How to Get From Siem Reap to Koh Chang

Poipet border crossing

Regularly updated information since 2013

There’s over 10,000 words of content on this page including various updates from travelers over the years. And you probably don’t want to read through all of that.

So, in brief . . . . 

  • Tickets for the bus / shared minibus from Siem Reap to Koh Chang are currently (late 2023) around US$45 / person and scam free.
  • Shared minibuses from Koh Chang to Siem Reap are more expensive now, around 1,500 – 1,800 Baht, and, as of 2023, there aren’t any real scams.
  • Take a taxi / private transfer from Siem Reap or Koh Chang to the border.  Then another taxi / transfer from the border to your destination.  No hassles and doesn’t have to cost a fortune. 
  • Get a Cambodian e-visa online to save time when entering Cambodia
  • If you want to book the trip with a reputable company, that’s now possible.
September 2023 Update: Boonsiri Ferry, which operate services from Bangkok & Pattaya to Koh Chang and Koh Kood have expanded their network and will now offer shared bus / minibus transfers between locations in Thailand and Siem Reap , Battambang & Koh Rong.  Services will start on 1 October 2023 and initially run until the end of May 2024.  (Low season services will depend on demand and how quickly tourism returns to normal.)

This is the first time a large, well known transport company has offered these services.  In the past it was small locally owned companies partnering together. Passengers bought tickets from random tour agencies and there were no consequences or accountability if drivers scammed passengers.  That’s now changed.

Tickets for Boonsiri’s services are available to buy online through the popular online booking site  

Over the past few years I have noticed a big increase in the number of people who are making the most of a two week holiday by combining the wonders of Angkor Wat with the beaches of Koh Chang.   People who do this tend to be those who have already visited Chiang Mai and the popular beach destinations in the south of Thailand in previous visits and are now feeling a bit more adventurous.

The most common route is for people to fly into Bangkok, then overland ( or fly if you have money to burn time is of the essence )  to Siem Reap, have a few days there and then overland to Koh Chang – as there are no direct flights.   A few nights on Koh Chang and then back to Bangkok, again by either plane or overland and a couple of days shopping in Bangkok before heading back to reality.

I won’t go into the Bangkok to Siem Reap leg in much detail, but it’s very similar to the Koh Chang to Siem Reap trip, in so much as any dirt cheap minibus ticket will involve attempted scams just before you reach the border at Rong Kleua market, a few kilometres from the town of Aranyaprathet, and from that point onwards to Siem Reap it is identical.

As most people travel from Siem Reap to Koh Chang, i.e. the culture before the beach, and to my mind the best way to do it, I will look at that journey first.


How to Get from Siem Reap to Koh Chang

By Cheap Bus / Minibus:

When you are in Siem Reap your hotel or any tour agent will sell you a ticket for bus/minibus from Siem Reap to Koh Chang.   The price will be from US$18- US$20, depending on your haggling skills and how much commission the seller thinks they should be getting.   Regardless of whether you have paid for a minibus or a big bus, it will be a big bus that will pick you up from your hotel early morning, around 07:30 – 08:30 and will take you to the border.   

n the way you will probably stop once at a roadside restaurant / minimart for a quick break, 15 mins or so.   And then again, for a longer 30 minute break a few kilometres before the border at the grandly named ‘Poipet Tourist International Passenger Terminal‘ this is basically a bus station run by the local taxi mafia, which means buses out of there are in very short supply.   ( More on this in the Koh Chang to Siem Reap section below)   There is no real reason for this break other than to encourage you to buy overpriced snacks and food.  On the plus side, the building is fairly new and the toilets are free and relatively clean.

Around this time one of the bus staff will take your ticket from you and give you a sticker, either colour coded or just white with the initials of your next destination on it. Stick this on your chest and don’t lose it as it is the only proof you now have that you bought a ticket for onward travel from the border.   ( Dec ’14 – I noticed at least one minibus company is now giving passengers an ID worn around their neck to say which minibus they are on – much better system than the stickers. )  Another 10 minutes on the bus and you will arrive at the border.  

The bus will park near  a large roundabout.   Exit Cambodia at the Immigration Office on the right hand side of the border crossing.   This is a very old building from before the days of casinos and so during High Season queuing won’t be a pleasurable experience as the majority of the time you will be in the open air.   But regardless of how long you have to queue here – the one thing you can be sure of is that the queue on the Thai side will be longer.

Wander past the casinos, past the stalls selling cheap cigarettes and no-name booze, under the dramatic Angkorian archway and then cross to the opposite side of the road and you will come to the Thai Immigration offices.   The first office and queues you will see will be for Cambodians coming into the country, just past this is a much larger building and an outdoor holding pen where you will wait, if it is busy, before going into the air-conditioned Immigration Office.

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Bear in mind that most buses coming from Siem Reap will arrive at the border at pretty much the same time – late morning – and so if you are unlucky you could find yourself at the back of large queues both exiting Cambodia and then again when entering Thailand.

Once in Thailand you will probably discover that there is no-one waiting for you and at this point will most likely think that you have been ripped off.   But fear not, just follow the covered walkway out of the Immigration Office, past the Customs check and into Thailand.  If you’ve got a bottle or two too many , try to hang back behind a Cambodian laden down with bags – they’ll be stopped by Customs and you can walk through.  

In front of you is a long, wide, straight road, walk along it for about 50 metres.   On the left you will see vans parked and further on you’ll come to a row of small tour agents offices with minibuses parked outside. Someone will approach you or just ask anyone where your minibus is and they will point you in the right direction. ( If you need to change money or use an ATM then look over to the right when you come out of Customs – past the large ‘Cross Cafe’ coffeeshop and should be able to spot a large green bank building – Kasikorn (or K) Bank about 100 metres away. )

Having found your minibus, it will leave once everyone is accounted for, and will then take you to your destination. For the trip to Koh Chang the driver will make one quick stop to refuel where you can go to the toilet, buy some snacks and then you will taken to the ferry pier.   The van will stop outside a tour agents by the pier, here you will probably be given the option of having the van take you to your hotel on Koh Chang for an extra 100  to 200 Baht per person. Up to you if you do this or not.  

It is more expensive than a pick up truck taxi from the pier on Koh Chang – which will be from 50 – 150 Baht. If you decide not to have the van take you to your hotel.   You will still get back into the van and the driver will take you onto the ferry.   Then you can hop out and do your own thing when you reach the mainland. As the price of the ferry ticket is included in the original minibus ticket bought in Siem Reap.

There’s an update further down the page from 2019 which shows how much hassle trying to do the trip independently by public transport is, and whilst you will save money, the hassle involved probably isn’t worth your time and effort.  

Poipet border

By Public Taxi:

From Siem Reap you will be able to book a taxi to the border easily through your hotel or any tour agent.   It will probably an old Toyota Camry which can seat a maximum of 4 passengers, plus a couple of backpacks or suitcases ( as half the boot space will be used for an LPG tank ). Expect to pay around US$30-35 for this.   There’s no reason to pay any more than this as it isn’t a long journey, around 155Km.   Driving time to the border is around 2 hours on a pretty good road.

Then you have the border crossing and as soon as you emerge into Thailand the first large sign that greets you is one for the taxi service to Bangkok. Just follow the sign to the taxi station which is on your left as soon as you come through Customs.. A taxi to Bangkok is 2,100 Baht, Koh Chang 2,500 Baht and Pattaya 2,400 Baht. I’m sure other destinations are possible but these are the only three listed on the sign.

For that price you will be dropped at one of the ferry piers for Koh Chang, then it is just a matter of hopping on a ferry and taking a pick up truck taxi to your hotel.

This seems a good way of doing the journey – for two people you are looking at around 1,750 Baht each ( 3,500 Baht total ) for Siem Reap to the pier for Koh Chang and if you are picked up from Siem Reap after breakfast, say 08:00 then you would reach the border well before the buses coming from Siem Reap and so shouldn’t have very long queues at Immigration.   So, if all went to plan, then you’d be on a ferry to Koh Chang around 15:00 – 16:00.

Updates from readers over the years

August 2013
We had three Spanish guests book a taxi to the mainland ferry pier through their hotel in Siem Reap.  They paid US$100 – total.  For that they got a taxi after breakfast to the border, dropped at the border where they were escorted across and then taken to a waiting car that took them to Ao Thammachat ferry pier.  They were on Koh Chang by 3pm.
November 2014
This is still possible and the price hasn’t increased too much. Figure on $110 – 120 depending on your haggling skills. The main downside is that you never know what type of driver you’ll get and in what condition his vehicle will be in. So it’s a bit of a lottery. But you will get to Koh Chang late afternoon
July 2016
Thanks to Courtney for sending her experience. I think the price is a bit cheaper as it is Low Season . . .
My husband and I booked a taxi from our hotel in Siem Reap, which picked us up at 6:15 a.m. (We chose the time) and we were at the border by 8 a.m. It took us almost two hours to go through customs and immigration, unfortunately. But when we finished we hopped in another taxi which dropped us off at the ferry to Koh Chang at about 12:45 p.m., and we were at our hotel before 2 p.m. Our travel for two people, including the ferry and pick-up truck taxi on Koh Chang, was $105. The taxi from Siem Reap was $40, the taxi from the border to the ferry was $55 (with two ‘free’ waters!), the ferry was 80 baht/person, and the taxi was 100 baht/person. All and all it was very easy!
April 2018
Thanks to Paul who did the trip hassle free in early April. These are the costs & timings for a transfer for 3 people from Siem Reap to Koh Chang.

6.30 – 09.00 Taxi from hotel in Siem Reap to Poi Pet border.  Cost $35

09.00 – 11.00 Crossing the border and queueing at Cambodian and Thai Immigration

11.00 – 14.00 Taxi from the Thai side of the border to Ao Thammachat ferry pier. Cost  = 2,500 Baht

14.30 – 15.15 Ferry to Koh Chang.  Cost = 80 Baht per person = 240 Baht total 

15.30 – 16.00 Pick up truck taxi (songtaew) to  Sea View Resort. Cost = 100 Baht per person = 300 Baht total

Total cost = $35 + 3,040 Baht = approx 4,140 Baht

February 2019 (Cheapest way)
Here’s the real budget traveller’s way to do the trip.& Independently by public transport. Thanks to Marc who suffered, so you don’t have to.

1) Order a Grab Tuk Tuk at 07:30 from your hotel in Siem Reap to the Capital bus station – 4,500 Riel

2) Take the local bus at 08:00 to the Poipet border – 15,000 Riel

3) Walk across the border

4) There are various options. If you’re rich and just want to get to Koh Chang as quickly as possible, take a minibus from the border for 600 Baht to Chanthaburi. Or if you want a minibus but at the normal (non-tourist) price, walk 15 minutes to the nearby bus station and take one for 220 Baht.

Then another minibus from Chanthaburi to Trat for 65 Baht. They depart every hour. Then a shared pick up truck taxi from Trat bus station to the ferry pier. 50 Baht per person. Finally, ferry to Koh Chang. 80 Baht. Once on Koh Chang, take the shared pick up truck taxi to your hotel.  From 50 – 150 Baht / person.

(Alternatively, if the minibuses at the border are full. Take a Tuk tuk to Aranyaprathet bus station, this is 50 Baht. Then take the 15:00 bus to Chanthaburi. 4 to 6 hours. 160 Baht. You’ll have to stay the night in Chanthaburi as it’s now too late to get to Koh Chang. )

So the total cost of doing it on your own can be cheaper than taking one of the very cheap scam minibuses that you’ll see for sale for around $20 per person.  But you will only save a couple of dollars maximum and might end up paying more if you get stuck in Chanthaburi overnight. 

