The major cause of activity in Poipet is really the border that a lot of Cambodians cross daily to go to work in Thailand and earn more money.
Crossing the border, if you are travelling by bus, can take up to 3 hours due to the number of people and how slow the offices are. I had to be very patient during my bus trip! During a trip to Cambodia, you have to be well aware that one can spend a crazy amount of time on public transportation.
Being a border town makes it a rather strange city, and I had a very bizarre feeling when I got off the bus around 6:00 in the morning to cross the border. There are people everywhere, and there's a big market on the main roundabout, where Cambodians do their shopping, and they all give funny looks to the travellers who are passing through. I don’t think this is one of the most pleasant cities in Cambodia, so don't be surprised if you get a weird feeling when arriving in the country! Cambodians are much nicer after all this.
Once I arrived in Bangkok I crossed the borderinto Cambodia, entering the country via Poipet. I opted to take the train that leaves early in the morning and arrives at a point five kilometres from the border at around 12:30 pm. Once there you'll find tuk-tuks waiting to take you the rest of the way. Around me there were dozens of cars and trucks queueing up to cross the border.
The tuk-tuk driver seemed to ignore this and instead proceeded to a building where a man dressed in a shirt and black trousers was waiting for us. I refused to get out, and with good reason: this was not the border crossing in Poipet but was instead a scam!
After the tuk-tuk had dropped me at the right spot and departed, I had to join a fairly long queue on the Thai side to get my passport stamped then do exactly the same thing again on the Cambodian side, 100 metres further on. It was at this point that a customs official requested 100 baht to check my passport. I politely refused, which resulted in me having to queue up again! You really do have to be on your guard here!
I finally got to the other side, where there were taxis and buses waiting to take people to Siam Reap. However, they don't set off until they're full! Your visit to Cambodia can now begin at last.