Can you take the train from Phnom Penh to Bangkok? The short answer is that yes you can, but it will involve a very small bit of walking to complete the journey.
When it comes to getting from Phnom Penh to Bangkok there are actually a lot of options. Flights tend to be cheap at just $50 a person (on a good day), with there also being both buses from the capital as well as from Siem Reap.
Taking the train from Phnom Penh to Bangkok is really only for the train enthusiasts out there!
Step 1 Phnom Penh to Battambang, or Poipet
There is a once a week train from Phnom Penh to Poipet, the border city with Thailand that takes about 10 hours (epic), which is the “best” option if you want to do as much as you can by train.
Should this train not work out for you though, there is a second option, namely taking the 6 hour train from Phnom Penh to Battambang.
This leaves at 6.40 am daily and arrives at about 1 pm, when it is not late. This is overall a great journey and also delivers you into Battambang, where one can take the “Bamboo Train” another essential for the train geeks out there.
Step 2 Battambang to Poipet
Assuming you have not taken the train directly to Poipet then you will need take a bus or shared taxi from Battambang. A shared taxi takes just a few hours and costs ahoy $15.
And while this means you have not taken the train all of the way, you have still adhered to going all the way overland.
Poipet is really not much of a city, but they do have casinos, “massage” and a night market with some great street food (link to TSFG) if you do get stuck here for a night.
Crossing the border is easy enough here, although it can take a few hours, with there being a market, lots of food and the hallowed 7-Eleven when you cross into Aranyaprathet
Step 3 train from Phnom Penh to Bangkok – Aranyaprathet
While there is technically no Poipet to Bangkok train, the Aranyaprathet to Bangkok train is essentially the same thing and is how you will complete the train from Phnom Penh to Bangkok journey.
Aranyaprathet station is quite literally just where you exit border control and very easy to find. A ticket on this costs just 49 baht, or $1.60, which makes it quite the bang for your buck.
There are two options here for the daily train;
The journey itself is pretty interesting, with there being people coming around selling food and unlike the Phnom Penh train, the majority of people being locals rather than tourists. Being an “ordinary” train means no AC, but instead windows that open and doors they do not even bother closing.
Low marks for health and safety, but some gained back for the sheer fun of things…
At the end you stop at Bangkok Railway station, which is conveniently close to Khao San Road and all that party!
How much does it cost to take the train from Phnom Penh to Bangkok
Ignoring tourist stuff and hotels if you decide to do overnights, it is pretty cheap to take the train from Phnom Penh to Bangkok.
Phnom Penh to Poipet train $11
Aranyaprathet to Bangkok $1.60
Total cost for train from Phnom Penh to Bangkok $12.60
Phnom Penh to Battambang train $8
Battambang to Poipet $15
Aranyaprathet to Bangkok $1.60
Total cost for train from Phnom Penh to Bangkok vis Battambang $24.60
Want to do this with YPT, check out our Cambodia independent tours.