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

There are a couple of easy ways to go from Phnom Penh and Siem Reap (and Siem Reap to Phnom Penh) in 2018. 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, unlike in years past. The journey by road usually takes between 5 and 6 hours, depending on your mode of transport if you go by road.

Giant Ibis Cambodia

Check out the view on a Giant Ibis bus between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap.

Ways to travel from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap

  • Taxi: Costs $65-100. Most comfortable option. Best balance of price and convenience. About 5 hours.
  • Bus: Costs $6-15. Smoothest ride and best views. About 6 hours.
  • Mini-bus/van: Costs $9-12. Faster than the bus, but more cramped. About 5.5 hours.
  • Plane: Costs $30-120. Fastest method, but domestic flights are unreliable. About 1 hour.
  • Ferry: Costs $35. Best scenery, if you sit outside. About 8 hours, sometimes more.

Taxis from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap

Taxis between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap usually cost between $65 to $100, but are more expensive on Cambodian holidays.

Private taxis can reserved in advance online (at surprisingly reasonable rates). The trip takes between 4 and 6 hours depending on traffic and how often you need to stop. If you reserve online, you will get a large SUV taxi, usually a very comfortable Lexus 4×4. If you reserve online, you’ll pay in advance by credit card and don’t have to deal with last-minute price changes by the driver.

If you book through a guesthouse or travel agent, the cars will 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. Guesthouses and travel agents will charge a commission. Make sure to confirm the price with the drive before you set off, 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. If you are catching a taxi directly from the airport, expect to pay slightly more. 4-6 hours.

It is also possible to get mini-vans taxis  between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. They 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. You can also book a mini-van online, which is usually less of a headache.

Mekong Express bus in Cambodia

Mekong Express  and Giant Ibis are the most popular buses between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap

Buses from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap

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, make dozens of stops, and break down often (but are cheap, running around $6 or $7). The more expensive ones offer a much smoother ride and extra amenities.

The most popular amongst expats is Giant Ibis, offer WiFi and power outlets on board. Read our review of Giant Ibis buses for more detailed info. Giant Ibis also has a night bus between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap that runs in both directions. Check out our detailed review of the Giant Ibis night bus. Tickets cost $15, and you can book online and select your seat in advance. The trip takes between 5 and 6 hours.

Giant Ibis bus schedule

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

Buy a ticket on Giant Ibis now

Popular Mekong Express are known for their safety record and have recently gotten a new fleet of full-size buses, although if they don’t get enough bookings you may end up on a mini-bus. Tickets cost $12 and you can book tickets and select your seat online for a small service fee. The trip takes between 5 and 6 hours. Read our full review of this trip on Mekong Express.

Mekong Express bus schedule

Phnom Penh to Siem Reap: 7:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 2:25 p.m. (plus 5:30 p.m. VIP van and 11:30 p.m. night bus)
Siem Reap to Phnom Penh: 7:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. (plus 2:30 p.m. VIP van and 11:30 p.m. night bus)

Buy a ticket on Mekong Express now

Mini-buses and Vans from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap

Expats in the know—at least the ones who are not prone to car sickness—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 Siem Reap

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

Cambodia Post VIP Van is my current favorite mini-bus from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap. This government-owned transport company runs 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. Tickets cost $9. Read our full review of Cambodia Post VIP Van

Cambodia Post VIP Van Schedule

Phnom Penh to Siem Reap: 7 a.m., 8 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 2 p.m.
Siem Reap to Phnom Penh: 7:30 a.m., 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 2 p.m.

Buy a ticket on Cambodia Post VIP Van now

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 $9 for Cambodians and $11 for foreigners. Read our full review of Larryta Express.

Larryta Express bus schedule

Phnom Penh to Siem Reap: 6:30 a.m., 8:15 a.m., 8:30 a.m., 9 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 10 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 11 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m., 4 p.m., 4:30 p.m.
Siem Reap to Phnom Penh: 7 a.m., 8:30 a.m., 9 a.m., 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m., 3  p.m., 4:30 p.m.

Buy a ticket on Larryta Express now

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 most of the time 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. Tickets cost $9 for Cambodians and $11 for foreigners. Read our full review of Seila Angkor mini bus.

Seila Angkor bus schedule

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., 6 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., 3  p.m., 4 p.m., 5 p.m., and 11 p.m.

Buy a ticket on Seila Angkor Express now

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 there’s a book fee of less than $1 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.

Flights from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap

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 a good option because it only takes between 45 and 60 minutes (plus of course the hour at the airport). However, and there’s always a caveat, all of the Cambodia domestic flights are unreliable and you may end up getting delayed by several hours.

Cambodia Angkor Air is the national carrier and the most expensive option. Flights can be booked online or through any travel agent. The cost varies, but is usually between $60 and $100 for a one way ticket. 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 several new airlines flying from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap (and vice-versa) once daily with prices as low as $50 return. We have a entire blog post comparing all of the Phnom Penh to Siem Reap flights if you’re thinking of flying.

