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Cambodia forum

Travel from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap

Posted by Bobobrighton on 4/4/2009 at 22:56

Hi,

Can anyone recommend me the best way to travel from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap. I have heard that the boat can be dangerous and not much fun, although this was original my preferred choice. Would anyone think bus or taxi would be a better option.

Thanks

#1 Bobobrighton has been a member since 4/4/2009. Posts: 4

Posted by Lother on 5/4/2009 at 02:35

Well, there's plenty of buses, $6-12. Mekong Express is the more expensive but very comfortable choice, Sorya is among the cheapest. There's no particular reason to go by taxi. Some people really like the boat trip, others have felt there are better places for boating, in any case the bus is totally fine too.

#2 Lother has been a member since 12/5/2006. Location: Earth. Posts: 214


Posted by TonyL on 5/4/2009 at 09:38

Lother is spot-on. Mekong Express bus is up to good European standard,toilet on board, you get snacks and water in the price, there is a short rest stop about half way to Siem Reap, their office is at the up river end of Sissowath Quay which is very handy for most hotels and guest houses, and the whole trip takes about 5 hours. If I recall correctly they have 2 buses per day. I would give the cheaper buses a miss unless you are really on a very tight budget- they can be cramped, much slower and without the extras.

#3 TonyL has been a member since 19/12/2006. Posts: 46

Posted by dageshi on 5/4/2009 at 13:27

A word of caution on the boat, while I hadn't personally been on it, I think the water level can have a bearing on the length of the journey I presume we're in the dry season or very near it at the moment? I would ask around to see how long it will take.

Personally for a distance that long I would take the Bus, I am considering the Boat to Battambang though.

#4 dageshi has been a member since 1/3/2008. Posts: 56

Posted by Bobobrighton on 5/4/2009 at 20:17

Thanks guys you've been really helpful

#5 Bobobrighton has been a member since 4/4/2009. Posts: 4

Posted by Stigron on 2/5/2009 at 14:55

The boats are not running at the moment (as of last week) water level is too low so you are limited to bus or Taxi.

Look for an alternative to Mekong Express. Toilet didn't work and there was no "snacks or hostess" onn the buss. A kid spewed in the isle and they weren't keen to clean it up. Shop around.

But the trip is good. I'm glad I didn't fly.

#6 Stigron has been a member since 15/2/2009. Location: Australia. Posts: 28

Posted by brucemoon on 2/5/2009 at 18:16

Bobobrighton

Regarding buses, last year when there I looked around at the variety of possibilities as I had doubts about Cambodian bus maintenance.

I selected Mekong Express as the pick of an ordinary to worse bunch.

I'd like to know if there are better options.

cheers

#7 brucemoon has been a member since 27/12/2008. Location: Australia. Posts: 1,941

Posted by smkuchta on 5/5/2009 at 18:01

We took Capitol Tours buses from PP to Battambang and BB to Siem Reap and had no problems. Buses weren't fancy but clean (relatively) and seemed to be in decent mechanical shape.

We looked at taking the boat to SR from BB but had heard horror stories about it taking up to 10 hours (and at 3x the cost of the bus). The bus got us to SR in just under 3 hours, road is paved the whole way from Sisophon to Siem Reap and our driver had a lead foot.

It was interesting to be the only non-locals on both buses.

#8 smkuchta has been a member since 10/8/2007. Posts: 72
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Posted by kellyj525 on 11/5/2009 at 01:01

I took a smaller boat from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap during the dry season in Feb 2005 and loved it. The boat leaves at 7:00ish and you can get some really amazing photos, especially early on as the sun is still rising. I sat on the top, listened to music and watched the countryside by. It was awesome. Once you get to the lake there isn't anything but water to see but still worth it. Not entirely comfortable but if you are looking for a little adventure in Cambodia I say do it! The only part of the trip that is a bit difficult is the end at the port in Siem Reap. Very sad and lots of craziness going on.... but, if you are anything like myself you'll take something away from having the experience.

I'm going back in October and can't wait to see what it will be like during the rainy season. I hear it is even more beautiful.

#9 kellyj525 has been a member since 10/5/2009. Posts: 6

Posted by kellyj525 on 11/5/2009 at 01:03

I took a smaller boat from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap during the dry season in Feb 2005 and loved it. The boat leaves at 7:00ish and you can get some really amazing photos, especially early on as the sun is still rising. I sat on the top, listened to music and watched the countryside by. It was awesome. Once you get to the lake there isn't anything but water to see but still worth it. Not entirely comfortable but if you are looking for a little adventure in Cambodia I say do it! The only part of the trip that is a bit difficult is the end at the port in Siem Reap. Very sad and lots of craziness going on.... but, if you are anything like myself you'll take something away from having the experience.

I'm going back in October and can't wait to see what it will be like during the rainy season. I hear it is even more beautiful.

#10 kellyj525 has been a member since 10/5/2009. Posts: 6

Posted by borisborough on 24/1/2010 at 12:34

We booked a coach for USD7 each at the travel shop right next to the King's Court Restaurant on Sisowath Quay (opposite the United Nations flag). We had a pick-up by tuk-tuk to the bus office and an air-con bus with toilet to Siem Reap. It left PP at 8:30am and arrived at SR at 2:30pm.

The same travel shop also booked us into the Mekong Angkor Palace hotel in SR for USD20 per night. A great place to stay and it has a swimming pool too (perfect after temple-trekking!). The advantage was that we had a pick-up included from the bus station in SR to the hotel - it avoids the ruck!

