A transportation guide to Phnom Penh, Cambodia

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Phnom Penh is one of the most accessible places in Cambodia. Here’s the ultimate transportation guide to Phnom Penh to help you get around.

Phnom Penh bus

The capital city of Cambodia, Phnom Penh, has a vibrant and quite frankly harrowing history, but it’s now a place that tourists and backpackers flock to in order to soak up as much Cambodian culture as possible.

Conveniently located near central Cambodia, Phnom Penh has excellent transport connections to the famed city of Siem Reap, as well as southern Cambodian cities including Sihanoukville, Kampot and even Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam!

We’ve put together the ultimate transportation guide to Phnom Penh that’ll see you cruising around Cambodia and beyond with no problems! 

Kampot to Phnom Penh and/or Phnom Penh to Kampot

Kampot often goes relatively undetected among the traveling community as many people omit it altogether from their Cambodian itinerary.

The food scene in Kampot is what attracts many people to the quaint little town and thanks to its relatively close proximity to the Cambodian capital city, it’s remarkably easy to get to and from Phnom Penh.

The journey from Phnom Penh to Kampot takes between 3 and 4 hours, depending on the kind of transport you’re taking and which company you’re traveling with.

It costs around US $9 per person to travel via minivan from Phnom Penh to Kampot and the top minivan companies include Virak Buntham Express and Champa Mekong Express. The difference between these two companies is marginal, so it really just depends on the timings that you want to leave/arrive in each respective place.

Of course, you could always splash out and rent a private car to travel between Kampot and Phnom Penh, but the prices for this type of transport are high and can sometimes creep up into the hundreds of dollars!

Siem Reap to Phnom Penh and/or Phnom Penh to Siem Reap

A place that’s definitely at the top of most travelers’ Cambodia travel itinerary is Siem Reap and for good reason.

It’s often mistaken as the capital city of Cambodia due to its incredible historic presence that is the famous Angkor Wat temples. The temples of Angkor Wat are undoubtedly one of the very best things to do in Cambodia, so you’ll definitely want to make the trip from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap (or vice versa).

Despite the journey from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap being almost double the length of the journey from Kampot to Phnom Penh (approximately 6 hours), it’s actually very similarly priced, at just US $9 per person.

The cheapest way to get from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap is via Standard Bus or Sleeping Bus.

As the name suggests, the Sleeping Bus takes you between the two cities on an overnight journey, usually between 11am and 5am. With many overnight bus journeys in Southeast Asia, this option is usually cheaper as it’s quite an inconvenience to travel at such unorthodox times.

Despite being somewhat of an inconvenience, however, it does save you money on accommodation costs for the night.

However, in this case between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, there really isn’t any price difference between a normal Standard Bus and the Sleeping Bus.

Take the easy route and travel at a reasonable time with the Standard Bus!

Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville and/or Sihanoukville to Phnom Penh 

Depending on which company you travel to Sihanoukville from Phnom Penh with, will depend on the length of the journey. However, you can usually expect it to take between 5 and 6 hours each way and the journeys are also similarly priced, starting from around US $9 per person.

However, it is the place you need to be if you plan on traveling to the Cambodian islands of Koh Rong and Koh Rong Samloem.

Getting to and from Phnom Penh is remarkably easy if you’re already in Cambodia. Most routes to the capital city take between 3 and 6 hours so you can easily make the journey in one day. If you’re only traveling the short distance between Phnom Penh and Kampot for example, you should try and take the cheapest mode of transport and save the money for lots of delicious food once you get there!

Ho Chi Minh City to Phnom Penh and/or Phnom Penh to HCMC

Despite being in two completely different countries (with Phnom Penh being the capital city of Cambodia and Ho Chi Minh City being in Vietnam), this route actually takes approximately the same length of time as Phnom Penh to Siem Reap!

There are plenty of tourist bus companies who will take you to and from HCMC and Phnom Penh, including Phuong Heng, Sorya Bus and Mekong Express. All these companies are very similarly priced, with one-way tickets starting at around USD 12 per person.

There are also numerous sleeping bus companies available to take you between Ho Chi Minh City and Phnom Penh such as Kumho Samco, as well as luxury minivans by Mekong Express.

Of course, a luxury minivan will be more expensive and as the journey isn’t overly long, it’s probably best to go for the cheaper mode of transport and enjoy the money you saved by spending it when you get there!

Posted September 1, 2020
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Chloe Dickenson
Full time traveler and digital nomad. Obsessed with garlic bread, potatoes and chocolate orange. Huge fan of eating, napping and New York City. Will likely never tire of traveling and determined to inspire as many people as possible to see the world!
image of blog writer Chole