December 2019
Thanks to Andy who did the trip by taxi arranged by their hotel in Siem Reap to the border and then local taxi from the border to the ferry pier, which they split the cost with another couple they met at the border. An inexpensive way to do the trip with minimum hassle.

We scheduled a taxi to the Poi Pet border with our hostel the day before. They picked us up right on time at 8:00, and drove quickly but not unsafely. We stopped for gas once, and arrived at the border crossing at 10:15. We paid the agreed fare of US$30.

It took us about about an hour and a half to get through the line at immigration. We entered Thailand at 11:50.

We met 2 other people traveling to Koh Chang in the immigration queue. The four of us went to the taxi stand, and paid the posted 2500 Baht flat rate (for all 4 of us) to get to the Ao Thammachat Pier. We arrived at 15:40, just in time to catch a ferry before it left.

March 2023
Thanks to Tom for up to date pricing. His comment at the bottom of the page, dated 2 March, has a lot more details of how he did the trip from Siem Reap to the island.

We were given 3 options at the hotel in Siem Reap:
1. 60$ per person by bus, with a bus switch at the border (120$ total)
2. 160$ for 2 for the whole trip by private car, with a switch at the border.
3. 50$ for 2 to get to the border (Poipet) by private car.

Interesting to see that there isn’t a huge difference between a private transfer all the way to Koh Chang and two tickets for the shared minibus.

March 2023 - shared minibus
Comment from Margrete who did this trip on 12 March. Looks like it’s worth shopping around for bus tickets as there’s a big difference in prices paid between Margrete and Tom.

Pick up from hotel in Siem Reap in a big bus to the border. Then shared minivan to ferry and ferry ticket included. Was initially quoted 48U$, immediately lowered to U$ 44 per person.

We were picked up at 7:30. Thai immigration took about 90 minutes. Hung about at minibus area (just past KFC) until 2:30/3 pm. Arrived at the pier at 18:00. Those that did not want a transfer on KC were told to take their luggage and board ferry on foot. Those of us doing a transfer paid 100 Baht / person to White Sands and 150 Baht/person to Kai Bae.

By Private Transfer from Siem Reap to Koh Chang:

Various tour agents will offer this service, but as with taxis, the vehicles from a Cambodian tour agency can’t bring passengers into Thailand and vice-versa.   So you still have to change vehicles at the border.   You can have some flexibility in the time you are picked up but you would still want to leave your hotel in Siem Reap by 9 or 10am, just in case there were any long delays crossing the border.   In addition, you can of course stop where and when you want during the trip.  

Plus if you can book so that you don’t pay anything in advance and only pay when you reach your destination, then that should allay any fears of not getting the service you have booked. It is in the tour company’s best interests to make sure everything runs smoothly and the drivers are punctual, safe and polite.   But a good option for inexperienced travellers or a group who just want to minimize hassle and plan their trip well in advance.

My experience of taking the bus & minibus from Siem Reap to Koh Chang:

The actual time spent on the bus & minibus really wasn’t too bad.   The big bus arrived on time at 07:30, I was the first to be picked up, and the next hour or so was spent crawling round the backstreets of Siem Reap picking up fellow passengers.     The bus itself wasn’t anything to write home about but the seats were pretty comfy, the aircon worked and the driver wasn’t too crazy. No loud Khmer pop music playing or anything like that.  

We arrived at the border around 11:45.   Clearing Cambodia Immigration took 20 minutes.   Again, no hassle at all.   The fun began at Thai Immigration where I, along with a couple of hundred others, had to queue for getting on for 3 hours before being allowed into the country.   The reason for this was that a huge number of Chinese tour groups were crossing at the same time and had obviously paid a ‘tip’ for a fast track Immigration service.   So they were ushered in, past the not particularly happy, very sweaty, mainly Western, contingent who were forced to wait outside.

So around 15:00 I was in Thailand again.   Luckily there were only three of us on the minibus to Koh Chang.   So I could sprawl out and read.   The driver was fast, but that’s to be expected of a minibus driver in Thailand, and there were no near death experiences en-route.

Around 18:45 we got to the ferry pier and were then on the last ferry to Koh Chang which departed at 1930.   The ferry crossing takes about an hour, so I got home at 21:15.   A long day but if it wasn’t for Thai Immigration then the trip would have been far quicker.  

Regardless of how you travel overland, any delays at Immigration will affect everyone and are out of your control; there are no scams on the way – other then hoping you will buy some expensive potato chips and a drink; and the only slightly confusing aspect is finding where the minibus is parked when you enter Thailand, as you aren’t told this info at any stage.

So I’d take the cheap bus route again if it was Low Season.   Can’t really go wrong for the price.   I paid US$18 (550 Baht) for my ticket from some random tour agent in Siem Reap.   But if I were travelling with someone and wanted a the best option in terms of cost vs. convenience + time then I’d take a taxi to the border, beat the bus queues at Immigration, then just hop in a taxi to Koh Chang.

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Alternative routeSiem Reap via Battambang and Pailin to Koh Chang or Koh Kood

Virtually everyone goes from Siem Reap to the main Poipet / Aranyaprathet border crossing.  However it is possible to go via the much quieter crossing at Psar Phrum / Ban Pakard.  This is to the south east of Siem Reap near the town of Pailin.  The driver in Cambodia is much longer but on the Thai side it is much quicker.  Plus you avoid long queues at immigration. 

How to do the trip:

Take a taxi to Psar Phrum (near Pailin in Cambodia) the Thai name for this border is Ban Pakard. The ride takes about 4 hours including time to stop for a couple of short breaks. Taxis are often old, but very comfortable, Lexus Rx 300 cars which should cost around $70 – 80 from any tour agent in Siem Reap. 

Make sure your driver drops you in Psar Phrum and not in Pailin town which is almost 15 km from the border. The border crossing will be quiet.  Get stamped out of Cambodia and then walk 150 metres to Thai Immigration.  Crossing the border shouldn’t take more than 15  – 30 minutes even at the busiest time of year.

** Important to remember that this border only accepts Cambodian Evisas when exiting Camboddia ( not when entering ) .   If you try to do this trip in reverse with an Evisa you won’t be able to cross the border. **

From the Thai side of the border you can take a local taxi to the pier at Laem Ngop (for boats to Koh Chang).  This will be around 2,500 Baht total.  Or if you are going to Koh Kood then get dropped off at Trat bus station or pay extra to go to Laem Sok pier.  Note that the last boat to Koh Kood is at 15:00.  So to get there the same day you will need to leave Siem Reap by 06:00.

If you want to save money then you can take a pick up truck taxi from the border to Chanthaburi and then a minibus to Trat. 

November 2018 update.

Prices have increased a little. Expect to pay around US$90 – 100 for a car for two people from a hotel in Siem Reap to the border crossing at Phsar Prum / Ban Pakard.  

The roads are in good condition, until the stretch from Pailin to the border when they become a bit rough.  Expect it to take around 4 and a half hours to reach the border. Taxi prices are 2,500 Baht to Trat town or 2,800 Baht to Laem Sok pier.  You might as well pay the extra to Laem Sok, as you’ll have to hire  a pick up truck taxi from trat to laem Sok and that will cost a minimum of 300 Baht. 

From the border to Laem Sok pier is around 2 and a half hours.  It would be around 30 minutes quicker to get to the pier for boats to Koh Chang.


How to Get from Koh Chang to Siem Reap

By Minibus:

The good news is that the days of the scam minibuses seem to be over. Since covid, those dirt cheap minibuses that seemed a bargain but gave passengers no end of hassles are no longer running. 

In the past there were dirt cheap minibus services to Siem Reap.  Tickets were around 500 or 600 Baht / person and you were almost certainly going to be the subject of several scams – which allowed the minibus operators to make some profit on the journey.  You’ll see some stories and updates from passengers further down this page.

Now, it’s 2023.  A minibus ticket from Koh Chang to Siem Reap costs 1,400 – 1,800 Baht. The days of the cheap, scam minibus appear to be over.  The profit is now built into the ticket price.  

After being picked up around 07:00 – 08:00 from your hotel on Koh Chang you’ll then take the 08:30 ferry to the mainland.   After a brief stop for LPG / toilet / snack buying in a town called Khlung, the driver will then take you to the border. The drive itself is pretty nice, no wide highways but quiet rural roads and even some limestone karsts.   You will probably arrive at a restaurant a couple of kilometres from the border in Aranyaprathet around 12:30 – 13:00.   Here you can avail yourself of drinks & ‘tourist price’  Thai food.  

A nice man who will say he is from the Cambodian partner company will then appear.   He will hand out visa application forms and tell everyone to fill them in if they don’t already have a visa as you need one to go into Cambodia.  About this time, your scam radar might be giving you strong signals that something is wrong as it isn’t really commonplace when travelling internationally to fill out visa application forms in an overpriced restaurant owned by a tour company. 

Your passports will be whisked away and returned to you 30 minutes later with a Cambodian visa.  Yes, you will be overcharged for the visa.  However, it isn’t by a huge amount, a couple of hundred Baht or so.  The online E-visa is cheaper but when you add on the $8 processing fee, it doesn’t make too much difference.  So ideally get your visa online in advance from the Cambodian Government website as this is a very good, efficient service.   But if you don’t, then don’t stress too much about having to get a visa at the border.

Scams which have now disappeared included trying to convince you that you need to change Baht or US$ into Cambodia Riel before you go into the country.   There is no requirement to do this, you’ll probably just use US$ in the country anyway, and the rate you get will be well below the 3,900 – 4,000 Riel / US$1 rate that has been the normal rate for many years.  Or telling passengers that they need US$ but there aren’t any working ATMs in Cambodia now,  so you have to exchange Baht for US$ whilst in Thailand.  Guess what?  They’ll do that for you but you’re going to get a very low rate.  So avoid doing that.  The ATMs in Cambodia give out US$ and work fine.  Despite what anyone in Thailand might tell you.

Crossing no-mans land on Google Streetview.  Through the arch and past the casino (which burned down in late December 2022) to Cambodia Immigration. The Cambodia visa office is the building on the right next to the arch.  Go here if you want to get your Cambodian Visa in person after being stamped out of Thailand. 

There is a counter directly in front of the door with the prices for Visas displayed prominently above it.   A Tourist Visa is US$30.  Naively, you may assume that obtaining the visa would be as simple as filling out a form and handing over a photo, your passport and crisp banknotes. But it isn’t.  Or it is, if you don’t mind waiting.   The problem is that if the Visa price is $30 and you hand over $30 then the immigration guys don’t benefit in any way. Satisfaction in doing your job properly doesn’t put food on the table or buy the latest Iphone.

So, on the counter, beneath the blue perspex sign with the official Visa prices, you’ll see a handwritten sign with the official unofficial Visa prices which you pay to avoid having your application disappear to the bottom of the pile.  And if you don’t have a passport photo, cough up another 100 Baht on top of that.

Having got your Visa, wander past the casinos to the Cambodia Immigration office, on the right hand side of the road (On the left is for entering Cambodia).   There will be a guy hanging around somewhere with pocket sized Immigration cards for you to complete, do this whilst you are queuing.

Welcome to Cambodia.  

