Here is my itinerary journal during my recent trip to Thailand and Cambodia. From Manila, I flew into Bangkok, Thailand first and then traveled overland to Siem Reap,Cambodia by bus via the Aranyaphratet-Poipet Border Gate. I got to visit a lot of the major sights and will be posting more of a general journal rather than a detailed day-to-day itinerary (like my Hong Kong and Macau Tour last year) since my visit was primarily a business trip and I wasn’t in control of my time. I would’ve loved to visit places outside Bangkok and Siem Reap but I guess that would just be reserved for my future visits to Thailand and Cambodia.

Monks, in formation, during an opening presentation for a corporate gala dinner at the East Gate of Angkor Wat

Arrival in Bangkok, Thailand

Day 1

  • Check-in at Ninoy Aquino (Manila) International Airport
    • Travel Tax – P1,620
    • Terminal Fee – P750
  • 9:35pm to 11:50pm – Manila to Bangkok Cebu Pacific Flight (5J 931)
  • 11:35pm – Arrival at Suvarnabhumi (Bangkok) International Airport (BKK)

Walking along the terminal concourses after arriving in BKK

    • Go through Immigrations Control Counter

    • Baggage Claim
    • Customs Checkpoint
    • Get Tourist Brochures at Tourist Assistance Center
    • Currency exchange just enough to get by going to Siem Reap. As a general rule, don’t exchange a large amount for your money in airports, the exchange rates are considerably lower. I changed US$75 to Thai Baht, just enough to get by going to Siem Reap.

Overland Travel to Siem Reap, Cambodia

Day 2

There are quite a few ways to go from Bangkok to Siem Reap by land. Most (that I know of) will go through the Aranyaphratet– Poipet Border Gate, which is around 8 hours travel time. While my initial online research led me to consider ride the bus to Aranyaphratet from Mo Chit (Northern Thailand) Bus Terminal, I traveled overland to Bangkok with two other Filipinos based in Bangkok and they told me to join them and take the bus (to Aranyaphratet) stationed at Lumphini Park in Silom. It was an early morning bus, so I decided to stay awake until the 5am trip and just sleep while on the road to Siem Reap.

  • Go to Exit B and C of the 2nd Floor Arrivals Hall
  • Ride a free shuttle to BKK’s Public Transport Center

Free BKK Airport shuttle waiting to take arriving passengers to the Public Transport Center

  • Quick snack at 24-hour mini convenient store
  • Ride Public Bus #551 to Victory Monument – 35baht; almost 1 hour travel time

  • Ride Metered Taxi to Silom Road (to meet my new blogger friends / Bangkok-based travel buddies, Kawajan, and Bubbles) – the fare was 70baht, which I split with one other Thai passenger I met on the bus earlier. You can go directly to Lumphini Park, which is located at one end of Silom Rd.
  • Quick breakfast at a side street noodle stall in front of Sri Maha Mariamman Temple (also called Maha Uma Devi temple or Wat Khaek/Kak), one of the oldest Hindu Temples in Bangkok – Ordered Noodles for 40 Baht.
  • Stock-up on water at 7/11 store nearby
  • 4:45am – Met Kawadjan and Bubbles and rode a taxi to Lumphini Park
  • 5:00am – Ride Bus 99 bound for Aranyaphratet. It’s a two deck air-conditioned bus with toilet, fare = 200B (1 cup purified water included)

  • 11:30AM – Arrived in Ronglua Market in Aranyaphratet, Thailand

  • Lunch in a wooden-style restaurant near the border gate – Ordered Pad Kpao Mu (Rice with Beef and Egg) for 40B.

  • Crossed Thailand-Cambodia Border Gate
    • Passed through Thai Immigrations
    • Passed though Cambodian Immigrations.
      You only need your passport if you’re a Philippine Passport Holder. If anyone, claiming to be an immigrations officer, solicits money from you, they are most probably scamming you. Insist that you don’t need to pay since you’re a Philippine resident and just move on to your next destination.

  • 1:00PM – Arrived in Poipet, Cambodia
  • Ride free shuttle government shuttle bus to Poipet Tourist Passenger International Terminal (Public Transport Center)

  • 1:30PM – Arrived in Passenger Terminal.
  • Ride taxi to Siem Reap. Since there were already 3 of us, we searched for one more passenger to share the taxi with and split the US$40 fare (US$10).

