How to get from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap (and vice versa)

These days, there are a couple of easy ways to go from Phnom Penh and Siem Reap and from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh. There are options to fit every budget, but some are nicer than others. Currently the road is in abysmal condition, so if you’re going by land, be prepared for a bumpy ride for about an hour or two of the trip which now takes a total of between 5.5 and 7.5 hours.

Giant Ibis bus

Travel in style with Giant Ibis bus.

Bus

There are dozens of bus companies offering service between Siem Reap and Phnom Penh. Many are old, overcrowded and make dozens of stops (but are cheap, running around $6). The most popular amongst expats was Mekong Express, who are known for their safety record albeit shabby older buses. In 2012 a new company, Giant Ibis, started running buses between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap and have quickly become the new favorite. They offer WiFi and, most recently, power outlets on board. We’ve got a detailed review of Giant Ibis buses from a recent trip, including photos. Both companies take 7 or 7.5 hours and include a stop for food. You can purchase tickets for both companies at nearly any travel agent or guesthouse in both cities, and Giant Ibis also offers online reservations.

Giant Ibis also has a night bus between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap that runs in both directions at 11 p.m. I have a longstanding fear of night buses, but Giant Ibis’ version is as safe and relaxed as one could hope. Read a detailed review of the Giant Ibis night bus.

Tickets cost $12 on Mekong Express for foreigners and $9 for Khmers and $15 on Giant Ibis for all passengers.

Giant Ibis Schedule:
Phnom Penh – Siem Reap: 7:45 a.m., 8:45 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 11:00 p.m.
Siem Reap – Phnom Penh: 7:45 a.m., 8:45 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 11:00 p.m.

Giant Ibis
T: 023 999 333
W: giantibis.com

Ticket offices:
Street 106, Phnom Penh
T: 023 987 808

6A Sivatha Road, Siem Reap
T: 063 768 808

Mekong Express Schedule:

Phnom Penh – Siem Reap: 7:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 14:25 p.m.
Siem Reap – Phnom Penh: 7:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m., 9:45 p.m., 12:30 p.m.

Mekong Express
Booking office outside Orussey Market, Phnom Penh
T: 012 78 78 39; 098 833 399; 023 427 518
Siem Reap T: : 063 963 662; 012 315 858
W: catmekongexpress.com

Plane

Cambodia Angkor Air operate flights between Siem Reap and Phnom Penh five or six times daily. This is the fastest (and most expensive) way to travel; if you’re short on time, flying is the best option because it only takes about 45 minutes. Cambodia Angkor Air is not the most reliable airline in the world, and if a flight is mostly empty, they will bump you to the next flight. In high season, though, flights are usually booked solid. Flights can be booked online or through any travel agent. The cost is $100+ for a one way flight or $200+ for a round trip. Occasionally travel agents can get better deals, so it’s worth asking. Read our full review of Cambodia Angkor Air with booking tips.

Cambodia Angkor Air Schedule:

Phnom Penh – Siem Reap: 6:30 a.m. Wed and Sat only, 8:55 a.m. daily, 11:30 a.m. Wed-Thu-Fri only, 3:10 p.m. Sun-Fri, 3:15 p.m. Wed only, 6:00 p.m. daily

Siem Reap – Phnom Penh: 10:15 a.m. Wed and Thurs only, 4:40 p.m. Sun-Fri, 7:15 p.m. Tu-Wed-Fri-Sat only, 8:00 p.m. daily

Seila Angkor Khmer Express

Seila Angkor’s Ford Transit vans can get you from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap.

Mini-bus

Expats in the know seem to travel by mini-bus, as the trip is significantly shorter than by bus. There are many, many mini bus companies covering this route, but we’ve personally vetted the ones below.

Elephant Express (aka Elephant Expresses Transportation) was recommended to me by a friend who does the Siem Reap to Phnom Penh route often, and swears that Elephant is the safest of all of the mini-bus services between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. I’ve taken them, and agree that they seem relatively safe compared to some of the other companies. They make the trip in between six and six and a half hours, occasionally have WiFi and drive comfortable 16-seat Toyota HiAces. Seats on Elephant Express cost $8 for Khmers and $10 for foreigners. The price includes a tuk tuk pickup at your hotel in Siem Reap or Phnom Penh. Read our full review of Elephant Express here.