#11 borisborough has been a member since 30/11/2009. Posts: 21

Posted by KazAussie on 24/1/2010 at 15:50

There is also a night bus now.. not sure of the details, it started up just before Christmas 2009.

#12 KazAussie has been a member since 18/7/2009. Posts: 221

Posted by wesleytam on 19/7/2011 at 11:37

The night bus going to Phom Penh to Siem Reap is Paramount Bus, and it leaves at 8:00pm and arrive around 2:00am.

The bus that I rode does not have a toilet inside, so if you need to piss, just ask the driver to stop for a while.

The bus fare is USD$10.00 per head.
At Siem Reap, there are tuk-tuk waiting for you already at 2am. so make sure you have book a hotel before going to Siem Reap at that time.

I can recommend "Sokpee Sumsot" a combodian tourguide that can pick you up in the bus terminal. His fee is only $35.00 a day. He is really good and kind. you may look him up at facebook for contact information.

#13 wesleytam has been a member since 19/7/2011. Posts: 1

Posted by Archmichael on 6/8/2011 at 09:39

I know night busses are popular, but second thoughts might be in order, given the danger level on the roads of Cambodia at night. Look at the Phnom Penh Post website for recent stories on that.

#14 Archmichael has been a member since 23/7/2008. Location: Global Village. Posts: 396

Posted by jetson on 21/1/2012 at 02:38

Has anyone taken this travel in the last few months? I was originally going to take a train from bangkok but I dont have the amount of time I would like. I am going to fly in and out from Bangkok to Phnom Penh and go from Phnom Penh to Siem Rep then back to pp and fly back to bangkok....
So I assume the bus is still the best idea?
thanks guys/gals

#15 jetson has been a member since 3/1/2012. Posts: 9

Posted by busylizzy on 21/1/2012 at 03:59

Yes, the buses are a good idea (unless you have the funds for a private taxi). Costs approx $6-8USD for VIP (at least it was 2 years ago). It's a decent journey, about 6 hours in total, with a 1/2 hour stop along with way in a small town where you an grab a bite to eat. Scenery is pretty good along the way and the road is good. Unfortunately you get the extremely loud DVD playing along the way, so bring some ear plugs!

#16 busylizzy has been a member since 31/12/2007. Location: New Zealand. Posts: 2,155
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Posted by tyler on 21/1/2012 at 05:10

I took a Sorya bus from PP to SR last week. It took about 7 hours due to the few extra stops the public bus takes and the highway condition. The first 1.5 hours out of PP is quite slow as some (on one side) of the highway has washed away. This trip has 2 x scheduled stops at restaurants along the way. The cost is us6$ and you can get your ticket through your guest house/hotel. The aircon worked fine, there is no toilet on the bus and you will find less travelers and more locals. Enjoy!

#17 tyler has been a member since 7/12/2010. Location: Canada. Posts: 257
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Posted by Archmichael on 21/1/2012 at 09:38

Our experience last October was similar to Tyler's. Around USD 6. When we made the trip, there was still a lot of flooded countryside along the first 60 or 70 km out of Phnom Penh, which sounds like the washed out areas Tyler noted. Having traveled quite a lot around Cambodia by bus, I do think it's the best way to get around, factoring in cost, exposure to local culture and the ability to interact with Cambodians in a normal way (by which I mean, other than serving/served realtionships).

#18 Archmichael has been a member since 23/7/2008. Location: Global Village. Posts: 396

Posted by KatMachine on 22/1/2012 at 07:36

Hi, I did it by bus and the road is fine. Here is an entry on my blog about my trip along with the other details. Hope it helps
Edit: snip - please no blog drops like this

#19 KatMachine has been a member since 8/2/2011. Posts: 26
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Posted by Jadel on 13/9/2015 at 09:48

Hi, my wife, my daughter (she's eight) and I will be in Cambodia in December. I wonder how long is the journey from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap by boat and if it's suitable for my little one.

Thanks a lot and sorry for my rusty English.

#20 Jadel has been a member since 13/9/2015. Posts: 2

Posted by sunlvr on 16/9/2015 at 17:46

Jadel-- I have heard the boat ride is 5-7 hours depending on water levels.

#21 sunlvr has been a member since 7/8/2014. Posts: 37

Posted by Jadel on 17/9/2015 at 01:49

Thanks a lot, very helpful

#22 Jadel has been a member since 13/9/2015. Posts: 2

Posted by husseycopper on 17/9/2015 at 06:42

what are my options travelling between siem reap and phnom penh in early october?

Boat,bus, taxi?

What is the best way and how much dose it cost and how long dose it take?

There will be two middle aged folk travelling together.

#23 husseycopper has been a member since 17/9/2015. Posts: 3

Posted by sunlvr on 17/9/2015 at 07:54

@husseycopper--- you can take boat $35, fly $100, or bus $16. I'm sure you could also hire a taxi but no reason really. All my prices are estimates as I haven't done it yet either. We will be taking the boat, (figure need the experience once!) traveling mid October. From what I've read and been told Giant Ibis bus is a very comfortable way to do the trip. Have fun!

#24 sunlvr has been a member since 7/8/2014. Posts: 37

Posted by husseycopper on 18/9/2015 at 00:31

Thank you
sunlvr for information

#25 husseycopper has been a member since 17/9/2015. Posts: 3


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