Easy Rice Cooker Pancake

How to cook a delicious-looking pancake from a rice cooker? It’s incredibly easy like you wouldn’t believe it! Let’s get started!

http://en.rocketnews24.com/2014/06/14/how-to-make-epic-pancakes-with-your-japanese-rice-cooker/

My inspiration & photo credit from: en.rocketnews24.com/2014/06/14/how-to-make-epic-pancakes-with-your-japanese-rice-cooker/

Ingredients:

1) 2 cups of pancake mix (in this case I use bisquick)

2) 1 cup of milk

3) 2 eggs

Additional Ingredients: 

1) 2-3 teaspoons of brown sugar to add a bit of sweetness

2) 1-2 teaspoon of butter because why not….

berriesenthisiast copyright

Simple ingredients to make a rice cooker pancake!

At first I was slightly worried about the size of my rice cooker, since it’s larger than the usual cutesy Japanese rice cooker, that the pancake won’t turn out as “cutesy-delish-looking.”  But as you will see, whatever size your rice cooker is, the pancake will be totally fine! If I can do it, you definitely can.

Just put all the pancake ingredients in the rice cooker, however you like to cook your pancake, and mix it well. (As you can see from the bubbles….I didn’t mix it well enough keke)

Tips: I like to warm up the milk in the microwave first for about 45 seconds, before I mix in the egg, sugar and butter. Then I pour the mixture into the pancake powder mix.

berriesenthisiast copyright

The pancake mixture in the rice cooker.

I just pressed the regular “white rice” button on my rice cooker and wait for the magic to happen.

First time around, when the rice cooker beeped that it’s finished, the pancake was not ready. The mixture was still gooey. So I pressed another round of “white rice” and see how it would go. Since everyone has a different type/size of rice cooker, and different recipes of pancake mix, you will just have to play it by ear and estimate your cooking time from observation.

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What the rice-cooker pancake will look like (upside down) when it’s about done 🙂

After seeing this, it’s almost ready 🙂 I “keep warm” for another 5 minutes just so it gets a bit more done and ready.

And the result?!?!?

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Voila!

berriesenthisiast copyright

Voila! The ready-to-eat pancake from a rice cooker.

Even if I didn’t cook it myself, I would still say it looks pretty darn GOOD! Another thing? It smells amazing!

Now, let’s slice it open and look on the inside.

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Slice it up and ready to serve!

It’s evenly cooked and I couldn’t be more happy with the result! It’s so incredibly easy, looks awesome and tastes oh-so-good 😀

berriesenthusiast copyright

Sweet pancake from a rice cooker

Sweet or savory? Whatever your cup of tea is, bon appetit!

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Savory pancake from a rice cooker

If you like my blog, please feel free to like and share 🙂 Show me your photos once you try making your own rice cooker pancake!

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Taking a bus to Pattaya/ Rayong/ Trad (beach destinations in Thailand)

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The Eastern bus terminal that takes you to many of the nearby beach destinations from Bangkok is conveniently located by the BTS Ekamai Station. Leave from Exit 2 and walk merely a minute to the bus station. You should be able to see the Station from the Ekamai BTS platform. 

Getting to Mochit Station (Mochit 2 or New Mochit)

Here’s how you can get from BTS stations to go to the Mochit Bus Terminal (Also referred to as “Mochit Songg” (Mochit 2) or “Mochit Maii” (New Mochit).)

Rough directions from nearest BTS station to the Mochit Bus Terminal

Rough directions from nearest BTS station to the Mochit Bus Terminal

Basically the middle pink dot with the train symbol is the BTS Jatujak, and the pink line is how you can take a cab to the Mochit Bus Terminal where it can take you to many destinations in Thailand, as well as other cross border routes like Bangkok to Siem Reap or Bangkok to Laos or Vietnam.

The green line is the route where you can take a cab from BTS Sapankwai (one station before BTS Jatujak) and catch a cab to the Mochit Bus Terminal.

