BANGKOK, The Transport Company is scheduled to launch daily bus services between Bangkok and Phnom Penh and Siem Reap 29 December.

Crossing the border from Aranyaprathet on the Thailand side to Poipet in Cambodian, the bus will operate twice daily to Siem Reap and daily to Phnom Penh.

The bus to Siem Reap will depart the Bangkok Northern  Bus Terminal Chatuchak (Morchit) at 0600 and 1600. The service will depart from Siem Reap at 0600 and 1500. Travel time is roughly seven hours.

To Phnom Penh the bus will depart at 0700 both ways with a travel time of around 11 hours. The fares are Bt750 (US$25) to Siem Reap and Bt900 (US$30) to Phnom Penh.

The services will use 40-seat air-conditioned buses.

It marks the first public bus service between the two countries and the only alternative to airline services. A rail service has been proposed, but when tracks are completed, possibly by the end of 2013 they will be used for just cargo services.

There are private mini-bus operators based in Poipet that offer services to Siem Reap that connect with similar services between Bangkok and Aranyaprathet. They are mainly used by expatriates working in Bangkok who need to renew visas or cross the border to get a stamp in their passport.

Currently, the Transport Company operates regional services to just Laos; the latest being Bangkok-Vientiane and Bangkok-Pakse routes, launched 1 October.

Other routes include: Udon Thani-Vientiane; Nong Khai- Vientiane; Ubon Ratchathani-Pakse; Mukdahan-Savannakhet; Khon Kaen- Vientiane; Nakhon Phanom-Thakaek; Chiang Mai-Luang Prabang and Udon Thani-Vang Vieng.