As of 2023 most of what is below isn’t applicable.  Life is much less hassle now.  You’ll be met on the Cambodian side of the border and taken directly to your bus / minibus and will continue to Siem Reap. No more hanging around the transport terminal a few kilometres out of town. 

Upon exiting Cambodia Immigration, you will immediately come to the holding pens where everyone crossing the border is herded.   The idea is that anyone requiring onward transport by bus or taxi can avail themselves of a free shuttle bus that will take them to the out of town transportation terminal from where they can make their connections.   In theory it is a good idea as it avoids having a multitude of buses and taxis parked on the streets by the border all fighting over passengers.

But from what I can make out given: a) the observation that here are only four buses per day from the transportation centre and b) And only one of them, the 15:00 bus to Siem Reap departs after 08:00 and c) Ticket price for the bus is US$9, only $3 less than for a seat in a shared taxi- it appears that the sole aim of the transportation terminal is to make people take a taxi.   Taxi prices are US$48, or as just mentioned, US$12 for a seat in a shared taxi with three other passengers.

If you have either already paid for the bus to Siem Reap, you then have to decide if you want to hang around until 15:00 to take it.   Or if you want to hop in a taxi instead.   Siem Reap has a perfectly good bus station, not too far from the centre of town.   But taking passengers there would be too obvious.   So instead anyone who does decide not to put some money the taxi mafia’s way and take the bus is punished.  

The first thing that happens is that although the bus is scheduled to leave at 15:00 – it won’t.  

You’ll be sat on the bus waiting for an hour or two, some people may decide to give up and take a taxi instead  – which is the idea of delaying the bus.  Within an hour of the bus finally departing, it will be time for the driver to stop for a well-earned break.  Passengers can then expect to wait 30 minutes whilst he eats and has a chat with friends.  By this time it’s dark.  

After a very slow ride, you will be dropped off  about 6Km from Siem Reap in a makeshift bus station just off the main road.   Here you are met by smiling tuk-tuk drivers, all too happy to take you to a hotel, which may or may not be the one you want to go to, for around US$6-8.   It’s dark, you’re somewhere out near the airport on Highway 6 and you have been on the road for 12+ hours.   Not a fun way to end the day.

By Private Transfer to the border and Taxi to Siem Reap:

For anything from 2,500 – 4,000 Baht you can book a car and driver to whisk you from your hotel on Koh Chang to the border crossing.   Pay more to avoid being driven there by an insane youth in his Dad’s old Corolla with amphetamine fueled dreams of one day being the first Thai in F1. Presuming you survive the journey, you will be dropped off right by the border crossing.   Easy.  

As soon as you enter Cambodia you will be faced with the same obstacle as described above, the holding pens for the Poipet Tourist International Passenger Terminal which semi-official looking people will try to herd you into.   Here you will be told that you can get  a taxi without having the hassle of going to the terminal, but it will cost you around US$80 for an official taxi.  If you want to do things officially, you could go along with the taxi guys and take the shuttle to the terminal where you will find the same taxi is only US$48 for the ride to Siem Reap.

There is no law preventing you from going any further into Poipet than the waiting area of the shuttle buses – regardless of what any Cambodian scammer ( aka taxi company employee ) tells you.   You can just wander off on your own.

If you want to get a cheap taxi then just walk past the waiting area and around the edge of the roundabout.   After 100 metres you’ll come to a few small shops/ kiosks and if you haven’t been approached by a guy to ask if you want   a taxi by now then I’d be very surprised.  

They know what you are looking for as no-one wanders into Poipet for a few last minute gifts for the family or for spot of leisurely sightseeing – as it’s a dump.    Here you will be able to get a taxi for around US$30-40 without having to haggle too much, if at all. The vehicle will most likely be an old Camry.   The only thing to remember is not to pay in advance. Agree that you will pay when you arrive at your hotel. The drive takes around 2 hours.

One trick drivers have is to take you to the outskirts of the city centre and then say that because < insert vaguely plausible reason here > the driver can’t take you to your hotel but his friend, a tuk-tuk driver will.  Just play along, take the tuk-tuk, he won’t charge you anything.  But his aim is to find a way to make some commission from you.   So best not to outright refuse until you get to your hotel.  On the plus side he may well be a friendly guy and if you are going to need a tuk-tuk, it’s worth getting his card.

One thing you’ll quickly notice is that you can have a sensible conversation in English with most tuk-tuk and taxi drivers in Siem Reap.  The standard of English is way higher than their counterparts in Thailand )

On the way you’ll learn that in Cambodia they don’t drive on the same side of the road as in Thailand.  In fact, they don’t drive on any side of the road. The average Cambodian drives straight down the centre right up until they meet a larger vehicle coming in the opposite direction doing the same thing.  The exception to this rule is if you are in  a Range Rover or Landcruiser – in which case everyone else will get out of your way.

By Private Transfer from Koh Chang to Siem Reap:

As above but the tour agent will have also arranged to have a driver from the Cambodian partner agency waiting for you on the other side of the border. To allow the driver to come right up to the border, and not meet you at the transportation terminal you will need to give names and passport details of all passengers to the tour company.  

If the Cambodian driver has these details, i.e. can prove to the taxi mafia guys, who he is picking up, he can meet you at the border.   Alternatively, the same applies for vehicles from hotels coming to meet you at the border. Your hotel in Siem Reap would be able to arrange either their driver or a taxi for you.

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My Experience:

I got my ticket for Koh Chang to Siem Reap for 550 Baht but had already decided beforehand that I would try to get   a cheap taxi to Siem Reap from the border. (Having the ticket through to Siem Reap rather than just the border simply meant that if I found this wasn’t possible then I could always fall back on Plan B and didn’t have to pay for another bus ticket.)

I was picked up on time at 07:30 and shared the van with six others.   It was a new Toyota Commuter so plenty of space inside for everyone. We took the 08:30 Centrepoint Ferry to the mainland and then headed towards Chantaburi.   Just out of Khlung, a small town about an hour’s drive from the mainland pier we stopped for gas – as the vans all run on LPG and the driver then did a u-turn and headed back into the centre of Khlung where we turned off the main road and onto a back road.   It was actually quite a nice, uneventful drive up to the border along quiet country roads.

We arrived at a restaurant which I noticed was attached to office of the same tour agency that ran the minivans.   Here the driver got out to eat and the idea was that the passengers would too.   I’m sure the food is fine, but the prices were a bit on the touristy side.  

After about 15 minutes a guy appeared put down forms on tables and asked everyone to come and fill them in – without giving the reason.   They were photocopied visa application forms. As I already mentioned, the expensive Visa scam and changing money scam are widely documented online and in guidebooks and you are guaranteed to experience it.   Yet, of the passengers on the bus only myself and one other guy didn’t fill in the Visa forms.  

I did try to tell a French couple that they would be over paying for the Visa but they obviously trusted the advice from the nice man from the tour company more than me.

We were then taken to the border where the passengers who had opted for the scam visa were taken off to be fleeced and the others were given an orange sticker to wear, to show we paid for an onward ticket to Siem Reap and pointed in the direction of Thai Immigration.   There were no queues, so five minutes after arriving at the border I was wandering across the no-mans land / casino zone built between the two Immigration check points.    

I had an E-visa already but still popped into the Visa office just to see how depressing it was and to get some info on the official unofficial prices people can expect to pay.   There weren’t too many tourists milling around but I imagine that in busy times it would be a bit of a free for all.

Another 100 metres further on and after passing through Cambodian Immigration, which took 15 mins or so to clear, I was in Cambodia. I had read that there would be people trying to make sure I went into the waiting are for shuttles to the transport terminal but didn’t realise that it was virtually adjacent to Immigration, so I just wandered past lots of tourists who were sitting around without realising that this was the area I was trying to avoid.   No-one said anything or shouted after me as I wandered off.

Pretty much immediately I saw a Cambodian guy make eye contact so I just said “Taxi”.   He said 35 Dollars”, I said “30.   Pay you at the hotel in Siem Reap” and he said “OK”.  

The car  was parked by the large roundabout less than 50 metres away.   He then drove round it, stopping to hand over a fistful of Riel to some guy who was keeping an eye on proceedings and we were on the way.   A good drive in an old American Camry.   Unlike in Thailand, drivers on the whole seemed to go much slower in Cambodia.  But it was hard to tell how fast exactly as the speedometer read 60MPH all  of the way but was still reading the same when we stopped.  

We stopped once for to grab some water and again so I could go to an ATM and get some dollars , as although banks on Koh Chang will buy US$ they won’t sell them. We arrived in Siem Reap a couple of hours later.

To Siem Reap, but not to the hotel.   Just out of the city centre, the driver said he was late to meet someone and would it be OK if his friend, who had a tuk-tuk took me to the hotel instead.   I knew where the hotel was and from the road signs could see that we were only a few minutes away and also thought it would be interesting to see what the tuk-tuk’s guy spiel was.  

Rather than insist on the taxi taking me, I said OK, paid the taxi guy, who in turn handed over some Riel to the tuk-tuk guy and we headed off.   I guess this is pretty common as it allows the tuk-tuk driver the chance to make some money from tourists.  

He knew where I wanted to go but asked if I had already booked the hotel as he could take me to a good cheap place if I wanted. I had already booked.   And then, what my plans were for the following day and if I needed a tuk-tuk to take me around the temples.   ( I told him the same thing I had told the taxi driver when he asked about my plans, hoping for a job for the following day, that I was planning to cycle out to Beng Mealea temple about 70Km away.   Both times I got a reply that seemed to suggest that if I didn’t want to use their services then it would be better just to say so and not make up something as crazy as cycling a whopping 70Km – i.e telling the truth.)

If I was going from Koh Chang to Siem Reap again then I’d do the same thing – minibus to the border and then taxi from the border to my hotel in Siem Reap.     There’s only one thing I might do differently, in order to save an hour sitting around waiting for fellow travellers to be ripped off, and that would be to say Goodbye to the van as soon as it stops off at the restaurant in Aranyaprathet.   From there it would be easy to just grab a motorcycle taxi or tuk-tuk to the border.

Updates from scam minibus survivors over the years

August 2013
I added a new page on the scams as an English couple took a series of short videos during their Koh Chang  to Siem Reap trip which inadvertently highlighted them well.  Videos of scams here  – (note that this was still going on in 2019)

Updates from readers over the years

November 2014
We had three Spanish guests book a taxi to the mainland ferry pier through their hotel in Siem Reap.  They paid US$100 – total.  For that they got a taxi after a brief update to the Koh Chang – Siem Reap experience.  This is what you can expect in November 2014.  Same thing going on, trying to get passengers to pay 50% more than they should for Cambodian visas at a restaurant near the border.  this from Laura who made the trip recently:

I think that now might be several companies doing the service. ours was DD Muek travel ( or something) . We arrived around 1:30pm at a restaurant close to the border crossing to have lunch and also change the minibus.  When we arrived there were several groups there, I think with guides, they were handed visa forms in the restaurant. I asked where we are on a map hanging on the wall but suddenly there was a language barrier. Two Russian ladies that I think were on a travel package were put in a minibus and left but the minibus was quite quickly back so we were probably close to the border.

They asked if we need visa. We said no, some other passengers said yes. They started preparing docs for the rest, charging them 1,300 baht.  By now the other groups had gone. They started asking about hotels, we refused any help again. A lady left with a motorbike  with the papers for the others. They stuck blue stickers on the others who had got the visa at the restaurant.  

