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Air

Many international air services operate to/from Phnom Penh International Airport. Domestically, there are now several airlines connecting Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. Cambodia Angkor Air flies four to six times daily to Siem Reap (from US$35 to US$110 one way, 30 minutes), while Bassaka Air, JC Airlines (www.jcairline.com) and Cambodia Bayon Airlines have at least one flight a day, from US$20 to US$75 one way. Healthy competition has really driven down prices recently, so it pays to book ahead for special promotions.

Phnom Penh International Airport

Phnom Penh International Airport is 7km west of central Phnom Penh, via Russian Confederation Blvd. Facilities include free wi-fi, a host of internationally recognisable cafes and restaurants and some decent handicraft outlets for last-minute purchases. There are also ATMs for US dollars withdrawals on arrival or departure.

Transport Options

When arriving by air at Phnom Penh International Airport, there is an official booth outside the airport arrivals area to arrange taxis to the centre for US$12; a remork-moto (tuk tuk) costs a flat US$9. You can get a remork for US$5 to US$7 and a moto (motorcycle taxi) for about US$3 if you exit the airport and arrange one on the street.

The cheapest option to the city is the Bus No 3 (1500r) which has a stop right outside the airport and runs to the Night Market and riverfront. It can be slow with 20 or more stops along the way, but then so can taxis with all the traffic.

Heading to the airport from central Phnom Penh, a taxi/remork/moto will cost about US$10/6/3. The journey usually takes between 30 minutes and one hour depending on the traffic, but can take up to 90 minutes during rush hour.

Boat

Fast boats up the Tonlé Sap to Siem Reap and down the Mekong to Chau Doc in Vietnam operate from the tourist-boat dock at the eastern end of St 104. There are no public boat services up the Mekong to Kompong Cham and Kratie.

The fast boats to Siem Reap (US$35, five to six hours) aren’t as popular as they used to be. When it costs from as little as US$6 for an air-conditioned bus or US$35 to be bundled on the roof of a boat, it's not hard to see why. It is better to save your boat experience for elsewhere in Cambodia. Several companies have daily services departing at 7am and usually take it in turns to make the run. The first stretch of the journey along the river is scenic, but once the boat hits the lake, the fun is over: it's a vast inland sea with not a village in sight. The boats to Siem Reap run from roughly August through March (water levels are too low at other times), but do not necessarily depart daily, so plan ahead.

Phnom Penh to Chau Doc

The most scenic way to end your travels in Cambodia is to sail the Mekong to Kaam Samnor (about 100km south-southeast of Phnom Penh), cross the border to Vinh Xuong in Vietnam, and proceed to Chau Doc overland or on the Tonlé Bassac River via a small channel. Chau Doc has onward land and river connections to points in the Mekong Delta and elsewhere in Vietnam.

Various companies do trips all the way through to Chau Doc using a single boat or some combination of bus and boat; prices vary according to speed and level of service. Capitol Tour departs Phnom Penh at 7.30am and involves a bus transfer; the trip is about six to seven hours. Hang Chau departs from the tourist-boat dock at 12.30pm and the entire journey is by boat; the more upmarket and slightly faster Blue Cruiser departs at 1.30pm; Victoria Chau Doc Hotel also has a boat making several runs a week between Phnom Penh and its Victoria Chau Doc Hotel. These companies take about four hours, including a slow border check, and use a single boat to Chau Doc. Backpacker guesthouses and tour companies offer cheaper bus/boat combo trips. All boats depart from Phnom Penh's tourist-boat dock.

Some nationalities require a Vietnam visa in advance and some do not require a visa. Check with the Vietnamese Embassy in Phnom Penh to see if you need a visa or not, as visas are not available on arrival. If arriving from Vietnam, Cambodia visas are available on arrival.

Bus

All major towns in Cambodia are accessible by air-conditioned bus from Phnom Penh. Most buses leave from company offices, which are generally clustered around Psar Thmei or located near the corner of St 106 and Sisowath Quay. Buying tickets in advance is a good idea for peace of mind, although it’s not always necessary.

