It’s unfortunate that two of Cambodia’s top tourist destinations are on opposite sides of the country. Siem Reap and Sihanoukville are less than 200 miles apart if you fly, but can be a long 350 miles by road. We cover all of the ways you can get from Sihanoukville to Siem Reap and vice-versa, including plane, bus, mini-bus and taxi.
Traveling by plane is by far the easiest way to travel between Siem Reap and Sihanoukville, and unsurprisingly, the most expensive. Tickets are ridiculously expensive for a flight that’s less than an hour, but if you’re pressed for time the cost of the flights may well be worth it to avoid traveling 10 to 14 hours by car or bus. There are three airlines that do this route in high season.
Cambodia Angkor Air offers daily, with one-way tickets going for $115 to $150 and roundtrip tickets between $230 and $300. If you’d like more details about Cambodia Angkor Air’s Sihanoukville to Siem Reap flight, we’ve got a more extensive review from a recent flight here.
Sky Angkor Airlines also flies from Siem Reap to Sihanoukville four times a week in high season and tickets cost between $112 and $160 for a round-trip flight. They often reduce the schedule in low season and sometimes eliminate it entirely. We’ve got a review of a recent flight we took on this route here.
JC Airlines is a new airline offering, at the time of writing, daily flights between Siem Reap and Sihanoukville for around $100 to $120 round-trip. Read our review of JC Airlines (it’s a different route but you’ll get the idea).
Bayon Airlines flies from Siem Reap to Sihanoukville during high season but they are overpriced, hard to book, and fly prop planes, so we try not to take them.
It’s important to note that the Sihanoukville airport is 12 miles (20k) outside of town, so once you arrive you’ll need to take a shuttle or taxi into Sihanoukville. Here’s the full scoop on how to get to and from the Sihanoukville Airport.
Giant Ibis has a great reputation for safety in Cambodia, and they’re going to be running night buses between Siem Reap and Sihanoukville for this coming high season. Giant Ibis uses two drivers for the Siem Reap-Phnom Penh leg of the trip to make sure they don’t have any sleepy drivers behind the wheel. The buses leave at 8:30 p.m. in either direction. Tickets cost $25 and can be purchased online in advance and allow for advance seat/bed reservations. Until these tickets are available, check out the Giant Ibis combo-trip below.
There’s also a Virak Buntham night bus, which of all of the tourist buses in Cambodia has one of the worst reputations for accidents due to driver error. Although they are very popular, you couldn’t pay me to get onto one of these buses.
Bus and mini-bus combo
There are several companies that go between Siem Reap and Sihanoukville using a full-size bus from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh and a mini-bus from Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville. The total time, including the stop in Phnom Penh, usually takes between 12 and 14 hours, and includes a 1-2 hour stop in Phnom Penh. We cover favorites Giant Ibis and Mekong Express.
Giant Ibis is the expat pick for being the safest bus company in Cambodia. They don’t offer direct service between Siem Reap and Sihanoukville (to be fair, nobody else does either) but it’s an easy transfer at the Giant Ibis office just next to Phnom Penh’s night market. This is a full-size bus, but you’ll then transfer to a mini-bus for the Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville portion of the trip.
Coming from Siem Reap, you can take the night bus which gets in around 6 a.m. This gives you enough time to stretch your legs and get breakfast on Phnom Penh’s riverside (or join in the public aerobics, if you so choose) before getting on the second leg of the trip to Sihanoukville at 8 a.m. Going the other direction, the bus leaves Sihanoukville at 7 a.m. and arrives in Phnom Penh approximately four hours later, which is long enough for a quick lunch before the Phnom Penh to Siem Reap portion of the journey that leaves at 12:30 p.m. (and this bus stops several times, including for a meal).
If you make a reservation online you can book the two legs as a joint ticket for $26 and reserve a seat in advance. Otherwise tickets are available at all local travel agents and guesthouses, but you will need to buy the two legs separately. Total travel time is 12 to 13 hours.
Giant Ibis Schedule:
Sihanoukville to Phnom Penh: 7:30 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. 3:30 p.m.
Phnom Penh to Siem Reap: 8:45 a.m., 9 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 a.m., 9:45 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 11 p.m., 11:30 p.m.
Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville: 8 a.m., 9:25 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m.
T: 023 999 333
Mekong Express offers the Phnom Penh to Siem Reap leg of the trip in a full-size bus (their full-size buses are junkers from Japan that are old but safe) and the Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville portion of the trip in a newer Ford or Toyota mini-van for a total of around 12 hours. Mekong Express has a reputation for safety and are a popular choice amongst expats. If you get your ticket online, you can get the two legs as a joint ticket and make a seat reservation in advance.
Mekong Express Schedule:
Siem Reap – Sihanoukville: 7:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m.
Sihanoukville – Siem Reap: 7:00 a.m., 8:30 a.m (joint ticket leaves at 7 a.m.)
There are several mini-bus companies that go from Siem Reap to Sihanoukville and vice-versa, all with a 1-2 hour stop in Phnom Penh. the total travel time including the stop in Phnom Penh, usually takes between 11 and 13 hours, although you will see these routes advertised as taking less time. Our favorite of these companies is Mey Hong.
Mey Hong Transport:
Mey Hong is a mini-bus company that is more locally-oriented (ie. it’s not particularly well-known amongst tourists). They drive comfortable Ford mini-buses that are air-conditioned with seat belts. During high season they have mini-buses to go the Siem Reap to Sihanoukville route that connect in Phnom Penh with a one hour break. Total travel time is about 11 hours–they drive fast! Cost is $20 and tickets can be booked at any local travel agent or guesthouse. You can book tickets online in advance.
Taxis between Siem Reap and Sihanoukville cost between $120 and $150, and the trip will take about 10 hours, depending on the condition of the road between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. Most private taxis are Toyota Camrys and can fit four passengers. For trips this length, though, four may be a tight squeeze depending on how much luggage you have. Most Camrys in Cambodia do not offer a lot of trunk space (it’s almost guaranteed to have packages for delivery in it).
Private taxis can be hired through any travel agent or guesthouse, we’ve used Best Beach Travel in Sihanoukville (T: 015 678 924). Be sure to confirm the price before the trip as misunderstandings happen more often than we’d like. If you want to avoid the hassle, you can make a reservation for a private taxi online in advance.
Mini-van taxis that seat up to 15 people are also available and offer more room for people and baggage. The cost is usually a bit more than double the cost of a regular taxi, at the time of writing we were quoted $300.
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