Now things started getting a bit unpleasant  they came back to us and started a little harassment about wanting us to give them our passports for them to check.  That was unexpected. There were two more people in the same situation. When the lady came back with the others passports they said they would go to the border now and we would have to wait. We said no way, and we were quick enough to occupy the minibus first.  By now it was already 3pm. They took us to the border acting offended and making nasty remarks.   The border was 1 km away from the restaurant.  They refused to hand us tickets for the big bus.

As we passed to the Cambodian border a very friendly guy in a blue shirt guy greeted us. We then got our visas from the Cambodia Immigration office for 800 Baht as we didn’t have any passport photos.   After clearing Cambodian immigration the same guy in a blue shirt appeared  again and tried to get us in a waiting line for a shuttle to bus station. We escaped him claiming we go buying water.  A taxi driver immediately appeared, we paid 40 bucks for 4 persons to hotel. The taxi took us to tuk-tuk in Siem Reap, but we refused to get out and then we were taken to our hotel.   We gave the driver a tip, he was happy and we were happy to be at our destination.

January 2017
The good news is that it is now possible to take the minibus to Siem Reap and not get scammed.  There’s just a half-hearted visa scam to contend with.

As well as the cheap minibus tickets, you can also buy a ticket for around 850 Baht that promises a minibus from your hotel on Koh Chang to the border and then another minibus from the Cambodian side to your hotel in Siem Reap. And the good news is that although it costs 300 Baht more than the cheaper alternative, it is a far less stressful and quicker way to get there.  

The only thing to be aware of is to remember that if you haven’t got your Cambodian visa already, don’t get it until you have passed through Thai Immigration.  Ignore any requests from minibus staff to see your passport or get you a visa whilst you are still in Thailand. 

One of our guests, Piotr, took it in January 2017 and said:

I would recommend the more expensive one. I paid 850 and was treated as VIP. The 550 Baht customers suffered from what you described. I was told: “Oh, you have very special ticket. You already paid.”
They did try to pull The visa trick but as soon as I said no, they drove me to The border.  And on The Cambodian side I was VIP also, whisked to a minivan.  Others were told The bus will come In 3-4 hours….  :-)

February 2017
How to get from Koh Kood to Siem Reap cheaply. Alicia was recently on Koh Kood and emailed me to ask how she could get to Siem Reap cheaply.  the problem is that there aren’t any shared minibuses from the ferry pier in Laem Sok to the border.  So it meant having to go via Trat and Sakeo.  So a very long day just to get to the border.  And then she just grabbed a random taxi from the border to her hotel.

I took the first ferry of the day, the 09:00 Boonsiri catamaran to Laem Sok (1.5 hours- 500 Baht) .From there I took the free shuttle to Trat bus station  (around 45 minutes) .  At Trat bus station, the only mini buses leaving for Cambodia were crossing at Hat Lek.  So to get to Aranyaprathet, for Siem Reap, I had to take the big bus.  This departed at 12:15 to Sakeo . (5 hours, 175 Baht)  Then in Sakeo, I changed to another bus to the border.  (1 hour – 50 Baht)

I arrived at the border around 18:30 . There was no wait at all and I passed through quickly.

On the Cambodian side of the border, I accepted the offer from one of the Camry taxi drivers to take me to Siem Reap (2.5 hours, $30USD)

I arrived at my Siem Reap hotel around 21:30

April 2017
Some things never change and the scam minibus keeps on scamming.  This is a tale of the journey from Koh Chang to Siem Reap by cheap minibus :

We paid for the tickets 600 Baht each and we were told it will take us to Siem Reap. The way to the border was OK but it started when the guy, who was driving the minivan, dropped us 2 km far from border control. There were around 100 people waiting in the restaurant.

You actually don’t know what’s going on cause no one explains to you anything. So you are waiting and waiting. Then someone came to us and started to tell us that if we don’t buy a Cambodia visa for 1500 Baht from them we will not get to the bus. We asked why? As we bought a ticket to SR.

Then all the guys screamed that we didn’t buy anything that we can walk there etc. One guy said to my boyfriend he is gonna kill him! I swear that was the way to much! There was no chance for us so we did buy visas from them. They sat us to the bus and the show carried on.

OMG! They stopped us before the border telling us the stories about how we should change the money for Baht (they have a commission from bank) that in Cambodia they’re going to change us 15$ in the bank etc. Just tricks. Then on the way to Siem Reap, they stopped  4 times, again commission from markets!

They said they’re going to drop us in the bus station, of course they left us 3 km from central and from the real bus station just with a million of tuk tuk guys. Unbelievable!

June 2017
More from another passenger on the scam minibus

After reading these reviews here, we were prepared that there will be scams. After we got on our minibus from Ko Chang to Siem reap, we travel a few hours to the border. But we stopped before them, probably a few kilometers before in some restaurant. They told us to get out of the bus, and then they separated us on small groups depending on which country are we from.

After that they told as to pay them 43$ per person and give them our photos that they will arrange visa for us. Of course we were against it, but we have no choice, because he said that he will leave us there (in Thailand before border). So we paid him and hoped for the best.

On the border they told us a lie about money (that we should change dollars on riels, that its better to pay in Cambodia with riels-its not true). After that we went to get stamps. Our visa was genuine, not a scam, fortunately.

Then we continued trip to Siem Reap with small problems and at the end they dropped us outside of Siem Reap and told as we have to take their Tuk-Tuk driver for free to drive us to the hotel (we also expecting scam about tuk-tuk free ride). But really it was for free. Just so you know, its good to know before your trip and expect it.

October 2017
And another minibus horror story.  This contradicts what I had heard and thought about the more expensive tickets being relatively safe to buy.  It seems they now aren’t. . . .

The company we deal with is DD Mhuek Tour and Travel and their Cambodian counterpart (supposedly) is Hangtep Tours.

I see you mention DD Mhuek on your website. You are kind in your description of the men at the restaurant. We had no smiles. They pretty much demanded we pay them for the visa. At one point the man from Hangtep Tours threatened to kill me because he thought I took a photo of him. Another (young Polish) couple traveling with us attempted to walk to the boarder to get the visa themselves but they were chased down and told if they do that they will not get a ride to Siem Reap.

It truly was horrific and I do believe they are hurting Thailand’s tourism. Is there a way to make the travel agents on Koh Chang aware of how this operator is treating tourists? Perhaps if they would stop using them it would be a start… or at least warn of the scam so we can be prepared.

We had no idea what company we were traveling with until we were picked up but we paid 900 Baht each for the tickets.

November 2018
Guess what?  The same scams are still going.  This from guests who stayed in Lonely beach and bought tickets for the cheap minibus.

First scam was the visa process. They stopped at a restaurant before the border and made everyone complete the visa forms but charged $45usd ea, as opposed to $30. They wouldn’t budge and threatened to leave us at the border.

Second scam began with a very friendly talk from our guide about how to get through the visa process ahead, only to then convince everyone to withdraw large amounts of baht from the nearby ATM as he claimed that the few ATMs in Cambodia charge $15usd per transaction, as opposed to the free exchange which the joint governments offer at the border so we would all save money. Everyone followed suit and then surprise! They screwed everyone with a terrible conversion rate by creating fear and rushing everyone through. This was also an area with no phone reception.

Third scam was a 20min bus stop less than an hour from Siem Reap for the driver who “needed dinner” at about 5pm. They tried to sell “free” SIM cards to everyone, didn’t work so we were gone again after about 10min.

Then the last scam, after 12 hours of travel the bus stopped 5km out of Siem Reap and we were told they could go no further but had politely organised free tuk-tuks! They then tried to sell their personal services to everyone and it took a lot of convincing that we wouldn’t hire them as our personal guide and to just take us into f%$cking town.

We were done over for the visa, we did question it but we weren’t in much of a position to get out of that one. We also, along with everyone else were scammed a bit through the exchange one but fortunately didn’t withdraw anywhere near as much money as they suggested/others did. We’re quite shocked that we fell for any of it as we usually have our wits about us. However, because we were under the impression that we were being looked after and avoiding the scams by taking the service, we had our guard down.

They really are professional scam artists, very charismatic and convincing that they’re your guides who are there to look after you. In every part of the scams they did a great job at creating fear and pressuring time. We completely understand that you weren’t aware this happens. Make it known to your guests that these events will pop up and they will do everything in their power to make you comply with them.

It was shit. But at least we made it here safe and sound and the bus itself was comfy.

December 2019
Thanks to Bjorn:  Note that many tour agents on Koh Chang will tell you anything to sell tickets.  By the time you realise they have lied, you’ve left Koh Chang and wont be returning. 

We booked on Koh Chang. We asked several times in 2 days and the answer was minibus to border, walk across the border and on the other site there is a Big Bus to Siem Reap. After asking for the name of the big bus company they said Olympics.

The trip started out OK. Then after leaving the island the driver was driving really aggressive, even for a Thai bus driver. Through villages and past cats, dogs, children at over 100 km/h honking all the time and driving on the opposite site of the road. But this is not the worst thing.

Before booking a bus we read a lot horrible things about people who try to get your passport to sell you expensive visas and so on. But we also heard that bus companies now protect their passengers, by giving them stickers and so on, so all the people can see you already have a bus.

So we were really shocked, when our bus company now was the problem. They stopped in a restaurant 1 km in front of the border, separated all the people and wanted to have our passports. 
This was so strange and – as I learned before – never give someone your passport.  I said No and they got very aggressive.

They shouted we had to pay otherwise they would not take us to Siem Reap and said you will not find the bus on the other side of the border.  I repeated what I paid.  Koh Chang to Siem Reap. But they got more and more aggressive.

People from the other table had the same problem.  We had to fight to get our stickers to show that we had paid for the big bus from the border.  Because the staff had already taken our tickets. In the end when we went away, we were a group of 6 people going by foot to the border.

We walked across the border and then had a fight to try to get the big bus from the border.  But there wasn’t one.   In the end we got to Siem Reap with a taxi.  Not with Olympics, not with a big bus.

This company seem to have a monopoly on Koh Chang, so if you book a trip anywhere at the island, you will always get in the arms of this company. So beware.

Never never never again!

October 2022
Thanks to Veerle for sending me some information for this first update after covid.  

The dirt cheap shared minibuses from Koh Chang to Siem Reap haven’t started running again.  But there is one service operating which costs 1,800 Baht per person.  This is a minibus to the border and then big bus from the border to Siem Reap Western Bus Terminal, which is a few kilometres out of town.  On arrival at the restaurant near the border passengers are asked to pay 1,500 Baht for their Cambodian visa.  The official price for a Cambodian visa is US$30 – around 1,100 Baht, so there’s obviously some profit built in to the 1,500 Baht fee. 

The good news is that there aren’t any other scams or excess fees involved.  Although if you were expecting another minibus from the border to your hotel in Siem Reap you probably wouldn’t be happy to be put on a public bus and end up at a remote bus station out of town. 

From the bus station in Siem Reap to a hotel in the town centre is US$3 by tuk-tuk.  Which is a fair price. The tuk-tuk driver will try to get you to hire them to take you around the temples.  Up to you if you use them or not, but if they are friendly and you already plan to see the temples, then you might as well do a deal with them.

In summary . . .

As of 2023, the multitude of scams seem to be a thing of the past. The days of the dirt cheap 600 Baht tickets are long gone. Figure on 1,500 – 1,800 Baht now per person for shared transport. 