Seila Angkor is popular mini-bus company that does the Phnom Penh to Siem Reap route. The trip takes between five and six hours. With the current road conditions, in order to do the trip in five hours the drivers need to take some hair-raising liberties, and occasionally they can drive faster than I’m comfortable with. Most of the time, though, the trip takes six hours and the drivers go at a reasonable pace. Seila Angkor run 16-seat Ford Transit vans, and all seats come with a removable head/neck rest, a small bottle of water and a moist towelette. It’s good to understand the seat setup before you book, because you can reserve seats by number. Read our full review of Seila Angkor mini bus here.

Mey Hong Transport (formerly Apsara) is the most popular company, with comfortable mini buses equipped with seat belts going between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap four times daily. The trip takes a hair-raising 5 hours and costs $10 for tourists and $8 for locals (including expats). The only downside is that the Phnom Penh office is located in Toul Kork, slightly outside central Phnom Penh. You’ll easily get a tuk tuk from the station into town for a couple of bucks, but you’ll save money by walking away from the Mey Hong station and getting a tuk tuk on the street rather than one of the vultures at the station who wait for unsuspecting tourists to price gouge.

Seila Angkor Schedule:

Phnom Penh to Siem Reap: 6:30 a.m., 7:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 12:45 p.m., 2:00 p.m., 3:00 p.m., 4:00 p.m., 5:00 p.m., and 6:00 p.m.

Siem Reap to Phnom Penh: 6:30 a.m., 7:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 12:45 p.m., 2:00 p.m., 3:00 p.m., 4:00 p.m., and 5:00 p.m.

Seila Angkor Khmer Express
#63 National Road 6 (across from Samaki Market), Siem Reap
T: 097 777 7393; 077 888 080

#43Eo, Street 154, Phnom Penh
T: 023 697 1888; 012 766 976; 077 697 672
seilaangkor.com

Elephant Express Schedule:

Phnom Penh to Siem Reap at: 7:00 a.m., 8:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m., 3:00 p.m.

Siem Reap to Phnom Penh at: 7:00 a.m., 8:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m., 3:00 p.m.

Elephant Expresses Transportation
#5 Street 118, Phnom Penh
T: 023 983 133; 012 323 172; 097 888 1149

#18, National Road 6, Phum Bateay Chas, Sangkat Slorkram, Siem Reap
T: 063 963 133; 012 323 175; 011 549 999; 097 888 1139
facebook.com/elephantexpresses

Mey Hong Transport Schedule:

Phnom Penh to Siem Reap: 7:00 a.m., 9:00 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m.

Siem Reap to Phnom Penh: 7:00 a.m., 9:00 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m.

Mey Hong Transport
#213 Street 289, Toul Kork, Phnom Penh
T: 092 411 611; 023 63 72 722

0667 National Road 6, Siem Reap
T: 088 84 11 633; 063 965 979

Taxi

Taxis between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap cost between $65 to 85. If you are catching a taxi directly from the airport, expect to pay more. Private taxis are almost always Toyota Camrys and can fit 4 passengers as long as they don’t have a lot of luggage. The trunks are not huge, so if you’ve got more than one piece per person, it’s going to be a tight squeeze. Private taxis can be hired through any guesthouse or travel agent. Most tuk tuk drivers also have a few taxi-driving friends and relatives, so ask around and you’ll easily find one. Make sure to confirm the price before the trip, as misunderstandings are common (and frustrating). SUV taxis are also available through many travel agents. 5-6 hours.

Mini-van taxi

Mini-van taxis between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap cost between $100 and $180 and can carry up to 15 passengers. If you’ve got more than a couple people and want to give the bus a miss, this is a good option. The vans are usually new and clean, but ask to make sure the one you hire has seat belts. You can hire mini-van taxis in Phnom Penh next to the Landscape Hotel across from the Cambodiana Hotel on Sisoqwath Quay. Van drivers gather there and you can negotiate your own price. Mini-vans can also be booked through any travel agent or hotel, but you’ll get a better price if you go direct. If you aren’t in Phnom Penh, you can call Sopheap Bung. Sopheap works with several other van drivers and can organize the right size van for you. His number is 012 894 155 and the trip takes about 6 hours.

