Discover How to Travel From Phnom Penh to Siem Reap

How to travel from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap, two major cities in Cambodia, There are a few different options for this. Phnom Penh is the capital and largest city of Cambodia. It is located in the southern part of the country, situated at the confluence of the Tonlé Sap and Mekong Rivers. The city serves as the political, economic, and cultural center of Cambodia. Its geographic coordinates are approximately 11.5564° N latitude and 104.9282° E longitude.

Siem Reap is a city in northwestern Cambodia and is a popular tourist destination primarily due to its proximity to the ancient temples of Angkor Wat. It’s located about 314 kilometers (195 miles) northwest of the capital city, Phnom Penh. The city of Siem Reap is situated near the northern shore of the Tonlé Sap Lake and the Siem Reap River. Its geographical coordinates are roughly 13.3550° N latitude and 103.8552° E longitude.

Cambodia is a country located in Southeast Asia. It is situated on the Indochinese Peninsula and shares borders with several countries:

  • To the west and northwest, Cambodia shares a border with Thailand.
  • To the north, it shares a border with Laos.
  • To the east, it shares a border with Vietnam.
  • To the south, it has a coastline along the Gulf of Thailand.

Cambodia’s geographical coordinates are approximately 12.5657° N latitude and 104.9910° E longitude. The capital city of Cambodia is Phnom Penh.

How to Travel from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap


Buses are a popular and affordable way to travel between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. Several bus companies operate this route, offering different levels of comfort and amenities. The journey takes approximately 5 to 6 hours, depending on traffic and road conditions.

Some popular bus companies used in traveling from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap

Several popular bus companies operate the route between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap in Cambodia. These companies offer varying levels of comfort, amenities, and schedules. Some of the well-known bus companies that travelers often use for this journey include:

How to Travel From Phnom Penh to Siem Reap
Every day life at rush hour in Phnom Penh. Photo taken from Preah Sisowath Quay in the evening sun. Source:
  1. Giant Ibis: Known for its safety and comfort, Giant Ibis offers a reliable service with modern buses, charging outlets, and Wi-Fi. They have multiple daily departures between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap.
  2. Mekong Express: Mekong Express is another reputable bus company with a range of departure times. Their buses provide comfortable seats and air conditioning.
  3. Cambodia Post VIP Van: This company offers vans with fewer seats, providing a bit more space and comfort compared to larger buses. They also offer Wi-Fi and charging outlets.
  4. Virak Buntham Express: Virak Buntham is a popular option for travelers as well. They have different classes of buses with varying levels of comfort.
  5. Phnom Penh Sorya Transport: Sorya Transport is one of the older bus companies in Cambodia. They offer budget-friendly options for travelers.
  6. Bayon VIP: Bayon VIP provides a more upscale experience, often with fewer passengers on each bus and more comfortable seats.
  7. Olongpich Express: This company offers various bus options, including sleeper buses, which are designed for overnight travel.
  8. Capitol Tours: Capitol Tours is another well-known operator with various bus types, including sleeper buses.

2. Domestic Flights

You can also choose to fly between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. The flight takes around 45 minutes, making it the fastest option. Various airlines, including Cambodia Angkor Air and Lanmei Airlines, operate flights between the two cities. However, keep in mind that the airport check-in and security processes can add some extra time to your overall travel time.

What you need to know about domestic flights when travelling from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap

Traveling by domestic flight from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap is a convenient and relatively fast option.

  1. Flight Duration: The flight time between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap is relatively short, typically around 45 minutes. This makes it the fastest way to travel between the two cities.
  2. Airlines: Several airlines operate flights on this route, including Cambodia Angkor Air, Lanmei Airlines, and occasionally other carriers.
  3. Booking: You can book flights through the respective airline’s official website, travel agencies, or online travel booking platforms. It’s recommended to book your flight in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons.
  4. Airport Transportation: Phnom Penh has the Phnom Penh International Airport (PNH), while Siem Reap has the Siem Reap International Airport (REP). Both airports are well-equipped with facilities for travelers. Transportation options such as taxis, tuk-tuks, and shuttle services are available for getting to and from the airports.
  5. Check-In and Security: Arrive at the airport with enough time for check-in and security procedures. While the flight itself is short, you’ll need to factor in time for checking in your luggage, going through security, and getting to the boarding gate.
  6. Baggage Allowance: Check the baggage allowance policy of the airline you choose. Different airlines may have varying policies regarding the amount of baggage you can carry and any associated fees.
  7. Weather Considerations: Flights are generally less affected by weather conditions compared to ground transportation. However, occasional delays or cancellations can still occur due to factors like airport operations and air traffic control.
  8. Cost: Domestic flights can be more expensive than other modes of transportation, such as buses or shared vans. The convenience and time saved might outweigh the extra cost for some travelers.
  9. View from Above: A benefit of flying is the opportunity to see Cambodia’s landscapes from above, which can be a unique and beautiful experience.

3. Private Taxi or Car

Hiring a private taxi or car is a more comfortable but relatively expensive option. The journey can take around 5 to 6 hours, and you have the flexibility to stop along the way to take in the sights or rest.

What you need to know when travelling from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap by private taxi or car

Traveling by private taxi or car from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap offers convenience, comfort, and flexibility.

