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How To Get From Phnom Penh To Siem Reap


by Dominga Rao



Cambodia, a vibrant destination with a rich cultural heritage and stunning natural landscapes, is home to two of its most popular cities: Phnom Penh, the bustling capital, and Siem Reap, the gateway to the magnificent temples of Angkor Wat. Located approximately 320 kilometers apart, traveling from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap offers visitors a chance to explore different parts of Cambodia and experience its diverse charm.


There are several transportation options available for travelers to make the journey from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap. Whether you prefer convenience, affordability, or a scenic route, you’ll find a suitable mode of transportation to suit your preferences.


In this article, we’ll explore the various options for traveling from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap, including flights, buses, boats, and private cars or taxis. We’ll delve into the details of each option, highlighting their pros and cons to help you make an informed decision and ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey.


So, whether you’re an adventure seeker, a budget-conscious traveler, or simply want to experience the scenic beauty of Cambodia, read on to discover the best way to get from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap.


Option 1: Flights from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap

One of the quickest and most convenient ways to travel from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap is by taking a flight. Several domestic airlines operate daily flights between the two cities, offering travelers a seamless and time-efficient journey.


The flight duration from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap is approximately 45 minutes, making it the fastest option available. This is particularly beneficial for travelers with limited time or those who want to maximize their exploration in Siem Reap.


There are multiple flights departing throughout the day, providing flexibility in choosing a suitable departure time. Whether you prefer an early morning flight to start your day in Siem Reap or a late afternoon departure, there are options available to accommodate your schedule.


It’s worth noting that flight ticket prices can vary, depending on factors such as the airline, booking time, and availability. It is advisable to book your flight in advance to secure the best fares and secure your preferred departure time.


Upon arrival at Siem Reap International Airport, travelers can easily access the city center by taking a short taxi or tuk-tuk ride. The airport is located just a few kilometers away from the heart of Siem Reap, ensuring a smooth transition from the airport to your accommodation.


While flights offer convenience and time savings, it’s important to consider the potential drawbacks. Flight schedules might be subject to change, and delays can occur, especially during adverse weather conditions. Additionally, ticket prices may be higher compared to other modes of transportation, especially during peak travel seasons.


Overall, if you value convenience and want to reach Siem Reap quickly, flying from Phnom Penh is the ideal choice. It allows you to spend more time exploring the temples of Angkor Wat and soak in the unique atmosphere of Siem Reap without wasting valuable time on the road.


Option 2: Bus from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap

If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option to travel from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap, taking a bus is a popular choice. Cambodia has a well-established bus network, with several reputable companies operating daily routes between the two cities.


Bus travel duration from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap is approximately 5-6 hours, depending on traffic conditions and rest stops along the way. The buses are usually well-maintained and equipped with comfortable seating, air conditioning, and sometimes even Wi-Fi.


One advantage of traveling by bus is the opportunity to witness the scenic beauty of Cambodia’s countryside. The route takes you through rural villages, lush green landscapes, and picturesque rice fields, offering a glimpse of everyday life outside the city.


Another benefit of opting for a bus is the affordability factor. Bus tickets are significantly cheaper compared to flights, making it an attractive choice for budget-conscious travelers. Additionally, with the cost savings, you can allocate your funds towards further exploration and experiences in Siem Reap.


It’s recommended to book your bus tickets in advance, especially if you’re traveling during peak seasons or on weekends when buses tend to fill up quickly. Most bus companies offer online booking platforms or have ticket counters in major transportation hubs in Phnom Penh.


Upon arrival in Siem Reap, buses usually drop passengers off at the city’s central bus station or at designated stops near popular areas. From there, you can easily arrange transportation to your accommodation, either by tuk-tuk or taxi.


It’s important to note that the bus journey can be subject to traffic congestion, especially during peak travel times, which might slightly extend the travel duration. Additionally, bus schedules can sometimes be less flexible compared to flights, with limited departure times available each day.


In summary, if you’re seeking an affordable and leisurely way to travel from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap, the bus is an excellent choice. With comfortable amenities and the chance to enjoy the picturesque Cambodian countryside, it provides a cost-effective and immersive experience of the country’s landscapes and local life.


