Phnom Penh to Siem Reap

Phnom Penh to Siem Reap

Phnom Penh to Siem Reap

When I am planning my trip, I ensure I am well informed on how to get around. As I was planning to visit Cambodia, I came across one place Siem Reap. However, it seemed to be far away from the city Phnom Penh. Phnom Penh to Siem Reap seemed a long journey, but after my further research, I came across very reliable means to use and get there.

My research findings have prompted me to write this post to share with you how to get from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap. Besides, I will tell you the top things to do in Siem Reap.

Phnom Penh to Siem reap night bus

The path between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap offers a glimpse into Cambodian country life as it speeds past rice paddies, traditional wooden homes, and lazily grazing water buffalo and cows on the side of the road.

The views from a full-size bus are best appreciated as the mini-buses are more crowded and have smaller windows. If you’re getting carsick, the train is a better option because it’s a little faster and much less bumpy.

In Between Siem Reap and Phnom Penh, there are hundreds of bus companies providing service. Many are old, overcrowded, making dozens of stops and frequently breaking down (but they’re cheap, running around $6 or $7).

The more expensive ones are providing a much smoother ride and additional facilities.


Phnom Penh to Siem reap by Giant Ibis night bus

Besides offering a safe ride, each seat is fitted with a power socket that accepts regular American, Euro, and UK plugs, and usually works most of them.

The bus is equipped with 4 G WiFi (password: giant ibis). It means that the connection works as long as 4 G coverage is available, which is true for about 60% of the journey.

Be aware that soon after the journey begins, the lights turn out, so if you want to read, you’ll have to bring your lighting.

The air-conditioned buses have onboard a toilet. Overly cautious types like myself bring the former with a sweater and the latter with tissues.

A bottle of water is given to passengers, and each bed comes with a pillow and blanket. You’ll be given a bag when you board the bus to keep your shoes in, so you won’t get the beds dirty.

Between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap there are two Giant Ibis night buses, with slightly different seat configurations. The eleventh hour.

There are 32 beds in Giant Ibis night busses, 15 on the bottom bunk and 17 on top. The beds are not completely flat, but they offer a pretty decent 45-degree angle.

Seat 6-F is next to the toilet and is the least suitable seat on the bus as such. To keep your shoes (and feet) in, each bed has a cubby at the bottom.

There are 30 seats on the bus, 14 on the bottom and 16 on the top.

The only downside is that there are two fewer seats, there is not always a driver’s bed that may end up sleeping in the aisle next to you. There are eight single beds and 11 double bed seats on these buses.

There are no two levels in the buses, but the seats are designed as bunk beds with one on top and one on the bottom. All Giant Ibis night buses are arranged next to each other with one row of two beds and a row of single bunks with an aisle in the center.

The night buses aren’t new, but they’re completely renovated.

As with all buses, the toilets aren’t the most beautiful in the world (if you’re a bigger person you’re going to have a hard time squeezing in), but they’re usually clean at least.

Giant Ibis night bus time table from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap

From Phnom Penh to Siem Reap at 08:45 AM, 09:45 AM, 12:30 PM
From Siem Reap to Phnom Penh at 08:45 AM, 09:45 AM, 12:30 PM

Phnom Penh to Siem Reap
Giant Ibis transport

Phnom Penh to Siem reap by private car or taxi

Taxis between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap are usually between $65 and $100, but on Cambodian holidays they are more expensive.

Private taxis can book online (at surprisingly reasonable rates) in advance. Depending on traffic, the trip takes between 4 and 6 hours and how often you need to stop.

You will get a big SUV taxi when you book online, normally a very spacious Lexus 4. If you book online, you will pay by credit card in advance, and the driver will not have to handle last-minute price changes.

In case you book through a guesthouse or travel agent, Toyota Camrys ‘ cars will almost always fit four passengers as long as they don’t have a lot of luggage.

The trunks are not huge, so it’s going to be a tight squeeze if you have more than one piece per person. A fee will be paid to guesthouses and travel agents.

Until you set off, be sure to confirm the price with the ride, as misunderstandings are rare.