Shared taxi

Another option is a shared taxi. You can get shared taxis from the southwest corner of Central Market (Psar Thmei) in Phnom Penh. The cost is approximately $6-12 per person, and the drivers wait until they have enough customers to fill up the taxi like a sardine can. Although the cars are 5-seater Camrys, most will wait for at least seven passengers (plus the driver) before departing. Offer to pay extra to take the front seat, otherwise you’ll be squeezed in with three or four others in the backseat. The journey takes 5-6 hours.

Boat from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap

The aesthetically unappealing interior of the Phnom Penh boat to Siem Reap.

Boat

Between July and March ferries run between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap (they do not run during the dry season when the water levels are low). Travel is generally best during the wet season when water levels are high. The boats do not meet international safety standards, are run down and are known to break down fairly regularly. That said, it’s a nice way to travel, and you can sit on top and watch the countryside go by (but be sure to wear sun protection!) Tickets cost $35 and leave from the Phnom Penh Port on Sisowath Quay near Street 104 at 7:30 a.m. Depending on the season and water levels, the trip can take between four and eight hours.

82 Responses to How to get from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap (and vice versa)

  1. Pingback: Review: Giant Ibis buses, Phnom Penh-Siem Reap | Move to Cambodia

  2. Mohit Sharma says:

    Hi Lina
    Thanks for the detailed info. It’s really helpful.
    But i have a question, if you can help.
    Can we travel from Phnom Penh (airport) to Siem Reap in night. My flight will land in Phnom Penh around 8pm and i’m planning to go directly to Siem Reap from PP airport. Is it possible? what are the possible modes? Can i get a taxi ? and most importantly is it advisable?
    Thanks

    • Lina says:

      There are night buses or you can take a taxi at night. However, I personally would not take this option as the roads in Cambodia are considerably more dangerous at night and road accidents are common. To be blunt, you couldn’t pay me to get on a night bus here. I’d recommend getting a hotel in Phnom Penh and taking an early morning bus or taxi.

      • Mohit Sharma says:

        Thanks a lot. We managed to get a taxi at night and travelled to Siem Reap over night. The roads are a bit dangerous, but if your driver is good and experienced then nothing to worry. I saw lot of other travellers going in night, even 2 lone girl travellers.

        • Sarah Jane says:

          Thanks Linda for the detailed information! Really helpful in my planning for our trip in Dec!

          How much does taxi-ing cost from the bus station to the airport either way (REP – PP / PP – REP)?

          • Lina says:

            Sorry, I don’t understand. You want to take a taxi from the bus station in Siem Reap to the airport in Phnom Penh or vice versa?

          • Sarah Jane says:

            Yup travel time and cost from the PP bus station to the PP airport. Same for Siem reap as I’m thinking of flying into siem reap and flying home from PP.

          • Lina says:

            PP doesn’t have a central bus station, each bus company has a different location in Phnom Penh. From most locations in Phnom Penh the cost of a tuk tuk to the airport is $5, the cost of a taxi will depend on traffic, etc. but is around double that. From the SR airport into town it’s a flat fee of $7 for a taxi, a tuk tuk is about $5. Add an extra few bucks for the bus station because it’s outside of town. If you’re going from the bus station to the airport, tuk tuks will be your only easy option as they will already be waiting there, so be prepared to bargain.

    • Lina says:

      There’s no online booking as far as I know, you can book at the office on the riverside in Phnom Penh next to Titanic restaurant.

  3. Isa says:

    Hi Lina,
    We are planning to take the boat from SR to PP. Do they make stops in some villages during the 6 hours trip ? If not, what is the best transportation to see the local people and there village ? Thank you so much :))

    • Lina says:

      Hi Isa, the boat does not actually stop in any of the villages, but it does go right by them. So you can get a great view of village life if you sit on the top of the boat. Honestly most (if not all) of the tours that go through the floating villages are very scammy, so seeing them from the boat is a better option.

