Almost every bus running between Siem Reap and Phnom Penh stops in Kompong Thom, so your options for bus companies and times are virtually endless. GST and Sorya, companies with adjacent stations near Psar Thmei in Phnom Penh, have the most departure times, starting at 06:45 and departing all day and including night buses. Giant Ibis is the most luxurious. Kompong Thom is also the departure point for buses and minivans north to Preah Vihear.
For reasons best known to themselves, no travel agent will sell you a ticket to Kompong Thom from either Siem Reap or Phnom Penh so you will have to pay a full fare even if you get out half way. (Well, they will issue a ticket for Kompong Thom, but it’s the same price!) Prices range from $5.50 up to $12 or $15, depending on which company you use and how much commission the agent is charging. Smaller, 15-seater vans are somewhat faster and usually cost about $10 to $12. These can be bone-rattlers, especially if you’re coming from Phnom Penh.
Note that since all buses start in either Siem Reap or Phnom Penh (only shared taxis actually depart from Kompong Thom itself), many of these buses may be full when they reach half way. That doesn’t mean they won’t sell you a ticket anyway, but it means you may get another passenger on your lap or a seat on the floor. For this reason it’s risky to just flag a passing bus down and it is probably worth paying the commission to get a ticket.
Sample departure times and prices include:
Kratie: 09:00 costing $10
Kompong Cham: 10:00 costing $5
Preah Vihear: 10:30 costing $5
Phnom Penh: 09:00, 10:30, 15:00 costing $5
Siem Reap: 10:30 12:30 13:00 costing $5
Most transport around Kompong Thom is by moto-dop or tuk tuk. A herd of drivers hangs out in front of Arunras and outside Kompong Thom market. Tuk Tuks will ask for $15 to Sambor Prei Kuk and $12 to Phnom Santuk (return trip, including waiting time).
Motorbikes can be hired from Mr Imsokhom (T: (012) 691 527, email: firstname.lastname@example.org ) who speaks excellent English and is also a very knowledgable guide.