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 including bus, boat, plane, taxi, and mini-bus. There are options to fit every budget, but some are nicer than others. Right now the road is in great condition and it’s a smooth ride (fingers crossed it will stay this way). The journey takes between 5 and 6.5 hours, depending on your mode of transport.

Giant Ibis bus

Travel in style with Giant Ibis bus.


The road between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap offers a glimpse of Cambodian country life, as it barrels past rice paddies, traditional wooden houses, and water buffalo and cows lazily grazing on the side of the road. The views are best appreciated from a full-size bus, as the mini-buses are more crowded and have smaller windows. If you get carsick, the bus is a better option as it’s a bit slower and significantly less bumpy.

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 is Giant Ibis, started running brand-new buses between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap in 2012. They offer WiFi and power outlets on board. Read our review of Giant Ibis buses from a recent trip for more info. Giant Ibis also has a night bus between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap that runs in both directions at 10:30, 11, and 11:30 p.m. Read a detailed review of the Giant Ibis night bus. Tickets cost $15, and you can book Giant Ibis bus tickets and select your seat online in advance.

The former favorite, but still popular Mekong Express, are known for their safety record albeit shabby older buses. Mekong Express has a solid reputation. On this route they almost always run full-size buses, but if they don’t get enough bookings you may end up on a mini-bus. Tickets cost $13 for foreigners and $10 for Khmers.  You can book bus tickets and select your seat online in advance for Mekong Express for an extra $1 service fee.

The trip takes about 6 hours on both Mekong Express and Giant Ibis.

For other bus options from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap that you can book online, check out BookMeBus.

Mekong Express:
Phnom Penh to Siem Reap: 7:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 2:25 p.m.
Siem Reap to Phnom Penh: 7:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m., 9:45 p.m., 12:30 p.m.

Giant Ibis:
Phnom Penh to Siem Reap: 8:45 a.m.,  9:45 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 10:30 p.m., 11 p.m., 11:30 p.m.
Siem Reap to Phnom Penh: 8:45 a.m., 9:45 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 10:30 p.m., 11 p.m., 11:30 p.m.

Cambodia Post VIP Van Siem Reap

Mini-buses are the fastest way to get from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap by road.


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.

Cambodia Post VIP Van is my current favorite mini-bus from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap. This government-owned transport company runs brand-new (and very comfortable) Toyota HiAce vans between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. They only carry 13 passengers at a time, so it’s less claustrophobic than other companies. The trip takes about 5.5 hours with two stops and they drive cautiously — they even have a sign on the back of the van saying “How’s my driving?” with a phone number to call. Another bonus is they do not engage in dual pricing and Cambodians and foreigners pay the same price, $8. Read our full review of Cambodia Post VIP Van

Phnom Penh to Siem Reap at: 7:30 a.m., 2 p.m.
Siem Reap to Phnom Penh at: 7:30 a.m., 2 p.m.

Larryta Express runs a fleet of 15-passenger Ford Transit Vans nine times a day between Siem Reap and Phnom Penh. The buses are new and clean. The drivers drive fast, but not terrifyingly  and trip takes a little under 5.5 hours, including two stops. Because of the regular departures, you don’t need to purchase tickets more than a day in advance. Tickets cost $8 for Cambodians and $10 for foreigners. Read our full review of Larryta Express.

Phnom Penh to Siem Reap at: 7 a.m., 8 a.m., 9 a.m., 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m.
Siem Reap to Phnom Penh at: 7 a.m., 8 a.m., 9 a.m., 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m.

Seila Angkor is popular mini-bus company that does the Phnom Penh to Siem Reap route with 18 departures every day. The drivers occasionally take some hair-raising liberties, and drive faster than I’m comfortable with, but if you are tolerant of danger they can get you there in 5 hours or less. Most of the time, though, the trip takes 5.5 hours and the drivers go at a reasonable pace. Seila Angkor run 16-seat Ford Transit vans, and you can reserve seats by number. Read our full review of Seila Angkor mini bus.

Phnom Penh to Siem Reap: 6:30 a.m., 7 a.m., 7:30 a.m., 8 a.m., 8:30 a.m., 9 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 10 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 12:45 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 2 p.m., 2:30 p.m., 3  p.m., 4 p.m., 5 p.m., and 11 p.m.
Siem Reap to Phnom Penh: 6:30 a.m., 7 a.m., 7:30 a.m., 8 a.m., 8:30 a.m., 9 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 10 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 12:45 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 2 p.m., 2:30 p.m., 3  p.m., 4 p.m., 5 p.m., and 11 p.m.

