How to get from Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville (and vice-versa)

The trip between Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville is relatively painless. Here’s a round-up of the best options (hint: we prefer the mini-buses) to get from Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville and vice-versa. The journey take between 3.5 and 6 hours. The later in the day you leave, the longer the trip will be due to traffic; around dusk it can take an hour or two just to get out of Phnom Penh.

Heading to Sihanoukville? Check out our Sihanoukville guide including where to stay, what to do, and how to get to Koh Rong

Phnom Penh Sihanoukville mini-bus

Travel in style with a mini-bus between Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville.

Buses, mini-buses, and express vans

The companies running the full-size buses that go between Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville are objectively terrible: unsafe, slow, and uncomfortable.  If you’re looking for a faster, more comfortable way to go between Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville, I suggest traveling by mini-bus, or the slightly larger PSD Xpress. The trip takes a total of 4 to 6 hours, depending on traffic getting in and out of Phnom Penh.

Giant Ibis

Foreigner favorite bus company Giant Ibis has started running the Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville route in 17-seat mini-buses. These are a significant step up from the regular bus companies, and offer seat belts, relatively safe drivers, WiFi that works occasionally and a TV that plays English-language movies. The best part is they don’t stop dozens of times to pick up and drop off passengers and always leave on time. The bus stops once along the way for snacks and a bathroom break. Tickets cost $11 and include hotel pickup.

You can book Giant Ibis tickets online in advance, which allows you to pick and reserve a seat for less than $1. Buses drop off and pick up at the Giant Ibis office.

Giant Ibis schedule
Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville: 8 a.m, 9:25 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m.
Sihanoukville to Phnom Penh: 7:30 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m.

Mekong Express

Mekong Express used to run a decrepit fleet of old Japanese buses between Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville, and before Giant Ibis came on the scene, they were the expat favorite. They’ve abandoned the buses and are now running “VIP Vans” decorated with decals of prancing horses. They have a good safety record and are known to drive at reasonable speeds. They have a two-tiered pricing policy; Khmers pay $10 and foreigners pay $12. You can book tickets online in advance (so you can reserve the best seat).

Mekong Express schedule
Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville: 7 a.m., 8 a.m., 8:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 3 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
Sihanoukville to Phnom Penh: 7 a.m., 8:30 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 3 p.m., 5:30 p.m.

There are several other companies plying this route these days, so

Sihanoukville taxi

One of our favorite Sihanoukville taxi drivers, Mr. Dara.

Taxi

Private taxis can be hired for anywhere between $45 and $60 to go between Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville. In high season the prices can climb even higher. Taxis can seat four people, but be warned that they don’t usually have enough room for a ton of luggage. Most of the taxis that go between Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville are fairly new Camrys in surprisingly good condition and the drivers aren’t afraid to hit the gas. Expect to get there in around 3.5 hours or less, although we’d advise you to keep your eyes closed. Later departures will take longer due to traffic.

You can book a taxi online in advance, and the prices are surprisingly reasonable. In fact, if you book online you can get an SUV taxi that seats five for the same price — around $60. There is also the option to book a 7- or 10-seat minivan.

We also have a few taxi recommendations in our Sihanoukville City Guide, but they will need to be booked a day in advance.

Shared taxi

Shared taxis are usually 5-seater Camrys that somehow manage to hold seven passengers plus the driver. You can get shared taxis from the southwest corner of Central Market (Psar Thmei) in Phnom Penh or at the old bus station in Sihanoukville. Seats cost around $7-10 per person. You can 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 take between 3 and 3.5 hours because they drive fast.

Train

Cambodia has recently restarted their train service, and on weekends you can take the train from Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville. The trip takes about 7 hours. Learn more in our post about taking the train in Cambodia.

Going from the Phnom Penh airport to Sihanoukville

If you’d like to go from the Phnom Penh airport straight to Sihanoukville, you have a few options. You can take an official airport taxi — the price we were quoted was $60. The taxis outside the airport also quoted $60, but they were also willing to negotiate; if you arrive earlier in the day you can probably get it for $50. Another option is to arrange for any of the bus companies listed above to pick you up at the Park Cafe directly across from the airport. This much be arranged in advance and they will pick you up 50-60 minutes from the scheduled time of departure. 

Giant Ibis
Street 106, Phnom Penh (near the night market)
T: 023 987 808
2 Thnou Street, Sihanoukville (near the Golden Lions Roundabout)
T: 089 999 818

Mekong Express
Booking office outside Orussey Market, Phnom Penh
T: 012 787 839; 098 833 399; 023 427 518
Sihanoukville T: 012 257 599; 017 833 399

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.

75 Responses to How to get from Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville (and vice-versa)

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  1. Kiralee says:

    Hi, has anyone recently experience taking a Taxi from Sihanoukville to Phnom Penh airport or can tell me the expect travel time during PEAK SEASON?? I will be there Dec/Jan and am trying to get back to Phnom Penh from Sihanoukville in time to catch my 2pm flight. Thanks.

  2. Elizabeth Healy says:

    I will be traveling Phnom Penh Airport to Sihanoukville on Nov. 7th 2017. If anyone wants to share a taxi, please feel free to contact me. I’m planning to leave by 10:30am

  3. Sergejs says:

    Giant Ibis picks up also from Phnom Penh airport , from River cafè, should be arranged in advance.
    By far not very luxurious ride and provides a number of points to direct complaints to, but overall is OK.
    Smart 4G along the route works impeccably vs. WiFi that was at best spotty.

  4. Michael says:

    Don’t get a vehicle!!
    The road between Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville is the most dangerous road in the world!
    It’s one lane the whole way in horrible traffic.
    Car, busses and trucks are swerving in and out missing other vehicles by millimetres and overtaking literally in the OPPOSITE service lanes (gravel sidewalk) and most vehicles are dented and you’ll see at least 3-5 abandoned smashed up vehicles along the way. If you want a heart attack or don’t want to live then take a vehicle otherwise get a lovely smooth plane ride there that will stop at Siem Reap.
    Price is between $150-$200 and worth every cent!!!

  5. Ryan says:

    Hi Lina

    Thank you for your article.

    My partner and I are staying in Kampong Speu. We are hoping to spend this weekend in Sihanoukville.

    What is the best way for us to get to Sihanoukville directly from Kampong Speu? We would like to leave on Saturday morning as early as possible – and return on Monday morning as early as possible.

    Thanks very much for your assistance.
    Ryan

  6. Adrian says:

    Giant Ibis DOES NOT drop off at hotels in Sihanoukville. They were really rude at the PP office when they looked incredulously at me for asking to do so. I think they know they are the preferred company amongst expats and are getting cocky! Also they supply stale Blue Pumpkin pastries which are flattened in black garbage bags.

    • Lina says:

      I don’t think anyone suggested that Giant Ibis drop off at hotels in Sihanoukville, like almost all bus companies in Cambodia they do hotel pick-up only.

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