Review: Giant Ibis Bangkok to Siem Reap direct bus

Until recently the only direct bus going between Bangkok and Siem Reap was run in conjunction with the Thai government and featured a fleet of mostly older buses; all other companies were forced to change buses at the border. Giant Ibis, on the other hand, offers a fully direct bus from Bangkok to Siem Reap (and vice-versa) that allows you to keep your baggage on the bus while you go through border control. I took the Giant Ibis from Bangkok to Siem Reap recently and thought it was a welcome addition to the route.

Giant Ibis Bangkok Siem Reap

Get from Bangkok to Siem Reap on the Giant Ibis direct bus.

tl;dr Excellent ride. A few bucks more, but worth it. Book a ticket now or read on for more information

Giant Ibis is the most popular bus company in Cambodia with tourists and expats who value safety—the buses have seat-belts, and the drivers (usually) do not drive at outrageous speeds, which make them unique among Cambodian bus companies. Although the Nattakan/Transport Co. buses are not bad in this regard, Giant Ibis still as a few things that set them apart.

The buses running the Bangkok to Siem Reap route are brand new, with 37 pleather seats (plus one for the attendant). One of the more common complaints about the Giant Ibis Phnom Penh to Siem Reap buses is that there’s not a huge amount of legroom. Well, they clearly got the message because the legroom is more than generous on these buses, they’ve removed two rows of seats to allow for more space. The seats also have a 45% recline—as much as you’ll find on premium economy seats on even the best airlines.

Each seat has an individual speaker that you can turn on or off if there’s a movie playing, an air-flow control, light, and a USB input that you can use to charge your phone or other device. For Cambodia, this is high tech!

Our trip started in Bangkok, where we waited on a sidewalk off of Khao San Road with several near-to-bursting IKEA bags and a few pieces of flat-pack furniture. After many trips to the Bangna IKEA I can safely say the direct bus is the best way to get large shopping items to Cambodia.

Bangkok to Siem Reap bus Giant Ibis

Check out this sweet ride

The bus showed up a few minutes late and we proceeded to board—we were the only two passengers on the bus that day. Once we were on the bus, the entire process was seamless. The attendant was friendly and filled out our departure cards for us. I was worried this meant we’d have to pay an extra fee—as you do on other buses that cross the border—but the attendant explained that it was already included in the cost of the ticket.

While it’s possible to cross the Poipet border without paying an additional fees, most bus companies now require, or strongly encourage, passengers to pay an extra $5 for ‘VIP’ treatment at the border to have someone escort you through and streamline the process.

There are no toilets on board, but there are three stops along the way. After about two hours we stopped at the PTT rest stop, which is, in a word, amazing (as far as rest stops in this part of the world go). They’ve got clean toilets, a 7-11, restaurants, food court…pretty much all you can ask for on a bus pit stop.

Direct bus Giant Ibis to Bangkok

This kind of legroom says ‘premium economy’ to me!

A little more than two hours later, we were at the Thailand-Cambodia border, where we disembarked (leaving our luggage on the bus, the best part about taking a direct bus) and crossed the border on foot.

The walk across is only about 250 meters, but it can be confusing if you’ve never done it before. The high price tag of the trip meant that the Giant Ibis attendant confidently shuttled us from building to building as we crossed the border, making sure we didn’t get lost along the way. This is one area where the alternate direct bus, Nattakan, falls short. There are always a few random stragglers who hold the entire group back by sometimes more than an hour as they blindly try and figure out how to get their visas sorted or avoid paying bribes, but having an attendant there to keep everyone on track makes the process go more quickly.

On your way through the border it’s possible to stop and use the toilet at one of the casinos. My personal favorite is the ‘Chillax’ restaurant at Grand Diamond Casino. From there, it was another three hours to Siem Reap with one quick toilet break along the way.

Cambodia Thailand Giant Ibis

Getting walked across the Poipet border by Giant Ibis staff.

In total, the trip took about 8.5 hours. We’ve since gone in the other direction as well, from Siem Reap to Bangkok and it takes a similar amount of time and everything in the review is the same, but backwards.

Overall, I thought that the Giant Ibis direct bus was a welcome addition to the Siem Reap to Bangkok route. The buses are new, the drivers are good, and the attendants are friendly. I appreciated the assistance at the border and the fact that there was no scamming or shady behavior. Although the tickets are expensive, it seems worth the price.

Tickets on the Giant Ibis Siem Reap Bangkok direct bus cost $35 and can be purchased online for no additional charge. With an online booking, you can choose and reserve your seat in advance. Book a Giant Ibis ticket between Bangkok and Siem Reap now. 

