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Old Aug 8, 09, 9:46 am   #1
 
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Talking Cheapest way to get to Cambodia?

Hey guys,
I'm new to this forum-and I'm hoping to get some advice on a trip I'm planning to Cambodia (my boyfriend is there for 2 years in Peace Corps). I'm pretty flexible with when I can go, although I would prefer to go next summer, next winter is also an option. Does anyone have suggestions for the best way to get there? I'm hoping to spend $1000 or less on the ticket, and I would be willing to fly into a neighboring country if it's much cheaper (we are planning on traveling anyway). Any advice?
Thanks!
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Old Aug 8, 09, 10:03 am   #2
 
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Hiya.. welcome to the group...

Get to Cambodia... but from where? I'm guessing you're in the US...??
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Old Aug 8, 09, 12:48 pm   #3
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Duh. Fly to BKK.
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Old Aug 8, 09, 4:11 pm   #4
 
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Welcome to FlyerTalk. As mentioned already, where are you flying from?

It's probably cheapest to fly to Bangkok on whatever airline is the best value from your city, then fly Air Asia to Phnom Penh.

It may pay to look at flights to Kuala Lumpur as well, then take Air Asia from there.
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Old Aug 9, 09, 6:22 pm   #5
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From wherever you are, the cheapest way is almost certainly going to be flying to Bangkok then overland Bangkok-Cambodia using the Aranyaprathet-Poipet border crossing. There are alternative crossings, depending where your friend is/where you want to go in Cambodia. Read this site and note the border visa scam on paying in baht--avoid this completely by getting your Cambodian visa in advance. Note you can fly to Phnom Penh but in high season (winter), that cheapie Air Asia flight is going to be booked heavily so reserve in advance if that's what you want.

The biggest determinant of cost is going to be getting to Bangkok, and that is determined by WHEN you fly. The following times are generally the most expensive for intercontinental tickets (the transpac part if flying from North America): July, August, mid-December to mid January, Chinese New Year (in 2010 Feb 14, so 2 weeks either side of that). Avoid these times if you can. I have found April-early June and late October-early December to have better air ticket pricing for just about any transpacific city-pair crossing, whether BKK, KUL, SIN, HKG, PVG, PEK, etc. If coming from Europe, this timing generally holds true as well. You will be lucky to find a ticket for $1000. If you think oil prices (jet fuel) will rise between now and time you go, buy ticket sooner rather than later. If in North America, start out with www.thaifly.com

Last edited by jiejie; Aug 9, 09 at 6:35 pm.
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Old Aug 10, 09, 7:21 pm   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annie.s.dupre View Post
Hey guys,
I'm new to this forum-and I'm hoping to get some advice on a trip I'm planning to Cambodia (my boyfriend is there for 2 years in Peace Corps). I'm pretty flexible with when I can go, although I would prefer to go next summer, next winter is also an option. Does anyone have suggestions for the best way to get there? I'm hoping to spend $1000 or less on the ticket, and I would be willing to fly into a neighboring country if it's much cheaper (we are planning on traveling anyway). Any advice?
Thanks!
Quote:
Originally Posted by cj001f View Post
Duh. Fly to BKK.
You did not specify where in cambodia you would like to go.
As cj001f and others pointed out, flying to BKK is the cheapest option. From BKK, take a train or a bus to Aranyaprathet, complete your exit (from Thailand) and entry (to Cambodia) formalities as you cross the border
and take a shared taxi from Poipet to Siem reap or Phnom Penh. I have done the overland from BKK to Siem Reap about two years ago. The taxi from Poipet to Siem reap should cost about $45 for 4 people. You wil be asked more, but insist on $45. You will find companions at the border, as I did. The link given by jiejie is an excellent resource.

If you get to BKK in the wee hours, you can catch a bus to Aranyaprathet from the Transportation Centre. I missed that bus as my brother arrived at BKK at 7:30 a.m. I think it leaves around 8:00 a.m and costs about 230 Baht. There is a free bus to from the airpirt to the Transportation Centre.

The Tales Of Asia link says that there are several buses from the Transportation Centre to Aranyaprathet. When I was there, there was only one bus around 8:00 a.m. As of my last visit there in March 2008, there was still only one bus to Aranyaprathe from the Transportation Centre although Tales of Asia has always said that there are several buses. The 8:00 bus will ensure that you cross the border in time to get to Siem reap or Phnom Penh, the same day before dark. Later buses will either require you to overnight in Aranyaprathet, or you will get to your destination after dark.

