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Thai-Cambodia buses open a new era with new land connections on public transport

Thailand and Cambodia launched the first direct bus services linking Bangkok with Siem Reap and Phnom Penh during the week end.

BANGKOK- First bus services between the two Kingdoms of Cambodia and Thailand had their debut on December 29, said the Transport Co., a Thai state enterprise under the Transport Ministry. The service includes the Bangkok-Siem Reap route, a 424-kilometre trip that takes about seven hours. The two countries will provide two trips a day. The fare will be 750 baht or US$25. The Bangkok-Phnom Penh service, covering 719 km and taking 11 hours, will run once a day with a fare of 900 baht or $30.

Air-conditioned buses will serve both routes, which will run through Aranyaprathet district in Sa Kaeo province. Transport Co works in cooperation with Cambodian bus company Natthakarn Co. Both companies have large ambitions to boost connectivity between both countries. Transport Co plans to eventually provide as many as 20 trips a day on both routes if needed to meet the rising demand of travellers. The new bus routes will help accommodate an expected upturn in travel when the Asean Economic Community is launched in early 2016.

Transport Co is planning to open more international routes in 2013 in addition to BKK – Phnom Penh and BKK – Siem Reap. The company looks at eventually start early next year new routes from Siem Reap  to Sisaket/Ubon Ratchathani; from Siem Reap to Pattaya; from Battambang to Chanthaburi and from Sihanoukville to Trat. The company has the ambition to expand to Myanmar and Vietnam in 2014 with routes from Bangkok to Yangon, from Mae Sot to Myawaddy and from Chiang Rai to Kentung.

There is also a direct bus link between Bangkok and Vientiane as well as Bangkok-Nakhon Ratchasima and Viengchan.

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Luc Citrinot a French national is a freelance journalist and consultant in tourism and air transport with over 20 years experience. Based in Paris and Bangkok, he works for various travel and air transport trade publications in Europe and Asia.

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