Cambodia Travel Tips: How to Get Around

Cambodia doesn’t have a wealth of options when it comes to tourist transport; there are no trains (other than the touristic bamboo train in Battambang) and flights are out of the question for budget travel. To get from city to city we had no choice but to use a mixture of buses. So read on to find out more about bus travel around Cambodia; expect breakdowns, bribes and bundles of air con! Here are our travel tips for Cambodia.

On board a Cambodian bus

General Cambodia Travel Tips

As budget travellers we only took the tourist buses in Cambodia, you could perhaps fly or take a private taxi from one place to another but that would be well out of our price range. Here are our general Cambodia travel tips:

  • While travelling in Cambodia we used three bus companies that ply the tourist routes; 168 Sorya, Capitol and Giant Ibis. While 168 Sorya and Capitol are cheaper and cover many more routes with loads of departure times, Giant Ibis has much fewer journeys but is the most expensive with much nicer buses; if you’re lucky then you may even get some Wifi.
  • You can get different classes of buses at varying prices.
  • Most buses do not have a toilet.
  • Your bus is likely to breakdown (we experienced two breakdowns – even on a new bus).
  • Day or night journeys are available although night buses are not recommended for Cambodia as the conditions are dangerous even if you do save on a night’s accommodation costs.
  • Air-con is a usual problem; you’re likely to either be too hot or too cold, although it’s worse at night.
  • We booked all our buses through our hotels and guesthouses, although some may have added a little more to the price, we thought it was worth it as they usually included pick-ups from our accomodation.
  • You can probably turn up at the bus stations and buy tickets there and then but as always, it’s best to book at least a day in advance whenever possible.
  • Although we didn’t use them, there are overnight ‘hotel buses’ which actually have rooms for couples.
  • When crossing borders you will likely use a mixture of buses including minibuses and be asked to pay some bribes.
  • Canby Publications has a great list of bus companies and schedules here.

Here’s what we paid, per person, for the following journeys around Cambodia in January 2014. Please note that this isn’t an exhaustive list of journey options.

Strret dancers in Phnom Penh

How to get from Phnom Penh to Kampot

  • Method of transport: Bus
  • How long? About two to three hours
  • How much? About £6
  • When? 07.00, 08.00, 09.30, 12.00, 14.30 (168 Sorya), 08.00, 14.45 (Giant Ibis), 07.00, 13.00 (Capitol)
  • Where from/to? From Giant Ibis office in the north of Phnom Penh, near the riverfront, to the Giant Ibis office in the centre of Kampot.
    • We’ve taken this journey once; we left at 08.00 on the Giant Ibis bus. It cost us £6 each and took about two and a half hours. We didn’t get a free pick up but it only cost about £0.60 for a tuk tuk to the Giant Ibis office; we arrived in the centre of Kampot where most places are within walking distance.

How to get from Kampot to Phnom Penh

  • Method of transport: Bus
  • How long? About three to four hours
  • How much? About £5
  • When? 06.45, 07.00, 07.45, 12.30 (168 Sorya), 08.30, 14.45 (Giant Ibis), 07.00, 13.00 (Capitol)
  • Where from/to? Pick up from Kampot hotel (with Giant Ibis) to Giant Ibis office in Phnom Penh.
    • We’ve taken this journey once; we took the 14.45 Giant Ibis bus and we were picked up from our guest house at about 14.00. It took about four hours to reach the Giant Ibis office in Phnom Penh and cost us £5 each.

Some Cambodians still use the old methods

How to get from Phnom Penh to Battambang

  • Method of transport: Bus
  • How long? About five to six hours
  • How much? About £7
  • When? 07.00, 08.00, 09.00, 10.00, 12.00, 13.30 (168 Sorya), 07.00, 08.00, 09.00, 10.00, 11.00, 12.00, 14.00, 15.30, 19.30 (Capitol)
  • Where from/to? Capitol bus station in Phnom Penh near Orussey market to Capitol bus station in the centre of Battambang.
    • We’ve taken this journey once; we booked through our hotel with Capitol. We got a tuk tuk to their bus station for the 10.00 bus. It cost us £7 each and took about five and a half hours.

How to get from Battambang to Siem Reap

  • Method of transport: Bus
  • How long? About seven hours
  • How much? About £3
  • When? 07.30, 09.00 (Capitol), 07.30 (168 Sorya)
  • Where from/to? Capitol bus station in the centre of Battambang to Capitol bus station a few kilometres south of the centre of Siem Reap.
    • We’ve taken this journey once; we arrived at the bus station by tuk tuk at about 08.00 and didn’t leave until about 10.00. We paid about £3 each for the journey which was supposed to take only three hours – it took us seven. We were dropped off about 20 minutes outside of the centre of Siem Reap.

Typical family travel in Cambodia

How to get from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh

  • Method of transport: Bus
  • How long? About eight hours
  • How much? About £10
  • When? 07.00, 08.30, 09.30, 10.30, 12.30, 14.00 (168 Sorya), 07.45, 08.45, 12.30, 23.00 (Giant Ibis),  06.15, 07.30, 08.30, 10.15, 12.00, 13.30, 14.30, 15.30 (Capitol)
  • Where from/to? Pick up from your hotel (with Giant Ibis) to the Giant Ibis office in the north of Phnom Penh, near the riverfront.
    • We’ve taken this journey once; although a pick-up from our hotel was included, due to a mix-up with our hotel we had to find our own way to the bus station. We only just managed to get there in time for our 07.45 bus. It cost us £10 each (the more expensive option – the other companies are half the price) and took eight hours.

How to get from Phnom Penh to Kratie

  • Method of transport: Bus
  • How long? About six to seven hours
  • How much? About £8
  • When? 06.45, 07.15, 07.30, 08.00, 10.30 (168 Sorya)
  • Where from/to? We took a tuk-tuk to the 168 Sorya bus station near the central market in Phnom Penh and we were dropped off opposite our guesthouse on Kratie’s main road.
    • We’ve taken this journey once; using 168 Sorya, we took the 10.30 bus (which left at 11.00) and since we broke down along the way and we went via Snuol it actually took 10 hours to reach Kratie

Pyjamas in Kratie

Cambodia to Laos

How to get from Kratie to Four Thousand Islands (Laos)

  • Method of transport: Minibus, bus and boat
  • How long? About six hours (two hours waiting around)
  • How much? About £10
  • When? 07.30
  • Where from/to? Picked up from our guesthouse in Kratie, dropped off at the main port of Don Det
    • We’ve taken this journey once; we left at 07.30 on a cramped minibus, there was a lot of waiting around and changing of buses with some bribes at the border too. Check out our post on border crossings and bribes for more detailed info. We booked through our guesthouse; it cost £10 each and took about six hours in total.

If you want to know how to get around other South East Asian countries, check out this page.

Do you have any travel tips for Cambodia? Any updates? Let us know!

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6 thoughts on “Cambodia Travel Tips: How to Get Around

    • Hi Katie, we spend so much time figuring out travel routes too, so hopefully these posts help fellow travellers 🙂 Cambodia is great, I hope you get there one day too.

    • Thanks Tyler, I hope it helps with your planning. Have a great time in Cambodia; we certainly did! 🙂

  1. Thanks for all info about the countries! Would you say travelling by bus are better in Cambodia than in Laos, or is it the same?

    • Hi Em, I would say that they are quite similar, Cambodian buses were a bit more reliable and comfortable in our experience. Whichever country you choose though I’m sure you will get around fine and have a great time!

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