Last edited by Yaatri; Aug 10, 09 at 7:36 pm.
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Old Sep 7, 09, 2:39 am   #7
 
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I agree with Hiyo

BKK and then Air Asia - $25 fares at the moment. Going by road is a nightmare - especially for anyone doing it the first time.

Also - at least right now BKK is expensive for some reason but SGN is extremely cheap. You might go to SGN and then take a bus to Phnom Penh (I assume he is in PP). The bus ride is about 5 hours from SGN. Also you get to see SGN.

Many of the people on this forum (like me) are loyal to UA et al. That highly influences their travel. Some airlines will connect you straight into PNH. EVA Air for example I recall. If you don't care about the miles then this is the only way to do it. You'll lose two nights going via BKK or SGN because of the times they arrive (midnight) and leave (6am).

Go to itasoftware.com, sign up and then look for PNH fares. EG SFO-PNH Oct 22 to Nov 10 is $740 on China Airlines - all in. Nothing beats that. They are ok - they are horrible on bag allowances but the flights are fine and Taipei is a good place to connect in.
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Old Sep 7, 09, 7:24 am   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UAAAPeter View Post
BKK and then Air Asia - $25 fares at the moment. Going by road is a nightmare - especially for anyone doing it the first time.

Also - at least right now BKK is expensive for some reason but SGN is extremely cheap. You might go to SGN and then take a bus to Phnom Penh (I assume he is in PP). The bus ride is about 5 hours from SGN. Also you get to see SGN.

Many of the people on this forum (like me) are loyal to UA et al. That highly influences their travel. Some airlines will connect you straight into PNH. EVA Air for example I recall. If you don't care about the miles then this is the only way to do it. You'll lose two nights going via BKK or SGN because of the times they arrive (midnight) and leave (6am).

Go to itasoftware.com, sign up and then look for PNH fares. EG SFO-PNH Oct 22 to Nov 10 is $740 on China Airlines - all in. Nothing beats that. They are ok - they are horrible on bag allowances but the flights are fine and Taipei is a good place to connect in.
I agree -- KE and OZ also fly to PNH from ICN (or at least they used to)... Otherwise, Air Asia from BKK is a pretty good bet.
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Old Sep 7, 09, 9:37 pm   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UAAAPeter View Post
BKK and then Air Asia - $25 fares at the moment. Going by road is a nightmare - especially for anyone doing it the first time.
The Poipet-Siem Reap road has finally been 100% paved, so it's no longer nearly as slow or physically uncomfortable as it used to be; however, you'll definitely want to read up on Wikitravel/Tales of Asia about the many and varied scams at and around the border.

Oddly, exiting Cambodia into Thailand is much easier, so you might want to do a "grand tour": book return ticket to BKK, book one-way to SGN, then cross Saigon -> Phnom Penh -> Siem Reap -> Bangkok by land.
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Old Sep 24, 09, 6:49 am   #10
 
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More details, a few months later...

To everyone who responded to my first post,
I can't believe I left out important information..sorry about that! Here are some clarifying points:

-I'm living in DC, so looking for a flight from this side of the US. I am ok with traveling a bit to get a cheaper flight, like NY or Boston. That's pretty much the furthest I can go though.
-I need to wait to travel until after June 17 next year, because of Ben's schedule with Peace Corps. I would consider going in the fall next year, which it seems may be the best bet, but I would prefer to go some time late June-September. I'm also going for 2-3 weeks.
-His placement is in southern Cambodia, very close to the border of Vietnam. Since he'll know the area and speak the language by then, he will meet me at the airport (PNH or HCMC) so I won't have to worry about overland travel. If I fly into Bangkok, which I will look into, I'll check out Air Asia for a flight closer from there.

Thanks for all the helpful responses, I've been checking out the websites (itasoftware.com) and (thaifly.com). The first actually found me a flight for $1000, which is the cheapest I've found out of the East Coast US. If anyone has more suggestions based on what I've elaborated on, that would be awesome. Thanks again!
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Old Sep 27, 09, 5:11 am   #11
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If you fly into SGN you'll need to get a visa in advance.

Also, I've noticed a decrease in tourism in the last few weeks in PNH (buffer time between summer and high season?). This time if year is great as the rains decrease and the temps are moderated.

Yesterday I noticed the hyacinth was floating down from the lake to the Mekong. Seems the seasonal flow of the Tonle Bassac has reversed already.
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Old Oct 13, 09, 9:25 am   #12
 
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If you are travelling from the U.S. most likely you will get to Bangkok. Arrive the next day. There are several flights, also cheap from Bkk to Cambodia, by Air Asia. Took this several times, believe the round trip is about $65.00. Short flight, visa on arrival, several flights each day. Enjoy.
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