Getting there and away
GST Buses to Phnom Penh leave from Sihanoukville town at 07:15, 08:15, 12:30 and 13:30. The trip takes about four hours.
Guesthouses may also run their own transport to Phnom Penh and elsewhere.
Taxis run regularly from Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville and return. The entire car can be hired for about $25, else you'll need to wait till the driver has a full load (5-8 people depending). Taxis are quicker than the bus. Try to get one that is left-hand drive.
Going to or coming from Kampot, your best bet is G'Day Mate Outback Tours. This Western-managed company offers fewer surprises than some local enterprises and promises, among other things, 'No constant beeping of horn'. Tickets for one of their trips (there are usually three per day) cost about $7 which includes pick up and drop off. This popular option can be booked through your guesthouse or by calling the company directly.
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.
G'Day Mate Outback Tours T: (012) 1707 857
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 problem 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. Never throw money at the driver or his bike. 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.
Tuk tuks are a bit more honourable and most of the drivers just seem out to make an honest buck. Same rules apply here though -- agree on a price before setting off and pay when you've arrived at your destination.
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