En Route 🚍✈️🚖 Phnom Penh to Siem Reap, Cambodia

  • 0
En Route 🚍✈️🚖 Phnom Penh to Siem Reap, Cambodia

En Route 🚍✈️🚖 Phnom Penh to Siem Reap, Cambodia

Welcome to the bustling heart of Cambodia!  As avid travelers, we appreciate the excitement and thrill of exploring new destinations. In this article, we embark on a journey through Cambodia’s vibrant landscape, focusing on travel between two of its most visited cities: Phnom Penh and Siem Reap.

Join us as we uncover the different transportation options, hidden gems along the way, and insider tips for a hassle-free adventure.



Your Transportation Options

When researching our journey between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, we discovered a spectrum of transportation options tailored to every traveler’s preference.

These include comfortable public coaches offering panoramic views, private taxis affording flexibility, and the swift convenience of domestic flights. With these and other less conventional travel options, the diverse landscapes and cultural richness of Cambodia has never been more accessible.

Travelling by Bus? Try Giant ibis!

Traveling by bus is one of the most convenient and budget-friendly options for navigating between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. Several reputable companies offer daily services, ensuring a smooth journey with comfortable seating and air-conditioned coaches.

With multiple departures throughout the day, you have the flexibility to choose a schedule that best suits your itinerary.

Reputable bus companies include Giant Ibis, Mekong Express, and Virak Buntham.

Book Phnom Penh to Siem Reap

The journey between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap typically takes around 6-7 hours, depending on traffic and road conditions.

Smaller vans or mini-buses also ply this route, offering a quicker but potentially less comfortable ride compared to larger buses. They may stop more frequently and be less spacious.

Based on many positive online reviews and an accessible online booking system, we decided to go with Giant Ibis.

The Giant Ibis Bus Station, Phnom Penh

The Giant Ibis Bus Station, Phnom Penh

Giant Ibis Bus Schedules and Tickets

To ensure our seats, we booked our tickets online around 4 days before departure. For this, we paid $18 per person for a one-way trip, and could choose where to sit on the bus.

From Phnom Penh and Siem Reap there are 4 buses per day as well as a night bus. We chose a morning departure so that we would arrive in Siem Reap while it was still daylight.

The Giant Ibis Bus Station, Phnom Penh

We used Grab, the Asian alternative to Uber or Bolt, to book a taxi to the Giant Ibis bus station.

This cost us 16,000 riel ($4) from our central hotel at the Aquarius Hotel & Urban Resort. The journey took us 15-20 mins (there’s lots of morning traffic and lights).

Giant Ibis offer a shuttle service that will pick you up for free if you’re staying in one of their partner hotels. They pick guests up in minibuses and take them to their central bus station.

Other recommended centrally-located hotels include the following:

  • The White Mansion is a more up-market hotel with room rates starting from $84. If you’re planning to travel by bus from Phnom Penh to another city in Cambodia, then the Giant Ibis bus company will pick you up from this hotel and take you to their central bus station at no extra charge.
  • The Mad Monkey is a more budget-friendly hotel, with dormitory rates starting at $6. You can also get a free pick-up from this hotel by Giant Ibis.

All Hotels in Phnom Penh

Our Giant Ibis Journey

As promised, the journey took us around 6 hours including 2 short breaks. This is a very comfortable and stress-free way to travel. During the 2 stops you have time to eat a meal and enjoy the views over the paddy fields.

The bus has comfortable reclinable seats, useable WIFI, and you even get a complimentary sandwich and bottle of water.

Why would you want to take a flight?

Arrival in Siem Reap

You arrive in Siam Reap at the Giant Ibis terminal, which is very close (walkable) to the center of town. Of course, there are plenty of tuk-tuk drivers waiting to offer you a ride.

Just remember, the standard tuk-tuk fare (to most places around town) is $2. As a new arrival from the bus, they will surely ask you for more than this.


Need Privacy? Hire a Car or Taxi

If you’re seeking a more personalized travel experience, hiring a private car or taxi provides the ultimate convenience and flexibility. Although slightly more expensive than other modes of transportation, this option allows you to customize your itinerary and enjoy the scenic route at your own pace.

Additionally, private transfers offer door-to-door service, eliminating the hassle of navigating public transportation hubs.

Hiring a private taxi or car is a convenient option if you prefer flexibility in your schedule or have a larger budget. You can negotiate the price with local taxi drivers or book through travel agencies. The journey takes approximately 5-6 hours, depending on traffic and road conditions.

Ensure that the vehicle is in good condition and that the driver is reputable.

