Border Crossings

Crossing the Border into Neighbouring Countries

Thailand shares land borders with Malaysia, Myanmar (Burma), Laos and Cambodia.  Thailand is a convenient hub to access these neighbouring countries who, with the exception of Malaysia, don’t see a lot of long-haul international flights.


The most common crossing point from Thailand into Cambodia is from Aranyaprathet into Poipet for access to Siem Reap.  Aranyaprathet can be reached from Bangkok by bus, train or taxi.  Air-conditioned buses leave Morchit bus terminal hourly throughout the day with the journey taking 4.5 hours and costing 215B.  There is also a bus which departs directly from Bangok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport at 08.00 or 14.30 costing 187B.  There are two trains daily from Hualamphong station at 5.55am and 1.05pm.  The trains are third-class only with wooden seats and some could find this uncomfortable. The journey costs 48B and takes 6 hours so it is advisable to take the early train.  A taxi from Bangkok will cost between 1800B and 2500B and can take around 3 hours.  Tuk Tuks and motorbike taxis will take you from either the bus or train station to the border for a few of around 60B to 80B.  The border is open from 7am to 8pm though it’s not advisable to cross the border after dark. Visas cost 1200B or US$25 and require one passport photo.  You can also pre-arrange a visa online which is a good way to avoid arguing with immigration officials over the price of your visa. .  Once in Poipet you can travel by taxi or bus to Siem Reap.  A taxi will cost US$40 to US$45 with a journey time of 1.5 to 2 hours.  The bus costs US$10 and takes between 2.5 and 4 hours.

You can also travel directly from Koh Chang to Siem Reap by minibus (crossing the border into Cambodia at Poipet).  This service can be arranged by travel agents in Koh Chang and costs around 1000B excluding your visa.  The minibus will pick you up from your resort on Koh Chang in the morning and drop you in Siem Reap in the late afternoon.

If you’re coming from Koh Chang but not heading to Siem Reap first, you can also cross into Cambodia at……….
Taxi from Snooky to the Ko Kong border about 200km allow 4 hours, private taxi around $60-80. There are usually a choice of vehicles/drivers hanging out on the Hat Lek side prepared to run you to Bangkok, about 400km allow 5-6 hours, private taxi about 5000 baht but way cheaper in a shared minivan. In other words it’s going to be a very long day. I have broken the trip in Trat or Ko Chang a few times.


The main crossing from Thailand is at the Friendship Bridge into Laos’s capital Vientiane.  This is most easily reached by train, bus or flight into Udon Thani.  If you’re travelling by train from Bangkok you can also disembark at Nong Khai which is closer to the border.  The quickest train is the express departing Bangkok at 20.00 and arriving in Udon Thani at 07.14 (or 08.25 at Nong Khai).  A first class AC sleeping berth  will cost in the region of 1200B, a second class AC sleeping berth is around 700B.  Overnight buses run from Bangkok and Chiang Mai to Udon Thani and take around 10 hours, though the train is a more comfortable option if travelling from Bangkok.  A domestic flight into Udon Thani is a much cheaper option than a flight into Vientiane itself.  You can fly into Udon Thani from Bangkok on budget airlines Air Asia and Nok Air as well as Thai Aiways.  Air Asia also fly from Phuket and Nok Air from Chiang Mai.
From Udon Thani to the border…
From Nong Khai to the border…

If you’re coming from the North of Thailand you can also cross into Laos at.the Chiang Khong – Houay Xai Border.

Myanmar (Burma)

You can cross in Myanmar overland but once in the country you cannot travel freely through the country and generally have to cross back over into Thailand at the same border point or make an internal flight to somewhere else in Myanmar as soon as you’ve crossed the border.


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