Note that you can ask the BTS booth officers which exit is the best to get to Mochit Station, even as a Thai I always ask which exit to leave to go to so and so place.

With this rough map, you should have an idea whether the cab is taking you to the right route. On a cab, with no traffic, it should only take less than 10 minutes. I won’t advise on motorcycle taxi, since it costs just as much (if not more) and I don’t feel safe riding them on main roads.

Show a cab driver of the picture of your destination. All cab drivers should know where to go.

Show a cab driver of the picture of your destination. All cab drivers should know where to go.

Another simple way is to print out the photo of the place with the address in the local language, all taxi drivers should be able to take you there easily. In this case, a photo should be more than enough.

Getting around in Bangkok

Getting around in Bangkok is simple enough but regardless of your reason for travel, the easiest way to get around in Bangkok is the BTS (skytrain) and MRT (subway).  Unfortunately, the lines are not very extensive, so for some destinations the best way to travel in Bangkok is by taxi cab.  Below is a map of the train systems and below that is a map of central Bangkok.

Note: BTS and MRT are operated by different companies, so where they are connected, the names of the stations (in basically the same location) are different. Watch out!

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Map of Bangkok: Have an idea of where everything is!

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How to get to Mochit Bus Terminal: http://wp.me/p1Txsb-9V

Low Cost Direct Flight from Bangkok to Siem Reap!

Ang Kor Wat  https://berriesenthusiast.files.wordpress.com

Mission accomplished.

Great news! News just came out on Air Asia’s direct flight from Bangkok to Siem Reap! You lucky sons. Originally Air Asia only flew to Phnom Penh, which still took hourssss by car to Siem reap, now they are flying direct to Siem Reap! Yes! It’s worth repeating!

Before I said the best way was the direct bus, which I took because the airfare was ridiculous and looked something like this (airfare source: www.ar-pae.com)

Bangkok Airways at about THB 11,220

Cambodia Angkor Air at about THB 10,270

Vietnam Airlines at about THB 16,375

China Eastern at about THB 23,000

Korean Air at about THB 42,450

Crazy right? I can only confirm Bangkok Airways and Angkor Air since I only checked those, and with those kinda prices I was fineeee with the bus.

But NOW for those who have limited time or perhaps a bit more budget to spend, I think flying Air Asia would be the best available travel option. Check out the preliminary info here:  Air Asia’s Destination – Siem Reap

The Siem Reap flight is open for booking from July 15th 2013, while actual flights start commencing in October, date to be confirmed. For those of you who wants a special fare , I’m sure Air Asia will start with a pretty sweet juicy price, be ready to book on July 15th! Me so jealoussss.

Another point to add is that many hotels in Siem Reap offer a free airport transfer , so to make life a bit easier find the hotels that do.

For a more economical option, check out the Bangkok-Siemreap direct bus step-by-step guide: http://wp.me/p1Txsb-30 

Ang Kor Wat the Crowd https://berriesenthusiast.files.wordpress.com

The other side of the picture: where everyone takes the world famous mirror image of Ang Kor Wat.

Northern Thailand Trip (Accommodation + Trip Planning in Progress)

Here’s my Northern Thailand plan in case anyone may like to include in their future/ upcoming travels. My trip will be to relax and enjoy the natural scenery, eat local food & be merry, while maximizing the 8 days and 7 nights I have 🙂 The most beautiful time to travel to Northern Thailand in the rainy season is in September, when the rice field is full grown and is so amazingly beautiful. Due to my available schedule I am going in August, but it should be beautiful nevertheless! The accommodation prices in the rainy season are so friendly that it will cost my friend and I only about $150 for 5 nights! Another 2 nights will be waived since we will be staying with my family 🙂

Rough Plan

1st-3rd Day: Mae Hong Son

4-6th Day: Chiang-Mai// Lamphoon (family visit)

6th-8th Day: Lamphoon//Lampang//Chiang-Mai

First day: Travel to Chiangmai by plane then take a public bus/ van to Pai.

