How to get from Siem Reap to Battambang (and vice-versa)

Battambang and Siem Reap are two of the nicest spots that Northwestern Cambodia has to offer, and each is worth visiting. Battambang and Siem Reap are only 48 miles (77 km) apart, but the trip can take as long as four hours due to the fact that there’s no direct road–all of the buses route through Sisophon and up to eight hours by boat. Here we cover how to get from Siem Reap to Battambang (and vice-versa) in 2020, including boat, taxi, and bus.

Heading to Battambang? Check out our expat guide to Battambang with hotels, activities, transport and more. 

things to do in Battambang

Seen Siem Reap? Now it’s time for Battambang.

Taxis to Battambang

Private taxis cost around $50 to go from Siem Reap to Battambang or vice-versa. As with most taxis in Cambodia, the preferred vehicle is the Toyota Camry which can fit four passengers, but it can be a tight squeeze and the trunk is rarely empty, so if you have more than three people, travel light. You can hire a taxi through any local guesthouse or travel agent, but if you book a taxi online in advance you’ll get an SUV taxi for around the same price. You can also book an 11-seater van for $90. The trip takes two or two-and-a-half hours.

Mekong Express Siem Reap to Battambang

The Mekong Express mini bus, also known as the ‘VIP van’ that goes between Siem Reap and Battambang.

Mini-buses and buses to Battambang

After a hiatus, there are again mini-bus shuttles traveling between Siem Reap and Battambang. Mekong Express are now running two buses every day in either direction at 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. They rotate between 18, 25, and 40 seat vehicles (so mini-buses and full-size buses). Mekong Express is a long-time tourist favorite because they have a good safety record and are relatively reliable. The bus offers the best balance of price and speed, although the roads pretty bumpy at the moment (with promises the road will be sealed at some point in 2019). If you want to know more, we’ve got a full review of the Mekong Express buses between Battambang and Siem Reap.

Mekong Express schedule:
Siem Reap to Battambang: 8 a.m., 9 a.m., 1:35 p.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m.
Battambang to Siem Reap: 8 a.m., 9 a.m., 1:35 p.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m.

Tickets cost $7 for non-Cambodians and can be booked online where you can reserve a seat in advance. The trip takes between three hour and four hours.

boat from Battambang to Siem Reap

This is not the actual boat, but rather Srey Leak, the lovely woman who collects the tickets in Battambang.

Boat to Battambang

Boats between Siem Reap to Battambang leave at 7:30 a.m. each day in either direction. The trip takes between six and eight hours, depending on the season and how high the water level is, and which direction you are going; the trip from Battambang to Siem Reap is shorter than the other way around. The views are gorgeous, passing by many small fishing villages, allowing visitors to get a sense of life on Cambodia’s riverside. If you’re considering taking the boat, know that the wet season is the best time to take it due to higher water levels, but be sure to bring both sunblock and some sort of rain protection (you can get cheap ponchos for 2,000 riel at any small shop). Tickets cost $25 per person and it’s *sometimes* possible to book tickets online in advance.

Some 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.

40 Responses to How to get from Siem Reap to Battambang (and vice-versa)

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    Greg says:

    Thanks for the info, we took the Mekong mini bus from Siem reap to Battambang this week, good service. After a night in Battambang (bats good, bamboo railway waste of time) at 9 we took a taxi to the Pailin border for $35, quick and quiet border visa processing, before boarding a very comfortable private minibus to Koh Chang booked via iamkohchang.com for $100 usd including ferry costs. At our resort by about 3pm

    Steve says:

    Hi, your pages have been a great help as I plan my trip to Cambodia for later this year.

    A couple of problems looking at the bus options here, wonder if you can shed any light…..

    1. Mekong Express – http://catmekongexpress.com/ does not list Siem Reap to Battambang as an option(?)

    2. Capitol Tours – Their website http://www.capitolkh.com/ directs to a page saying it’s been suspended at http://www.capitolkh.com/cgi-sys/suspendedpage.cgi “This Account Has Been Suspended, Please contact 063 6252 168 or 015 675 489 for details”

    Any pointers on these two, or is it not looking good?

    Thanks in advance.

      Lina says:

      I wouldn’t count on any info you get from business websites in Cambodia to be accurate or up to date. For more current info you’ll need to call the bus companies directly.

      Tok Wae says:

      This info is accurate. Took 2pm bus from Battambang to Siem Reap on 14 Sept 2015. They have another bus depart at 8am.

    Todd Humphries says:

    Hello Lina,
    I love your site and your book.
    I’m moving to Cambodia in 2 months.
    Can you tell me the best way to get from Battambang to Kamreing or I’d settle for Pailin.

    Hannah says:

    Hello! Thank you for the great information! My husband and our 2 young children and heading to Vietnam & Cambodia later this year, we are pretty excited. Question regarding taxis…are we expected to tip?

    Bene says:

    Hi,
    I plan to go from Battambang to Siem Reap by boat end of March, do you know who i could get confirmation from about the water level and whether boats will still go at the period of time? I heard sometimes when the water level is too low the boat trips can be cancelled… and as end of march is the end of the dry season…
    Thanks a lot!

    Katherine says:

    Hey there!

    Just a heads-up that the bus times have changed, as of Feb 2015.

    There’s now a 12:30pm bus from SR to BTB.
    And BTB to SR is now 7:45am, 9:45am, and 1pm. 3pm buses are usually only on Sundays (or weekends?)

    Link: http://www.capitoltourscambodia.com/index.php?page_id=4

    Boženka says:

    Thank you for information.

    Sara says:

    Thanks Lina, for telling it how it is. I’ve met at least one other backpacker cross referencing this site! Much more to the point than LP: Are the buses big or little death traps, is this boat covered by my insurance….likely not. Thanks.

      Sara says:

      Actually having said that, I’ve seen Capitol Tours mentioned as on a warning list for safety on another forum. Is it a case of take the risk or don’t go?

        Lina says:

        They aren’t the best, but they aren’t the worst. Of the Cambodian companies (ie not Giant Ibis or Mekong), they seem to be the best. The best of a bad lot.

    george & rotana says:

    thnx lina, we have never taken the PP – SR boat trip, maybe one day,,,hope you keep this site going, it helps dispel long held fears most foreigners who have never been to cambodia have, ive been going to the kingdom since 2009, and im amazed how many more young foreign tourists are going there each year, its snowballing…the word is out…it can only bring more money into the kingdom, unfortunately the westernisation of cambodia will inevitably follow, but im very hopeful for the future of the kingdom

    george & rotana says:

    we took the boat a few years ago, my wife(cambodian) always refers to that 9 hour saga as the ‘hell trip’, the scenery itself was interesting & lovely….but the boat we were in was very jam packed with people, mostly farang, the seats were facing inward…so without craning your neck to constantly look sideways outside the boat a person was left facing the people sitting adjacent to you, our necks were sore for days after from looking sideways, also it was stifling hot in june & sitting soo close only compounded the discomfort, i would recommend the trip by boat if you can get one that has forward facing seats & not jammed packed with people

      Lina says:

      Thanks for your report, George. I felt the same way about the Phnom Penh to Siem Reap boat. It was beautiful, but long and uncomfortable. I prefer the bus. :)

      Phulana says:

      Thank you george & rotana. I think you just saved me from a very bad decision! (The boat trip sounded so quaint.)

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