The minivan from Sihanoukville to Kampot: A traveler review

Our time in Cambodia was gradually coming to an end, but we still had one place left to explore for a few days – Kampot.

We’d just spent the last two nights in Sihanoukville and after a visit to the islands of Koh Rong and Koh Rong Samloem, I was excited to head back to a nice city, at least that’s what we’d heard about Kampot!

We had our tickets all booked and ready to go, now it was time to make our way from Sihanoukville to Kampot with CTT Transport

Feeling hot, hot, hot

After a lazy morning lounging around our hotel in Sihanoukville (one of the perks of getting a bus in the afternoon is that you don’t have to get up early!), we ordered a tuk tuk via PassApp and made our way to the SETA Travel Information Centre. 

SETA travel information center, Sihanoukville

We arrived at the office just after 1:00 pm; half an hour before our scheduled minivan departure time. One thing that your ticket always tells you to do is to arrive at least half an hour before you’re due to set off. We always ensure that we do this, but there’s usually no real need to get there extremely early as you’ll be waiting around for the driver anyway!

The SETA Travel office is nice enough; there’s a toilet and a fridge full of drinks that you can purchase if you haven’t brought your own along for the journey. I showed the female member of staff my confirmation email and she took a picture of the booking reference on my phone.

We were then told to sit and wait for another 20 minutes until the driver arrived. The inside of the SETA Travel office was unbelievably hot and I was already incredibly warm after making our way through the intense heat to get there in the first place.

We were hopeful that it was finally time to set off, but the driver just headed outside to sit with other local drivers. Usually I wouldn’t mind too much, but we were already running half an hour late at this stage and everyone was getting very hot.

Just after 2:00 pm, half an hour after our scheduled departure time, the driver called all the waiting passengers and told us it was time to set off; finally!

The minivan was very small and unfortunately Matt (my boyfriend) and I were the last ones to get inside which meant that there weren’t any seats left for us to sit together. This was actually the first time on any mode of transport in Southeast Asia that we’d been unable to sit next to each other which was a shame, but not the end of the world.

Unfortunately, my seat didn’t have a seat belt so I felt quite uncomfortable for the whole journey as I hate not being able to wear a seat belt. I did try and get some sleep and I think I dozed off a couple of times, but as it was such a short journey, I didn’t mind not getting my usual bus nap in!

Kampot, Cambodia

We arrived in Kampot just after 4:00 pm which was only half an hour later than the scheduled arrival time, thanks to our delayed departure from Sihanoukville. However, in Southeast Asia, this is standard!

The bus “station” that we arrived at in Kampot was essentially just someone’s back garden and there were dozens of the bus drivers’ friends waiting around with their tuk tuks, offering to drive people to their accommodation.

Despite the delayed departure, the journey itself wasn’t bad at all and as it was only a couple of hours, it felt like we arrived in Kampot in no time at all.

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