Are you heading to Cambodia to visit the stone temples of Angkor Wat and other incredible sites? Perhaps you’re planning to visit as part of a wider Southeast Asia adventure, or maybe you’re just focusing on all there is to see in Cambodia.
Whatever your plans, if you’re travelling to this country, as well as having all your paperwork sorted like your Cambodia eVisa, we advise reading up on your transport options in advance. This will ensure that your trip goes as smoothly as possible and you can make the most of all there is to see and do here.
Buses are the main form of transport in Cambodia and air-conditioned services run frequently between most major cities. Phnom Penh is the country’s main transportation hub. You can find buses running from here to all major towns up and down the country.
There are also scheduled services to get you to other parts of Southeast Asia, namely Thai capital Bangkok and Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City. Night buses between the country’s most popular tourist destinations are also available.
All aboard to find out more information about buses in Cambodia!
What Is the Best Bus Company in Cambodia?
Buses in Cambodia are not expensive. However, even if you are travelling on a budget, we recommend spending a bit more where possible to reserve a ticket with a company that offers a more comfortable service. While all buses are usually fairly comfortable and air-conditioned, the cheaper ones are often older vehicles and stop at more places, adding to your total journey time.
Deluxe transport services, which pride themselves on their safety and comfort, are popular among tourists. Some will even pick you up straight from your hotel for no additional fee.
Some of these companies include:
- Giant Ibis Bus Cambodia – has the best safety record of any passenger transport company in the country, according to the Ministry of Public Works and Transportation.
- Mekong Express – provides deluxe buses from Phnom Penh to multiple destinations in Cambodia.
These companies offer reliable services from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap, Sihanoukville, Kampot and Ho Chi Minh City, among other routes.
How to Buy a Cambodia Bus Ticket
You can purchase your bus ticket for Cambodia online via sites such as the Giant Ibis Bus site. They are easy to use and can be bought on the go. You will just need to select your origin and destination and preferred travel date. You then choose which time you want to travel and your preferred seat.
If you are staying in a hostel or hotel, be sure to ask the receptionist if they sell bus tickets, as they might offer discounts as affiliates of the bus company. In other cases, it can be cheaper to buy them at the station or when boarding; however, sorting your ticket in advance will give you peace of mind ahead of your travels.
Night Buses in Cambodia – How to Make Your Journey More Comfortable
Travelling on a night bus in Cambodia can be a good option for a number of reasons:
- It saves you money to buy more souvenirs like beautiful Cambodian silks and scarves.
- It gives you more time to explore as you travel while you sleep, rather than during the daytime hours when you could be out seeing the sites.
- You can lay down rather than sit up for hours on end and give yourself cramp.
Night bus services are available for journeys of 6-8 hours and over. Ticket prices vary depending on the time of year.
From the capital Phnom Penh, you can take a night bus to the following places:
- Ho Chi Minh
- Siem Reap
Night buses in Cambodia usually have 2 rows of double bunk beds.
There are normally 3 areas you can buy tickets for:
- Sleeping bus (1 bed for 2 people).
- Hotel bus (1 bed for 2 people + 1 bed for 1 person on the other side).
- VIP bus (1 bed for 1 person on each side).
Option 1 is the cheapest and option 3 is the most expensive (but also the most comfortable).
The option that is best for you will depend on your budget. The Hotel bus is a good middle ground.
Tickets can be purchased directly via the company’s website or via a third-party site like ‘BookMeBus’. We recommend that you buy yours as early as possible to get a single bed if you are a solo traveller, or a couple’s bed if you are travelling with someone else.
Things to bring with you to make your journey as comfortable as possible:
- A travel pillow.
- An eye mask.
- Snacks (just not any with a strong smell).
- Enough water to stay hydrated.
- Something to keep you warm.
- Earplugs and/or headphones.
- A bag where you keep all your personal belongings, which you should keep on your person throughout the journey.
- Toiletries like your toothbrush and face wipes so you can freshen up.
Keeping Safe on Buses in Cambodia
As we mentioned before, if you are travelling on a night bus, it is wise to keep your possessions on you at all times. You could even purchase a money belt to wear while you are sleeping.
Cambodia is generally a safe country. However, the roads can be dark and somewhat dangerous at night. Solo female travellers might want to avoid night buses and travel by day or via an alternate mode of transport. Make sure to buy tickets for your journey from a reputable company where you know that the drivers take regular breaks.
As always when travelling abroad, it is also wise to purchase good travel insurance for Cambodia to protect yourself in the unlikely event that you lose some of your belongings.
Cambodia Bus From Phnom Penh to Siem Reap
Wondering how to get from the capital to Siem Reap, the gateway to the ancient ruins of Angkor?
There are a number of bus companies offering both economy and VIP services travelling between these 2 destinations.
In the past, Giant Ibis and Mekong Express used to have a monopoly but now there are several services offering quality transport to take you to see the sights. These include Bayon VIP, Cambodia Post VIP, Larryta Express, and Seila Angkor.
To give you an idea, economy services cater to around 50 passengers and prices are approximately 5 to 6 USD one way.
VIP buses are smaller and more comfy, accommodating about 15 people. They are about double the price at 9-12 USD for a one-way ticket. However, this is likely still very cheap compared to the prices in your home country.
Where Does the Bus Depart From?
Giant Ibis has a ticket office in Phnom Penh located on Street 106. However, buses leave and arrive from the Giant Ibis bus station on Street 90 which is found behind the National Library building.
How Long Does It Take?
VIP buses take around 6 hours while economy ones usually take 7. Both types of transport will make short stops along the way for toilet breaks and so you can buy snacks.
En route you will pass through the Cambodian countryside, driving past rice paddies and traditional Khmer homes.
Is There Wifi On Board?
Although wifi is advertised, the connection is generally slow and unreliable, so it is worth buying a local SIM with data if you want to stay connected.
Where Does the Bus Drop You off?
Your journey will end at the main bus station which is just outside of Siem Reap.
The address is: Borey Seang Nam 1, Sangkat Chreav, Siem Reap.
From here you can take a Tuk Tuk to the city centre (ask for the old market area).
Bus From Cambodia to Vietnam
Cambodia is a great base to explore other parts of Southeast Asia. Vietnam is a very popular option with travellers to this part of the world and the good news is that you can travel between these 2 countries easily!
How long is the journey?
The distance from Cambodia to Vietnam is 392 km.
Daily buses run regularly between Phnom Penh (Cambodia) and Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam). The travel time is around 6 hours and you can be picked up from your hotel. The average price is 9 USD.
Important: eVisas for Vietnam are valid for crossing from Cambodia into Vietnam, whether you’re travelling by bus through a land border checkpoint or via another mode of transport.
The Saigon-Phnom Penh crossing is a popular, well-established crossing for tourists. There are hotels and guesthouses located near the border where you can make a reservation if you want to stay overnight.
We hope you now have all the information you need about bus travel in Cambodia! For more information about visiting this exciting travel destination, head over to our Visit Cambodia page now.