Low cost airlines in Thailand offer great deals on tickets purchased well in advance or even on their regular promotions. The one I bought is Nok Air‘s traveling on a weekday promotion. Other low-cost airlines are Air Asia and Orient Air, also check out Thai Airways, and Bangkok Airways for their promotions.

The van to Pai.

The van to Pai.

First night I plan to stay at this cozy little place called khunnaiternsai. I have been to Pai before and I love the rice field scenery, so the first day I would like to go back just for that. Relaxing to the luscious green rice field and staying at a unique place that you can’t find a replica anywhere (from 506 baht during rainy season.)

Cozy little place called Khun Nai Teun Sai,  meaning a lady who wakes up late. That;s so me!

Cozy little place called Khun Nai Teun Sai, meaning a lady who wakes up late. That’s so me!

First day my friend and I just plan to bike and laze around. I don’t have the latest fee on bicycle or scooter rental, will update on this. We plan to rent a bike on the first day once we get dropped off from the van. We will also be booking a day tour, as we arrive in Pai City Center, to Pang-Oong and Ban Rakthai (Mae Aw), as a mean to go to these places as we do not have our own transportation.

Second day: Laze around, and enjoy Pai Night Market.

Second day we will have a delicious breakfast at our guesthouse (read many positive reviews about the food there) and we will slowly move our way to a 2nd night of accommodation at Pai Nai Fun (from 300 baht during rainy season.) As it is very walkable to Pai City Center, we planned on purpose to stay there to be able to walk to Pai’s famous night market and back.

Painaifun, a nice place by the river and located right in Pai city center.

Painaifun, a nice place by the river and is right by        Pai city center.

Just to be adventurous and experience a fun unique stay, we decided to go with a wooden tent by the river. These accommodations are adorable, aren’t they? 🙂 Both of these places have no air-conditioning, or private bathrooms. As an air-conditioned addict Bangkokian, I hope to be able to sleep well through the nights.

Third day: Leave with a tour to visit Pang-Oong and stay on at Ban Rakthai. 

Photo credit: www.asiafinest.com

Pang Oong, the photo does not do its justice.                 Photo credit: http://www.asiafinest.com

On the 3rd day we plan to go to Pang-Oong and Ban Rakthai (Mae Aw), my friend and I have been to these places but they are so beautiful that we must revisit. On the 3rd night we are staying at RakThai Leewine Resort. The food there is Yunnan Chinese food, it was so good I will be going back for more!

A gorgeous village, Rakthai, situated high up in the mountains by a huge water reservoir.

A gorgeous village, Rakthai, situated high up in the mountains by a huge water reservoir.

For the way back to Chiangmai, since we don’t have a car we found out that there is a daily transportation that leaves from Rakthai to Maehongson City Center at 7 am, and another that goes from the city center to Rakthai village at 2 pm. We will be taking a day tour from Pai on the way there, and will be leaving from RakThai at 7 am to Maehongson and then catch a van from there to Chiangmai.

Fourth day: Chill out in Nimmanhemin, and visit Wat Phra That Doi Suthep

Photo credit: dekguide.com

Chompor Lanna Hotel, Chiangmai                                  Photo credit: dekguide.com

We leave early by the 7 am truck from Rak Thai to Mae Hong Son city center, then off to Chiangmai by a van/bus. Today we plan to chill out in Nimmanhemin by day and also visit the sacred Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. By night we plan to go to Chiangmai Night Market (Wualai Walking Street.) Our accommodation, Chompor Lanna Hotel, is close to Wualai and we chose it due to the proximity and the Lanna style architecture.

Fifth day: Chill out and move to our highlight stay at Puka Boutique Resort 

I found this hotel on Agoda.com and was very happy with the price. I also got some credits left on Agoda, so instead of paying 2,00o baht + 17%, it came down to about 1,600 baht per night, which is a great deal for the place and room we will be staying in. Another site I use is Booking.com, sometimes it has just as good of a deal as Agoda, and you don’t have to pay in advance. Like the name, you just book using your credit card.