Shared taxis between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap

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 and is very crowded.

Ferries between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap

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). Most passengers opt for sitting on the top of the boat (so bring sunblock) and watch the countryside go by. Travel is best during the wet season when water levels are high. The boats are, for the most part, not as safe as what you would find at home, and the company who had life jackets has temporarily ceased operations. For that reason, we’re currently not recommending this option.

Bus tickets purchased through links in this post 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.

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

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  1. Ben says:

    Are there different boat companies (i.e., different quality levels? Luxury vs Economy). I took the boat about 18 years ago. I am now older and married and would not mind a slice upgrade. Does it exist?

  2. Denisa says:

    Hello, firstly i would like to thank you for this usefull article. I found it by chance and I am using on my travels in Cambodia every day. Since you do not recommend boat trip from Phnom Penh, I want to see the floating villages on boat and to see true Cambodia countryside what would you recommend? A daily trip from some Reap. I have to mention that I am traveller in budget. Thank you

  3. Saif says:

    Hi, thank you for this fantastic post. I will be going to Phnom Penh for an official trip, so I have just one full day free. Now I was hoping to go to Banyon Temples in Angkor for a day trip. So can I set off early in the morning and be back by night? So will start from Phnom Penh in the morning, then Banyon, siem reap and back to Phnom penh by night. I have a workshop the very next day! Where are the bus terminals located in both places? Maybe I can take a bus in the morning and be back by taxi?

  4. Achin Chetal says:

    MEKONG EXPRESS – a company full of liars, thugs, arrogant and ignorant people. Never expected that we would have such a bad experience.
    We boarded the so-called “VIP” bus from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh (we’d already been travelling all night from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh) at 6:30 am today. When we arrived at Moc Bai (that’s the land border between Cambodia and Vietnam), after exiting Cambodia, one guy from Mekong Express (who was apparently supposed to help us get the visa/entry stamp) asked for $60 for the visa when it’s only $50 for the multiple-entry visa. I know this because this is not my first visa into Vietnam. When refusing to pay $60 for the visa, the guy just gave me my passport back and told me to get the visa myself. I agreed to it because I didn’t want to resort to corruption. I went to the window where they were providing Visa on Arrival and submitted my documents along with $50 (THE ACTUAL VISA FEE). Got the visa in the next 10 minutes. When we came out after the baggage check, the driver had left us behind in the middle of nowhere. We tried looking for him but he was nowhere to be found.
    We called the company at this point and asked them politely to ask the driver to come back and pick us but they blatantly refused and asked us to wait for another hour for another bus. We asked them multiple times to contact the driver but all they could do was hang up the phone on us (at least 7 times) and finally just stopped talking to us over the phone.
    We even tried calling a different number and the guy who picked the phone there was clueless as to how to help us.
    Finally, after talking to these impolite people for one whole hour (felt like banging our heads against the wall), we saw another Mekong Express bus. This wasn’t the same VIP bus but a normal one. Even here, when we boarded the bus, another guy from Mekong Express asked us to pay money for the ride. It was only after we called the company and made them talk to him, he agreed to let us ride.
    After reaching their office in Ho Chi Minh, we asked them if we could talk to their manager and suddenly all of them forgot to speak English and could only say “I don’t know”. After a while the manager came in blasting and refused to accept that he is the manager even though the other employees were all contradicting his statement. After talking to these a*#holes for more than one hour, where all they could do was feed the upper management with lies that there were some problems in obtaining our visa and that they had to wait for more than half an hour for us to get out (and some other ridiculous excuses), they all refused to give the refund for the difference between the two buses.

    If you’re reading this and you really don’t want to get ripped off or get stuck in the middle of nowhere, please please please, I beg you, DO NOT TRAVEL WITH MEKONG EXPRESS.
    Just trying to help fellow travellers who’re looking for a good experience and not get stuck with these stupid people.

    • Lina says:

      I’m a bit confused, Achin. My understanding was that anyone who needs a visa for Vietnam needs to obtain one in advance and cannot get it at a land border. Which visa are you talking about?

    • Rick says:

      I’ve seen guys like you in action in just this kind of situation many times over the years. It’s always embarrassing and unpleasant to watch. I’m sure you have no idea what an arrogant, pompous ass you are or how you project that everywhere you go. News flash: You are and you do.

  5. 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.


  6. 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?

  7. 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?

  8. 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?

  9. 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!

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

    • A W says:

      We are coming in February 2018, and were wondering the same thing if it were better take the bus or boat to see the countryside from PP to SR?

  12. 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.

  13. 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?

  14. 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


  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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!!!

  18. 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.

    • alf hageselle says:

      Late reply but may be usefull though. The landscape between Phnom and Siem is deadly boring most of the time. The seats in the buses are made for people 160 cm an 50 kilos and generally uncomfortable – and – stay away from buses with beds unless you are a midget and/or a contortionist. And finally – avoid night buses -the driver is likely to fall asleep.

  19. 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!

  20. 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??

  21. 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!’

  22. 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?

  23. 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

  24. 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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