Getting there & away
Battambang is 290km from Phnom Penh along the heavily trafficked NH5. Travelling after dark is best avoided for safety reasons. Boat and bus tickets can be arranged through hotels and guesthouses.
NH57 to Pailin (80km) is still sometimes referred to by locals as NH10.
Half-a-dozen bus companies have offices and stops on or near NH5, most of them west of the river. All serve Phnom Penh (US$4, five hours), Pursat (US$2.50 or US$3, two hours), Sisophon (US$2, one hour) and Poipet (US$4, three hours). Booking through a hotel may incur a US$1 commission.
Phnom Penh Sorya (092 181804; NH5) Situated 100m east of the bridge.
At the taxi station (NH5), share taxis to Poipet (US$5), Sisophon (100B or US$3) and Siem Reap (250B or US$6) leave from the north side while taxis to Pursat (15, 000r) and Phnom Penh (25, 000r) leave from the southeast corner. Pickups to Sisophon (100B in the front seat, 60B out back) stop nearby.
A private taxi to Phnom Penh costs US$38.
The boat to Siem Reap (US$18-20, daily at 7am), arguably Cambodia’s most spectacular boat journey, follows narrow waterways, scrapes marshland trees and passes through protected wetlands – a birdwatcher’s paradise – but can take anywhere from five to nine or more hours, depending on the water level. Run by Angkor Express (012 601287) and Chann Na (012 354344), boats have room for 25 to 40 people.
In the dry season, passengers sometimes have to be driven to a navigable section of the river. It’s possible to arrange to get off at the Prek Toal Bird Sanctuary and then be picked up there the next day (US$5 extra).