Photos: (Mouse over for a brief explanation)


How to Get From Bangkok to Siem Reap


In brief, from Bangkok to Siem Reap first and then the reverse trip :

Direct bus from Bangkok – Siem Reap. In 2013 a new direct bus service, run by the Thai Government’s ‘Transportation Co. Ltd.’ bus company started running this route.  Ticket price is 750 Baht per person.  There are no scams.  You are dropped off in the centre of Siem Reap. Leaves Bangkok at 09:00 & arrives in Siem Reap around 16:30 – 17:00.

This is the best way to do the trip cheaply without any headaches or hassles.

Back to Bangkok:  Do the same trip in reverse.  Scam free but if every Baht/  US$ counts, it is double the cost of the cheapest services.

Cheap private bus or minibus: The type of tickets tour agents sell. This will involve attempted scams on the Thai side of the border, and, if you do decide to buy a ticket all the way through to Siem Reap then, regardless of what you are told when you buy the ticket, you won’t get to your hotel in Siem Reap before dark.

Back to Bangkok: No scams on the border to Bangkok journey, just expect to stop a few times as the driver looks to make some commission on passengers buying food / snacks.

Regular public bus: From Mochit Bus Station, there are two types of Express Bus – No. 60 takes around 5 and a half hours and No 921 takes four and a half. Departures throughout the day.   Cost around 220 Baht to Aranyaprathet Bus Station then figure on 50 – 80 Baht for a tuk-tuk to the border 7Km away.

Back to Bangkok:   As above but in reverse, tuk-tuk to the bus station, then regular buses for Bangkok.

Private car or taxi: Anywhere from 1,600 – 2,500 baht depending on how you book it and age & type of car, age & sanity of the driver etc But shouldn’t set you back more than 1,800 Baht and you will be dropped off at the border.

Back to Bangkok: 1,900 Baht from the well signposted taxi stand one minute walk from the border.   Doubt you could haggle the price as there aren’t any other equivalent options.

Train: Two trains from Hualampong Station in Bangkok to Aranyaprathet.   One at 05:55, takes 5 and a half hours and the other at 13:05 takes 4 and a half hours. Ticket price is 189 Baht. Then add on 50 – 80 Baht for the tuk-tuk ride to the border.

Back to Bangkok: Tuk-tuk from the border to the train station.   There are two trains, one at 06:40 which you won’t make as the border doesn’t open until 07:00 and the other at 13:55. This takes 6 hours, price also 189 Baht.


What scams can you expect at the Aranyaprathet / Poipet border?

Important: As of late 2022 these don’t seem to apply, with the exception of a slightly pricey Cambodian visa – which isn’t a big deal.   But it’s worth knowing about them in case they do re-appear in the future when tourism returns to normal.


From Koh Chang – Siem Reap:

If you don’t already have an E-visa, DON’T complete a visa application form anywhere except at the Cambodian Visa Office which is located after you pass through Thai Immigration.

DON’T believe anyone tells you that you need to change any Thai Baht to Cambodian Riel or into US Dollars ( unless it’s at a real bank ).  Or that there are high withdrawal fees at Cambodian ATMs. 

DON’T believe anyone tour agent who tells you that your bus/minibus will drop you at your hotel in Siem Reap or that you will arrive there late afternoon.   Remember there is only one bus to Siem Reap at 3pm from the tourist passenger terminal a few kilometres from Poipet. You will be dropped off at a bus station few kilometres outside Siem Reap and will need to take a tuk-tuk to get to your hotel.

If you decide to take a taxi from the border then there is nothing to stop you walking past the waiting area for the tourist passenger terminal shuttles and getting one for around US$30-40. DON’T believe anyone who tells you that you have to go to the passenger terminal.  You can ignore them.

There is sometimes a ‘Health Check’ midway between Thai & Cambodian Immigration offices at the border.  People who look like nurses will ask you to fill out a form to say you don’t have Ebola, Zika or whatever the currently trending tropical disease is.  They won’t check anything you write and you’ll see that whilst you are filling out the form dozens of other people will wander past.  But, at present, at least they aren’t asking any payment for the form.  In the past you were asked for anything from 20  – 100 Baht.  If that happens , smile, fill out the form but DON’T hand over any payment.

From Siem Reap – Koh Chang:

No real scams.   But you might want to avoid the tourist price food & drinks at the tourist passenger terminal in Poipet. Also, when you reach the ferry, you will be offered the opportunity to stay in the van to your destination on Koh Chang.   This will usually cost 100 – 200 Baht per person, compared to the pick-up truck taxi ride which is between 50 – 200 Baht.  It is more convenient to let the van driver take you.  DON’T believe the tour agency staff if they tell you that because it is the last ferry you might have to pay 1,000 Baht to get to your hotel or there won’t be any songtaews at the pier.  That’s not true.


If you’ve decided that all this seems too much effort, then the trip from Phnom Penh to Koh Chang is much less hassle, as far as scams and long queues at the border are concerned.  But is more expensive.


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  • February 2024. Thank you for all the info and contributors, it inspired us to leave our comfort zone of 4*hotels and travel and have a bit of adventure.

    We flew from the UK to Siem Reap, had a couple of days there and had pre booked a bus using bookmebus to Koh Chang which lead us to go-ho travel which happened to be 200m from our hotel and about 500m from Pub Street. It cost £91 (GBP)- our top tip as soon as the bus doors open find a seat without a wheel arch in the way. I suffered an hour and a half of a broken seat before one came available.

    A scheduled 0730hrs departure was delayed by half a hour because a hotel pick up was late due the passengers not being on time. Lots of toilet stops at decent places and a guide to show us through the border at Poipet with a free porter for our gear. One hour queuing at Immigration in aircon and fanned room. Free lunch of chicken and rice and free water. An hour wait at border for the bus to Koh Chang which meant we missed the ferry by one vehicle and had to get the last one at 1830hrs. Arrived at Klong Koi Bridge at 2030hrs.

    We were unable to book a return on bookmebus, I don’t know why but nothing was shown available for our route (KC to SR) so a month before we checked in we asked the hotel we were staying at in KC to book one for us. That was a minivan all to ourselves with a very friendly, polite driver (thank you eSims and Google Translate app) which cost 5000 Baht to border where we deliberately didn’t book anything preferring a bit of jeopardy.

    We got through the border in 45 minutes and were immediately pounced on by sims sellers and a scrawny bloke saying taxi, taxi! I had a quote from a local firm of $55USD and he said 20 each and took us to a Tuk-tuk. I wasn’t going to spend six hours on a tuk-tuk to Siem Reap so queried this but he said it was to take us to car. It was only 300m to a taxi office where I paid $40 and was told it would be 10 minutes before departure which it was.

    The scrawny guy asked for payment to bring us here and I told him to ask the other guy who I had paid the agreed $40. He hung around looking upset, asked a couple of more times for money so I gave him about 30 Baht in change and he slunk off. The taxi arrived on time, an SUV but made two pick ups of locals before heading off towards SR. One got out leaving a father and daughter (who threw up most of the way) and we were dropped at our hotel after one toilet stop at a clean place.

    Again thanks for everyone’s help in inspiring us to go out our comfort zone, I hope these few words will help you.

  • Since covid the cheap, scam minibuses have stopped operating. The services that run now are fine. You won’t get scammed. Book at any tour agent on Koh Chang. As of 1 October, boonsiri Ferry – a reputable comany – will start their Koh Chang to Siem Reap service. That can be booked online on A private transfer will be quicker but will cost a lot more. You still have to change vehicles at the border. But if you can find people to share the cost then it’s worth doing. Most tour agents on Koh Chang will be able to arrange this for you.

  • Where can I book a scam free minibus or private driver from Koh Chang to Siem Reap as you described at your website?

  • Hi Simon. Many thanks for the update. Hopefully the scams at the Poipet border are now a thing of the past.

  • Update 15 August 2023 (off season)

    We paid 1400 per person to a lady at the ferry pier who also sells the tickets for the ferry. Follow travellers paid same in their hotel. We were picked up at 7 am in the hotel, the driver passed with us using the ferry and drove us till Thai side of Poipet.

    There we were asked who is missing visa. We had already a visa and they took o photo of it to fill out our immigration card (free of charge).
    Follow travellers paid 40USD for the Visa on arrival. Everyone Was friendly and relaxed. We were then brought to the border, passing both borders just took about 45 min. On the other side a guy was waiting for us but we had to wait more time for further passengers. We were then let to another car and arrived by 5:30 to Siem Reap.

  • We travelled from SR to KC on 12 March 23. Pick up from hotel in SR, big bus to border, shared minivan to ferry and ferry ticket included. Was initially quoted 48U$, immediately lowered to U$ 44 pp when I said there were 2 of us ( I did not even attempt to barter, so it might be possible to get it cheaper).
    Bus was supposed to leave at 8. We were picked up at 7:30, bus left at 8:30, stopped 45 min later at a place that sold snacks/ fruit. This was the only “scheduled ” stop. Thai immigration took about 90 minutes. Hung about at minibus area (just past KFC) until 2:30/3 pm. Arrived 30 min before last ferry. Those that did not want a transfer on KC were told to take their luggage and board ferry on foot. Those of us doing a transfer paid 100 pp to White Sands and 150 pp to Kai Bae.
    Might be worth sorting snacks/drinks for the journey in SR the day before leaving. Margrete

  • Once in Koh Chang, I’ve seen a couple local tours advertising door to door services from Siem Reap to Koh Chang for 1400 THB / person (40$), so including ferry and all.

    It might be worth checking on the internet or with the hotel in Koh Chang as we paid almost double (but travelled private all the way).

    Hope this helps :-)

  • Many thanks for the great info Tom.

    The tickets for the shared minibus still priced very high for some reason – I assume it’s the lack of travellers. Hopefully they will come down in price once tourist numbers are back to normal

  • Early March 2023: we (2 people) just did the trip from Siem Reap to Koh Chang.

    We were given 3 options at the hotel in Siem Reap:
    1. 60$ per person by bus, with a bus switch at the border (120$ total)
    2. 160$ for 2 for the whole trip by private car, with a switch at the border.
    3. 50$ for 2 to get to the border (Poipet) by private car.

    We went with option 3 to see what we could find once we passed the border.

    We left Siem Reap at 8:20AM and arrived at the drop-off near the border at 11:10AM (1 stop for gaz and the last 5-10km took around 20-25 min).

    We made it to the Thai border at around 11:30AM (less than 20 minutes from drop off) and were on the other side by 12:10PM.

    Once out, we walked straight along the road and saw several locals waiting for tourists for the bus connection. We talked to someone that offered us a private car for 3500 THB (100$). After asking around, the other alternative was a mini-bus for 1200 THB / person (there are several shops offering the service behind the parking building a little further down the road). As the mini-bus was leaving at 2PM, we went with the private car.

    We left at 1PM and arrived at the pier in Trat at 4:25PM. From there, we purchased ferry tickets (80 BHT / person) + a ride to the hotel (250 BHT / person). We then boarded a ferry that left at 5PM. Once on the island, a local taxi was waiting for us and took us + 5 other people. We were dropped last as our hotel was the furthest (south of the island), by then it was 6:30PM

    Total time door to door was around 10 hours, for 170$ (85$ per person).

    One thing to note: we were told several times that tourism from China was still fairly low, and that they were expecting a lot more in the near future, which could impact both timeline and prices.

  • You won’t find the bus / minibus or local taxi services on any online booking sites. Buy tickets or arrange it at a tour agency when you are in Siem Reap.

    It should be around US$40 per person for the bus to the border and then minibus to Koh Chang.

