Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (
-   Asia (
-   -   travel between Siem Reap and Phnon Penh (

nanam Oct 28th, 2010 10:11 AM

travel between Siem Reap and Phnon Penh
We are 2 women traveling in Asia next April. We fly into Siem Reap and then plan to visit Phnon Penh before flying to Bangkok. Is it better to travel ground between Siem Reap and Phnon Penh or travel by air? If the travel is better by air, who should we fly with? How long does it take to go by land and is the scenery worth it?
Thanks for your advise

Smeagol Oct 28th, 2010 10:26 AM

well it all depends on what is most precious to you on your holiday. For me it's time so i have chosen to fly, and you will need to fly with Vietnam Airlines (who have the monopoly on this route)
Reading the reviews many people choose the super cheap bus, I think it takes about 6 hours. As i said it's up to you whether its money or time!!

gearsau Oct 28th, 2010 11:02 AM

Approximately 6 Hours by bus, including a lunch stop. Cost seems to be from US $8.00 to US $12.00o

I ended up paying US $12.00 on Paramount buses in July, 2010.

Scotters Oct 28th, 2010 07:25 PM

Flying is certainly the fastest way to go but then you miss seeing some of the Cambodia countryside and small villages. If you fly it will be by Angkor Air ( which is partnered with Vietnam Air whose website you usr to purchase tickets. The cost is around $112

By bus the Mekong Express is also a good busline with comfortable seats and a toliet on board. They will pick you up at your hotel and take you to their station. Cost about $14 and takes 5-6 hrs

Another way is to hire a taxi for the trip at around $50-60 for the whole car. This is a little quicker and gives you the advantage of being able to stop if you should see something interesting.

crellston Oct 29th, 2010 07:00 AM

We have both flown and taken the bus trip. Buses are reasonably comfortable, generally have reasonable toilet facilities. Don't expect too much from the lunch stop (bus station food is pretty awful the world over!). The scenery along the way was pretty unintersting but the major downside however was the incessant Cambodian pop music at high volume throughout the journey (pack some ear plugs!). If you don't mind the extra cost go by air and save the bus trip for somewhere more interesting.

cestgaston Oct 30th, 2010 06:55 AM

Another alternative is the "fast boat"...It really is a fast boat (around 5hrs).
The first part is a bit boring,crossing the lake,but after the boat slows down in the river and you really get to see the river life for 4hrs...
Make sure to sit in the front outside(great picture taking spot) and don't wear anything that could fly away,the boat won't stop...

dogster Oct 30th, 2010 07:38 AM

Elegant ladies of taste and distinction might consider this time well spent:

Karen246 Nov 12th, 2010 03:20 PM

The bus is fun and only costs around $10.00. Take an Ipod and a good book and a sense of humour. Road side stop food is pretty awful but take a walk around and see what you can find. Flying is expensive and you don't get to see a lot but definately will save you time. Try Mekong Express or Sokhra

Jen Nov 12th, 2010 03:39 PM

I took the bus, and loved it. No dramatic scenery, but you go through lots of villages, and will get a taste of rural Cambodian life. I stared out the window the entire time. My trip took 6 1/2 hours, mostly due to construction coming into Phnom Penh. And yes, prepare for 6+ hours of Khmer karaoke. Though I wouldn't trade the experience of hearing "Edelweiss" (yes, from the Sound of Music)translated into Khmer for anything. Trippy.

silverwool Nov 12th, 2010 08:57 PM

Re the food on the bus route, you can always try some exotic local delicacies. Spiders, crickets etc are usually on sale. I quite enjoy the interaction with the locals on bus rides. I've often been the only westerner on bus trips.

offwego Nov 13th, 2010 05:51 PM

scotters where are you finding taxis that cheap?

something to remember when flying is the limited baggage allowance and the lack of overhead space on small planes... you also have to pay a domestic departure tax that you don't have on the bus, a pittance, but a factor.

another thing to weigh when we're talking about "time" is the trips to and from airports, the wait time for the flight, for luggage, etc. You really only save about 2-1/2-3 hours flying.

FWIW, I think the Sok Sokha and the Mekong Express are the best buses, mainly because they actually watch out for your luggage on arrival.

Scotters Nov 13th, 2010 07:17 PM

Offwego - Clients of mine earlier this year took a taxi from SR to PP for $50.I said between 50-60. Has it gone up that much lately.

tacos10 Dec 21st, 2010 09:33 PM

Where do you arrange that taxi? The roads are safe?

silverwool Dec 21st, 2010 11:20 PM

Any hotel or guest house will arrange a taxi. Be careful of 'shared' taxis. They will pack a lot of people in. I'm not sure what you mean by 'safe'. The last time I went by road it was good bitumen all the way. I consider Cambodia a safe country, you are not likely to be held up or anything.

My wife and her sister have been over much of Cambodia on local buses and felt perfectly comfortable at all times.

Clark55 Dec 22nd, 2010 12:08 AM

We did it the other way around and went by minibus and paid
10$ each, it took us just over 4 hours,including a 10 minute toilet stop. Other than us there was an American gentlemen and 5 other local people, when they dropped us off they picked up other people who were going back to Phnon Penh. We thought this was a very good option and would do the same again.

tacos10 Dec 22nd, 2010 07:31 AM

Thank you. Does anyone have any recommendations of what to see or do along the way to Siem Reap? We'll probably want to stop at least once.

emilryser Dec 22nd, 2010 10:29 AM

Shared taxis or provincial taxis are a great way to get from SR to PP and back if you wang to mix with the locals.
You can take the whole backseats for two person it costs 40$ .
For the whole car it's 55$. I enjoyed it always had interesting conversation with other passengers and driver. There's just 2-3 that speak english though because they cater cambodian customers.
Interestingly the cost per passenger is 10$ , front seat is 15$ . Don't accept if they try to put three people in the front it's dangerous as the driver is sharing his seat!
Also it's faster and safer than the bus if you request a toyota camry 1997 and up, this is the safest province taxi car you will get.

emilryser Dec 22nd, 2010 10:35 AM

forgot to mention that the province taxis will drop you off anywhere you like unlike busses that drop you off at the station and from there you need get a tuk tuk or moto (usually they get you!).
don't expect a pleasant experience at these bus stations

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 02:51 PM.