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 hours, depending on your mode of transport.

Giant Ibis Cambodia

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

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, 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.

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 albeit older buses. Mekong 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 $2 and you can book bus tickets and select your seat online in advance for Mekong Express for a small service fee. The trip takes between 5 and 6 hours.

Phnom Penh to Siem Reap: 7:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 2:25 p.m. (plus 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. VIP van)
Siem Reap to Phnom Penh: 7:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m., 9:45 p.m., 12:30 p.m. (plus 7 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. VIP van)

⮕ Buy a ticket on Mekong Express now

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

Cambodia Post VIP Van Siem Reap

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

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.

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. Tickets cost $9. Read our full review of Cambodia Post VIP Van

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., 11:30 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.

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.

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.

Plane

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.

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. We have a entire blog post comparing all of the Phnom Penh to Siem Reap flights if you’re thinking of flying.

Taxi

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.

Book a taxi online now

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.

Boat

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).

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

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  1. flo says:

    thanks a lot, this is very helpfull! I would like to go from Siem Reap to Phnom penh by boat..but we re with 3 young children (2-5-8) so I think the speedboat is not an option (not so safe and noisy)…so I am looking for a one-day cruise…I readed that Tara Boat offers some connections..but seems that the journey in the boat is very short
    and is mostly in a van..do you know any other company or options? thanks a lot!

  2. herb says:

    This is super helpful. We were thinking of flying and i have to say it’s a rip off for the price. My husband and I are travelling 24th December from Phnom Pen to Siem Reap . I wanted to check 2 things .Should we book bus tickets more than week in advance? And if we take a cab is there any risk they’ll stop mid-way and demand more money? It’s happened to someone travelling in Thailand and (I’m sorry to say) in India too – I come from there and hence the sorry.

    • Lina says:

      On that route I have not heard of that happening (I have heard of it in Sihanoukville). If it does, refuse to pay and then will eventually give in. If they don’t, get out and flag down any mini-bus going by who will take you the rest of the way for ~$5. But again, I don’t think it will be an issue.

      For the Christmas week I would buy at least two weeks in advance. It’s a busy tourist time then.

    • bryan says:

      There is safety in numbers, so I would stick with the bus. I have not heard of anything like that happening on that route, either.

  3. Kitty says:

    May I know If I can not rearch the bus on time (e.g. Flight delay of traffic problem) How can I do if booked tickets online?

  4. Mrinmoy das says:

    Intending to visit Phnom penh and siam reap from 12/ 3/2017 to 17/3/2017. Can you plan my visit the important tourist attractions
    Of these two places?

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