Getting there & away
The road linking Siem Reap to Phnom Penh is now surfaced all the way, and air-con buses thunder up and down daily. The road west to Sisophon, Thailand and Battambang is in a messy state in places, but is finally being overhauled. It is served by some buses and plenty of share taxis.
There are several companies operating buses between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, and services depart between 6.30am and 12.30pm. The average cost of a bus ticket is US$5, depending on the company. Tickets can be bought at guesthouses or ticket booths in town. Leading companies include Capitol Transport (963883), GST (012 888981; Sivatha St), Neak Krohorm (964924) near Psar Chaa, and Sorya Transport (760103). Mekong Express (963662; Central Market; US$9) and Paramount Angkor Express (963662; Tep Vong St; US$8) both offer a slightly more upmarket service with an in-drive hostess and a snack. All buses now arrive and depart from the bus station and taxi park, about one kilometre east of Psar Leu on NH6 towards Phnom Penh. Watch out for over-eager moto and remorque drivers on arrival at Siem Reap bus station; it’s like stepping off the bus and into a rugby scrum.
Share taxis are a faster way to travel between Siem Reap and the capital. They usually cover the distance in just four hours and charge about US$7 per person or US$45 for the whole car.
The 152km run to Thailand can take as little as three hours, but in the wet season you should double that and add some more on an off day. Buses through to Bangkok cost about US$10 to US$12 and can take from 10 to 14 hours. It is faster to go your own way. Share taxis run to Poipet (US$6 per seat, US$40 for the car, three to four hours) for those travelling independently, or to Sisophon (US$4), for connections to Battambang.
Share taxis and pick-ups depart from the taxi park about 3km out of town on NH6 towards Phnom Penh.
There are daily express boat services between Siem Reap and Phnom Penh (US$20 to US$25, five to six hours) or Battambang (US$15, three to eight hours depending on the season). The boat to Phnom Penh is a bit of a rip-off these days, given it is just as fast by road and about one-quarter the price. The Battambang trip is seriously scenic, but breakdowns are very common.
Boats from Siem Reap leave from the floating village of Chong Kneas near Phnom Krom, 11km south of Siem Reap. The boats dock in different places at different times of the year; when the lake recedes in the dry season, both the port and floating village move with it. A Korean company is currently building an all-weather road and, somewhat incongruously, a marina.
Most of the guesthouses in town sell boat tickets. Buying the ticket from a guesthouse usually includes a moto or minibus ride to the port. Otherwise, a moto out here costs about US$1 to US$2, a remorque-moto about US$4. A taxi is more like US$10.
There are direct international flights to Bangkok in Thailand; Vientiane, Luang Prabang and Pakse in Laos; Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) and Hanoi in Vietnam; Hong Kong; Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia; Kunming in China; Seoul in South Korea; Singapore; and Taipei in Taiwan.
Domestic links are currently limited to Phnom Penh and only Siem Reap Airways (US$75/120 one way/return) currently offers this route. Demand for the limited number of flights is high during peak season, so book as far in advance as possible. There were flights to Sihanoukville for a short time and these may well resume some time soon.
Airline offices around town:
Angkor Airways (964166; www.angkorairways.com; Achar Mean St)
Bangkok Airways (380191; www.bangkokair.com; Airport Rd)
China Eastern Airlines (965229; www.ce-air.com; Tep Vong St)
Jetstar Asia (964388; www.jetstarasia.com; Siem Reap Airport)
Lao Airlines (963283; www.laos-airlines.com) Behind Center Market.
Malaysia Airlines (964135; www.malaysia-airlines.com; Siem Reap Airport)
Siem Reap Airways (380191; www.siemreapairways.com; Airport Rd)
Vietnam Airlines (964488; www.vietnamairlines.com; Airport Rd)