I am really looking forward to stay here since I heard great reviews about how tranquil it is, plus the food there is great so that’s another great holiday factor.

Puka Boutique Resort

Puka Boutique Resort

Good food, good stay? Looking forward to it!

Good food, good stay? Looking forward to it!

Pet Friendly Places in Bangkok

Most places in Bangkok do not allow pets, and that includes all the major parks around the city. This is something I just found out after getting our dog, Sachi. We got kicked out of parks, which supposedly should be the most dog-friendly places on earth. Street dogs are allowed of course, not dogs on leash with owners who are willing to clean up after them.

Sachi at the park next to the Emporium where we were soon got kicked out :/

Sachi at the park next to the Emporium, we were soon got kicked out :/

Here’s a list of the places we have taken our dog.

1. K-Village Sukhumvit 26 http://www.kvillagebangkok.com

K-Village is a place we take our dog to almost every week. It is our favorite dog-friendly place. They provide dog toilet area, as well as plastic bags area for dog owners to pick up after poo poo. Your dogs will get social here, you will often meet other dogs walking around every time. We often eat at Wine Connection and many dog owners go to eat there in the outdoor area in front of the restaurant.

2. J Avenue Thonglor 15 https://www.facebook.com/Javenue.Thonglor

Photo credit:  leolaksi.wordpress.com

Photo credit: leolaksi.wordpress.com

J avenue is another dog friendly place with Au Bon Pain, iberry, and greyhound outdoor area to eat, this is a nice get together place when we want to meet up with our friends and tag our dog along.

3. Asiatique Riverside, Chareonkrung  www.thaiasiatique.com

Photo credit: bangkokforvisitors.com

Photo credit: bangkokforvisitors.com

With a large space, this is also another nice place to bring your dog. It takes quite an effort to get there so we don’t go there very often. However, with many outdoor area to dine and wine, Asiatique is one of the pet-friendly places we really like.

4. Crystal Park, Praditmanutham Road  www.thecrystalshoppingmall.com

Photo credit: kaset-nawamin.com

Photo credit: kaset-nawamin.com

Another outdoor mall with cafes and restaurants with outdoor area to relax with your dog.

5. Zen Department Store, Central World (small dogs in carriers/ strollers only)

We have never personally taken our dog here, but I have seen small dogs at Zen many times. The dogs need to be in carriers or strollers, not a place to walk your dog but they can keep you company as you walk around the mall.

6.  Hua Mak Sports Complex, Ramkamhaeng 

There is a huge field and you will meet many dogs, big or small, as well as rabbits. There’s also a market every afternoon (after 4:30 pm) so you can buy food and picnic while hanging out with your dog. The place tends to get a bit crowded as families and friends hang out, and people come to play sports. As it is not a commercial area, it is more mass than any of the places on the list.

7. Mueng Thai Insurance Park (Park behind the building) 

We have taken our dog several times here. The field is quite big (at the back of Mueng Thai Insurance bldg.) and we often just meet 3-4 others dog at a time so there is plenty of space for you and your dog. There’s no cafe or hanging out area, but you can always buy something from 7-11 and have a few snacks on a bench in the park.

8. La Villa Aree https://www.facebook.com/…/La-VillaAreeอารีย์/173642619328002

This is a twin of J Avenue, we have been there to eat at the outdoor area of Greyhound or Starbucks. As for the actual area to walk our dog around, there’s not much there. A nice outdoor mall nevertheless.

9. Park@Siam, Siam Square

We have taken our dog here a few times, I don’t think it’s technically pet-friendly, we just have never gotten kicked out yet the few times we were there. We usually go there when we take Sachi to Chula pet hospital, it is a lovely place to walk him around. We have never seen other pets while we were there.