Phnom Penh to Siem Reap by Giant ibis

In 2012, Giant Ibis Transport started operations and offered a variety of services that will attract visitors in particular. Their bus fleet is new, their seats are reclining, they offer free WiFi, power outlets, a bottle of water and a snack, and their workers speak English.

They are also Cambodia’s only full-size bus company offering seat belts.

Best of all, they offer online reservations and seat assignments, removing the 30-odd minutes you will usually have to spend with a Cambodian travel agent when calling the bus company and writing a ticket laboriously.

Giant Ibis buses take off at the new Giant Ibis terminal near Wat Phnom on Street 90 in Phnom Penh and Siem’s main bus station.

It takes about 6 hours to give or take about thirty minutes to travel from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap. It’s a nice way to see the countryside; you’ll see typical Khmer houses, family gardens, rice paddies, duck flocks, and water buffalo being brought home along the way.

The Mekong Express bus

Safety belt equipped in all seats, helpful crews, with charging outlets available in the busses, Mekong Express bus can be also another good choice to travel safety on this route.

Phnom Penh to Siem Reap

Mekong Express buses normally operate with a daily schedule. This company always services all the major destinations in Cambodia, even operates transfers across the border to Vietnam.

All the various choices on this route Phnom Penh to Siem Reap.

Phnom Penh to Siem Reap

Mekong Express has a fairly good reputation among international travelers.

The Bayon VIP minivan

The Bayon VIP-VAN (15 seats) departs from Bayon Phnom Penh office at the following time every day:

07:00 AM
duration 6h
01:00 PM

08:00 AM
duration 6h
02:00 PM

02:00 PM
duration 6h
08:00 PM

03:30 PM
duration 6h 
09:30 PM
The Bayon VIP minivan services.

The pricing of the minivan seat is $ 9.00 to $ 11.00, depending on the seat you would pick.

Bayon VIP minivan

The Bayon VIP fleet is actually composed of Toyota Hiace 15 seaters and also of 20 seaters Mini-Bus, they both offer a reasonably comfortable trip.

The Mekong Express minivan
The Mekong Express minivan. Bayon VIP Minivan

Phnom Penh to Siem reap by flight

Daily flights in between Siem Reap and Phnom Penh are now operating on three airlines. It is the fastest way to travel; if you’re short on time.

Flying is a good option as it takes only 45 to 60 minutes (plus the airport hour, of course). Both domestic flights in Cambodia, however, and there is always a caveat, are unreliable, and you may end up being delayed by several hours (this can be an issue mostly during the low season/rainy season).

Cambodia Angkor Air is the most expensive and national carrier option. It is possible to book flights online or via any travel agent. travel agents can get better deals from time to time, so it’s worth asking.

Read all info in Cambodia Angkor Air website for reservation and tips.

Also, several new airlines are flying once daily from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap (and vice versa) with prices as low as $50.

Phnom Penh to Siem reap boat review

In the past, when Cambodia’s road is in terrible condition, local tourists like to use travel by boat from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap and back from Siem Reap to and from Battambang. Because Route 6 and Route 5 have been restored, local tourists would like to ride to buy buses because it is less costly.

So it keeps Angkor Express boat linking Siem Reap, Phnom Penh and Battambang for foreign visitors traveling for their water life and culture experience. Cruising along the Tonle Sap Lake is good to enjoy the environment and beauty of Tonle Sap Lake.

The port of Siem Reap in Chong Kneas was designed to build the port for a short tourist trip from Siem Reap as well as a long trip from Siem Reap Phnom Penh and Battambang to establish tourism in Cambodia and boost the boat trip.

Road connections from Siem Reap to Tonle Sap port are being refurbished, making it easy to travel from Siem Reap to port and easy to get to Angkor Express.

If  Tonle Sap Lake Water is too small, Angkor Express Boat ceases operating their Siem Reap Phnom Penh services. Mostly from March to July and from August to February start operation. But at any time of the year, tourists can fly from Siem Reap to Battambang.

