These days, thanks to plane, boat, bus, taxi, and mini-bus services, there are a couple of easy ways to travel between Siem Reap and Phnom Penh. Some are nicer than others although there are options to fit every budget. Depending on your mode of transport, the journey takes between 5 and 6.5 hours.
As it barrels past traditional wooden houses, green rice paddy fields and cows and water buffalo lazily grazing on the side of the road, the road between Siem Reap and Phnom Penh offers a glimpse of Cambodian country life. Since the mini-buses are more crowded and only have smaller windows, the views are best appreciated from a full-size bus.
Between Siem Reap and Phnom Penh, you can find dozens of bus companies offering service. Although cheap, running around $6, many of them are overcrowded, old and even make dozens of stops. The Mekong Express, which has a solid reputation for its safety record albeit shabby older buses, was the most popular amongst expats. You may end up on a mini-bus if they do not get enough bookings although on this route they almost always run full-size buses.
Giant Ibis, which is a new company starting running buses between Siem Reap and Phnom Penh in 2012, has quickly become the new favorite. While on board, you can take advantage of WiFi and power outlets. Between Siem Reap and Phnom Penh, Giant Ibis also has a night bus running in both directions at 10:30.p.m, 11.p.m, and 11:30 p.m. On both Mekong Express and Giant Ibis, this trip takes about 6 hours.
On Mekong Express, tickets cost $10 for Khmers and $13 for foreigners and on Giant Ibis, all passengers pay $15. For an extra $1, you can book bus tickets online and select your seat in advance for Giant Ibis and Mekong Express.
Be able to carry up to 15 passengers, mini-van taxis between Siem Reap and Phnom Penh cost from $100 to $200. This is such a good option if you have got more than a couple people and do not want to give the bus a chance. Ask to make sure the one you hire has seat belts although all the vans are usually new and clean. In Phnom Penh, you can go to the Landscape Hotel across from the Cambodiana Hotel on Sisowath Quay to hire mini-van taxis. Here, van drivers gather and it is possible to negotiate your own price. You will get a better price if you go direct although mini-vans can also be booked through any hotels or travel agents. Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh by boat
Since the trip is significantly shorter than by bus, expats in the know seem to travel by mini-bus. There are some good options although you can find many, many mini bus companies covering this route.
The government-owned transport company of Cambodia Post VIP Van which runs brand-new (and very comfortable) Toyota HiAce vans between Siem Reap and Phnom Penh may be favorite mini-bus of many people. It is less claustrophobic than other companies as they only carry 13 passengers at a time. With two stops, the trip takes you about 5.5 hours. The services are good, they even have a sign on the back of the van saying “How’s my driving?” with a phone number to call in addition to cautious drive. Foreigners pay the same price, $8 as Cambodians, the fact that they do not engage in dual pricing is another bonus.
Larryta Express offers a fleet of 15-passenger Ford Transit Vans, which are all clean and new nine times a day between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. Including two stops, the trip takes a little under 5.5 hours and although the drivers drive fast, it is not terrifyingly. You do not need to purchase tickets more than a day in advance thanks to the regular departures. Foreigners have to pay $10 while tickets cost $8 for Cambodians.
- Things to do besides the Angkor Wat in Siem Reap
- Travel from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap
- The hotels in Siem reap
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