10. Ozono Sukhumvit 39

Ozono Credit: bloggang.com

Ozono Credit: bloggang.com

We have never taken Sachi there but a few people have recommended this place.

“Ozono has two areas – one that is enclosed that you pay to use and one that is open that is free to use. For the open area you need to either keep your dog on a leash or be able to control your dog around other dogs by commands. There are several cafes and shops there too. It’s on the corner (pretty much) of Petchaburi Road and Sukh. soi 39. There is a pet shop and a dog/cat hotel on site also.” Description from Frederikke – thanks a lot for your contribution!

 

Pet-friendly Hotels in Thailand + Mini Reviews

There are not many pet-friendly hotels in Thailand, but luckily some hotels are kind enough to open that option for animal lovers who treat their pets like a member of the family. By pets, I mean dogs and cats.

I own a chihuahua mix (Taiwanese-Japanese) so fortunately there are more options than medium-sized dogs and up. Bare in mind that most places that do allow pets in Thailand are either, frankly, not the nicest places, or they are 4/5 stars hotel chains that are a bit more than we would like to pay for. However, the places we have been to are quite nice (through an extensive search of course!) So here I have made a list, in case anyone find it useful. Let’s go!

Our dog son, Sachi.

Our dog son, Sachi.

Note that we don’t have a car, so our transportation method is usually a van from Victory Monument to all these locations. Sachi stays in his bag and he is a seasoned well-behaved traveler.

K.B. Resort, Koh Chang www.kbresort.com/

Our Beachfront Villa

“Our Beachfront Villa”

I LOVE this place! Not only was it easy to book the room, there was no surcharge for the dog. This was a truly dog-friendly place, the staff were animal lovers and we felt so comfortable there. The hotel ambiance was much  nicer than I expected, for 2,000 baht a night (as of May 2013) we got a beachfront villa! (more like a hut hehe but hey that’s what they called it.)

The staffs were nice. The food was good. The view was amazing. We also got to kayak to nearby island and it was such a memorable experience (we left Sachi in the room.) Supposedly in the morning (before 9 am) you can also walk to the nearest island. The plus point is there’s always a convenient store and plenty of food available in a walk-able distance on Koh Chang.

Comfy bed.

Decent bathroom

Decent bathroom

Baby elephants walking by, it was such a cool sight to see and capture :)

View from our room: baby elephants walking by, such a cool sight to see and capture 🙂

The biggest island is the one we kayaked to.

The biggest (and nearest) island is the one we kayaked to.

Cave Cliff Tarzan River Kwai Resort, Kanchanaburi 

Our tree house

Our tree house

I don’t know how I stumbled upon this place but it surely was a unique experience. I have always wanted to stay in a tree house so it was really neat that the only room available for that long weekend happened to be one. I think the room was 1,700 baht with a 300 baht dog surcharge (as of Feb 2013.) Note that the toilet on the tree house was super tiny and it was not the most convenient bathroom. It was an interesting experience nevertheless.

The view was nice, the food was quite nice. If you don’t have a car it would be near impossible to go anywhere but to hire a crappy two rolled seated truck (สองแถว) and the price was quite steep. 300 baht from city bus station to the hotel, the ride was about 10 mins.

The view from the resort.

The view from the resort.

Stop and smell the flowers :)

Stop and smell the flowers 🙂

My husband's mini adventure.

My husband’s mini adventure.

Tiny tiny toilet, spicy food not recommended  :P

Tiny tiny toilet, spicy food not recommended 😛

Centara Chantalay, Trad http://www.centarahotelsresorts.com/cct/cct_default.asp

The living room space

The living room space

Centara Chantalay is probably the nicest pet-friendly hotel we have been to. This was a deal I bought and it was about 2,000 baht per night. The room was a one bedroom suite and it was just a refreshing change to all the humble pet-friendly hotels we have been or have seen. The space was just divine with a lovely balcony, the hotel had a nice landscape for us to walk around and relax. The pool was nice, the beach was a long private beach.

