I was in Pakham District in Buriram Province so the bus to Aranyaprathet will be coming from Nakhon Ratchasima (Korat). The first bus left Korat at 5:30AM. The bus passed by in Pakham at 7:40AM. I paid 95 baht to the border. The bus arrived in Aranyaprathet at 9:45AM. We got dropped off in the intersection where the Border Hotel sign is. You will immediately see the picture below ahead of you so just keep walking this way (about 3 minutes walk) and on your left is the passport control to get your exit stamp.
Tip: If you need to buy something, there is a 7-eleven in the corner. Just keep going straight passing a train track instead of getting inside the immigration.
Once you head inside, you will see the immigration check point. I just went upstairs and there’s the passport control. There were 6 counters open and not much people so it took less than 5 minutes to get my exit stamp.
After I got my exit stamp, I went downstairs and there is an arrow that will lead you to Poipet border. This is where scammers wait for foreigners. Just follow the crowd and don’t talk to anyone.
You will eventually see the sign where to get an entry stamp or visa. Since I don’t need a visa to Cambodia, I went straight to passport control.
There was this tiny immigration office where I got my entry stamp.
Then there are “free” shuttles to international bus station. It’s a bus station specially for tourist so I’m sure foreigners still get rip off here. We had to wait for other passengers (those who had to get visa) for about 20 minutes before the bus left. It took 10 minutes and we arrived at their so called international bus station.
The bus to Siem Reap won’t leave until 3PM and we were there at 11AM so this forced us to take a taxi which cost $60 per car (500 baht per person). It should be $48 but they said it’s higher because of the New Year. Surprise! Surprise! Another way to rip us off. There’s no other people there so I shared taxi with two other foreigners. We paid 600 baht per person.
The taxi dropped us off beside a hotel (about 3km to Old Market area) eventhough I asked him to drop me off in the street of my hostel. This is another way for them to rip off foreigners. They will tell you that your hotel is far, like 10km away and will ask for $6. My app CityMaps2Go has been reliable during my months of backpacking so I believe it’s not more than 3km. I opted to walk than get ripped off.
When I got to the main road, (just 50 meters away from scammers) I saw a motorbike taxi and asked him how much to go to Steung Thmei Street where my hostel is. He said $3 and I haggled to $2 which he agreed on. He dropped me off at my hostel with no problem.
I crossed the border easier than I thought it would be. It only took total of 5 hours from Pakham District to my hostel in Siem Reap.
I learned that border crossing by land is easier if you search and read other people’s experience online before you do it. You have to show you’re tough and that you’re not an idiot they can just take advantage of. 🙂