Pakse and Siem Reap are two popular tourist destinations in Southeast Asia. Pakse is the capital of Champasak Province in Laos, while Siem Reap is the gateway to the ancient temples of Angkor Wat in Cambodia. There are a few different ways to get from Pakse to Siem Reap, but the most common way is by bus. The bus journey itself takes about 10 hours. In this blog post, I will outline how to get from Pakse to Siem Reap by bus, as well as all you need to know about visas and crossing the border from Laos into Cambodia.
- Where to book my bus ticket from Pakse to Siem Reap?
- The Journey from Pakse to Siem Reap by bus
You may also find some of my recent posts helpful for you time in Laos:
- 24 hours in Vientiane
- 4 Day Thakhek Loop Itinerary
- Vang Vieng 3 Day Itinerary
- Luang Prabang 2 Day Itinerary
Where to book my bus ticket from Pakse to Siem Reap?
Book your bus ticket with AVT (Asia Van Transfer). This is the main company that is used and is cheaper than booking through your accommodation. You can book through WhatsApp and they will send you confirmation via email. Their WhatsApp number is +85512505673.
We booked our ticket the day before and had no problem but this was during the low season. If you are there during the busy period, be sure to book a few days in advance if you can.
The Journey from Pakse to Siem Reap by Bus
1. Getting from Pakse to the Laos-Cambodia Border
AVT will arrange pick you up from your hotel in Siem Reap at about 8:30am and bring you to the border. The drive takes about 3 hours, meaning you should arrive at the Tropaeng Kreal border around 11:30am.
Make sure to download some podcasts or tv shows or bring a book to keep you entertained on your long bus journey, in case you have no internet when you enter Cambodia.
2. Getting through the Laos-Cambodia Border
When you arrive at the border, get your bags from the bus and head to Laos immigration and process your exit from Laos here.
Tip: Make sure you don’t lose the white slip from your passport that they give you entering Laos or else they will charge you 150k kip here.
They will also charge you 50k kip for a “stamp” here.
These are scams and its up to you if you want to argue with them to not pay. But for the sake of $2, you may be better off to pay them as if you don’t, sometimes they can keep you waiting for ages and you will not be on schedule!
From here, you will need to walk to the Cambodia immigration office which is 300 metres. Here you have two options, you can apply for your visa on arrival here or you can show your e-visa you got in advance:
Visa on arrival
If you decide last minute to go to Cambodia and don’t have enough time to apply for an e-visa, then you can get one at the border. At the Cambodia immigration, you apply for your visa which they charged us $38 for. You need to fill out 2 forms and pay, then they will process your visa.
Tip: Be sure to change kip to US dollars in Pakse before you get there. It is possible to pay in kip too but they will give you a very bad exchange rate and you will lose out on money. Don’t worry if you have extra dollars going into Cambodia because they are accepted everywhere.
You then proceed to another desk where they stamp your passport. They used to charge to stamp your passport here, but we noticed a sign had been put on the window that said you do not need to pay here. So no extra payment is required here.
If you want less hassle, then the e-visa is the best option. You will pay $36 online and it is processed within 3 days. Get it through the official website (https://www.evisa.gov.kh/).
Once you have this and you arrive at the Cambodia immigration, you can pass out the office where you apply for the e-visa and head straight to the booth where they take your photo, scan your fingerprint and stamp your passport. You do not need to pay any extra here.
3. Getting from the Laos-Cambodia Border to Siem Reap
You will meet a man from AVT somewhere at the border, either at the Laos or the Cambodia side. He will show you the way to the bus. You pay him $45 for the bus ticket (US dollars is the preferred currency here too).
From here, the bus takes you to Stung Treng, 1 hour away. You can get food here and use the toilet. Plus, there are Cambodian sim cards available to purchase here too. If you are stuck for cash, there is an ATM an 8 minute walk from where you stop. Just put ‘Canadia Bank’ into google maps to find the exact location.
Then you will change bus and make your way to Siem Reap. This bus journey takes between 5 and 6 hours. You will arrive in Siem Reap around 7pm at the AVT office. They offer a free tuk-tuk to your accommodation from there. Now you are in Siem Reap, enjoy your stay!
I hope this blog post on ‘how to get from Pakse to Siem Reap by bus’ has been helpful. If you are planning a trip from Pakse to Siem Reap, I recommend taking the bus. It is the most affordable way to travel between the two cities, and you can get a good view of the countryside as you go. Just be sure to book your ticket in advance and be prepared for a long journey. If you have any questions, you can comment below.
Thanks for reading,
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