Photo: Scenery near Phsar Krom.

Transport

Use the quicklinks below to jump to the desired section regarding transport in and around Kompong Chhnang.


Air

Kompong Chhnang’s own airfield is a completed, but never used, military one around 14 kilometres west of town, constructed using forced labour during the Khmer Rouge era. However, outside of rush hours, you can get to or from Phnom Penh’s Pochentong Airport in around 90 minutes. There aren’t direct buses, but a taxi fare would set you back around $30.

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Bus

For bus tickets out of town, the simplest approach is to ask your hotel or guesthouse to get one for you. They may add on a dollar or so commission, but you’ll probably get a pick-up at your door thrown in for free. Several companies do the Phnom Penh–Kompong Chhnang–Battambang run and since their offices do tend to be scattered around town a bit there’s no central bus station as such. The biggest concentration seems to be in the petrol station forecourt, opposite Acleda and next to Sok San.

Tickets for Phnom Penh are $4-5 and Battambang $5-6 depending upon company. Usually for a $1 extra they will also offer a tuk tuk transfer from your hotel to the bus. Buses in both directions run frequently and there are also occasional minibuses heading up to Battambang for $8 a seat. It’s best to book in advance for all services.

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Boat

During low season 2016, passenger boats between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, which would normally stop to pick-up or drop-off at Kompong Chhnang, were not running. They may or may not start up again in high season, but with much improved road connections and high ticket prices, the boat service has been struggling recently, so we wouldn't hold our breathe. Furthermore, for Kompong Chhnang there is no reduction on the full fare, so the two-hour or so run to Phnom Penh or four to five hours up to Siem Reap would set you back around $50. Guesthouse staff should have up-to-date information or you can check with the marine police or information desk on the riverside.

There are no problems however for river transport of a more local type. Car ferries and small passenger boats leave throughout the day for Kompong Leaeng (pronounced Leng), on the opposite bank of the Tonle Sap. The cramped and often overladen wooden boats depart whenever they’re full from the pontoon at the far end of Phsar Krom while the large iron car ferries leave from behind the fish market at scheduled times. The latter have an upstairs passenger deck providing excellent views. Time varies considerably between a 30-minute rainy season ride and over an hour thanks to torturous detours when water levels are low. Set fares are 1,000 riel (plus 500 for bicycle and 1,500 for moto), while charter boat prices vary according to water levels. Average hire for Kompong Leaeng is around $15 each way, though with high water level shortcuts possible in August to October, boatmen will come down as low as $5 for a small boat.

You can take bicycles and motorbikes on the ferries and bicycles on the roofs of smaller vessels but tuk tuks won’t take the ferries as the embankment at Kompong Leaeng is too steep for them to get up.

Departure times are identical from both terminals: 06:30, 08:30, 11:00, 13:30, 15:30, 17:30, and in our experience departures are reasonably punctual. Buy your ticket from the wooden booths by the jetties.

For tour boat information, see our floating village trip information while you’ll also see plenty of Vietnamese taxi boatwomen hanging out around the bamboo bridge and tuk tuk park offering rows on the river for a few dollars. A 15-minute paddle up and down the river would provide excellent views of the waterfront and Phsar Krom. Prices depend on how long you want to stay on the boat, but $5 for a short paddle is ample.

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Other

The shared taxi rank is in the petrol station forecourt, though if you want a seat in one it’s easier to ask your reception to call and they’ll pick you up at your hotel or guesthouse. Plenty of Toyotas head down to Phnom Penh, with occasional ones doing the run up to Battambang. For the two-hour drive to the capital, price is $5 per person, or $30 for the whole vehicle. For Battambang it's $15 and $90 respectively.

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Getting around

All of the town’s accommodation, sights and restaurants are within easy cycling distance of each other, though heading down hectic Route 5 after dark with no lights on your bike could justify a tuk tuk ride. Most guesthouses can dig you up a bike and some offer motorbikes, while other options include motodops and tuk tuks. Any ride within town shouldn’t cost more than a couple of bucks while daily rental rates we saw were $1 for a bicycle and between $5 and $10 for a moto.

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Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after Kompong Chhnang? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Cambodia.


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