  • hello everybody,
    great site for the informations how to get from Siem Reap to Koh Chang cheaper way than private taxi.
    We are planning to go from the SR to KC 6.3.2023 and only one option we found online is by private car for $240 or minivan for $270. But we would like to do it cheaper way by combinations taxi, buses etc. Do you have any actual updates? Or also does anybody go this date? to share the expenses? I will put our experiences with the transport here when we will be back :) thanks Lukas

  • Update Jan 23 .
    We took a taxi (50 us) from Battambang to the Pailin border .( 2 hrs ride) ,crossing this border took us max 20 min
    There is a taxi stand now at the Ban Pakkad border (Pailin Cambodja site) with fixed prices to many destinations like
    Koh Chang pier 3000 THB ( less then 2 hrs drive to the ferry )
    Bangkok 4500-5000 THB

  • Hi Ole. Thanks. I think $47 is OK for Siem Reap to Koh Chang, as not as many people will be doing the route now compared to before covid. So there wont be as many transport options. $250 will be for a private transfer.

  • Currently online pages like give prices around 250 USD for Siam Reap to Ko Chang, or they don’t find a connection at all.
    Local agencies in Siam Reap ask for 47 USD… So far for the current status.

  • Thanks for the update Sezen, always good to know which scams they are trying. Enjoy your time in Siem Reap. It’s an ideal time to visit, no large tour groups at the temples now.

  • Hi,
    We just got to Siem Reap from Koh chang (11th March 2020) and until the border everything was OK. We stopped at places with cheap and tasty food. At the border we were handed over to the Cambodian company or subcompany. And then we gof scammed. They told us that, yes you can pay every with US dollars but those prices are a bit higher. If you withdraw dollars and exchange to riel they charge you 15-20%. So the best is to exchange your Thai Bhat to Riel right after the border. The problem was the exchange rate wasn’t right and we got ripped off 150€. So stick to the plan of passing the border and withdrawing US dollars.

  • It’s pretty easy to take a transfer to the border and then a taxi on the other side to Siem Reap. You can book a transfer all the way from Koh Chang to Siem Reap but you always have to change vehicles at the border. So it usually costs more but doesn’t save any time.

  • Hi, my family (4p) will be going to Siam Reap on March 3rd. Is it still the easiest way to take a taxi to the border and then find a new one on the other side? Or can you get a good transport all the way from koh chang to Siam Reap? Which do you recommend, can you book through you?

  • Thanks for your page Ian! It helped us a lot.

    Here’s our experience on 27 Dec 2019 (2 persons):

    6.50 AM: private car from our hotel in Siem Reap to Poipet border: $38 (it wasn’t an official taxi but a friend of our hotel’s manager who also dropped his grandmother to Poipet – a bit confusing..)

    9.30 AM: queing at the border, first 5 min on the Cambodian side, then a whopping 3.5 h on the Thai side (beware: no toilets!)

    1.30 PM: taxi to Natural Bay Pier, 2500 THB

    5.15 PM: arrival, quickly buying the ferry tickets (80 THB/pax) and then running to the ferry

    6 PM: local taxi to our hotel (70 THB/pax)

  • Thanks, Bob. I’m sure that will be very useful for other people considering the journey this high season. You had good luck getting across the border in under an hour. You must have got there before the tour buses.

    Enjoy your time on Koh Chang.

  • Hi Ian
    Thanks for this blog which was very useful in supporting my first ever overland cross border journey. To perhaps help others here is some feedback.

    November 2019 Update
    Central Suite Residence, Siem Reap to Emerald Cove, Koh Chang.

    Options on offer from tour agent across the road from the SR hotel were 1) bus for $25USD, 2) van for $70USD or 3) taxi in Lexus for $180USD. All apparently included ferry ticket and charges were probably negotiable since another agent board further up the street said $23 for the bus to Koh Chang.

    Rather than use an agent we decided to do the arrangements ourselves.

    8am leave hotel for PoiPet in one of the hotel’s cars (Toyota Highlander) which cost $35. Once out of town the road was in good condition, but very busy with local traffic of bikes and tractors stopping at roadside market stalls. The journey took just under 3 hours including the driver stopping twice for fuel and toilet. I could see the speedo, but reckon we didn’t get much above 50mph at any point. On a quiet bit of road we witnessed a van overtaking a lorry and at same time a car overtaking the van overtaking the lorry. So three abreast they barreled down the road. And for good measure they all passed a motorbike driving towards them on the wrong side of the road.

    11am Taxi dropped us directly outside Cambodian passport control. Then the touts moved in opening the taxi door and getting our suitcases out of the boot. We told them just to leave and we didn’t need transport on the other side of the border. The building is very non descript and could be mistaken for a toilet block. On entry there are six lanes – four were in use when we passed through. Each lane had about 15 people queuing with capacity probably about 20 people which gives an indication of the small size of the building.

    We handed over passport with entry visa and immigration card stub and just got the passport back. It seems to take about 1 minute to process each person. Longer for those that can’t work out their left hand from their right hand on the fingerprint scanner or have non standard documentation so our queue was slower. We were through Cambodian passport control in 20 minutes.

    Walk out the exit door to your left and that’s it. Follow the waist high fence around to the right until you meet the roadway. There was a bustle of people going in all directions and building works. Just keeping walking up the road towards the Thai border. Cross the road to use the pedestrian underpass rather than walk on the road. As you come out the other side keep walking and on the left will be signs for Thai passport control with a seating area.

    Walk past that area keeping left and in the corner will be an escalator. Before taking the escalator look right and there is a desk with an official distributing immigration cards. Take the escalator up the stairs and join the queue which provides useful time to fill in the immigration card. After 25 minutes we were through and heading down an escalator to a scanner for baggage. Next up was a walk through the drug control check point.

    End to end the whole border crossing process took 55 minutes.

    Once through drug control just keep walking and taxi office appears on left hand side. Alongside is a compound that was full of white vans. We kept walking a few more metres past the taxi office and got approached by a tout with pictures of his taxis in plastic laminate around his neck. He offered 2500 Thai Baht to Koh Chang and accepted my counter offer of 2400THB. The tout escorted us another 20 metres to find his driver which was outside Star Plaza shopping mall. There is a KFC there if you want food or drink. There is big clean toilet in the mall upper floor.

    12:15pm and we are off to Koh Chang in a nice clean Toyota with plenty of leg room. But first we had to stop for fuel and inflate the tyres (which was reassuring). The road infrastructure in Thailand was vastly superior to the trip in Cambodia. Large parts of the route were dual carriage way and very quiet. This gave the driver plently of oportunity to see if he could press the accelerator peddle through the floor and hit top speed. At various crossroads the army had narrowed the road to create checkpoints. With one toilet and drink stop we were at ferry terminal for Centrepoint at 15:45pm for 3.5 hour journey time. We were dropped off at the ferry ticket office and paid the 80 THB each for the ferry.

    By 16:00 we were on our way. 45 minutes later and the car/passenger ferry was pulling alongside the pier. Follow the crowds up the gangway and Songtaew taxis are waiting. It was 100THB each and by 5pm we were off with 12 crammed inside – mostly backpackers. By 5:30pm we were checking in at Emerald Cove.

    Total cost in £ GBP was

    £27.50 ($35) – Siem Reap to PoiPet
    £64.90 (2400THB) Aranyaprathet (PoiPet) to ferry pier
    £4.30 (160 THB or 80THB each) for ferry
    £5.40 (200THB or 100THB each) for Songteaw taxi
    Total all in cost of £102 taking 9.5hours

    Thanks again for this blog.

  • Thanks for the report, Charlotte. Good to hear it wasn’t too much of a hassle as you knew what to expect. :-)

    But you’d be surprised at how many people still don’t know all the cheap minibus services using that border still scam passengers.

  • Hi,

    Just made it to Siem Reap from Koh Chang. I booked a through bus in KC for 700 baht. It was more than I was expecting to pay but I figured maybe it wouldn’t be as the 300 baht journey.

    A mini van picked me up at my hostel at 7:15 am. The drive and the ferry were no problem.

    Of course having read a LOT on the subject, I was prepared for the scams to start at any point. I have to say, I did get my visa ahead of time (which was super easy and straightforward) so that saved me some trouble.

    As expected, we stopped at an overpriced restaurant before the border and were told we needed to take all of our belongings and that we were moving to another bus. Our mini bus driver could not have left any faster! They lured us into buying food but I told them I wasn’t eating, and that I already had my visa. They asked to see it, and without giving it to the man, I showed it to him. A couple I had traveled with from KC refused to get a visa through them, and the man told them they weren’t allowed on the bus to the border!!

    The whole thing had such an awkward vibe. We got on the bus and drove about 10 minutes to the border. Since I already had my visa, the process was quite quick, probably around 20 minutes tops. Before I knew it I was on the other side of the border!

    The pushy guy from the restaurant was waiting for us on the other side of the border. As soon as I crossed and didn’t see our bus I figured, this is the part where I’m getting a cab. I waited 10 minutes to give the tour bus company a chance, but could see the scam of the bus being late, and getting to the bus station outside of SR coming so I left my group.

    I walked about 10 meters and found a taxi driver in a nice Lexus SUV who drove me right to my hotel in Siem Reap!

    So overall my experience wasn’t really problematic, but I was definitely prepared and expecting the worst.

    No money scam for me today! Overall very happy I had gotten my Visa ahead of time and left Poipet in a taxi. The whole journey took about 10 hours.

  • Thanks Aneekah. You had good luck with the border queues. And did the right thing getting the minibus to drop you off at your hotel for an extra 100 Baht. But $10 for a boat ticket to Koh Chang is crazy, as the normal ticket price is 80 Baht. Enjoy your time on the island.

  • Tuesday March 26, from Siem Reap to Koh Chang.
    I bought bus ticket for USD28 from Siem Reap to Koh Chang at hotel. Was told it included ferry ticket but found out later it did not. Apparently you must specify Koh Chang ISLAND when buying ticket.
    7:30am pickup in minivan from hotel to bus station
    8:10am big airconditioned bus (Capitol Tours) left bus station
    10am 15 minute stop to pickup more passengers
    11:30am brief stop at bus company office. Toilet opportunity.
    11:40am Cambodia immigration – 10 minutes
    Walk to Thai side.
    12-1pm in queue at Thai immigration.
    30 minute questioning. (Female solo traveler!)
    12:30pm find bus company and discover that ticket doesn’t cover ferry boat trip. Buy boat ticket for USD10.
    2pm minivan leaves for Koh Chang. Driver only mildly crazy!
    5:45 arrive at ferry port. At bus company office buy ticket for hotel dropoff. Cost=100THB.
    6pm ferry leaves for Koh Chang island
    6:45pm arrive Koh Chang island. (Centrepoint ferry pier)
    7:15pm drop off at hotel.

    A long day but other than the irritation of additional payment for boat ticket, the rest of the day was quite a pleasant experience.

  • Hi, Ian, thanks for your blog which was a big help in planning my side-trip from Thailand to Siem Reap! I took the bus service from Siem Reap to Koh Chang yesterday and even though there were no attempts at scams whatsoever, it was not a pleasant experience since the driver that took us from Aranyaprathet to Koh Chang drove like an effing madman. That’s the one reason I wouldn’t to this again… the rest of the journey was a bit chaotic, but not quite as bad as that minibus-ride to the ferry.