We don’t have a car so we stayed at the hotel the entire time.  The bad part was the food. Because it was a 4-5 stars hotel chain, the food was not cheap. I have seen reviews that this hotel has bad food, and bad food was confirmed. I would say just stick with the regular Thai dishes and don’t get fancy, because the price gets fancy but the food doesn’t.

The nicest pet-friendly bedroom <3

The nicest pet-friendly bedroom ❤

the pool, pet-friendly hotel, thailand, centara chantalay

The pool.

bathroom, pet-friendly hotel, thailand,  centara chantalay

The bathroom was half outdoor so it was quite lovely when it rained.

The boys chillaxing by the beach

The boys chillaxing by the beach

Lung Wang Wonderland, Koh Samed 

Sachi in total relaxation on the cool sand

Sachi in total relaxation on the cool sand by the beautiful blue ocean.

The water there was BEAUtiful, crystal clear blue-ish water that I love, surprisingly really nice when it was only 2 hours-ish from Bangkok (perhaps it was in December, peak season.) We have been to another beach on Samed that was more hi-end (Ao Prao) and the water there was just not comparable to Ao Lung Wang. The hike to nearby beaches with Sachi were awesome, and going there in December the weather was PERFECT.

Now, the accommodation was a piece of crap to say the least. Our hut was originally 3,000 baht, we got it down to 2,500 baht (as of Dec 2011,) and that’s not cheap. It was kind of a punishment to spend 2 nights there, back-breaking bad, awful toilet, not that clean, you get the picture. However, the ocean was so beautiful that it evened things out. The food was not bad, stick to the simple dishes.

That's all the pictures we took. The balcony upstairs was nice, but that's about it. All for you, sachi.

The balcony upstairs was nice, but that’s about it. Really basic depressing stay, all for you Sachi.

The famous island dog. Her name was "Money," super kind and super nice dog. She always came by to hang out with us.

The famous island dog, her name was “Money,” super kind & nice. She always came by to hang out with us.

The boys constantly had to wait for slow-moving, adventure-challenged me.

Awesome hike! The boys constantly had to wait for slow-moving, adventure-challenged me.

nearby beach, stunning!

Nearby beach,  a 10 min hike from our hut, stunning!

ibis Bangkok Riverside www.ibis.com/Bangkok-Riverside

The hotel view from the river.  Photo credit: accorhotels.com

The hotel view from the river.
Photo credit: accorhotels.com

This was a weekend getaway in Bangkok, we didn’t have a nice working camera then so I searched for photos on the internet. The hotel chain is what it is, small, simple, comfortable, affordable. The room and hotel was clean and efficient, a standard room was 1,650 baht (July 2011.) The pool was very lovely, and the hotel located by the river provided a relaxing and calming ambiance. There was a small grassy area to walk Sachi around and that was nice.

The food was surprisingly good, I recommend having dinner at the hotel. You can try several Thai dishes on a smaller serving, we thought it was great and even thought about going back just for the food. Mind you, it’s the food PLUS the riverside that made the experience all the better. Note: The river in Bangkok is not that clean 🙂

The simple, clean & comfortable room.  Photo credit: ibis.com

The simple, clean & comfortable room.
Photo credit: ibis.com

The beautiful pool you can seriously relax or swim in.  Photo credit: anytours-com-hk

The beautiful pool you can seriously relax or swim in.
Photo credit: anytours-com-hk

Grass area to walk the dog by thr river.  Photo credit: th-prontohotel-com

Grass area to walk the dog by the river.
Photo credit: th-prontohotel-com

Lovely eating area on the riverside.  Photo credit: agoda.com

Lovely eating area on the riverside.
Photo credit: agoda.com

White@Sea, Rayong www.whiteatsea.com

Our twin house. Photo credit: white@sea

Our twin house.
Photo credit: white@sea

The pet-friendly part of the hotel was the houses spread out in the garden area. They actually had houses for groups and families. Our place was a twin house. The place was nice and cozy for a 1,200 baht per night price tag (Feb 2011.) The hotel is across the street from Mae Rumpeung Beach, the beach is public and not the nicest,but you can have a long walk on the beach and enjoy many street side eateries.

