Well here is an interesting post for those interested in heading slightly off the beaten track, Xplore-Asia, through its Laos office has been looking for alternative ways to travel from Laos to Cambodia and we have found an extemely easy way to travel via Chong Sa Ngam. This border crossing is not new but not used very often.
It lies about 40 minutes from Sisaket in Thailand and the road is completely sealed on both the Thai and Cambodia sides. From the border it takes only one and a half hours to reach Siem Reap the distance is about 120km!!!
What does this all mean well certainly if you are travelling from towns in Isaan such as Ubon, Surin or Sisaket you would be looking at only about 3 hours drive to Siem Reap isn't this great!!. If you are coming from Pakse which the Xplore-Asia Laos office did the trip took about 6 hours. How did they travel well to start it is about 44km from Pakse to the Thai border at Chong Mek taking about 1 hour with Visa Proceeding (Thai Visas are free and on arrival). Then it would take about 3 hours or 200km hours to get to Chong Sa Ngam you would need to go through Ubon just directly south via town called Det Udon. After a couple of stops and toilet break and crossing the border it is only another 120 km to Siem Reap passing Banteay Srei temple on route. A new route and completely sealed all the way. Xplore-Asia (Laos) is now offering transport from Pakse - Siem Reap on this route as an alternative to traveling the route via Kampong Cham which take over 15 hours!
This poses well if traveller's are looking for alternatives to the flight from Pakse to Siem Reap. Or for those who would like to include a little of Isan in there tour program! Isan Northeastern Thailand is stunning and the people are great, eco-resorts like Kong Jiam are a perfect hideaway, and there are also some great temples to visit as an introduction to the Khmer Empire.
On another note the actual route the Khmer's travelled from Wat Phu Champasak in Laos to Siem Reap is actually only 240km and plans are underway to complete this road so in a few years the route from Pakse to Siem Reap may only take about 3 hours watch this space!!!
For more information Contact Xplore-Asia