  • Hello,
    I would like to ask if we can go from Ko Chang to the cambodian border with our own rental car, leave it there and continue to the Siem Riap by taxi? In particular, I would like to ask if our car will be safe for three days at the border? And if you have a tip where to leave the car?
    Thank you for your answer

  • Thanks for the update, Virginie. The agency before the border will be using the same drivers you took, but adding some commission for themselves.

  • Allthe way w taxi…we left at 7 am siem reap ,arrive 2h after at poipet ,he did stop before the border to a agency who try to ask us 2700 baths for the taxi poipet/ko chang (ko kut in fact ) pier..but i didn t want to pay this price as i saw 2200 baths on the forum..past the cambodia border in 2 min and 40 min for thailande border..when you past all the taxi on the left side, theres a parking lot and after a little street w mini van/bus agency ..i didn t ask for the mini van cause i really didn t want to wait..after 5 min degociation we got a taxi ( maybe not a official one ) for 2200 baths ..we spend time between borders w suitcase but we arrive at 1:30 pm at the but prudent (all prices were for 2pp)

  • Many thanks David. The exchange scam including the stop at an ATM machine is a new one I think.

    Before they relied on people having some cash on them already. Riel is pegged to the USD so it hovers around 4000 Riel = 1USD. But , as you say, there’s definitely no requirement to have Riel and nowadays there plenty of ATMs machines n all the main towns and tourist centres.

    On the plus side if the same bus took you all the way from the restaurant on the Thai side of the border to Siem Reap then you avoided the long delays at the transport terminal in Poipet. Which is a good thing. And 100 Baht for the tuk tuk to your hotel, despite some hassle, is cheaper than many people pay.

  • Thanks very much for creating this informative website.

    I took the bus option going from Koh Chang to Siem Reap and I would like to give you my 2 cents of what occurred. I paid 500 baht for the bus ticket as I told them I already had a ferry ticket. A mini bus came and picked me up from my hostel at 7am in the morning. Once we picked up the other passengers we got on the 8.30am ferry with the mini bus. The journey was quite pleasent the entire way. As others have already reported a few kms before the border we stopped at a restaurant called Godank Steak.

    Once we got to the restaurant they immediately split us into seperate tables. I met another solo traveler so we just stuck together on this journey. They immediately requested my passport I was a bit hesitant to give it to them as I already had an online visa. I ended up giving it to the guy and he just used it to write my name down. He asked me if I had a visa and I just showed him my online form and that was fine. They handed everyone else Visa forms and everyone filled them in and they charged 1500baht per visa. It was a quick process and most people had their visas within an hour.

    I ended up ordering a stir fry from the restaurant it was 59baht so the prices weren’t to bad. So after everyone had their visas there was a big red bus that pulled up and it had the words “Direct Bus Thailand to Cambodia” written on the side. So we all hopped on the big bus and put our luggage under the bus storage. After getting on the bus we stopped again to go through the border but they stopped us in front of some ATM machine. They talked for about 5-10mins saying that in Cambodia it is very difficult to obtain the local currency and that all ATMs only distribute US dollars and all ATMs charge a $15US fee. (Fyi ATMs do not charge a $15US fee and you have the option of Riel or US dollars when you withdraw money.) They recommend everyone to withdraw 10,000 Baht or more so that we would only pay a 220baht ATM fee. Many people did choose to withdraw money not sure what amounts.

    Then we went through Thai immigration without an issue. They told us the red bus carrying all our luggage would be on the other side of immigration. Once we got through Cambodia immigration they nice man who told us to withdraw money conveniently was standing next to a money changer to change all that Baht people withdrew to Cambodian Riel. I believe they were offering the rate of 1 Baht to 100 Riel when I checked online the rate was around 1 to 123 Riel. So another handy profit in the pockets of these men.

    Once everyone changed their money we found the red bus waiting for all the passengers. We all got on the bus headed towards Siem Reap and had one rest stop. A couple kms before the main bus stop we stopped and everyone got out. They said that all these tuk tuk drivers will offer you a free journey to your hotel. I hopped onto my tuk tuk and wanted to confirm that it was free he wouldn’t give me an answer. About 5mins after being in the tuk tuk he pulled over and gave me the spiel about picking me up tomorrow to see angkar wat for $18 US. I politely declined but he wouldn’t take me any further unless I paid him. So I ended up just giving him 100 baht to take me to my destination.

    This was my experience anyway so the bus that picked me up from the restaurant took me the entire way to Siem Reap. If you are aware of all the scams you will be much more prepared for this journey. I recommend you purchase the visa online as well to save any headaches. Hope you guys have a pleasant journey and all the best.

  • Hi JD. Many thanks for taking the time to write this. I’m sure it’ll be very useful for fellow travelers.

    The 100 Baht for an Arrival / Departure card seems to be a new scam. Hadn’t heard of that before.

    But you did overpay a bit for the tuk-tuk. Understandable after a long day on buses & minibuses.

  • I did Koh Chang to Siem Reap last week with an international travel buddy. Here’s what happened:

    We booked two bus tickets for about 850 Baht each online a couple days prior and were told that a bus would come directly to our hotel between 6am and 7am (yikes!). A small Shuttle arrived around 6:56am and we were off (shuttle to the ferry, ferry, shuttle to the infamous restaurant stop.)

    I showed my e-visa at the restaurant and they went in for a 100 Baht charge to get the free Cambodian departure/arrival card. Not the worst rip-off, but I politely declined despite their insistence that I wouldn’t have enough time and the bus would leave me and I wouldn’t have to get off the bus at all if I just bought and completed it there. Pass.

    However, I had an awesome travel buddy who didn’t have a visa and buckled under the pressure (wonderful woman though and we had a blast). Her final total was around $43 US dollars for visa, departure/arrival card, and unnecessary visa photos. She is from a country that doesn’t require a visa. She got her full package at the restaurant and I felt obliged to pay the 100 Baht so that we were on the same package page in the unlikely event that we were not being lied to and overcharged.

    We got nervous waiting at the restaurant since they’d held on to my travel buddy’s passport for an extended period of time. Had time to look at the restaurant menu and the prices weren’t that bad (65 Baht per dish). Finally, we got the passport back (possibly with a visa stamp???) and were led to another small shuttle. We got little neck badges to indicate our special bus status. Sure enough, the shuttle let us out a bit from the Cambodian border and we had to cross on foot. There was no bus that took us across and no reason to get a visa or departure/arrival card at the restaurant. However, our shuttle bus driver was extremely invested in pointing us to the right building and making it known that we should look for him when we were done.

    Cambodian border was a mess. At least it was quick though. We had to stop in two separate buildings (passport check and visa check in the other). We walk out and it is not at all clear where we get the bus to Siem Reap. We look for other tourists; everyone is confused. Miraculously, after an hour (it’s between 3:30pm and 5pm) a big bus picks up everyone in our specific neck badge group. I really thought it wasn’t going to happen given what I’d read here. My travel buddy had faith and we did a last-minute check on her suggestion (bless her). Boom, the big bus was there and loading.

    The big bus let us out a bit from Siem Reap and we overpaid our tuk tuk (he said $30, I was tired and said $25) to get us to our somewhat remote lodge. We only used that tuk tuk driver once more and he turned out to speak good English and give great recommendations during our Angkor Wat tour. Our lodge hooked us up with a cheap and chill tuk tuk driver who we preferred.

  • I don’t know the price in Cambodia. But the local taxis from the border to the ferry pier for Koh Chang are around 2000 Baht I think.

  • Thanks Ian for the answers.

    As for question 2, it seems many transfers from Battambang to koh chang. How expensive is it to take a taxi from Battambang to the border and another taxi in Thailand from the border to the pier to koh chang? We will be 4 people sharing the taxi. How much time will it take?

    Thank you again.

  • 1 – The scams are on the way from Thailand to Cambodia. So it’s less hassle travelling overland from Cambodia to Thailand. Visa requirements depend on your nationality. Check the Thai Immigration website.

    2 – You can take a taxi to the border at Psar Phrum. Then take a pick up truck taxi to Chanthaburi bus station. Then bus or minibus to Trat. Then pick up truck taxi to the ferry pier for Koh Chang.

    3 – There aren’t any boats from Koh Chang to Koh Mak in September. You’ll need to go back to the mainland.

  • Hi Ian,

    Several questions please:

    1. Will it be better to visit Siam reap befor Koh change and this way avoid the visa scam issues? meaning, getting an online visa to cambodia, flying direct to siam reap and then take a taxi/bus to koh chang. No need for visa to thailand, correct?

    2. I heard the boat ride from siam reap to battambang is nice. How difficult is it to get from battambang to koh chang by bus/taxi?

    3. In mid September, around 10 days from now, will there be direct boat service form koh chang to koh mak? or will we have to ge via the mainland for that?

    Thank you

  • Thanks for the report. The tuk-tuk scam is quite common. The idea is that the tuk-tuk guy will take you to your hotel for no extra charge but by doing that he has the chance to get you to book him for a trip around the temples etc. Sometimes this isn’t so bad, as many people will hire a tuk-tuk to take them and if the guy speaks good English and is friendly then why not let him take you. There’s no guarantee a random driver would be any better. But it is annoying and not easy to get out of if you just want to get to your hotel after a long day on the road.

  • We just arrived in Siem Reep two days ago from Koh Chang. After relaxed days in Thailand me and my boyfriend had a rather unpleasant border crossing at all. And I guess it would have been even worse if it was not for all the useful information here. So I’d like to say thank you & share our same, same BUT (!) different experience too.
    Trouble started when we arrived in some place I would call a ‘ghostcity’, but this place was almost in walking distance to the boarder (5mins). They offered us a table and try to seperate us from each other. It was not a restaurant at all. When we refused to hand out our passports they become a bit aggresive and make me feel a little bit uncomfortable by telling we should go by feet now. Luckily the minibus was still there and there where some obviously well-informed ladies who directly booked the minibus to the boarder. THIS is what I definitely would do next time!!! Anyway we throw the luggage on our backs and hurried back to the minivan and even take an austrian guy with us.
    Another thing I was wondering about was where the hell get the Dollars from before you reach an cambodian ATM. On Koh Chang there is no currancy exchange who actually sells Dollars as far as we find out. And we really made an effort. And at the boarder there is also no possibility to change. Right before we exchange some Euros into Baht und paid at least 1200baht for the visa. According to the price of 30 USD this is ok.
    Now it is up to them to rip us off ;)
    So far we told everybody who asked that we where going to stay in Poipet.
    Worst thing was a guy- I guess from the official taxi mafia who wishes my boyfriend death and said something like ‘get out of my country’ after he refused his offer just while passing by. What a welcome & first impression to the kingdom of wonder. But ok, it already changed by now.
    Then we walked to the canadian bank just about 10-15mins walking distance on the right side of the streets with a very stubborn guy or agent following us. As we talked about the price of getting to Siem Reap he felt that we aggreed somehow and presented another guy to us as the driver. The taxi driver himself was a nice guy, the agent was not. The hole situation & place was pretty well unsettling. When we where finally on the road it become more relaxed. But when we reached Siem Reap the driver tells us something about a friend and taking a TukTuk. We told him that we don’t want to take a TukTuk, we just want to go straight to the hotel. Anyhow we stopped on a corner and there was another guy (think he works together with the agent guy) who tries to complement us out of the taxi and into a TukTuk. He phones the agent and requested us to talk to him. We stay seated and insisted to go on by taxi for the last 5 km. We pretended to call the hotel, discuss and where told that we have to pay a fine when we go on by taxi. Such an impudance and just so ridiculous. The driver is not saying so much, I got the feeling that he doesn’t belong to this band of swindlers, but I may be wrong. With this confusing experienvces we finally reached our hotel. Hope the whole situation for travelers will maybe change in a few years and it becomes less a nerve-wracking experience to come here. Yet we’re enjoing it!