Not all buses are created equal, or priced the same. Buses run by Capitol Tour and Phnom Penh Sorya are usually among the cheapest, while Giant Ibis and Mekong Express buses are better and pricier.

Most of the long-distance buses drop off and pick up in major towns along the way, such as Kompong Thom en route to Siem Reap, Pursat on the way to Battambang, or Kompong Cham en route to Kratie. However, full fare is usually charged anyway.

Express minivans are generally faster than buses on most routes, but some travellers prefer the size and space of a large bus.

To book bus tickets online, visit www.camboticket.com.

Capitol Tour Cheap buses to popular destinations such as Siem Reap, Sihanoukville and Battambang.

Giant Ibis 'VIP' bus and express-van specialist. Big bus to Siem Reap has plenty of legroom and wi-fi. A portion of profits goes towards giant ibis conservation.

GST Buses nationwide.

Long Phuong Buses to Ho Chi Minh City.

Mekong Express VIP buses to Ho Chi Minh City, plus Siem Reap and Sihanoukville.

Phnom Penh Sorya Bus services all over the country.

Sapaco Buses to Ho Chi Minh City.

Virak Buntham Night-bus specialist with services to Siem Reap, Sihanoukville and Koh Kong.

Bus Departures from Phnom Penh

Ban Lung

Duration (hr)

11

Cost (US$)

12

Companies

PP Sorya

Frequency

6.45am

Bangkok

Duration (hr)

12

Cost (US$)

18-23

Companies

Mekong Express, PP Sorya, Virak Buntham

Frequency

1 daily

Battambang (day)

Duration (hr)

5-6

Cost (US$)

5-6

Companies

GST, PP Sorya

Frequency

frequent

Battambang (night)

Duration (hr)

6

Cost (US$)

8-10

Companies

Virak Buntham

Frequency

4 per night

Ho Chi Minh City

Duration (hr)

7

Cost (US$)

8-13

Companies

Capitol Tour, Long Phuong, Mekong Express, PP Sorya, Sapaco, Virak Buntham (night bus)

Frequency

frequent

Kampot (direct)

Duration (hr)

3

Cost (US$)

5-6

Companies

Capitol Tour

Frequency

2 daily

Kampot (via Kep)

Duration (hr)

4

Cost (US$)

6

Companies

PP Sorya

Frequency

7.30am, 9.30am, 2.45pm

Kep

Duration (hr)

3

Cost (US$)

5

Companies

PP Sorya

Frequency

7.30am, 9.30am, 2.45pm

Koh Kong

Duration (hr)

Cost (US$)

7

Companies

Olympic Express, PP Sorya, Virak Buntham

Frequency

2-3 daily (before noon)

Kompong Cham

Duration (hr)

3

Cost (US$)

5

Companies

PP Sorya; GST

Frequency

hourly to 4pm

Kratie

Duration (hr)

6-8

Cost (US$)

8

Companies

PP Sorya

Frequency

regularly in the morning

Poipet (day)

Duration (hr)

8

Cost (US$)

9-11

Companies

Capitol Tour, PP Sorya

Frequency

frequently to noon

Poipet (night)

Duration (hr)

7

Cost (US$)

10-11

Companies

Virak Buntham

Frequency

at least 1 daily

Preah Vihear City

Duration (hr)

7

Cost (US$)

10

Companies

GST, PP Sorya

Frequency

morning only

Sen Monorom

Duration (hr)

8

Cost (US$)

9

Companies

Minivans only

Frequency

regular

Siem Reap (day)

Duration (hr)

6

Cost (US$)

6-8

Companies

most companies

Frequency

frequent

Siem Reap (VIP)

Duration (hr)

6

Cost (US$)

13-15

Companies

Giant Ibis, Mekong Express

Frequency

regular

Siem Reap (night)

Duration (hr)

6

Cost (US$)

10

Companies

Virak Buntham

Frequency

6pm, 8pm, 11pm, 12.30am

Sihanoukville

Duration (hr)

Cost (US$)

5-6

Companies

Capitol Tour, GST, Mekong Express, PP Sorya, Virak Buntham

Frequency

frequent

Stung Treng

Duration (hr)

9

Cost (US$)

10

Companies

PP Sorya

Frequency

6.45am, 7.30am

Express Minivan

Speedy express minivans (minibuses) with 12 to 14 seats serve popular destinations such as Siem Reap, Sihanoukville and Sen Monorom. These cut travel times significantly, but they tend to be cramped and often travel at very high speeds, so are not for the faint of heart. Several of the big bus companies also run vans, most famously Mekong Express. It's a good idea to book express vans in advance.

