Again, there is NO NEED for a VISA if you’re a Filipino. For other nationalities, you may refer to this link for added info.

Our driver told us to just stay in the car and ignore those men in the agency. I guess the reason why he led us there in the first place was due to their standard operating procedure again.

During out travels, we encounter different types of SCAMS. It is wise to research ahead of time to ensure that you won’t pay unnecessary fees. We were lucky that we had a friend who’s been to Cambodia so she knew her way around already.

It was smooth sailing from then on. We slept during the remainder of the 3-hour ride and we arrived in our hostel safe.

Here’s a couple of comprehensive guides about Siem Reap:

Check out my other adventures here:


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soloflightEd.com is a travel blog by Edcel Suyo. He enjoys performing headstands and crazy stunts during his trips in the Philippines, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East. Now based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates and working to earn a living, he takes time to enjoy the city and travel during weekends.
For updates, Like his page on Facebook or Follow him on Twitter.
For questions, advertising, and other concerns, shoot an email to ed@soloflighted.com.


24 comments… add one
  • My friend had some trouble happen to him at the Poi Pet border crossing.  Both of us have been all over the world and neither of us have really had any trouble.  But at this border crossing, he had something stolen by a pickpocket.  Luckily for him, it wasn't anything too expensive or vital.  It did make us a little more careful when we came back through the same area later in our traveling.
    i can't believe that they tried to trick you into getting visas.  They wouldn't try that with me since I already had got one before I had arrived.  I had already made sure I needed one and was prepared.  But I bet they get a lot of money by tricking people who don't know the visa rules.

  • This post is chockful of essential information! I have wanted to cross to Cambodia from Thailand in '08 but chickened out at the last minute (as I was traveling solo) because of the reported scams). Sad, I know!:-( Will Siem Reap this September but flying in from KL, will read all your Cambodia posts again prior to the trip. Thanks for sharing!

  • i heard a lot of horror stories with crossing the borders from Thailand to Cambodia. kaya I avoided it. Cambodia to Thalang ako nagcross. Hassle free! I never even saw those men in long sleeevs.
    Sa BKK yan, daming scammers. Sarap sampalin, damng sinungaing! Haha

  • research is really important whenever you travel, especially abroad. Good thing there are blogs like this (naks!) who shares their experience and warns the others of possible scams that may come along during the travel. =D

  • Ed, actually i think we need to toughen up. i've seen many foreigners na very rude talaga pag nilapitan ng ganyan kaya iniiwasan na sila ng mga manloloko. ang daming buwisit na ganyan, nakakaasar pero when you're at the moment na pagod ka na, mainit pa and gusto mo na lang makarating, i have to agree with you, go ka na lang!

  • Awesome tip Ed! Would really rather do the border crossing via Vietnam. Mas peaceful 🙂

  • This post is very informative and hopefully people going to these places would be able to read this. Proves na hindi lang talaga Pinoy ang maduga. 😀

  • so part din [pala ng system na nila ang mga SCAMS na yan kung SOp naman pala nila. naku—kung sakin nangyari yan—naloko na ko siguro—napaka GREGARIOUS kong tao. anyways, I will take note of these tips or shall I say WARNINGS—malay mo mapadpad din ako dyn one of these days.hahaha

  • That is so annoying that they keep trying to make you apply for a visa! Is the local government doing anything about this??

  • MIn

    Thank you very much Edcel fro the tips =D

  • very interesting post. Kapoya sa mga scammers trying to ruin the nice vacation of tourists. I can't help but notice your bag gyud!!! 😛

  • soloflightEd

    @steve: oh, pickpocketers are really bad. I'm really glad I travelled with two friends and one really knew how to proceed with the traverse so we were truly lucky. They were a bit hesitant into tricking us to get Visas because we're also Asians but they did attempt so.

    @Kim&MJ: at least now we know better. sure thing, read away! 😀

    @chyng: there's a lot of scammers in BKK too! those tuktuk scams! I plan on creating a separate entry out of them! sinungaling talaga yung mga 40 Baht di ba? hehe

    @pinoy adventurista: thanks mervin, well, you're blog is also helpful when we went to Ngasasa. so let's all spread the news as tips like these are really helpful!

    @pinoy boy journals: sigh, yeah. we toughen up when we encounter these experiences. good thing nga lang that I was not alone!

    @pinaytraveljunkie: thanks Gay! haha. sabi nga raw, will try the Vietnam-Cambodia route next time 😀

    @will: sinabi mo pa! thanks!

    @pusang-kalye: haha, sure thing anton. let's help each other with these cital information!

    @grace: not sure if the local government does. it's been going on for years when I searched for information online. But Grace, just read your scam experience in Bolivia, that was scary! Good thing you got out safe! 😀

    @min: thanks for leaving a comment min! 😀

    @photoblogger: thanks EJ. yes, the bag! haha. i will not remind myself how much I paid for it. oh wait, i just did! haha

  • oh yeah! I still can rmmbr my agony in that border!  It's sad, but I guess they have to find ways to earn more and this is there last resort. =( I rmmbr the guy telling me, Visa is free for Filipino but you have to pay 300B. haha I grab my passport and told him "NO!"

  • Thanks Ed. No plans of going to these places yet, but I'm sure these tips on avoiding scammers will definitely be helpful in the future. And oh by the way, I hate 'em scammers, whatever the nationality. Haha.

  • soloflightEd

    @thepinaysolobackpacker: thanks for your entry gael! your post about your experience helped a lot! NO with caps talaga noh? hehe 😀

    @cedric: no problem cedric! kahit sinong manloloko, kakainis talaga!

  • Well done Ed for letting the readers know about the scams. It can ruin a destination for some if it happens to them.

  • @natalie: thanks natalie! nice to share these useful information to other readers indeed! 😀

  • welscua

    Very informative blog and very timely for I intend to visit Angkor Wat on my way to Vietnam from Singapore… Thanks and more power!

  • @welscua: glad to be a useful source of information! 😀 wow, kaya yan. mga 8 hour trip from Siagon to Siem Reap! 😀 thanks welscua!

  • Gagawin na namin to mamaya. Goodluck to us hehe sana wala kaming ma-encounter na nambabraso masyado lol

  • hi Ed, this may sound as a stupid question but i really need ur help. if i were to go to siem reap from bangkok, is it really advisable to use a backpack trolley rather than a luggage bag? mas convenient ba? my friends and I are going there next week and I don't have a backpack trolley just the regular backpack… Tnx!

    • @luv4vintage: hi there, how big is the luggage bag? you can still use that. there are many backpackers/travellers who travel overland carrying huge suitcases so it’s ok. 😀

  • jayps

    Very useful tips as I will visit Siem Reap on Monday. Salamat!!! 😛

  • Arvin

    Salamat ng marami! 😀 Very useful (c",)

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