  • The minibus company is DD Muehk. ( They also run the cheap minibus service ) But they don’t have a website. Buy tickets from any tour agent on Koh Chang.

  • Thank you for that very importent info! It sayes, that now is almost scamfree minibus service from Koh Chang to Siem Reap. We are taking that trip soon. Where do I look that company?

  • I don’t know any particular tour agents. Buy from your hotel or an agent in a busy area and you shouldn’t have any problems.

  • We’ve decided to bus, as it’s cheaper so we can spend more on activities on Koh Chang, any recommendations for good travel agency’s or mini bus companies to book with, we’ve heard some places in Siem Reap can scam you.

  • Going from Siem Reap to Koh Chang you won’t get scammed if you take the cheap minibus for around US$15 each. The main downside is that you’ll have a lot of hanging around on the Thai side of the border and won’t get to Koh Chang until late – probably on the 19:30 ferry, so it’ll be 21:00 or later by the time you get to your hotel. At this time of year the border wont be busy and the minibus probably won’t be full.

    Or the transfers by car using random drivers will save time. Bookable through any tour agent in Siem Reap for $110 – 130, are cheap and will get you to the island much quicker – you’ll be here late afternoon. Drivers can be abit mad but that’s part of the experience.

  • Hey, so overall is it better/safer to take a taxi or a mini bus from Siem Reap to Ko Chang? We are a 19 year old couple backpacking through Asia for the first time. Money isn’t an issue we just want the smoothest travel experience.!

  • Thanks for the update Sam

    $25 is a good deal for the taxi to the border. It used to be 15 Days entry over land borders but it changed back to 30 Days (for most European & western countries) a while ago.

  • Update for you all again. I did this trip 1 month ago. No dramas with visas or scams. Hardly any queues at customs too. Got a 30 day visa stamp instead of 15 day too for some reason. Bonus.
    Revised costs as follows:
    Siem Reap – Cambodian Border: 25USD, 2 & a half hour journey.
    Thai side of the border – port to go to Koh Chang private taxi: 2500THB 3hours 45minutes.
    Ferry to Koh Chang – big bastard slow one – 80THB each.
    Pick up taxi to lonely beach – 100THB each.

  • Thanks for the info Roz. Good to hear you got to Siem Reap OK. You can take the same minibus and just pay for a ticket to the border. It’s only about 100 Baht cheaper, which is why most people don’t bother. You’ll be taken to the same restaurant though, rather than the actual border, so will still have to face the same visa scam.

  • We were very grateful for this blog yesterday! Had same experience with verbally aggressive man in the restaurant demanding our passports and 1500B. He refused to take us any further, so we got a tuktuk to border and didn’t have to queue for visa at all, then taxi to SR. We caught up with some of the other passengers today who did pay who’d had to wait for a while at border, and then dropped outside Siem Reap where tuk tuks charging $10 were waiting. Just wondered if you knew if there was any tour company on Koh Chang who offered just the trip to Aranyaprathet? Since that really is all that’s being paid for based on my experience and above comments?!

  • The transfers are to your hotel on Koh Chang. There are ATMs at the border and also the driver can stop when you get to Koh Chang at an ATM.

  • Hi Ian,
    many thanks for that kind offer. The driver would bring us from the Thai Border directly to the hotel on Koh Chang or just to the ferry? How much would it cost approx.?
    Just one more question – are there any ATM’s on the Thai Border side so that we can get some Baht for the taxi?

  • Hi Ian,
    many thanks for that kind offer. How much would it cost – approx.?? The driver would bring us just to the ferry or directly to the hotel on Koh Chang?
    Many thanks.

  • You won’t have a problem getting one of the local taxis at the border if you arrive early morning. When you come out of Thai Immigration just walk straight, under 100 metres and you’ll see a sign in English for the taxis on the left hand side of the road.

    I can arrange a driver for you in advance that will meet you and take you to your hotel on Koh Chang, but that’s more expensive than the local guys who park at the border and wait for people crossing.

  • Hi Ian,
    many thanks for the great information. We will travel from Siem Reap – Koh Chang next month and want to book a taxi to the border by our hotel or via angkorcars (they offer 30$ for that trip). Is it def. no problem to get a taxi on the Thailand border to go to the ferry? We want to start at around 6am so that we can cross the border at around 8-9am. After that we need the taxi on the other side which we cannot book in advance or? I am a little bit afraid that there won’t be a taxi which we can take or so….

  • The prices for the private transfers /taxis are for the vehicle. The prices for minibuses are for the ticket for one person.

    You’ll need to get a new Cambodian visa when you return.

  • Thanks for everyone writing their comments, all really helpful as I’m planning a trip from Siem Reap to Koh Chang in 2 weeks time. Just wondering, are the prices people have posted for the total cost for full trip or the cost of the trip for each person?

    Also can you confirm that if I am returnig back to Cambodia, will I need another visa and passport pics?

  • We chose the taxi option (4 of us), travelling on 10 November. The driver in Cambodia was reasonably crazy;) we left at 8 and roughly at 10.15 we were at the border in Poipet. Both checkpoints we really smooth with practically no queues. At 11 we were already in taxi going to the coast. At 15.00 we have reached Koh Chang!

    40$ taxi in Cambodia
    2500 baht taxi to the coast (new official price displayed)

  • Hi Ian,
    I and my boyfriend crossed the Poipet border coming from Koh Chang going to Siem Reap in August 2016. The day before leaving with DD Muek Travel, by chance, we read about the scam on your blog. Like you suggested we didn’t say anything until we arrived at the restaurant 1 Km away from the border. Once there a guy asked us straitaway our passport and when we asked why he started swearing at us, so we left. On the way we took a tuk tuk that also tried to take us to a fake visa office, we ignored what they had to offer and walked through the border by ourselves. We payed 30 US$ plus 100 Baht for the visa and in less than half an hour we were in Cambodia. We avoided people telling us to take the free shuttle bus and got a taxi directly to Siem Reap. We payed 25 US$ and in a bit less than 2 hours we arrived directly in front of the door of our hotel. Thanks a lot for your detailed tips!

  • Hi Ian, do you have a recommendation for an agency that I could book bus tickets from Ko Chang to Siem Reap online? We need to show “onward travel” proof when we arrive in Thailand and our plan is to leave by bus to go to Cambodia. Thanks

  • It’s the closest border to Siem Reap which is why everyone uses it. You could go to a different border but then you are adding on a lot of time and expense for getting to a different border crossing and also form another border to Siem Reap.

    For example you can go via Ban Pakard / Psar Prom border ( the nearest town on the Cambodian side is Pailin ). From there you take a bus to Battambang and then you go to Siem Reap. But you cant use an Evisa there. It’s a quiet border crossing so no queues at all.

    But unless you really want to go to Battambang, it’s much easier to just keep it simple and go via the Poipet border and get an Evisa to save time at the border. That’s what virtually everyone does.

  • Hi Ian, is Poipet still the only border pass from Koh Chang to Siem Reap? I am travelling with two friends next week and we are considering getting the e-visa to avoid some of the scams mentioned in your post. However, according to the cambodian goverment webpage not every border pass accepts e-visa, and in that area (from Koh Chang to Siem Reap) only the border pass at Poipet would accept it. If this is true, getting the e-visa we are accepting the risk of ending up at a different pass and having to pay again. What do you think about this? is it still worthy to get the e-visa?
    Thanks a lot for your helpful posts,

  • Quite a few people stop over in Battambang now, partly because it’s a nice little town and part because it avoids using the far busier border crossing at Poipet. It would be easier to have a night in Trat – it’s not a particularly exciting town, but good if you want to see some normal life. There’s a lively food market every night and a few nice small guesthouses and hotels.

  • Hi Ian, We are travelling from Siem Reap to Koh Chang in December. 4 adults and a 4 year old child. Would you recommend a taxi or private transfer? Also I was looking at going to Battambang instead for a night in between but from what I read it doesn’t seem to reduce the large travel day by too much. Is battambang worth the stopover or should we spend a night in Trat? or somewhere else? We have 1 spare day. Cheers, Amber

  • Yes, you’d need a van as a regular taxi / saloon car wouldn’t fit 5 people plus luggage.

    It will be cheaper to book tickets for the shared minibus service. Around $15 “per person. But that might be a lot of hassle if your kids are young or you want a safe driver.

  • Hi

    See the Siem Reap to Koh Chang page. The main difference is that you’ll have to take a private transfer and leave Siem Reap very early as the last boat to Koh Kood is at 14:20

  • Hi Ian,
    I will be doing the Siem Reap – Ko Chang trip in February. We will be 5 people, 2 adults and 3 children, and I am thinking about getting a taxi from Siem Reap. Is this the best way for a party of 5 people to do it? I believe we will need a mini van, right? Thanks

  • hy Ian
    me Arnaldo) and Fabrizia would reach Ko Kut from Siem Reap next January. Can you help us to find information about this trip ? or any links related ?
    Anyway thanks for the information above.
    Arnaldo e Fabrizia

  • You’ll be able to get a taxi to the mainland ferry pier for around $120 from a tour agent in Siem Reap. But make sure you leave Siem Reap early as the last boat to Koh Mak is around 16:30.

  • Ian (sorry about my poor english), but all the taxis prices that u tell is for a car or per person? I’m going w my fiance from “Siem Reap to Koh Mak” and if all cost (for the both) is around U$100,00 … it’s a best choice o all!

  • I did the border crossing today from Koh Chang with my girlfriend. Payed 400 Baht pp. Got dropped off at a restaurant 1km from the border. We took our bags and went rightaway to the border. After we checked out of Thailand we did see a sIgn with visa on arrival. We hearded the angels singing! :) Lots of frustrated tourist there. In Poipet we walked to the market, got a drink and took a shared taxi. $10 pp to Siem Reap to our hotel. Thanks for all the tips! You made our day.

  • Hi, I did the border crossing from Koh Chang a few days ago, it went pretty much as described aboard. After paying for our visas and going through immigration we left the holding pen and were able to get a taxi for $30 among 4 people directly to our hotel.
    Thank you for the tips!

  • Hi Dan

    Thanks for taking the time to add the update. Good to hewar it all worked out OK. At 4pm the people on the minibus will probably have just left the border bus station.

    Enjoy your time in Siem Reap – do a cycle tour with Grasshopper – very good company


  • We did the Koh Chang to Siem Reap trip last week by shared minivan and our experience was pretty much as described here, so thanks for sharing all the useful information on your site. We were taken to a random restaurant about 1km from the Poipet border crossing and told by our ‘cambodian guide’ that we would need to wait up to a hour for a new minivan and have some lunch. We made it clear that we knew we were close to the border and started looking for a tuk tuk. At this point the ‘guide’ told us we would need to find a bus ourselves once across the border and took our ‘foreigner stickers’ off us. 5 mins later we were told to get back in the minivan where the very grumpy driver took us to the border. As described we crossed with no problem, walked straight past the friendly man in a blue shirt telling us about the shuttle bus and jumped in a taxi to Siem Reap for $35. Once in the town centre we were handed over to a tuk tuk driver who dropped us off at our hotel around 4 o’clock. Long journey but made easier and with less hassle thanks to these tips! Dan

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Koh Chang Island Guide For Independent Travellers