How to Take a Bus Between Siem Reap and Phnom Penh

Bus is one of the most popular ways to get from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh and visa versa.  It’s cheap, it’s relatively fast and it’s semi-safe.  With that being said, your experience can vary greatly depending on the carrier you choose to go with.  Keep your eyes peeled..driving through the Cambodian countryside is beautiful, and even through the windows of a moving bus you can garner a lot about life outside Cambodia’s tourist-centered cities.

Deluxe Buses:

Mekong Express

Mekong Express is one of your top two options when it comes to bus travel across Cambodia.  These buses have A/C, on-board toilet, give you a bottle of water and have on-board entertainment (generally an English movie with subtitles).  The buses leave Siem Reap from Chong Kov. Sou Bus Station, but if arrange through your hotel Mekong Express will pick you up free of charge and take you to the bus – a very simple option. The ride is generally smooth, but can be slow at times as you weave in and out of people, motorbikes and cattle blocking the roughly paved roadway.  Expect the journey to take about 6 hours, and you will stop approximately half way to eat.  The buses can be booked or your ticket secured the before your travel, but the morning buses often fill up quickly.  These luxury buses cost $12.00 US per person, but prices are subject to change as is the schedule.  Here is an outline:

Phnom Penh to Siem Reap: 7:30am, 8:30am, 12:30pm and 2:25pm

Siem Reap to Phnom Penh: 7:30am, 8:30am, 9:45am and 12:30pm

Giant Ibis Transport

Giant Ibis is the Cambodian equivalent to Vietnam’s Mekong Express and is one of the nicest bus fleets on the roadway.  The new buses offer good A/C, free wifi (which as you can imagine doesn’t work well), entertainment, a snack, on-board toilet and free pickup from your hotel.  Giant Ibis treats its buses like planes and includes a steward on board who does a great job of letting passengers know what to expect.  The bus does stop half way for food and toilet access.   The Giant Ibis luxury buses cost $13.00 US per person.

Phnom Penh to Siem Reap and Siem Reap to Phnom Penh: 7:45am, 8:45am, 12:30pm and an 11:45pm night bus

I highly recommend traveling with one of the these two carriers especially if you’re not accustomed to bus travel or you’re traveling with a family.  However, those looking to save a few bucks have some options as well..

Other Buses:

Sokha Komar Tep Express 

Cost: $7.00 US from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap/ $8.00 US from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh

Departs: 7:30am, 8:00am, 8:30am, 9:30am, 12:30pm, 1:00pm, 1:30pm and night buses run at 6:30pm, 7:30pm, 11:30pm and 12:30am

Virak-Bunthan Express Tour (Overnight Buses)

Cost: $7.00 US from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap/ $8.00 US from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh

Departs: Phnom Penh 6:00pm, 10:00pm and 12:00am / Siem Reap 7:00pm, 10:00pm and 12:00am