Angkor Express Boat services are offering serves from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh; Siem Reap to Battambang and return by express boat across Tonle Sap Lake.

The trip will take 6 hours from 7:30 a.m.7:30 a.m. to 13:30 p.m 13:30 p.m.

Phnom Penh to Siem reap by luxury boat

For our luxury ship “Sat Toung,” Phocea Mekong cruises can make you travel several months a year from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh thanks to its very low draft.

In fact, from July to the end of January, i.e. for about 7 months, the Sat Toung, a traditional and luxury boat, is capable of navigating in just 1 meter of water, while the other boats are capable of making only one or two rotations in the year, in reality, none of them. Then the journey ends in a fast boat or train.

The Sat Toung disembarks its passengers even during the dry season at Chnok Tru, just at the entrance to Tonle Sap Lake, where the others arrive at Kompong Chhnang or even Oudong!

Phnom Penh to Siem Reap by Ferry

Ferries run in between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap between July and March (they usually do not run at low water levels during the dry season).

Most passengers choose to sit at the top of the boat (thus bringing sunblock) and watch the countryside pass.

Travel is best when water levels are high during the wet season. For the most part, the boats are not as safe as what you would find at home, and the company that had life jackets has stopped operations temporarily.

That is why we are not recommending this option at the moment.

Phnom Penh to Siem Reap

Things not to miss in Siem Reap

Siem Reap is a unique blend of splendor as well as full of culture, a city that every year receives millions of visitors and a gateway to one of the world’s wonders, Angkor Wat.

See also

Angkor’s temples, being one of Asia’s most popular attractions, make Siem Reap a popular destination. In Siem Reap there are many activities or things you can do, but here are the top 5 things you shouldn’t miss in Siem Reap:

Tour to Angkor Wat

Magical, mysterious and fascinating, Angkor Wat is one of those places on the bucket list that every human should experience before they die.

Here’s the largest Buddhist temple on earth that took 30 years to build over 208 hectares (500 acres) during the 12th century (113-5BC).
Angkor Wat is said to have been built for King Suryavarman II as a funeral temple.

You will obtain an architectural glimpse of a world long forgotten as you walk through one of the lost cultures of history, ascend marble stairs and duck through stone-structured archways.

It is highly recommended that you get an English-speaking guide to walk with you from temple to temple explaining each and it’s intended as you walk. Such guides can be found freelancing at the temple entrance, or you can go on a structured tour that provides 1-day, 3-day, and even 1-week tours to cover as much ground as you like.

Dirt bike riding

if you’re looking for a half-day tour on Siem Reap’s red dirt tracks, or want to go on a 2-day all-or 7-day dirt bike trip through Cambodia, there are plenty of tours available that can make it happen.

There are tours such as the 1-day trip to Phnom Kulen, a sacred mountain with hidden waterfalls, lush jungle forest, and long stretches of open dirt road to tear up, as well as tours such as the 6-day excursion which takes you around the country in a huge loop and includes lodging and food.

The bikes are finely tuned, completely gassed and ready to be your companion in Cambodia with adrenaline pumping.

Siem Reap Old market

Get the local experience in the Old Market, or as local people call it “Psar Chaa.” Built-in the 1920s, this is where Siem Reap residents come for home-cooked meals to get their produce, grains, and meat.

The market is divided into small sections that sell various goods. Go to the fruit section where you can get organic fruits such as mangosteens and dragon fruits at local prices, walk down the dim meat streets where you can find freshly made sausages hanging on strings, or walk through the rows of vendors sitting on straw floor mats selling dried seafood.

Cambodia Landmine Museum

Decades have passed since the Vietnam War, and the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia Landmine Museum, but life-threatening reminders remain hidden in Cambodia’s fields; 6 million to be exact reminders.

The Cambodia Landmine Museum in Siem Reap’s best place to educate yourself about who, where, and why about Cambodia’s landmines.

Besides a history lesson and an up-to-date update on the landmine situation, you will all be able to see up close some active and exploded landmines. You will hear how it has impacted local people and see what efforts are being made to eliminate these hidden dangers from the area.

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