Getting there and away
Sihanoukville is served by just about every bus company you can think of. Here are departure times for the larger operators.
Phnom Penh at 07:15, 08:15, 12:30 and 13:30. The trip takes about four hours.
Phnom Penh at 07:45 and 14:30. The Mekong Express "limousine bus" has a toilet onboard and ticket price includes a snack and bottle of water.
Virak Buntham Buses
Siem Reap at 20:00
Phnom Penh at 19:00 and 20:00
Ho Chi Minh City at 20:00
Kampot, Kep, Ha Tien, Phu Quoc, Chau Doc and Can Thou leaving at 07:45
Koh Kong at 08:15.
Phnom Penh at 07:00, 08:00, 9:00, 10:00, 11:00, 12:15, 13:00, 14:15, and 17:30.
Siem Reap at 7:00 and 8:00 (via Phnom Penh).
Paramount Angkor Express
Battambang: 07:45, 08:45
Ho Chi Minh City: 07:45, 08:45
Koh Kong: 08:00
Phnom Penh at 07:45, 08:45, 10:30, 12:45, and 14:15.
Siem Reap (via Phnom Penh): 07:45, 08:45, 10:30, 12:45
Sokha Komar Tep
Phnom Penh at 07:30, 14:00
Rith Mony Transport
Rith Mony Transport tends to get fairlt mixed reviews and we'd suggest trying for a seat with any of the other operators first.
Banteay Meanchey: 7:15, 8:30, 12:30, 19:45
Battambang: 7:15, 8:30: 10:15 12:30
Koh Kong border: 8:15, 12:30
Phnom Penh: 7:15, 8:30, 10:15, 12:30, 14:00, 17:30, 19:45
Poipet: 7:15, 12:30, 19:45
Siem Reap: 7:15, 8:30: 10:15 12:30, 19:45
Trat, Ko Chhang, Koh Somet, Pattaya: 8:15
GST Ochheuteal St, Sihanoukville. T: (023)355 379, (012)895 550
Mekong Express 171 Ekareach St, Sihanoukville. T: (034) 934 189
Paramount Angkor Express Bus Station, Sihanoukville. T: (017) 525 366; (016) 260 086; (034) 933 618
Rith Mony Transport137CD St 118, Phnom Penh. T: (023) 991 329; T: (012) 644 585
Sokha Komar Tep 121 Sisowath Quay, Phnom Penh. T: (077) 918 818; (099) 700 147; (034) 636 3147. www.sokha-komartep.com.kh
Sorya Ekareach St, Sihanoukville. T: (023)210 359. www.ppsoryatransport.com
Virak Buntham Buses St 106, Phnom Penh. T: (012) 322 302
Guesthouses may also run their own private transport to Phnom Penh and elsewhere.
Taxis run regularly from Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville and return. The entire car can be hired for about $35, else you'll need to wait till the driver has a full load (5-8 people depending). Taxis are quicker than the bus. Usually they will charge foreigners slightly more to have the front seat while the locals pack into the back like sardines.
A number of shuttle vans go between Sihanoukville and Kampot every day. You can book through most guesthouses or any of the local travel agents such as Ana Travel or Cool Banana Travel. Tickets cost about $7 which includes pick up and drop off.
You can also get a taxi for a flat rate of $25. Shared taxis are also available.
If you're headed to Thailand you have several less-than-appealing options. You can buy the stages of the trip individually: a VIP bus ticket to the border, a van ride to Trat once you cross the border, and another bus to the capital. Or you can buy a package deal which includes the same VIP bus but from the border you are crushed into a van for a direct trip to Bangkok (that sometimes goes through Pattaya). The first option is cheaper and more comfortable though the stress of negotiating all the transport can offset any savings. The second option is a bit more unpleasant and costly, but is mindless. Both take about the same amount of time, depending on any of a thousand variables.
Ana Travel Serendipity Beach Road, Sihanoukville. T: 012 915 301; (016) 499 915; (085) 508 887, http://www.anatravelandtours.com
Cool Banana Travel Serendipity Beach Road, Sihanoukville. T: (016) 688 384; (068) 688 384; (012) 941 900.
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If you don't have your own transport, you will need to rely on motodops or tuk tuks to get around Sihanoukville.
The motodops are among the worst in the country and are the most likely to leave a sour taste in your mouth.
Always agree on a price before you get on. Never, ever pay before you go anywhere. No matter how angry you are, never throw money at the driver or his bike as this is highly offensive and may trigger violence. If you must use one at night, try not to do it alone and try to use one that you know/have used before. Generally the oldest guy on the crappiest bike is the safest bet; avoid young jocks on shiny new bikes. Do not expect to get anywhere for a local rate.
The easiest way to avoid this problem is to hire and ride a motorbike yourself. Be careful, though. There have been many reports of rental motos going missing, forcing the customer to repay the entire cost of the motorbike. Weeks later, once the tourist has left town, the moto magically reappears. If you do choose to rent a motorbike bring your own lock as the ones provided are not to be trusted.
Tuk tuks used to be a bit more honourable, but now there are increasing reports of a tuk tuk "mafia". Meaning there's massive price-fixing going on which is why every tuk tuk will tell you it will cost $6 for the 10-minute ride from the new bus station. However, if you can get a driver away from his buddies, he'll often be willing to negotiate a lower price. Same rules apply here though — agree on a price before setting off and pay when you've arrived at your destination. Do not expect a tuk tuk driver to have change.
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