Phnom Penh to Siem Reap: Bus, Flight, Ferry?

Phnom Penh to Siem Reap: Bus, Flight, Ferry?

Everything you need to know about the three modes of transportation available for you to cross Cambodia!

Located in northwestern Cambodia, Siem Reap is home to the iconic Angkor Wat. With the ancient temple pictured on Cambodia’s flag, you simply have to make a trip down to Siem Reap when you’re in the country!

There are three main ways to get from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap: bus, flight or ferry. Don’t know which one is right for you? Read on to find out!  

Bus from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap

Bus from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap

Image credit: shankar s.

Duration: About 6 hours

Cost: From USD12 (~SGD16.40)

Most people opt to take the bus to travel from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap. Although there are many bus companies available, two notable companies are Giant Ibis and Mekong Express. Compared to the others, these two companies have a better safety record and newer buses with modern amenities.

Giant Ibis

Giant Ibis is popular amongst travellers as buses are equipped with WiFi and power outlets onboard. Other amenities include complimentary snacks and bottled water, and a cold towel. You can book your tickets and choose your seats online. Ticket prices start from USD16 (~SGD21.90).

Phnom Penh bus stop: Street 90, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Siem Reap bus stop: Khmer Pub St, Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia

Bus departure timings (both directions): 8.45am, 9.45am, 12.30pm, 11pm, 11.30pm

Contact: Website

Mekong Express

Bus from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap

Image credit: Clay Gilliland

Mekong Express bus tickets are a little cheaper at USD12 (~SGD16.40) and you can book your tickets online. Similar amenities are also available onboard such as WiFi, a cold towel and charging outlets.

Phnom Penh bus stop: #2020, No Road 5, S.K Toul Sangke, Khan Russey Keo, Phnom Penh City, Kingdom of Cambodia

Siem Reap bus stop: 63 Road, Wat Svay Village, Svay Dangkum Commune, Siem Reap

Bus departure timings (Phnom Penh to Siem Reap): 7.30am, 8.30am, 12.30pm, 2.25pm, 11.30pm

Bus departure timings (Siem Reap to Phnom Penh): 7.30am, 8.30am, 10.30am, 12.30pm, 11.30pm

Contact: Website

Flight from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap

Flight from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap

Image credit: Ekrem Canli

Duration: About 40 minutes

Cost: Varies from USD40 (~SGD54.70) to USD100 (~SGD136.70)

Taking the plane is no doubt the fastest option to get from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap. However, prices can vary greatly depending on how early you book your tickets and the  airline. Currently, there are three airlines offering daily flights from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh; Cambodia Angkor Air, Lanmei Airlines and JC International Airlines.

Despite being the fastest option, many domestic flights are susceptible to delays! Another thing to keep in mind is that Phnom Penh International Airport and Siem Reap International Airport are pretty small with few shopping options.

Flight from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap

Image credit: Marc Schieferdecker

Tip: Since most short-haul domestic flights from Phnom Penh and Siem Reap uses an ATR72 plane, book your seats towards the back of the plane. Seats close to the turbo propellers can get very noisy.  

Phnom Penh International Airport (PNH): 12000 Angkor Road, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Siem Reap International Airport (REP): NR6, Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia

Ferry from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap

Ferry from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap

Image credit: Dmitry A. Mottl

Duration: About 8.5 hours

Cost: From USD30 (~SGD41)

If you’re an adventure buff, you might want to consider taking the ferry from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap! Although it takes the longest time, you can get a glimpse of the local life along Tonle Sap Lake and be treated to stunning sights along the way.

However, there are several challenges you have to overcome to take this route. Firstly, ferries only operate during the wet season from July to March. Hence, you have to plan your trip around those months. Secondly, since ferries are geared towards the locals rather than tourists, it’s harder to book your tickets online. Also, the ferries might not uphold high safety and cleanliness standards. From most reviews online, ferries often break down and no life jackets are provided.  

Ferry from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap

Image credit: Mike Norton

If you’re committed to travel like a local, here’s how! Board the ferry from Phnom Penh ferry port located in the heart of Phnom Penh city. The ferry will take you to Phnom Krom Port in Siem Reap. From there, take a 20-minute tuk-tuk ride to get to Siem Reap city centre. The tuk-tuk ride normally costs around USD5 (~SGD6.80).

Phnom Penh ferry port: Kampong Chamlong Phnom Penh Areiy Ksatr

Siem Reap ferry port: Phnom Krom Port, 63, Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia

Comparison: Bus, Flight, Ferry?

Comparison: Bus, Flight, Ferry

It is not surprising that travelling by bus is the most popular choice thanks to the low cost. Moreover, if you’re travelling on a night bus, you can save the cost of one night’s accommodation! Despite the relatively long travel time, buses offer a smooth and scenic ride.

If you’re short on time and are planning your trip in advance, taking a flight from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap would be the best option for you. However, domestic flights can be unreliable so keep your fingers crossed!

Ferries are the least popular choice as the payoff between the cost and duration is not optimised. However, if you’re an adventurous traveller, you can get a taste of the local life and have the best scenery by taking the ferry.

Ultimately, the decision boils down to your itinerary, comfort level and budget. Whether you choose to travel by land, air or on water, be sure to make a trip down to the mysterious Cambodian city of Siem Reap from Phnom Penh!

About Author

Sara Amira
Sara Amira

Sara’s passions in life are travelling, writing and eating. When she’s not in a window seat of a plane, she’s either cafe-hunting or exploring new neighbourhoods


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