I never thought I’d be one to have a favourite bus company while travelling around Asia, but lo and behold, it appears I do.
Giant Ibis have now secured their place as my favorite bus company and I’m happy to travel with them time and again. Our most recent excursion with Giant Ibis was from Kampot to Phnom Penh in Cambodia.
Here’s a full review of our journey.
Rise and shine
At 7:45 am, we made the short 15-minute walk from our homestay in Kampot to the Giant Ibis Bus office. The office is down a little street, just opposite the river, so it’s really easy to find.
When we arrived, I showed the Giant Ibis staff member our confirmation email and she gave us little paper tags to attach to our backpacks. We sat and waited inside the office as it was already so hot outside, despite it only being 8:00 am. There’s also free Wi-Fi inside the office which is just one of the many things I like about Giant Ibis.
Once all the passengers travelling to Phnom Penh had arrived at the Giant Ibis office, we began boarding the bus at 8:20 am. This was a very good start as usually you don’t start getting on the bus until the scheduled departure time, so I was full of hope that we’d actually set off on time!
Cool, calm and connected
This particular Giant Ibis bus was huge so there was plenty of room for everyone on board. There was also sufficient legroom, so even though it was only a four hour journey to Phnom Penh, it was still nice to be able to stretch our legs out and relax.
There was also free Wi-Fi on board the bus, as well as USB slots in every seat which meant that we could surf the web and charge our phones without worrying about running out of battery. Aside from the warm welcome of being able to stay connected online, I also loved the ‘cold’ welcome of the incredibly refreshing air-conditioning. The last few buses and minivans we’ve taken in Cambodia haven’t had great air-con so I’ve found myself overheating a lot but this Giant Ibis bus was perfect!
Once everyone had settled into their seats, a Giant Ibis staff member came round and provided everyone with a bottle of water and a pastry each. This is yet another thing that I love about Giant Ibis buses and their staff; they always ensure that everyone is well catered for.
As there was free Wi-Fi on board the bus, I managed to get my laptop out and get some work done for the first hour and a half of the journey. Before Cambodia, we’d just spent a month in Thailand and as I’m a travel blogger, I was finishing up some of my Thailand content before beginning on my Cambodia posts!
The only slight complaint I had about our journey to Phnom Penh from Kampot was that the driver liked to beep the horn an awful lot at other drivers on the road who were supposedly in his way. However, we’ve become somewhat accustomed to these kinds of road habits while travelling Southeast Asia as most drivers seem to suffer from serious road rage.
Furthermore, driving in Cambodia can certainly be an odd experience to say the least, as you’ll often find many cows lining the roads, even in the most remote areas. It’s definitely a sight to see and one that you don’t see everyday!
At 10:30 am, the bus stopped at a service station where we could get off and use the restroom. There was also a small shop selling various drinks and snacks so you can stock up for the remainder of the journey. The toilet facilities at the services we stopped at were remarkably pleasant. One thing we’ve been surprised by in Cambodia is that the vast majority of public toilets are very respectable, which is a stark contrast to some of the public bathrooms we saw in Thailand or the Philippines, for example.
Arriving in Phnom Penh
The bus set off again at 10:40 am and I spent the rest of the journey watching Netflix thanks to the free on-board Wi-Fi. It was such an easy ride the rest of the way to Phnom Penh and it felt like we arrived there in no time.
In fact, we pulled up into Phnom Penh 10-minutes earlier than the proposed arrival time which was such a nice surprise.
As we were still connected to the free Wi-Fi on the bus, we ordered a tuk tuk via PassApp to another bus station so we could catch the bus from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh City.
I really can’t recommend travelling with Giant Ibis enough; their buses are nearly always on time, there’s usually free Wi-Fi on the bus and the staff are always so lovely and welcoming.