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From sun-kissed beaches and a party atmosphere to the heart of history and culture, the journey from Sihanoukville to Siem Reap shows you two delightful yet very different sides of Cambodia.
Sihanoukville is a coastal town known just as much for its nightlife as it is for its beaches. It is also the gateway to the picture-perfect islands of Koh Rong, Koh Rong Samloem, and Koh Ta Kiev. Located a short ferry ride away from Sihanoukville, these islands are a little slice of paradise with their crystal blue waters, pristine strips of sand and relaxed vibe. All you have to do is head to the beach with a great book, grab a drink and soak in the warm sun.
Siem Reap, on the other hand, is the starting point to exploring the ancient and magnificent temples and ruins of Angkor Wat. Once you have spent some time getting an insight into the country’s culture and past, you could also visit the Old Market and the night market to interact with locals, providing a peek into the country’s present. While in Siem Reap, don’t miss out on viewing an enchanting Apsara dance performance. It’s the perfect way to spend an evening: A traditional Cambodian dance combined with an authentic Cambodian dinner.
The distance from Sihanoukville to Siem Reap is 528 km (328 miles) and takes between 8 hours and 12 hours. While this might seem like a long journey, there are plenty of options to cover this distance based on budget, time, and convenience. You could choose to take an overnight bus, a minivan, or might prefer the luxury of a private taxi. Though not the fastest option, buses are preferred by many travelers as they cover this distance during the night, thereby saving time, and a night’s accommodation. Not to mention, they are the most economical option! Minivans are convenient and the fastest way to get to Siem Reap from Sihanoukville. But, if it’s comfort that you are looking for, then it’s recommended you hire a private taxi.
If you want to save money or save on time, then opt for one of the many sleeper buses that travel this route. The journey from Sihanoukville to Siem Reap by bus takes 11 to 12 hours, which means that you save on booking a hotel for the night. With comfortable beds, pillows and blankets provided, and the cheapest ticket, they are very popular amongst backpackers and budget travelers.
Some travelers do find the buses a little cold, especially as the night progresses, and the air conditioning starts to take effect. So, a pro tip would be to pack a warm sweater or light jacket. Some of the buses are equipped with double beds, so do buy two tickets if you are not comfortable sharing space with a stranger.
If you are looking to travel during the day but still want an economical solution, then taking a minivan from Sihanoukville to Siem Reap may be your best option. You can also hire a minivan if you are traveling as part of a group. They are perfect for groups of 8 to 13 passengers and offer the convenience of hotel pick up and drop off.
Minivan drop-offs in Siem Reap
Comfortable and convenient, booking a private taxi is your best option if you want privacy, flexibility in timings, and have extra luggage to deal with. With a travel time of 8 to 8.5 hours, it is also one of the fastest ways to travel. You can choose to book a standard-sized car if you are traveling alone or as part of a small group of 3 to 4 people or a more spacious SUV if you have a bigger group of 7 to 8 people.
There are around five bus and minivan departures every day, with all buses offering overnight journeys. If none of these work, you could always choose to book a private minivan or taxi with one of the many operators that travel this busy route.
The Sleeping bus by Giant Ibis is the most popular way to travel this route. Per passenger tickets start from $26, and travel time is around 11 hours. With comfortable beds, air conditioning, pillows, blankets, and food & water provided, it is little wonder that most travelers prefer this the most amongst all options available.
The private minivan service offered by Angkor Guide Adventure takes around 8 hrs to travel the distance from Siem Reap to Sihanoukville and is the fastest option. It is perfect for groups of up to 12 passengers.
With prices starting from around $16, the Sleeping Bus by Virak Buntham Express is the most cost-effective way to travel to Sihanoukville from Siem Reap.
The ride from Sihanoukville to Siem Reap takes you through small, busy towns and quiet, green stretches of jungle, giving you a peek into Cambodia outside its popular tourist spots. Take a nap, read a book or look out and daydream as your car or minivan passes by locals and villagers going about everyday life.
If you are taking an overnight bus, you might not get to see too much, but you are sure to reach Siem Reap rested and ready to delve deep into the fascinating history and culture of this incredible city.