Siem Reap to Bangkok, a bitch of a busride!
After finishing up in Siem Reap we were done with Cambodia for now. Our next destination was Kuala Lumpur where Hiza was waiting for us. We had booked a flight with Air Asia from Bangkok to Kuala Lumpur which meant that we had to go from Siem Reap to Bangkok by bus. This route is feared among travellers due to the horrible conditions of the roads and frequent delays. As our bus experiences in Cambodia and Vietnam so far had been very good we decided to give it a go with the bus rather than flying. Turns out that there might be something in those rumours that one of the airlines out of Siem Reap is paying the goverment so they won’t develop the roads from Siem Reap to Bangkok. Cause come on.. The highway from Bangkok to Siem Reap would probably be the most important transport stretch that Cambodia has! Imagine the numbers of travellers that would come to Angkor if there was good roads and proper transportation services available!
I’ll give you a quick summary.. We left our hotel in Siem Reap very early to get to the bus station. The trip was supposed to take 10 hours, something that turned into atleast 12 hours. The amount of hours we actually spent on the bus is probably negligent as most of our time was spent waiting. First waiting for the bus in Siem Reap. Then waiting as the bus made frequent stops to restaurant and shops to bring some customers to establishments that were paying the bus company. When we finally got to the border crossing we had to wait in line for immigration for about an hour before it turned out that the bus company had overbooked us so that we had to wait another 1.5 hours for another bus to arrive. When finally that bus arrived and we all had time to get something to eat and get anxious about getting to Bangkok they pulled over at a restaurant after about 10 minutes of driving.. We were supposed to wait for another 30 minutes for “lunch”… I was so pissed off that I chucked all SEA manners aside and told the driver exactly what I meant about the situation, but to no avail.. We had to sit for 30 minutes and wait untill the stupid break ended and we could finally get on our way. Luckily we had booked a hostel in Bangkok so we dragged ourself there and dropped dead in bed. It’s hard to believe how tired you can actually become from just waiting around… Someone has to be getting some serious money for keeping this stretch of road the most uncivilized patch of tarmac in the entire southeast asia…
Not sure what advice I can give travellers that are about to go this way.. if you can afford it, get a flight! Otherwise buckle up.. it’s not going to be pleasant..