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.

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

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    alev says:

    Thank you for the detailed info. It helped me great. In February I will be in Siem Reap and I was wondering how I can go to Battambang. It seems mini bus is the best option. If boats would be safer and cheaper I would definitely consider it. If I can’t go to a floating village tour, I might consider it also. Thank you again!

    Ester says:

    Just a small an update.
    I am currently travelling from SR to BtB with Kapitol and the bus is just fine! Seems to be quite new, air con is working and the bus left on time.

    Willynn says:

    What is the best way to travel from Battambang to Bangkok? What it be more feasible to travel from Battambang to Poipet? I’m trying to get to Bangkok within a day.

    Elke says:

    Dear lina,
    We want a transfer from battambang to Siem reap, but we are by bicycle. Can you recommend us if it’s possible to hire a taxi (or van,…) whith bike-transportation?
    Thank you very much!

      Lina says:

      Yes, I would visit BookMeBus and ask them which bus companies will let you bring a bicycle. I am pretty sure all of the full size buses allow it.

    arasu says:

    i intend to visit phnom penh – battanbang ( bahai temple ) siem reap
    advise please on hotels / bus fares

    Karen says:

    I am thinking of a day trip to Battambang from Siem Reap. From what I have read, a taxi appears to be the best way to go? I would need to be back in Siem Reap no later than 530pm. Would you agree with this assumption? Appreciate any recommendations you may have.


    Zariss says:

    Hi, thanks for the information. I would like to know opinions. If I travel from Poi Pet and end at Phnom Penh, which route do you guys think will be the best view and journey?

    1. Poi Pet -> Siem Reap -> Battambang -> Phnom Penh… or

    2. Poi Pet -> Battambang -> Siem Reap -> Phnom Penh?

    Tắm says:

    What’s an average tuk tuk fare into Siem Reap center from the Battambang to SR boat dock?

    bkkflyer says:

    1.Capitol bus leaves BUSst at 7.45 +20 ins in my case, pick up from central intown office is 7.30. This bus runs to SR via Beantay (=sisophon) where most change for Poipet.
    2.Arr in BTB we were met with a freidnly tuktukdriver charging just 2000 r/50 cts each for ride into town, he gave out his namecard for any daytours etc and it was all hasselfree.
    [email protected]: Stayed just 1 nite in BTB and found it a lovely, quiet relaxed town with not really much else to do as gazing at the old-style French buildings. Depends what your kids want to do/see all day. there are a few minor atractions, but these are all quite far out of town via rutted roads.

    Lee says:

    Hi Lina,

    Thanks for the info. We are heading out to Siem Reap next week for a eight day stay. We want to take a side trip to Battambang (bus or taxi) for the bat cave – my son is a big batman fan. The riverboat sounds interesting for the return trip to Siem Reap. Is it a good idea in December for a family with an eight and a nine year old for the river tour? Is Battambang worthwhile?


      Lina says:

      I wouldn’t take the boat — I have heard reports of it taking 6-8 hours lately and it’s not very safe. Did you read my Battambang guide linked at the top of this post? I think it’s worthwhile.

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