Scenery while on the taxi ride to Siem Reap from Poipet during dry season

By the way, US$ is widely used currency in Cambodia. So be sure to stock up on $$$ before your visit. Bring lots of $1, $5, and $10 denominations since it will be helpful when buying cheap souvenirs, water, and snacks. You might find yourself in a situation where the street vendors cannot break your $100 bill otherwise. The Official Currency of Cambodia is Riel (1US$ = 4,000 Riel), which only locals mostly use … tourists can get around even with US$ for their whole stay in Cambodia and there’s not much difference in prices if you pay in either currency.

  • 4:30PM – Arrival in a Siem Reap

One of the hotels we passed by on our way to the city center

  • We arrived in a tiny terminal with a few Tuktuk drivers waiting. They initially charged us $15 (for the 3 persons) to take us to Hotel de La Paix in the city center. We haggled it down to $9 but, despite our efforts, we were later informed that it was still higher than what a local would pay for.
  • Tuktuk ride to Hotel de la Paix
  • Waited for Loven in Hotel de la Paix.

The refreshing ambiance of the inner countyard at Hotel del Paix after a tiring 8-hour overland travel

Siem Reap Tour

Loven is an artist/graphic designer/photographer/entrepreneur based in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Loven together with Don (Fashion Designer, and one of Loven’s close friends) and Faith (Loven’s Wife) was our host during our stay in the city. Since we were already well accommodated, I couldn’t give a lot of recommendations on where to stay in Siem Reap but there are a wide range of hotels and resorts to choose from all over the city from guesthouses charging as low as $10/day to high-end hotels.

When going around the city, you can either choose to get a motodop (Single Motorcycle) or a Tuktuk (similar to a tricycle in the Philippines). It’s always important to haggle with the driver, more often than not,they will always overcharge you. A one-way motodop ride anywhere in town shouldn’t cost you a few dollars, tuktuks are a bit more expensive.

This is what a Tuk-tuk looks like. It can carry up to 4 passengers.

The motodop on the otherhand can carry only one passenger

Here are some of the sights I was able to experience during my weeklong stay in Siem Reap, Cambodia:

Angkor Archeological Park Little Circuit (composed of these ruins and temples: Prasat Kravan, Srah Srang, Banteay Kdei, Ta Prohm, Ta Keo, Spean Thma, Thommanon, Chau Say Tevoda, Angkor Thom Gates, South and North Kleang, Prasat Suor Prat, Preah Pithu, Terrace of the Lepper King, Phimeanakas, Baphuon, Terrace of the Elephants, Bayon, Angkor Wat, and Phnom Bakheng).

I didn’t go through the Angkor Little Circuit in just one go. I visited the park multiple times during my stay to shoot particular photo assignments . The only time I was able to tour the place on my own was only half a day after my job with the corporate event was over. I recommend taking the time to tour the Angkor Temples like getting a multiple day pass and a tour guide (or at least a very good guidebook). The admission/entry fee for the Angkor Pass is a bit expensive at $20(1-day), $40(3-day), or $60(7-day) but definitely worth it. I hired a motodop for my day tour of Angkor Little Circuit $8 after a bit of haggling, a tuktuk can cost around $15-$20.

Here are photos of some of the major temples I visited:

Angkor Wat (at Sunrise and Sunset)

Angkor Wat Reliefs (Stone Carvings)

Angkor Thom South Gate


Ta Prohm

Phnom Bakheng Sunset

Angkor Balloon Ride

Charles de Gaulle Road


Angkor national Museum

French-inspired colonial buildings at the Siem Reap City Center

Pub Street

Art Deli (Art Gallery / Coffee Shop)

Dinners at Art Deli

Poetry (Clothing Store)

Ara (Restaurant)

Samsara (Indian Restaurant)

John McDermott’s Photography Exhibit / Gallery

Angkor Night Markets

Khmer (Cambodian) Side Street Food

Happy Ranch – Horseback riding around the countryside

Cambodia Quad Adventure – Off-road Buggy tour around the countryside

Hotel de la Paix

Amansara Resort

Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor

Royal Crusade for Independence Park

Angkor Village Resort

Siem Reap River Promenade

Angkor FCC Hotel

Gala Dinner with Laser and Lights show at Angkor Wat

Photo by Loven Ramos

Cocktail Night at Raffles Grand Hotel Poolside

Photo by Loven Ramos

Unfortunately, I had lost the photos of a few sights in Cambodia like:

Apsara Dance at Apsara Theatre

Charity Building at Bakong School and Banteay Meanchey

Rolous Group Temples – Bakong

View Thailand leg (Part 2) of my Thailand and Cambodia Itinerary.