  4. Joanna says:

    Hi Lisa,
    we are planning to take a boat from SR to PP and we are planning to buy tickets today in SR. Please let us know where we may buy tickets? Is it possible to buy tickets this evening?
    Best Regards, Joanna

    • Lina says:

      Hi Joanna, I haven’t bought tickets in Siem Reap, but I would go talk to any of the many travel agents that are in town. I have had good luck with the one across from Viva (next to Laundry Bar), but they are all pretty much the same. Good luck!

  5. Jamie says:

    Hi Lina,
    Im thinking of travelling from PP to SR during the night.
    Are the bus/taxi fare the same as travelling in the day or do they charge more for travelling at night?

    • Lina says:

      I’d recommend against traveling by bus or taxi at night in Cambodia as this is when many accidents happen. The roads aren’t lit, people often drive really fast, without lights and without enough sleep and there have been several accidents in recent years with night buses.

  6. Bill says:

    Hi Lina,
    Your information is proving very helpful. My friends and I (4 in our group) are planning a trip to Siem Riep at the end of this year. I just have one question, the prices that you have mentioned in your above article are set in what currency?

  7. John says:

    Which company would you recommend for a tall person. I’m almost 2m and legroom is important for me. Me and my gf are goong from sr to pp the day after tomorrow.

    • Lina says:

      Not a lot of great options in terms of legroom. Giant Ibis are fine–it’s better than economy class flight tickets! The other option is to go with a mini-bus and try and reserve one of the single seats. In the reviews for Seila Angkor and Elephant Express I list the seat numbers with the most leg room.

    • Lina says:

      Hey John, I actually just too Giant Ibis again (after posting my last comment) and actually the leg room is pretty good. So I’d book with them, it’s more legroom than the minibuses.

  8. Bernatd says:

    Hi Lina, I’m considering using taxi from PP to SR, however my group including myself is already 5 people, is it possible using taxi ? (because with the driver will be 6 person in one car), thank you.

    • Lina says:

      4 passengers is already a tight squeeze. Talk to a travel agent, you can rent a 10-12 seat minivan. The most comfortable re the Starex models.

  9. Martin says:

    I would never take the front seat because when those vans crash, then you are the first one the window or the first one to get crushed. Sit in the back or preferably take a bus. There are many accidents on Thai and Cambodia roads. Make sure you travel safely. I refuse to take a van anywhere in Cambodia unless it is under 2 Kms If they have any opportunity to speed they will. Travel safe n something big, like a bus. When there is an accident, you are less likely to get hurt, and they happen often.

  10. Martin says:

    The rainy season is also from about May/June until November. Vietnam and Cambodia often get hit by cyclones and bad weather so make sure you have a raincoat. Be sure you do not get caught in a thundershower it is also important to check for big storms before you travel if you can.

  11. Martin says:

    There IS a central bus station in Pnom Penh.I know because I arrived there. I then went walk about and found a hotel. Close to the Riverside and thought it was a good area to stay. We did arrive at 2 am which was a bit harrowing being pestered by Tuks Tuks at 2 am and had no idea where I was going. Many good hotels near h bus station and I booked Giant Ibis from there. Virak Buntham has very bad reputation and should avoid them. I would avoid booking through an agent. You are just never sure what you are getting. Book direct.

    • Lina says:

      There is not a central bus station in Phnom Penh, each bus company has their own offices that they leave from. Mekong Express has an office outside of Oressei Market, Sorya is next to Central Market. If you booked a ticket at the Giant Ibis office near the riverside, there are a couple of other crappy bus companies headquartered on that street, but it’s certainly not a bus station.

  12. Prasun says:

    Hi Lina, it was very nice reading your posts on Cambodia travel. It would help if you could tell us how to break 8 days between SR, PP and Sihanoukville. My family (two boys 13,9) intend to do these places and we need to fly in and out from PP. We would love to spend the most time at the beach.
    Thanx a ton for all the feedback.
    Prasun.

