Now that Cambodia is opening up to tourism again, you may be wondering how to to get from Phnom Penh and Siem Reap in 2021 (and Siem Reap to Phnom Penh). Many of the bus companies reduced their schedules or shuttered all together during Covid-19, but now they are coming back! I’ll keep updating this post as more information becomes available.
There are options to fit every budget, but some are nicer and more comfortable than others. I’ve tried all of these ways to travel between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, some of them many times (unlike most of the other sites who just copy my content, yawn). The journey by road usually takes between 5 and 7 hours, depending on your mode of transport, traffic, and the ever-changing condition of the road. For Covid-19 safety, all passengers are required to wear a mask while traveling.
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, usually $75). 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. Booking online allows you to pay in advance by credit card and you won’t have to deal with arguing about last-minute price changes by the driver.
If you book through a guesthouse or travel agent, the cars will almost always Toyota Camrys sedans which fit 4 passengers as long as they don’t have a lot of luggage. The trunks are not huge and all in Cambodia will have a large propane tank in the back, 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 driver before you set off, as misunderstandings are common (and frustrating). Also, with these sort of taxis, 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, and most drivers booked online will drive directly and not make extra stops. If you are catching a taxi directly from the airport, expect to pay slightly more. Taxis between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap usually take 4 to 6 hours, road-work permitting.
It is also possible to get mini-vans taxis between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. They cost between $120 and $200 and can carry between 10 and 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 minivan online, which is usually less of a headache.
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 and night buses for more detailed info. Giant Ibis also has a night bus between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap that runs in both directions. Tickets cost $13 plus a $1 credit card fee, and you can book online and select your seat in advance. The trip takes between 5 and 6.6 hours. Giant Ibis will begin running on December 5th, twice a day.
Giant Ibis bus schedule
|Phnom Penh to Siem Reap||8:45 a.m.||10 p.m. night bus|
|Siem Reap to Phnom Penh||8:45 a.m.||10 p.m. night bus|
→ Buy a ticket on Giant Ibis 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 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 are currently running mini-buses, but tickets are not available online. They will be soon, and I’ll update this post then.
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. The below schedule is current as of November 15, 2021.
Larryta Express bus schedule
|Phnom Penh to Siem Reap||7 a.m.||8 a.m.||9 a.m.||10 a.m.||11 a.m.|
|12 p.m.||1 p.m.||2 p.m.||3 p.m.||4 p.m.|
|Siem Reap to Phnom Penh||7 a.m.||8 a.m.||9 a.m.||10 a.m.||11 a.m.|
|12 p.m.||1 p.m.||2 p.m.||3 p.m.||4 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, 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 between $11 and $13 for non-Cambodians. Read our full review of Seila Angkor mini bus. Seila Angkor is not currently running as a passenger service, but will be operational soon.
You can book tickets for all currently running mini-bus companies online and reserve a seat in advance.
Flights from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap
Flights between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap are not currently running, but with the announcement of new quarantine-free travel for fully vaccinated travelers, it is likely that flights will begin again soon. I’ll update this page when it does.
Ferries between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap
Ferries are not currently running due to COVID-19. 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.
Frequently asked questions
What should I know about traveling from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap during Covid-19?
Cambodia has just announced that fully vaccinated travelers will not need to quarantine on arrival, and can travel throughout the country freely. However, be aware that Cambodia’s medical system is not great, and although Cambodians are highly vaccinated (88% at last count) they are mostly vaccinated with less-effective SinoVac and SinoPharm. What does this mean for you? You will be required to wear a mask on buses, taxis, and planes, and you should consider wearing a mask anytime you are indoors with locals.
How do you travel from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap?
You can take a taxi, bus, or plane to get from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap (or vice versa). Each type of transportation has pluses and minuses. I usually recommend taking a bus or private taxi, unless there’s an airfare sale on. Scroll up to read more about each mode of transportation.
How much is a taxi from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap?
How many hours from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh?
About an hour for a flight (plus waiting around at the airport), five hours for a taxi or mini-bus, six for a bus, and up to 12 for the ferry. Note that this can change due to traffic, construction, and accidents, but these are the usual times. Scroll up to learn more.
How far is it from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh?
It’s 146 miles (235 kilometers) from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh if you travel by plane, but by road it’s between 198 and 250 miles (319 and 403 kilometers) depending on which National Road you take.
This can take 40-60 minutes by plane or between 5 and 8 hours by car or bus.
How many kilometers is it from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap?
It’s 235 kilometers from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap if you fly, but between 319 and 403 kms if you drive. Sometimes bus and taxi drivers choose to take the longer route to avoid construction or traffic on the shorter route.
How to get from Phnom Penh Airport to Siem Reap?
You can book a taxi online in advance that will meet you directly at the airport and take you to Siem Reap. This is definitely the most convenient way to get from Phnom Penh Airport to Siem Reap, although not the cheapest. Alternatively, many bus companies will meet you across the road from the airport if you arrange it in advance.
How many days should I spend in Siem Reap?
At least five days. I’m working on a blog post to explain why. :)
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