Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - New bus service between Cambodia and Thailand

New bus service between Cambodia and Thailand

New bus service between Cambodia and Thailand

121217 09
Tourists cross the Thai-Cambodian border in Poipet earlier this year. Photograph: Bloomberg

Progress was made towards borderless trade and tourism between Thailand and Cambodia last week with the announcement that a Thai state-owned transport company will commence bus services between Siem Reap and Phnom Penh to Bangkok later this month.

According to a press release on its website, the transport company will begin services on two routes between Cambodia and Thailand on December 29. Buses will run from Siem Reap and Phnom Penh to Bangkok via the Poipet-Aranyaprathet border crossing.

A memorandum of understanding between Thailand and Cambodia for traffic exchange at the border was signed in May.

This will be the first public bus service between the two countries, although private companies already offer bus and mini-van combination services to the borders and onward to Bangkok.

Ho Vandy, co-chair for the tourism private sector working group, said the new bus service is a result of the good diplomatic relations and upgraded infrastructure between the two countries.

“Diplomatic relations are very good at the moment,” he said. “Infrastructure between Cambodia and Thailand is running smoothly and most of the national roads are built. The international checkpoints allow Cambodia and Thailand to assist each other,” he added, noting that promoting tourism between the two countries has been a goal for some time through the “Two Kingdoms, One Destination” promotion.

However, Ho Vandy cautioned that with increased traffic between the two countries, transport policies should be strengthened for the safety of tourists and promote adherence to traffic laws.

According to Praivan Limpanboon from the Thai Business Council of Cambodia, the new service will be more of a boost to tourism than trade and will be most utilized by young middle-class travellers.

“It will surely increase the number of tourists to Cambodia as well as from Cambodia to Thailand particularly among those middle-class and/or young earners who want to travel with more of their family and friends,” she said.

“Goods transported by this bus service may require a longer time for customs and excise tax clearance at the border,” she said.

“In which case, it would not be so convenient for passengers to wait that long,” added Praivan.

She also said the service may prompt an increase in medical tourism between Thailand and Cambodia.

“It may also increase passengers visiting Thailand for medical services like the bus services between Phnom Penh and Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam [have done],” she said.

According to statistics from the Ministry of Tourism, over 137,000 Thai nationals visited Cambodia between January and September this year, a 69.9 per cent increase from the same period last year giving it a 5.3 per cent market share in Cambodia’s tourism industry.

MOST VIEWED

  • Diplomatic passports issued to foreigners to be annulled

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation will move to annul diplomatic passports issued to those not born in Cambodia. Analysts say the move may be in relation to reports that former Thai prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra used a Cambodian passport to register as

  • The hairy little heroes saving many lives in rural Cambodia

    IN RURAL Siem Reap province, rats dare to tread where no person will, as these hairy little heroes place their lives on the line each day for the good of the local community. The rodents are the most important members of a special team, leading

  • Hun Sen warns Irish MP of EBA ‘mistake’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Saturday told former Irish premier Enda Kenny, still a member of the EU nation’s parliament, that the 28-nation bloc should not make a “third mistake” regarding Cambodia by using the preferential Everything But Arms (EBA) agreement to “take 16 million

  • Hun Sen’s China visit ‘a good opportunity’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen’s visit to Beijing on Sunday to discuss economic and trade issues presents a good opportunity for the Kingdom to strengthen Chinese ties and counter punitive measures by the West, an analyst says. The prime minister’s four-day official visit to