If you’re traveling from Battambang to Sihanoukville, get ready for a long journey. There are a few options available to you, but each of them is going to take a big chunk of time. Expect to take a full day for travel from Battambang to Sihanoukville and vice versa. In this post, we’ll show you how to get from Battambang to Sihanoukville, and weigh the pros and cons of each.
Express vans, or mini-buses, offer the best balance of speed and price. To get from Battambang you’ll need to take a mini-bus from Battambang to Phnom Penh, and then change to a Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville mini-bus.
One of the companies that is most popular with foreigners, Mekong Express, has a mini-bus that leaves Battambang at 7:30 a.m. and arrives in Phnom Penh at 12:30 p.m., and then leaves Phnom Penh at 1:30 p.m. and arrives in Sihanoukville at 5:30 p.m. The whole trip takes 10 hours, but there’s a break in Phnom Penh to have lunch, as well as a few stops along the way to go to the toilet. This route costs a total of $24 and tickets can be purchased in advance online — but you’ll need to book each leg separately. Online booking costs $1 but allows you to reserve a specific seat in advance, which is handy.
Golden Bayon Express also has a mini-bus that leaves Battambang at 7 a.m. and arrives in Phnom Penh at noon, and then another mini-bus that leaves Phnom Penh for Sihanoukville at 1:30 p.m. We’ve got a full review of Golden Bayon Express here. Tickets can be purchased online in advance.
For all mini-bus and bus journeys, arrival time is an estimate. There’s often quite a lot of traffic between Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville, so the journey can take longer than expected.
When you’re considering bussing the 485 epic kilometers between Battambang and Sihanoukville, you have basically two options: night bus or day bus. All routes will have to go through Phnom Penh, there is no direct bus between Battambang and Sihanoukville.
Virak Buntham offers a night bus from Battambang to Phnom Penh, and from there you can catch a connection down to Sihanoukville. The night bus leaves Battambang at 11 p.m. and is furnished with beds, but you’ll be sharing a pallet with another traveler. They book you according to your gender, so that least that much is secure. If you book it online, know that they call it a Hotel Bus on BookMeBus, where you can purchase a ticket in advance and reserve a seat/bed (but you’ll have to make separate bookings for the Battambang-Phnom Penh leg and then for the Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville portion of the trip).
The ‘Hotel Bus’ arrives in Phnom Penh at 5 a.m. and the bus to Sihanoukville leaves at 7:30 a.m. The full journey, from Battambang to Sihanoukville, should cost $18 and take 14 to 16 hours. This is a convenient way to do this trip, but Virak Buntham has a pretty dismal reputation, including several night bus accidents, so unless you’re on a tight budget and in a rush, we suggest a day bus or mini-bus.
The other bus option is the day bus from Sorya bus company. The first bus leaves Battambang at 6:45 a.m., transitioning in Phnom Penh in the early afternoon, and arriving in Sihanoukville in the late afternoon or early evening, costs about $16 total.
Flying to Sihanoukville
If you want to travel by plane, your travel plans will still take up most of a day, because the airport in Battambang is closed. First, you need to get from Battambang to Siem Reap. Then its possible to make the flight from Siem Reap to Sihanoukville.
Flying from Siem Reap to Sihanoukville is quick, only one hour, but not cheap. Flight is by far the most expensive mode of travel in Cambodia. Currently, there are three airlines shuttling between the two cities these days: Cambodia Angkor Air, Cambodian Bayon Airlines, and Sky Angkor Airlines. The price is anywhere between $60 to $150 each way, or $120 to $300 round trip. Sky Angkor Airlines is by far the least expensive, but they only fly this route a few times each week, and for the most part, only during high season. We review the Sky Angkor Airlines flight here, the Cambodia Angkor Air flight here, and the Cambodia Bayon Airlines flight to Phnom Penh (which we don’t particularly recommend) here.
Flying may seem tempting, but if you lump that in with the trip from Battambang to Siem Reap by road, the time mucking about getting to the airport in Siem Reap and then waiting for the plane, bus or taxi may end up being the way to go.
Cambodia Angkor Air schedule:
Siem Reap to Sihanoukville: Daily at 11:50 a.m.
Sihanoukville to Siem Reap: Daily at 4:50 p.m.
Sky Angkor Air schedule:
Siem Reap to Sihanoukville: Tuesday, Thursdays Saturdays, and Sundays, 10:30 a.m.
Sihanoukville to Siem Reap: Monday Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, 10:30 p.m.
Private taxi is the fastest way to get to between Sihanoukville and Battambang overland. The drive should take between 10 and 12 hours. The biggest advantage to private taxi is that you get to bypass Phnom Penh, cutting out a huge chunk of travel time and traffic. A private taxi to Sihanoukville should set you back about $140.
Getting from Sihanoukville to Battambang
For the most part, getting from Sihanoukville to Battambang is mostly the same as above, only in reverse. There is, however, one additional option: a “direct bus” to Battambang.
This “direct bus” option, as it is marketed in Sihanoukville, is a bit misleading. It is actually the bus to Bangkok and will go up through Siem Reap before heading to Battambang. In short, it would be totally mad to choose this option, and would end up taking you close to 18 hours to go between the two cities.
Ticket offices: Corner of Road 3 and Street 111, just north of Psar Nhat, Battambang
T: 088 576 7668
Booking office outside Orussey Market, Phnom Penh [map]
T: 012 787 839; 098 833 399; 023 427 518
Golden Bayon Express
Ticket offices: Street 101, between La He St and Road 3, Battambang [map]
T: 070 968 966; 089 279 909
3Eo Street 51/126, Psar Thmei, Phnom Penh [map]
T: 023 966 968; 089 221 919; 010 968 966
Virak Buntham Express
St. La A, Prak Morha Tep Village, Svay Pour District, Battambang
T: 017 333 572; 015 893 968; 017 535 015
Street Riverside, north of Night Market, Daun Penh, Phnom Penh
T: 016 786 270; 098 628 448; 089 998 761
Ekareach Street next to stop commercial market,
T: 010 301 124; 097 782 9797
Sorya Bus Company
Ticketing: No. 744, St. 106, Preak Mohatep Village, Battambang
T: 092 181 804; 053 953 904; 081 908 004
Street 217/67 (Sorya Theatre), Daun Penh,
T: 012 631 545; 023 210 359; 092 121 278; 081 908 022
236A Ekareach Street, Near Commercial Market Traffic Light,
T: 034 933 888; 081 908 062; 081 908 008
Cambodia Angkor Air
17D Omkhun Street (same street as Angkor Mart, across Sivatha Blvd), Siem Reap
T: 063 969 268; 063 636 3666
Sky Angkor Airlines
T: 027 522 633 (reservations)
Road 6, Angkor Shopping Arcade E41&E43, Svay Dangkum, Siem Reap
T: 063 967 300; 063 967 400