How to get from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap

Most visitors to Cambodia will focus their stay in the capital city of Phnom Penh and in Siem Reap as a base to visit the famous Angkor Wat.

We visited Cambodia in early April during the Khmer New Year when all Cambodians were rushing to leave the capital and return to their home towns.

The crazy traffic from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap
The crazy traffic from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap as people rush to get home in time for the Khmer New Years holiday week

Here are the various options we discovered for travelling from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap.

#1 Bus from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap

The bus is probably the cheapest way to travel in Cambodia. However, finding a good, reliable company is not easy. Most private vans will have crazy drivers, so because of this we do not recommend them. The road between Phnom penh and Siem reap is still being built and is not a smooth rode, so with a careless driver, this is dangerous.

We found the Mekong Express and Giant Ibis to be reliable companies. They usually have larger (and newer) buses and more sane drivers.

  • Tickets from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap will sell at around £10 / $15. Buses are comfortable and have air-con (whether you choose Giant ibis or Mekong Express).
  • Tickets are easy to book online and pick up from your hotel can be arranged.
  • Giant Ibis is newer and has better online reviews. We used them to return to Phnom Penh from Siem Reap and they were professional, quick and have WIFI and air conditioning.
  • The journey takes around 5-7 hours taking into account traffic. This will decrease a lot once the new road is completed.
  • There are several stops for toilet breaks and one for lunch.
  • There are over night options available, but after reading how dangerous these are, we decided to travel by day only. The larger public buses are around £3 / $5 cheaper, but are slower and not as comfortable.
Giant Ibis mini bus
A giant Ibis mini bus

#2 Taxi from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap

  • We visited Cambodia during the busy Khmer New Year period in mid April. This was a very busy time because everyone was rushing to leave the capital city to return to their home time for the holiday.
  • As a result the Giant Ibis tickets were sold out. We were a group of 4 and were able to justify splitting the cost of a taxi to take us there which was £90 / $140 (so £23 / $35 per person).
  • Outside of this busy holiday season, you should be able to book a taxi for around £45 / $70.
Sebastien sleeping in our taxi
Sebastien sleeping in our taxi from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap

#3 Airplane from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap

  • Cambodian Airlines flies several times each way, taking 45 minutes.
  • It's not the cheapest for budget travellers (around £80 / $125), but good for those limited with time.
Sebastien's revenge
Sebastien's revenge on our Air Asia flight from Bangkok to Phnom Penh

You can read more about our experiences discovering food in Cambodia and watch our Cambodia travel video.

 

OUR FAVOURITE TRAVEL TIPS

⭐️ TRAVEL INSURANCE — We recommend you always take out travel insurance before your next vacation. What happens if you suffer from illness, injury, theft or a cancellation? With travel insurance, you can have peace of mind and not worry. We love World Nomads travel insurance and have been using it for years. Their comprehensive coverage is second to none and their online claims process is very user friendly.

⭐️ SAFETY & SECURITY — All travelers can sometimes encounter danger when traveling. CloseCircle is your “virtual body guard” mobile app which provides security alerts and support wherever you are in the world. They have a 24/7 emergency response team monitoring their users who will contact you immediately if the SOS swipe button is activated. Support can include anything from practical advice, to free evacuation from areas with extreme weather or security risks. You can read more about CloseCircle in our article about how to stay safe whilst traveling.

⭐️ ONLINE ANONYMITY — A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a must in many countries: it allows you to surf anonymously and maintain your privacy whilst traveling. You'll particularly need it in countries where dating apps are blocked by the government. We recommend ExpressVPN, a reliable and cost effective service which we used and loved during our travels.

⭐️ HOTELS or APARTMENTS — When we plan a trip, we always look for the best hotel deals. We love Booking.com because not only do they have a comprehensive listing of accommodation options, they also offer the best prices. Added bonus: they provide 24/7 support and free cancellation for most listings.

⭐️ SIGHTSEEING and ADVENTURES — When we travel somewhere, we like to seek out the best experiences, whether it is cooking with locals in Bangkok, hiking on a glacier in Patagonia, or going on a wildlife safari in Sri Lanka. Our favorite place to look is GetYourGuide because they have over 30,000 highly rated activities, a user-friendly booking process with free cancellation and a 24 hour customer support.

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About the author

Hi there! We are Stefan and Sebastien, Greek/French couple behind the travel blog Nomadic Boys. Since we met in 2009, we have been travelling all around the world together, visiting over 100 countries.

Our mission is to inspire you, the gay traveller, and show you that you can visit more places in the world than you thought possible, by providing a first-hand account of our travel adventures, to help you plan a fun and safe trip.

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4 thoughts on “How to get from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap”

  1. Hi.

    I’m Cottnie from the Philippines. Ever since I started traveling, I always go solo. I also do a lot of research before I go on a trip. This time I’m somehow confused. I am hoping you could share some recommendations on things I should do in Cambodia and Vietnam.

    I booked a one way ticket to Ho Chi Minh on the 21st of October and the arrival is late at night. Since I made a room reservation at a hotel in the city, I am planning to just take a cab or Grab/Uber if they have. I have 4 days to spend in the city before I go to Cambodia on the 25th. I have planned to stay 5 days in Siem Reap (or maybe stay a night in PP) before I go to Malaysia on the 29th.

    Hope to hear from you!

    Regard,
    Cottnie

    • Hi Cottnie, depending on your time, I’d go to HCMC in Vietnam and travel north to Hanoi for Halong Bay visiting Hue and Hoi An. We loved Phnom Penh and Siem Reap and visited Sihanoukville for beach time. You’re gonna have an amazing time and we found it very safe speaking to other solo female travellers 🙂

  2. thank you bro for your new informations..
    i compare the flight ticket of september with Khmers new year and its 4 time cheaper!
    so i think its better to choose other months for Cambodia.
    tnx again;)

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