Virak Buntham Express through Camboticket offers multiple trips a day between Phnom Penh to Bangkok from the travel company including overnight options. If you are on a budget and don’t care to fly, a nighttime bus trip can be the perfect option to fall asleep in one country and wake up in another! Read below a CamboTicket employee’s experience, and pick up some tips along the way!
A journey begins
Before setting out on this long journey I was given numerous warnings and recollections from friends and strangers regarding their nightmare experience at the border between Cambodia and Thailand in Poi Pet. Luckily, the doomsday scenario that was painted for me – hours upon hours stuck in an endless queue awaiting visa on arrival processing – did not come to fruition
The bus pickup was conveniently located on street 106 in Phnom Penh on the corner with Preah Sisowath Quay (see location), although there are other pickup locations are scattered throughout the city. The departure time was scheduled for 09:15 pm and we were on our way within two minutes of the scheduled departure time, a pleasantly punctual beginning.
On the road to Bangkok
The bus was a sleeper-style with bunk-bed style accommodations sleeping two per mattress. It was rather easy to catch up on some sleep and get ready for a full day journey. The combined trip was estimated between 12-13 hours. Once in Poi Pet we were ushered off of the full-size bus and given ID badges that helped simplify the change over into a mini-bus for the final leg of the journey.
Crossing the border
I was able to navigate both the departure queue in Cambodia and the arrival queue in Thailand in under thirty minutes combined (including filling out the paperwork and walking across the Friendship Bridge to Thailand’s side of the border). We arrived arrival at the border around 6:30, early enough to experience a smoother immigration process, Buses arriving later in the afternoon might go through a more drawn-out immigration experience.
Bangkok night’s atmosphere
A representative from Virak was dressed in a distinct dark green shirt that allowed for easy recognition. As we exited the Thai immigration building, the representative escorted us to their office where we exchanged our badges for the next leg of the journey. We switched to a mini-bus and continued towards Bangkok. There were a couple of stops, one for a bathroom break and one for a quick breakfast, but the trip was a traffic-free jaunt across the rural countryside until we entered the outskirts of Bangkok.
A pleasant, if slightly delayed, arrival
The original estimated time of arrival was 11:00 am but we arrived slightly before 12:00 pm. The incessant traffic of Bangkok proper led to some delays.
Both buses were well air-conditioned and comfortable which ensured a pleasant experience from start to finish. Once checked into the hotel and showered I felt rejuvenated unlike when flying, and due to that I would recommend this for budget travellers and those who are looking to casually enjoy their trip versus the stress of navigating airport travel.
You don’t know yet what to do in Bangkok ? Check out our top five things to do article !
To find your way through the huge Thai capital, read our blog post : How to Navigate Like a Local.
For all questions, visit the Official tourism site for Thailand.