Cambodia Post

CTT Net

Golden Bayon Express

Kampot Express

Kim Seng Express

Mey Hong Transport

Olympic Express

Neak Krorhorm

Seila Angkor

Express Minivan Services from Phnom Penh

Battambang

Duration (hr)

Price (US$)

10-12

Companies

Mekong Express, Golden Bayon

Frequency

regular

Kampot

Duration (hr)

2

Price (US$)

8-9

Companies

Giant Ibis, Kampot Express, Olympic Express

Frequency

regular

Kep

Duration (hr)

Price (US$)

8

Companies

Olympic Express

Frequency

7.15am, 1.30pm

Sen Monorom

Duration (hr)

Price (US$)

11

Companies

Kim Seng Express, Virak Buntham

Frequency

regular

Siem Reap

Duration (hr)

5

Price (US$)

10-12

Companies

Golden Bayon, Mekong Express, Mey Hong, Neak Krorhorm, Olympic Express, Seila Angkor, Virak Buntham

Frequency

frequent

Sihanoukville

Duration (hr)

4

Price (US$)

10-12

Companies

CTT Net, Giant Ibis, Golden Bayon, Mekong Express, Mey Hong

Frequency

frequent

Share Taxi

Share taxis and local minibuses leave Phnom Penh for destinations all over the country. Taxis to Kampot, Kep and Takeo leave from Psar Dang Kor, while packed local minibuses and taxis for most other places leave from the northwest corner of Psar Thmei. Vehicles for the Vietnam border leave from Chbah Ampeau taxi park, on the eastern side of Monivong Bridge in the south of town. You may have to wait awhile (possibly until the next day if you arrive in the afternoon) before your vehicle fills up, or pay for the vacant seats yourself.

Share Taxi Charters from Phnom Penh

Battambang

Price (US$)

55

Duration (hr)

Kampot

Price (US$)

35

Duration (hr)

3

Kep

Price (US$)

40

Duration (hr)

3

Koh Kong

Price (US$)

65

Duration (hr)

Kompong Cham

Price (US$)

35

Duration (hr)

Kompong Thom

Price (US$)

45

Duration (hr)

3

Kratie

Price (US$)

50

Duration (hr)

5

Pursat

Price (US$)

45

Duration (hr)

3

Siem Reap

Price (US$)

70

Duration (hr)

5

Sihanoukville

Price (US$)

50

Duration (hr)

4

Takeo

Price (US$)

25

Duration (hr)

2

Vietnam border

Price (US$)

50

Duration (hr)

3

Train

Phnom Penh’s train station is located at the western end of St 106 and St 108, in a grand old colonial-era building. Passenger train services returned to Cambodia in April 2016 with the inauguration of weekend trains from Phnom Penh to Kampot and Sihanoukville. Royal Railways runs trains in either direction, departing Phnom Penh or Sihanoukville at 7am on Saturday and Sunday. Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville is US$7 and takes about nine hours. Phnom Penh to Kampot is US$6 and takes about five hours. There are also evening services on Friday/Saturday/Sunday from Phnom Penh and a morning service from Sihanoukville to Phnom Penh on Monday at 7am.

Border Crossings

Getting to Vietnam: Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh City

Getting to the border The original Bavet/Moc Bai land crossing between Vietnam and Cambodia has seen steady traffic for more than two decades. The easiest way to get to Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC; Saigon) is to catch an international bus (US$8 to US$13, seven hours) from Phnom Penh. There are several companies making this trip.

At the border Long lines entering either country are not uncommon, but otherwise it's straightforward provided you purchase a Vietnamese visa in advance (should you require one).

Moving on If you are not on the international bus, it's not hard to find onward transport to HCMC or elsewhere.