There is a restaurant in front of the hotel and it tastes pretty good, good portion and decent price. The hotel area in front is not pet-allowed and I think the rooms are much nicer 🙂 The area doesn’t have a nice view, the environment is very homey, however for the price I think it’s not a bad deal at all.

The bedroom and ok bathroom. The room looks like it's had some cosmetics improvement. Photo credit: white@sea

The bedroom and ok bathroom. The room looks like it’s had some cosmetics improvement since our stay.       Photo credit: white@sea

Garden area to walk our little dog around.

Garden area to walk our little dog around.

Sachi's first time at the beach. Notice the resistance :)

Sachi’s first time at the beach. Notice the resistance 🙂

Front area and hotel rooms (this area is not pet-allowed) Photo credit: white@sea

Front area and hotel rooms (this area is not pet-allowed) Photo credit: white@sea

 

Additional Pet-friendly hotels (Recommended by https://www.facebook.com/aclairwestie )

Note: You should always call and check with the hotel prior to booking. Policies change all the time, especially with the non-chain hotels.

– X2 Kuiburi, 1 hr further from Huahin, very modern and luxury hotel by the beach.

– Bari Lamai, Rayong, Bali style resort

– Peterpan Resort Koh Kood

– Mercure Pattaya

– 8 Villas Hua Hin, nice little home stay

Direct Bus from Bangkok to Siem Reap: Step-by-Step Journey

Step-by-Step Journey from Bangkok to Siem Reap

Photo credit: posttoday.com

Mochit Station (Chatujak)                                         Photo credit: posttoday.com

The bus from Bangkok to Siem Reap leaves from Mochit Station (You can also find buses that cross into Laos or Vietnam here as well). You can purchase tickets here in advance for a safer bet (what we did http://bit.ly/10VnSn6How to get to Mochit Bus Terminal: http://wp.me/p1Txsb-9V

Update: Now you can get your bus tickets online! http://www.thaiticketmajor.com/bus/index.php?la=en  You have to register on the website, pay a little extra fee, “It only costs an additional 20 Baht per ticket, and a 46 Baht ‘convenience fee’ per payment transaction. You can collect your tickets in advance from one of their offices or at the bus station one hour ahead of departure time.” – Kimberly (Thank you!)

Ticket Booth

Ticket Booth on 1st floor of Mochit Station

The ticket booth is on the 1st floor. You can only buy a one-way ticket from Bangkok to Siem Reap, the return route has to be bought in Siem Reap. The officer does not speak English, so normal steps would be:

1) Say your route (in this case) BKK – Siem Reap 2) Give the date of travel 3) Show your passport and if applicable your visa 4) Pick your seat (s) 5) Wait (a while) for the officer to fill out your info 6) Pay and snatch your tickets! The ticket is 750 baht.

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Side and front of the bus.

Now comes the travel date. Tada! The Bangkok – Siem Reap bus is real! The bus from Bangkok to Siem Reap now leaves daily at 8 and 9 am. We traveled on the 6th of April 2013 and this direct bus, we believe, is less hassle than most other ground transportation options. In the past, you would need to change to another bus service (Cambodian run company) at the boarder. With this direct route, however, you will be traveling on the same bus and with the same driver and staff the whole route.

Prepare some food and drinks prior to boarding the bus since it’s gonna be a 8-9 hours long journey. (On the way back, the trip was about 7 hours.) For convenience, there’s a huge 7-11 at Mochit Station for you to stock up on some food.

smile

Bus interior.