You can book tickets for Cambodia VIP Van, Larryta Express, Seila Angkor and many other mini-bus companies on BookMeBus. If you use an international credit card the cost is $1 for the entire transaction (not per ticket) and you can reserve a seat at the time of booking.

Cambodia Bayon Airlines

Cambodia Bayon Airlines flies Chinese MA60 turboprop planes. Be ready for a loud ride.


There are now three airlines operating daily flights between Siem Reap and Phnom Penh. 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. We have a entire blog post comparing all of the Phnom Penh to Siem Reap flights if you’re thinking of flying.

Cambodia Angkor Air is the national carrier and the most expensive option. 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. There are also two new airlines flying from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap (and vice-versa) once daily with prices as low as $40 return. Read our full review of Bayon Airlines and our review of Bassaka Air.


Taxis between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap cost between $65 to $100. 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 reserved in advance online (at surprisingly reasonable rates) or hired through any guesthouse or travel agent. Make sure to confirm the price before the trip, as misunderstandings are common (and frustrating). Expect your taxi driver to stop multiple times to pick up and drop off packages along the way. If you are paying on the high end of the scale, it’s fair to ask (in advance) that they do not make extra stops. 5-6 hours.

Mini-van taxi

Mini-van taxis between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap cost between $100 and $200 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.

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.


Between July and March ferries run between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap (they usually 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. Although the boats are probably not as safe as what you’d find at home, they have started increasing the safety standards and a new company, Mekong Explore, actually has life jackets for passengers. Most passengers opt for sitting on the top of the boat (so bring sunblock) and watch the countryside go by. The boat goes through some interesting floating villages outside of Siem Reap. Boats leave from both Siem Reap and Phnom Penh at 7:30 a.m. and the trip takes about six hours. Tickets cost $28 and can be purchased online in advance (which is a good idea in high season).

Bus tickets purchased through links in this post to BookMeBus generate affiliate sales for us. This does not affect our reviews for specific bus companies or routes! For more about how we deal with advertising, affiliate sales, and stuff like that, you can read more here.

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

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  1. Heather says:


    Just checking the bus service between Siemens’s reap and PP is still Ok to do in the rainy season- we are planning a trip in July/August.


  2. Andy namtrow says:

    Does the boat take motorcycles on board?
    Is there any interesting towns to spent the night on the way to siem raep from pp?

  3. Ahmed says:

    Thank you so much for this post. Can you please advise where exactly is the terminal of Cambodia Post VIP Van? And how much is the cost? Same price for locals and visitors, or one has to pay bit extra?

  4. Cathy says:

    Has anyone done a 2 night cruise between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap and if so what was the company and was it worthwhile?

  5. Ally says:

    Hi! This is great information. We were just looking to see what sort of options there were to get to Siem Reap from PP and here you’ve laid them all out :)

    We’ve got our passports in an embassy waiting for visas. Do you know if they need to check your passports for the bus journeys?? Random question I know!

  6. K Nam says:

    It’s so sad, all ready to book the ferry from PP to SR and the site won’t take my Canadian Credit Card! Tried 2x even after Verifying my Visa. Will try again tomorrow but anybody else have this issue?

    • Lina says:

      The problem is almost certainly with the card/bank and not with the site (I’ve used it with several Visa cards). Call the bank and see if they are blocking the transaction, and if not, try in a different browser.

  7. Anna Lilja says:

    Which way would you recommend the bus or the boat regarding seeing some of the landscape… I plan to travel there in January 2018.

  8. bryan says:

    I am traveling with a senior who has serious balance issues, and I’m worried about getting on and off the boat if we take it to Phenom Penh from Siem Reap. How do people get on these boats? He couldn’t do a plank.

    • Lina says:

      In that case, I would not recommend taking any of the river boats in Cambodia. They really aren’t set up for someone with serious balance issues. Sadly, one of my close friends died last month after falling off a docked boat in the Tonle Sap, so I really strongly would recommend avoiding.

  9. giuseppe says:

    Hello! first of all let me tell you a big THANKS for this wonderful e super usefull site. Does anybody knows if on 16 february the boat crossing from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh is still working?

  10. Miguel says:

    Hi Lina,

    Thanks alot for this. Im going to Cambodia this August and i just wanna ask a few. Is it alright to buy bus/train tickets there on the spot it doesn’t need to be booked in advance? Will it be rainy on July?