    • Lina says:

      I would stay in PP for a night, head to Sihanoukville the next day by mini-bus and straight to Koh Rong, stay there for 3 days. Back to Sihanoukville and from there, fly to Siem Reap. Siem Reap and the temples for 2-3 days, then fly to Phnom Penh. 8 days isn’t a lot of time, so I’d fly to avoid spending days on the bus.

  13. Debbie says:

    Hi Lina, I am flying to Phnom Penh in the afternoon and flying out from Phnom Penh 5 days later. What is the best itinerary if I want to cover Siem Reap/Angkor Wat? Appreciate your valuable advise.

    • Lina says:

      Hi Debbie, it really depends on what else you want to do and how long you want to spend at Angkor. Many people find that one day at the temples is enough, others want to spend more time. There’s a 1-day pass or a 3-day pass, so decide which you will get and take it from there. I’d fly if you are willing to pay for it, the trip from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap takes about 7 hours. If you can’t fly, take the night bus otherwise you’ll spend two of your precious days on the bus!

  14. JJ says:

    Hi Lina. I’m so appreciative of the information on your site. Would you recommend travelling to SR and PP in June?

    • Lina says:

      Sure! It’s hot, but if that’s the time you can come, there’s no reason not to. It is hot season, of course, but I live here and I travel between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap all the time without any problems. Even when it’s hot. :)

  15. Francis says:

    Hi Lina. we will be coming phnom penh this august 30 and we are a group of 4 pax, what mode of transport would you recommend to us going to siem reap? Many Thanks

    • Francis says:

      we are considering giant ibis bus or taxi going to SR…if taxi where can we find the best and comfortable taxi around phnom penh? Thank you.

      • Lina says:

        You aren’t going to find a comfortable taxi for 4 people. The Camry’s seat 4 people (if they don’t have luggage), but it’s not a particularly comfortable trip depending on how big the four of you are. You can get an SUV taxi via a travel agent or just take Giant Ibis.

  16. Christi says:

    Hello Lina,
    I have really enjoyed reading your blog, so informative. We want to ship 2 suitcases from Phnom Penh to our hotel or shipping store (like FedEx or UPS) in Siem Reap. I found out that FedEx doesn’t ship within Cambodia. I am really hoping you could recommend a reliable and trustworthy courier/shipping company. Our suitcases can take up to 7 days to travel from PP to SR. (We just don’t want to carry our suitcases around until we reach Siem Reap. We will be doing the “backpacking thing” for the first week in Cambodia).
    Best Regards!

    • Lina says:

      Hi Christi, you can ship items via bus companies like Giant Ibis. They just bring whatever you want to their office in Siem Reap. You might be able to pay them extra to either hold it or deliver it to your hotel, or you could pay your hotel to pick it up for you. Shouldn’t be a big issue. Good luck and have fun!

  17. wanxin says:

    Hello Lina,

    may i know which way (other than by plane) would be the best to go from phnom penh to siem reap, if i have serious motion sickness?

  18. Aira says:

    Hi Lina!

    Great blog – very helpful in planning for my upcoming trip! :)

    My flight will be landing Pnohm Penh at 07.50am and I am planning to catch the Giant Ibis bus departing for Siem Reap at 08.45am. Do you think I would make it?

    Best Regards!

    • Lina says:

      Thanks! I’m glad you’ve found it useful. I think that connection is too tight, even if you already have a visa and no checked baggage. It can take 40-50 minutes in traffic sometimes so I wouldn’t risk it.

  19. Alexander says:

    Hi,could I get a taxi from bus station in sr to o,smach border crossing and how much should it cost . And would it be wise to book same guy week later to pick me up and bring back to bus station sr..

    • Lina says:

      Hi Alexander– I haven’t personally crossed at O’Smach before so I can’t tell you. It might be worth calling some travel agents in Siem Reap and getting a price quote. I do know that you can’t take a taxi through the borders, though. At Poipet, for example, you get one taxi to the border on the Cambodian side, walk through the border on foot, and then catch another taxi on the other side.

