The Overnight Bus: Siem Reap to Bangkok

They market the bus as an overnight venture, leaving Siem Reap at 2am and arriving in Bangkok around noon the same day. We should have known better, maybe even worked out the facts in our heads, but we weren’t too worried about the particulars. That’s what traveling in a third world country can do to a person or three.

We sluggishly boarded the early morning bus with about 40 other tourist making the same trek. After two hours, we stopped to wait for a log truck and car collision to be cleared from our path. In another hour, we pulled into the bus driver’s house and were told to disembark.


The border crossing, a mere 30 minutes away, doesn’t open until 7am, of course, and we were two hours early. As we allowed confusion to settle in and began debating why the bus didn’t just leave at 5am instead, the bus crew was setting up bamboo cots in the driveway for us to sleep on.

Photo by Nicole Stinnett.

Maybe Cambodians have a more literal interpretation of “overnight bus.”

Some tourists were too tired to care, and simply passed out without question. We soon followed suit. A couple hours later, we were awoke and told to get back on the bus.

Finally, we were standing in line, waiting to cross back into what felt like civilization – Thailand – after time spent in a bordering country that was a world away.

Did anybody else experience this route? Tell me your story!


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