    Thanks alot


  11. Maggie says:

    Hello Lina

    I also stumbled across this site and found all the information extremely useful.
    We plan to travel to Vietnam and Cambodia in April 2017 and I please need a few pointers.
    Firstly; would you recommend that we rather travel these 2 countries through a organized travel package or would it be easy enough for us to do everything ourselves? My concern is the language barrier (not sure if everyone there can speak or understand English?) and would we be able to arrange our travels (be that via bus / flight etc) from Vietnam when we arrive there? Or would you recommend we pre-book everything?

    Apologies for all the questions. We are not familiar with traveling in Asia :).

    Then lastly, can you please give me directions how to get to Phnom Pehn from Ho Chi Minh city? What is the best (most affordable) option you would suggest?

    Thank you in advance! I look forward to hearing from you!
    Maggie x

    • Lina says:

      Hi Maggie, doing the trip on your own is very easy. You definitely don’t need a package tour. It’s always easy to find someone who speaks English at all sorts of tourism-related businesses in both countries. You don’t need to pre-book unless you want to. Flights can be cheaper if you book in advance. Buses should be booked a day or two in advance, but it’s not so busy in April that you need to do it much further in advance than that. You can book buses from Phnom Penh to HCMC here.

    • Jordan says:

      Weve just done 2.5 weeks in cambodia and booked as we went along. It does add up depending how u travel. Nighy buses by far are cheaper than overnight trains. Read up on each bus company u wish to use before u book it as some are really rude, bad service, and really bad drivers. Neither train or bus is comfortable. Expect to repeat urself a million times. Majority of people will speak some english. U can always Google translate. Open overnight sleepers would be ur best bet if ur on a budget. U can get on and off wherever u please through vietnam. We did a flight from ho chi ming to phnom penh took 45 min. We booked this before we left on our adventures.

  12. Nancy Taylor says:

    Are the water levels high enough to travel from Siem Reap to Phnom penh in March? We are planning a trip early March 2017, and ideally would like to stop for an overnight at one of the floating villages.

    • Lina says:

      I can’t tell you about the water levels, but I would not recommend staying the night at one of the floating villages, they are basically slums that have been turned into tourist attractions.

  13. Ashley says:

    Came across your blog while doing some planning for a trip to Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam – This is a great article with lots of detail – Thanks so much!!!

  14. Ana Lemos says:

    Thank you so much for all the good information here. It’s helping me a lot for my very first trip to Southeast Asia.
    I have a question (it’s more like a opinion I need). I’m traveling from HCMC to Phnom Penh and then to Siem Reap. For the first leg, I intend to take a morning bus, according to your recommendation. I’ll spend the night in a hotel, tour around the city for a whole day and now I’m trying to decide between:
    – take the night bus to Siem Reap
    – or the next morning bus.
    My doubts are because its sounds like a very good idea to save some time and money sleeping in the bus but is not an easy task for me to sleep in a bus (or any where else but a bed). And I would like to know if the landscape between the to cities worth a view, if I decide to travel during the day.
    Just to add one more question/information: I will arrive in Phnom Penh on December 24th (best known as Xmas eve). Is it ok to tour during Xmas day?

    Thanks from Brazil!

    • Lina says:

      If you can’t sleep on a bus I wouldn’t recommend the night bus. I think the view between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap is nice, you’ll get to see countryside life and some smaller towns. Most tourist-oriented things are open over Christmas so it won’t be a problem.

  15. Rachael says:

    I’ve been dreading the thought of taking the huge buses and so glad to have stumbled on your advice of the cambodia post VIP van. All booked and looking forward to it! Thanks!

  16. Rachael says:

    Hi, thanks for the great information! Is there a boat that goes from siem reap to phnom phen? We are travelling in November??

  17. Danny says:

    Hi Lina
    Great information! Especially for people like me visiting for the first time.
    It seems taking a bus from Phnom Penh to Siam Riep is a good idea. Wanted to check: Once we reach Siam Riep, is it easy to get a taxi to our hotel?
    Thank you!’

  18. kalai marilla says:

    Hi Can give me directions how to get to phnom pehn from ho chi minh city? actually, our arrival is at 12:20 am from ho chi minh airport and we plan to go directly to phnom penh but not sure if there is a bus during that time that will travel to phnom penh.can you help?please?

  19. SC says:

    nablinx, I am planning on doing the same thing. I will be doing Ho chi minh city -phnom penh – siem reap – Bangkok, that seems like the most straight forward routing

  20. nablinx says:

    Hye. Im planning to explore vietnam, cambodia, thailand. Im planning to go to vietnam first. And move from there to thailand.which place i shud go first? Ho chi minh city- phnom penh- sieam reap- bangkok?

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