Need information about visas? Most nationalities do not need a Thai visa in advance, but be sure to check before you go. A Cambodia tourist visa costs $30 and most nationalities can purchase one at the border. We have more information about Cambodia visas or Thai visas.

Giant Ibis Bangkok

22 Thanan Tanao Road, Bangkok [ map]
T: +66 921 939 333

Giant Ibis Siem Reap

Khmer Pub Street, Siem Reap [map]
T: 095 777 809 or +855 (0)95 777 809

Bus tickets purchased through links in this post generate affiliate sales for us. This does not affect our reviews for specific bus companies or routes! For more about how we deal with advertising, affiliate sales, and stuff like that, you can read more here.

24 Responses to Review: Giant Ibis Bangkok to Siem Reap direct bus

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    Jackie says:

    Is there anything to worry about leaving Cambodia for Thailand? Is there any paperwork you need other than your passport? Cambodian customs make me a bit nervous and I certainly don’t want to be held up for not having something. I am assuming entering Thailand is straightforward as no advanced visa is needed. Thanks for the article!

      Lina says:

      Cambodian customs ignores foreigners (they do harass Cambodians, though). You don’t need any paperwork to leave. If you are entering Thailand on a visa-free waiver, you do need to show that you have available cash and it’s best to have a pre-paid hotel reservation. They usually don’t ask, but they are trying to prevent people from doing visa runs so if you have multiple land border crossings you may need additional paperwork. For the average person, there’s nothing extra needed and no problems. I have done this land border crossing probably 20 times.

    Will says:

    Disabled bathroom is problem for me.

    Dave says:

    I see you leave the baggage on the bus on the change over. Is there any hassle with customs searches? I’m bringing a load of household stuff to Thailand from Cambodia (books, utensils, sports equipment, etc). Slightly worried that I’ll be asked to empty the stuff and then be charged a “tax”.

      Lina says:

      I have brought giant bags full of brand new stuff from Ikea before and have never had any problems. However, I was told by the bus attendant that I *might* have to pay a fee. I acted very unwilling and it didn’t come up again. So I don’t know if he was just chancing it, or if I got lucky. I have traveled with quite a lot of stuff many times and never had an issue.

    Riva says:

    Hello, when you rode the Giant Ibis, did you book online? Is there an option for me to just wait in the side walk you pointed out and pay on the spot? Thank you in advance for your response

      Lina says:

      I book online. The buses are almost always fully booked, so if you wait until the time it leaves, there wouldn’t be any seats available.

    Cath says:

    I just booked tickets after reading your review. May I ask for more details regarding the $5 VIP escort? Where and when should I get that?

    Thank you.

    Jack says:

    Does the bus go through a port where the e-visa is supported at the border? Is that Poi Pet? Thank you for your article by the way!

    Gea says:

    Where exactly in Khao San Road did you wait? I’m planning to go there thru grab but the I don’t know where in Khao San Road should be my drop off.

    NAINO B says:


    Steve says:

    Is there any luggage limit? I presume a full bus load of passengers can’t ship IKEA sales back to Siem Reap!

      Lina says:

      I’m not sure, but most of the companies have a two bag limit that they don’t stick to. They did tell me that I might have to pay a few extra bucks to customs, but in the end I didn’t have to.

    Alan says:

    I’ve used Giant Ibis from PP – Sihanoukville (both ways) and PP to HCMC, all this year. Although we had the older style buses rather than the newer ones in this article they were still deluxe compared to any other bus I’ve used in Cambodia.

    Otherwise the journey was pretty much as described above. Departure on the first occasion was delayed about 10 minutes because we waited for a local family who seemed known to the crew; though interestingly a western passenger was moaning that he’d turned up “3 minutes late” a couple of weeks back and the bus had gone without him. In my so far limited experience it does seem that it’s up to you to get to the starting point on time and generally they will set off whether you’re there or not. There was none of the tour of every hotel in town to pick up other passengers, drop off mates etc etc that you usually get and other departures have been spot on-time, including one during a heavy thunderstorm.

    The rest-break locations are more expensive but good, clean and value for money at the additional price. The biggest advantage is that their buses aren’t driven at breakneck speed and their drivers don’t take hair-raising risks.

    Crossing the border into Vietnam took about 90 minutes but 50% of that was a meal break and was very efficient and straightforward.

    They’re now firmly established as my choice for all routes apart from PP-Snooky and for that route as well when the train times don’t work for me. I’d recommend them without hesitation.

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