The seating is normal and comfortable enough for a 5-6 hours drive. The actual drive from Bangkok to Siem Reap without traffic would be only about that, however, with all the waiting at the boarder, the trip is 8 hours+. The scam alert in the next paragraph is what we experienced, just be cautious, there’s no guarantee that it will not come back 😉

scam

Scam alert (our experience as of April 2013:) Before you get to the boarder, the bus will stop here claiming that you can get your visa done. They will charge you 1,200 baht ($40) which is more than you would if you were to do your e-visa which costs $ 28. The only good thing about stopping here is the clean toilet. So if the staff tells you to get off the bus, just have a go as this is your only bathroom stop. You pay 5 baht for a toilet that’s actually clean, and it was so clean we had to take a picture to prove it. The bus does have a toilet, however, it is much filthier and has a distinct and pungent urine aroma.  The choice is yours!

IMG_8465

So fresh and so clean clean.

New experience: No more scam stop (as updated by you guys from later in 2013 and 2014.)

“A few updates:
– They don’t try the scam stop anymore, our experience at the border was very quick and easy.
– There was a stop at 11:30 am at a rest stop that had food (thai restaurant stalls and a Western coffee shop) and a nice bathroom (although squat toilet)
– They handed out breakfast (pastry), lunch (hot 7-11 fried rice with crab), water, and a cool towel.” – jonandjenwohlers 

The food comes in a small amount, seems to be different every time (from what I hear from your updates) and may not be to your liking, so don’t rely on it and stock on food you like! (Especially when you are travelling with kids or a picky eater!)

When you are traveling as a group, it is highly recommended that you plan ahead and get your visa done prior to the trip. Everyone on the bus will have to wait for the few of you who did not prepare ahead of time. It’s simple, convenient, and will cut down at least 45 minutes of the time spent at the boarder http://www.mfaic.gov.kh/evisa

card

“VIP pass”

You will be handed this card on the bus, wear it and show it with pride. This card will allow you to skip the crazy lines outside, go directly into the a/c room (but still pretty hot inside) and wait in line to get your departure stamp. The bus staff will not give you any instructions, just leave as soon as the bus stops (after the scam building) and follow the group (run!) to get checked out of the country. A few seconds faster could save you a lot of time.

The building where you get your arrival stamp. Photo: migrationology.com

The building where you get your arrival stamp. Photo: migrationology.com

After you get your departure stamp, follow the crowd and walk across the Cambodia boarder to get your arrival stamp. After the bus drops you off at the Thai Boarder, and while you get your departure stamp, the same bus will be waiting over by the Cambodian boarder. You will need to get your passport stamped again at the building circled in the picture …or, the tip we learned on the trip is to give a 100 baht to the bus staff, he will get your passports stamped and you can wait comfortably on the a/c bus instead of having to wait in line (yet again) in intense heat and humidity.

From this point on, it will be easy breezy. Just relax and sleep or observe the Cambodian countryside. The bus driver will make some dubious but quick stops along the way, but the official one will be a building among a small row of shops named Nattakarn Bus Company(reference location will be KFC, the office is close to the only KFC in town.) That is where you can buy the ticket back to Bangkok, and you should do so immediately upon arrival. The ticket back should cost $28 each.

The bus company is not known to most hotels, so just tell them its close to KFC if you get a free transfer from your hotel. If not, the bus company will introduce you to a tuk tuk driver who hopes to be of your service during your stay. A tuk tuk trip to anywhere within Siem Reap should cost about 1-2 dollars each way. To hire a tuk tuk driver for the entire day will set you back about 12-15 dollars.

On the morning of your departure from Siem Reap, Nattakarn should also provide a free pick-up from your hotel (if you paid $28.) The bus from Siem Reap to Bangkok leaves daily at 8 and 9 am. Good luck!

Update: Now you can get your bus tickets online! http://www.thaiticketmajor.com/bus/index.php?la=en 

New route: Low cost airline flies to Siem Reap! http://wp.me/p1Txsb-5f

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