  1. Travel Time: The journey by private taxi or car takes around 5 to 6 hours, depending on road conditions, traffic, and any stops you might make along the way.
  2. Convenience: Private taxis or cars offer a level of comfort and privacy that other modes of transportation may not provide. You have control over the stops you make and can travel at your own pace.
  3. Scheduling: You can choose the departure time that suits you best, allowing for a more personalized travel experience. However, it’s advisable to start early to avoid traffic and make the most of your day.
  4. Stops and Sightseeing: With a private vehicle, you have the flexibility to stop at points of interest along the route, which can enhance your travel experience. You might choose to visit local markets, historical sites, or picturesque landscapes.
  5. Cost: Traveling by private taxi or car is typically more expensive than taking a bus or shared van. The cost varies depending on factors such as the type of vehicle, the company you hire from, and any additional services you request.
  6. Comfort: Private taxis or cars usually provide a more comfortable travel experience compared to buses or vans. You have more space and can relax during the journey.
  7. Booking: You can book a private taxi or car through various means, including contacting local transportation companies, using ride-hailing apps if available, or arranging it through your accommodation.
  8. Driver’s Knowledge: Local drivers often have good knowledge of the road conditions and routes, which can be especially helpful if you’re not familiar with the area.
  9. Language Barrier: Make sure you and the driver have a clear understanding of the route and any specific stops you want to make. It might be helpful to have your destination and stops written down in Khmer if language could be a potential barrier.
  10. Road Conditions: While major highways are generally well-maintained, some parts of the road might be rough or under construction. Road conditions can impact travel time.

4. Shared Minivans

Shared minivans are a common choice for many travelers. These minivans can be booked through travel agencies or at bus stations. The travel time is similar to that of buses, and they are usually a bit faster since they make fewer stops.

What you need to know about this mode of transportation

Traveling by shared minivan from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap is a popular option for many travelers in Cambodia.

How to Travel From Phnom Penh to Siem Reap
How to Travel From Phnom Penh to Siem Reap


  1. Travel Time: The travel time by shared minivan is similar to that of buses, taking around 5 to 6 hours, depending on traffic and road conditions.
  2. Cost: Shared minivans are generally more affordable than private taxis or cars, making them a budget-friendly choice for travelers.
  3. Convenience: Shared minivans offer a balance between comfort and affordability. While they might not be as spacious as private vehicles, they provide a more comfortable experience compared to buses.
  4. Scheduling: Minivans usually have scheduled departure times throughout the day, so you can choose a time that suits your travel plans. Keep in mind that departure times might vary between different minivan companies.
  5. Booking: You can book a seat in a shared minivan through travel agencies, at bus stations, or sometimes through your accommodation. It’s a good idea to book your seat in advance, especially during busy travel periods.
  6. Stops: Shared minivans might make a few stops along the way for bathroom breaks, rest stops, or to pick up and drop off passengers. These stops can be a good opportunity to stretch your legs.
  7. Comfort: While shared minivans are more comfortable than buses, keep in mind that the level of comfort can vary between different operators. Some minivans might have air conditioning, while others might not.
  8. Luggage: Minivans typically have limited storage space for luggage, so it’s important to pack efficiently and consider any baggage restrictions.
  9. Local Experience: Traveling in a shared minivan allows you to interact with fellow travelers and experience a bit of local life.
  10. Language Barrier: Communication might be limited with the driver and other passengers, so it can be helpful to have your destination and any important information written down in Khmer or easily accessible on your phone.
  11. Road Conditions: The road between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap is generally well-maintained, but road conditions can vary. Some parts of the route might be bumpy or under construction.

5. Boat (During High Water Season)

In the wet season (usually from June to November), you might have the option to take a boat along the Tonlé Sap River between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. This route can be a unique experience, allowing you to see rural Cambodian life along the river. However, boat schedules can be unpredictable due to changing water levels.

Traveling by boat from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap is a unique and scenic option, particularly during the wet season when water levels are higher.

What you need to know about traveling by boat from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap
  1. Route and Duration: The boat journey typically follows the Tonlé Sap River and the Tonlé Sap Lake. During the wet season (usually from June to November), water levels rise, allowing boats to travel more easily between the two cities. The journey can take around 6 to 8 hours or even longer, depending on water conditions and the type of boat.
  2. Availability: Boat services are more likely to be available during the wet season when the water levels are higher. During the dry season, the water levels might not be sufficient for boats to navigate the entire route.
  3. Scenic Experience: Traveling by boat offers a different perspective of Cambodia’s landscapes and local life along the river and lake. You’ll have the opportunity to see rural communities, floating villages, and the natural beauty of the area.
  4. Comfort: The comfort level of boat travel can vary. Some boats might be more basic, while others might offer more amenities. You might want to bring a cushion or something to sit on for added comfort.
  5. Weather Considerations: Boat schedules can be influenced by weather conditions, especially during the rainy season. Heavy rainfall or storms might impact departure times or even lead to cancellations.
  6. Booking: Boat services can be arranged through local travel agencies or tour operators. Keep in mind that schedules might change, so it’s a good idea to confirm the details before you plan your journey.
  7. Baggage: Make sure to consider baggage restrictions and storage on the boat. You’ll want to pack your belongings securely to protect them from potential splashes.
  8. Local Experience: Traveling by boat offers a more local and immersive experience compared to other modes of transportation. You’ll get to observe daily life along the waterways and interact with locals.
  9. Language Barrier: Communication might be limited, especially if you don’t speak Khmer. Having important information written down or easily accessible on your phone can be helpful.
  10. Alternative Routes: Depending on water levels and weather conditions, boat routes might vary. Some boats might travel directly between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, while others might involve transfers to smaller boats or vehicles at certain points

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