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The launching pad for tours and excursions to the magnificent temples and ruins of Angkor Wat, no trip to Cambodia is complete without a stop in Siem Reap. While the temples can be explored in a day, their beauty and scale can only really be appreciated over a three-day to even a week-long discovery tour. Siem Reap is also known for hosting spellbinding Apsara Dance performances. The Aspara Dance should be viewed along with an evening of fine Cambodian dining; it’s a must-do when in Siem Reap.
Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s bustling capital, has a charm all of its own. While there are plenty of historical and cultural monuments to explore, the city is also known for its vibrant waterfront and street food scene. The Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum along with the Killing Fields are worth visiting, but be warned they paint a very sombre picture of the horrors of the Khmer Rouge regime.
With a distance of 318 km (198 miles), the journey from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh takes five to six hours to cover. There is no shortage of choices for covering this route with multiple operators running buses, minivans and taxis.
If you are looking for economical options, definitely take a bus. Minivans are also a popular choice and just slightly more expensive than the bus. Most bus departures are during the evening or night, while minivans offer timings during the day. So, which mode of transport you pick might depend on your timing preferences. If you want extra space for yourself and your luggage, then booking a private taxi is the best option. While the most expensive choice amongst the three, there is no denying the comfort you get from having a car all to yourself.
With around 20 departures every day, you will find a bus that goes from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh at pretty much any time, day or night. And with ticket prices starting from $9, it’s the cheapest way to travel. While the daytime buses have well-cushioned, comfortable seats, the night buses come with reclining seats or beds that you can lie flat and sleep on. Some of the bus providers even provide snacks! If you are traveling in one of the night buses, carry a warm sweater as the air conditioning can make things pretty chilly as the night progresses.
If you want a faster ride and are willing to fork out a little more than what you would pay for a bus ticket, then traveling by minivan is the best option for you. There are around 48 departures every day with the earliest starting at 06:30 and the last one leaving Siem Reap at 16:30. And with ticket prices starting at $10 per person, they are a popular choice. Of course, if you are traveling as part of a big group, you have the option of booking a private minivan that can seat anywhere from 6 to 13 passengers and provides you with the convenience of hotel pick up and drop off.
Minivan pick ups in Siem Reap
Minivan drop offs in Phnom Penh
When comfort, convenience, and flexibility in timings are of paramount importance, the best option is to rent a private car transfer or taxi. With hotel pick up and drop off and the freedom to make multiple stops, it is perfect for families. While standard sized cars are ideal for small groups of up to three people, bigger SUVs can accommodate up to seven passengers.
Both Phnom Penh and Siem Reap are major tourist hubs, so it’s only natural that there are a lot of options from both cities. With 68 bus and minivan departures each day, you will have no problems finding a ride that works best for your budget and departure time. Add to this the option of booking a private taxi or minivan, and you have even more choices to travel from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh.
Siem Reap to Phnom Penh bus operators
Siem Reap to Phnom Penh minivan operators
Siem Reap to Phnom Penh car companies
With convenient morning and night time departures, combined with ticket prices starting from $9, the Standard Bus by Mey Hong Transport is the most popular choice for travelers.
With a travel time of 5 hours, the Standard Minivan by Sarus Tour is the quickest way to get to Phnom Penh from Siem Reap. Perfect for groups up to 8 people, they provide ample leg room, luggage space and also offer hotel pick up and drop off.
The Sleeping bus by Mey Hong Transport offers the most cost-effective way of getting to Phnom Penh from Siem Reap. Ticket prices start at just $9! A double-decker bus, they provide comfortable, reclining seats along with a blanket to keep warm.
The journey from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh is a great way to experience the Cambodian countryside. Those traveling during the day will get to see green paddy fields and farmers plowing their lands. If you are taking the night bus, you can expect to be in Phnom Penh as the first rays of the sun start to appear in the country’s capital.