  20. Alexander says:

    I plan to get the mini bus Thai side,,about 60 or 80 Bt to surin it’s just how much a taxi would be getting to the border.would it be better to bargain a taxi at the station or elsewhere.is the station outside sr and is it possible to just go to the station on speck and get a bus back to pp.. Trying to organise as much as possible as this is my first time doing this lina ..

  21. Jed says:

    Hi Lina..I would just like to ask if Giant Ibis schedule and fares are still up to date.Will visit Cambodia and Vietnam this coming September and just like to know if this bus company has a schedule trip from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Min City?Thanks in advance and we appreciate this info so much!!!

    • Lina says:

      Yes they are! Giant Ibis does do the Phnom Penh to HCMC route. You can also check giantibis.com for the schedule, just enter the date and cities and it will tell you what time each bus leaves.

  22. Robynne says:

    Hi, would appreciate it if you could please advise how long the boat trip is between Siem Reap and Phnom Penh? Thanks

  23. Edu says:

    Hello Lina!
    Thanks for the useful information.
    We are wondering to take the boat from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh, mostly for seightseeing and not losing all day in a bus. Do you recomend any boat company?
    Would it be better to take a boat from Phnom Penh to Saigon? We have to do both go and return trips Saigon-Siem Reap.

    Thanks

    • Lina says:

      There’s only one boat company, as far as I know. I’ve never taken the boat from HCMC to Phnom Penh so I can’t compare the two. Have fun!

  24. Pieto says:

    Hi Guys, thanks for helpful onformation. I would like to move from SR to PP spending one day and looking floating village. there is an option for this? to take a private taxi and plan same stops is safe?
    taking the boat, we could have a look to the floating village?

    Thanks a lot guys!

    • Lina says:

      If you book a taxi through a travel agent, you can ask that they stop at a floating village for an extra fee. It’s likely that your taxi driver won’t speak English, though, so bring the phone number of the travel agent with you in case you have any issues. The boat does pass many floating villages if you go that way.

      • Pietro says:

        Thanks Lina for your istantaneus reply! another question on this: I shuold book the taxi directly once I’ll be there?
        then, considering that we will have or baggage, is it safe?
        Thanks again!
        Pietro

        • Lina says:

          Yes, it’s safe. If you aren’t on a super tight budget, you might be better off booking it through a tour agency rather than through a driver. I’ve used Mango Cambodia before. But either way, you can book it once you arrive.

  25. Jan says:

    Hi Lina, we plan to go to SR and PP in September. Five days in SR, by boat to PP and stay there 4 days. What do think on that timing? Boat trip OK? Other places to visit?

    • Lina says:

      You might considering going to Battambang as well–you can go to SR, to Battabang by boat (or by bus) and then bus to Phnom Penh. Battambang is a very cute little town.

  26. Alicia says:

    Hi Lina,

    Just wanted to say thank you for all the great info. Your advice has been a great help in planning my trip to Cambodia later this year.

    Best wishes,

    Alicia

  27. Mitha says:

    Hi, im planning to go to siem reap from phnom penh by private taxi. Do you have any reference on where i should book the private taxi? Is there any way we can book it online in advance? I’m planning to go straight to Siem Reap once i arrive in Phnom Penh airport.

  28. Mario says:

    Hi,

    I have been reading through your blog, which is really good, and the answer that you gave here and, in one of them you dont recommend to take the night bus, but in the review of Giant Ibis you mentioned that is very safe. I am traveling next week to Cambodia and I was planning to take the night bus, so I would like to know if it is safe or not? Thanks a lot for your replay.

  29. Hi Lina!

    Great blog – very helpful in planning!

    My wife and I go by Giant Ibis bus from PP to SR. But then we want to proceed towards Thailand and Ubon Ratchathani. Can we take a bus to the border and transfer to a bus to Ubon Ratchathani?

    • Lina says:

      No, there’s no toilet on board, but the bus stops every two hours-ish and can make extra stop if a passenger needs to. Honestly, it’s better without a toilet because the toilets on the buses in Cambodia are usually so revolting you wouldn’t want to use them anyway.

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