Share a Minivan

Shared taxis or vans are another option if you’re looking for a balance between comfort and cost-effectiveness. These vehicles typically depart when full and may make stops along the way to pick up or drop off passengers.

The journey duration and comfort level can vary depending on the vehicle and number of passengers.

Try a Minivan & Boat Comb0

Embarking on a journey from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap by boat offers a unique and picturesque experience along the iconic Tonle Sap River and Tonle Sap Lake.

While not as common as other transportation modes, this option provides travelers with a leisurely pace to soak in the breathtaking scenery and observe rural life along the waterways.

Several tour operators offer boat cruises between the two cities, typically taking around 6 to 8 hours, depending on water levels and weather conditions. From the lively capital of Phnom Penh to the majestic temples of Siem Reap, this tranquil voyage promises an unforgettable passage through the heart of Cambodia’s landscapes and culture.

By Train? (…coming soon!)

At the current time there is no train line from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap.

However, the exciting news for travelers is that Cambodia’s railway network is undergoing extensive renovations, and Royal Railways of Cambodia is planning to construct a new railway between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap – to connect with Poipet on the border with Thailand.

This has the long term goal of facilitating direct train services from Bangkok to Phnom Penh via Siem Reap.

Once operational, the train will offer a unique and leisurely way to traverse the country, showcasing breathtaking views of rural Cambodia along the way.

Keep an eye out for updates on this eagerly anticipated mode of transport!

Phnom Penh and Siem Reap - Hidden gems along the route

Hidden gems along the route

By Air using Domestic Flights

While not as frequent as ground transportation, domestic flights between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap are available. Several local airlines, such as Cambodia Angkor Air and Lanmei Airlines, operate flights between the two cities.

The flight duration is around 1 hour, making it the fastest option, but it’s obviously more expensive than other modes of transportation.

Fly Phnom Penh to Siem Reap

En Route: Hidden Gems & Attractions

Kampong Thom

Situated approximately halfway between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, Kampong Thom is a charming town brimming with cultural and historical significance.

Here, you can take a break from your journey to explore the ancient temples of Sambor Prei Kuk, a UNESCO World Heritage site dating back to the 7th century. Additionally, the tranquil atmosphere and lush countryside provide the perfect backdrop for a leisurely stroll or picnic.

Skuon (Spider Village)

If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, a detour to Skuon provides a really unforgettable experience. Known colloquially as “Spider Village,” this unique destination offers visitors the opportunity to sample an array of exotic delicacies, including fried tarantulas and other insects.

While not for the faint of heart, tasting these local specialties provides a glimpse into Cambodia’s rich culinary heritage.

Tonlé Sap Lake

As you approach Siem Reap, don’t miss the chance to visit Tonlé Sap Lake, Southeast Asia’s largest freshwater lake. Home to floating villages and diverse wildlife, this natural wonder offers a captivating glimpse into traditional Cambodian life.

Here you can embark on a boat tour to navigate the tranquil waters and witness the vibrant culture that thrives along the shores.

Where to Stay in Siem Reap

We have a separate article coming up on quality accommodation in Siem Reap in the next few weeks.

If you’re looking to choose somewhere right now, you won’t go far wrong by choosing the Mane Colonial, along Street 60, just north of Siem Reap’s central area.

All Hotels in Siem Reap

Tips for a Seamless Journey

Plan Ahead

To ensure a stress-free travel experience, we recommend booking transportation tickets in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons. This allows you to choose your seats, secure preferred departure times and avoid last-minute hassles.

Stay Hydrated and Energized

Long journeys can be tiring, so be sure to pack plenty of water and snacks to keep you hydrated and energized along the way. Additionally, take breaks at rest stops to stretch your legs and rejuvenate before continuing your journey.

Embrace the Unexpected

One of the joys of travel is embracing the unexpected moments and serendipitous encounters that arise along the way. Don’t be afraid to veer off the beaten path and explore hidden gems that may not be found in guidebooks.

Most importantly – Enjoy your trip!

Before finalizing your transportation choice, consider factors such as budget, comfort, travel time, and personal preferences.

Additionally, always check the latest travel advisories and road conditions before embarking on your journey, especially during the rainy season when road conditions may deteriorate.

Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or embarking on your first expedition, we hope our experiences have provided useful insights for navigating the vibrant landscape of Cambodia with ease and confidence. So until next time, happy travels!

Get Our Newsletter!

… with discounted hotel deals & cost-saving travel itineraries
(no spam, we promise 😇)

If you enjoyed En Route 🚍✈️🚖 to Siem Reap, take a look at our other Tropical Travel Plans. You may also like:

Tell us what you think

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Search Our Destinations


Roam the globe with us!


Essentials for the Plane


Tropical Travel Plans