Option 3: Boat from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap

If you are looking for a unique and scenic travel experience, consider taking a boat from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap. Traveling via the waterways of Cambodia provides a different perspective and allows you to witness the beauty of the Tonle Sap Lake.


Boat travel from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap takes approximately 6-10 hours, depending on the water levels and the speed of the boat. It is important to note that this option is seasonal and depends on the time of year and the water conditions.


There are two main types of boats that operate on this route – the slow boat and the speedboat. The slow boat offers a more relaxed and leisurely journey, allowing you to soak in the scenic views along the way. On the other hand, the speedboat is faster but less comfortable, as it can be noisy and bumpy due to the high speeds.


While boat travel provides a unique experience, it does have some limitations. During the dry season, when water levels are low, boats may be unable to operate due to navigational challenges. It is advised to check with local operators or travel agencies for the latest information before planning your trip.


Another consideration to keep in mind is that boat schedules can be less frequent and more limited compared to flights or buses. It is recommended to plan your journey in advance and check the boat schedules to ensure availability.


Upon arrival in Siem Reap, the boats usually dock near the city center. From there, you can easily find transportation, such as tuk-tuks or taxis, to take you to your desired destination.


Boat travel offers a unique opportunity to witness the natural beauty of Cambodia. You can observe river life, floating villages, and the stunning Tonle Sap Lake along the way. It is a slower-paced option that allows you to relax and enjoy the journey while immersing yourself in the peaceful ambiance of the waterways.


In summary, traveling by boat from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap is a scenic and distinctive option, providing a different perspective of Cambodia. If you have the time and are seeking a more adventurous and relaxed journey, the boat is an ideal choice.


Option 4: Private Car or Taxi from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap

For those seeking comfort, convenience, and flexibility, hiring a private car or taxi is an excellent option to travel from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap. This mode of transportation allows you to have full control over your journey and provides a direct and hassle-free experience.


Traveling by private car or taxi offers the advantage of a personalized and comfortable journey. You can enjoy the privacy of your own vehicle and have the flexibility to make stops along the way, allowing you to explore attractions or take breaks as needed. It’s also a great option for families or groups traveling together.


The travel time from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap by private car or taxi is approximately 5-6 hours, depending on traffic conditions and the route taken. It’s advisable to discuss the preferred route with your driver to ensure the most efficient and enjoyable travel experience.


There are several reputable transportation companies and taxi services available for hire in Phnom Penh. It’s recommended to book in advance to secure a reliable driver and negotiate the best price. You can arrange the pick-up location and time that suits your schedule, whether it’s from your hotel or a specific location in Phnom Penh.


Upon arrival in Siem Reap, your driver can drop you off at your desired destination, be it a hotel, guesthouse, or any other location within the city. This eliminates the need for additional transportation arrangements and allows for a seamless transition to your accommodation.


One potential drawback of this option is the cost. Hiring a private car or taxi can be more expensive compared to other modes of transportation, especially if you are traveling alone or as a couple. However, the convenience, comfort, and flexibility it provides often outweigh the additional expense.


It’s essential to ensure the vehicle you hire meets safety standards and possesses the necessary licenses and insurance. Do some research and read reviews to choose a reputable transportation service that prioritizes passenger safety and customer satisfaction.


In summary, traveling by private car or taxi from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap offers comfort, flexibility, and convenience. It’s an ideal option for those who value privacy and want a personalized travel experience. While it may be more expensive, the advantages of this mode of transportation make it a worthwhile choice for many travelers.



When it comes to traveling from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap, there are several options available to suit different preferences and budgets. Whether you prioritize speed, affordability, scenic beauty, or convenience, there’s a mode of transportation that will meet your needs.


If you’re looking for the fastest and most convenient option, flying from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap is the way to go. It saves valuable time and allows you to maximize your exploration in Siem Reap. Just be mindful of potential schedule changes and higher ticket prices during peak travel seasons.


For budget-conscious travelers or those who enjoy a leisurely journey, taking a bus is a great choice. It offers affordability, comfort, and the chance to soak in the picturesque countryside along the way. Be sure to book your tickets in advance, especially during busy times.


If you crave a unique travel experience, consider traveling by boat. Witness the stunning Tonle Sap Lake and enjoy the tranquility of the waterways. Keep in mind that this option is seasonal and subject to water levels and availability.


For those who prefer a personalized and comfortable journey, hiring a private car or taxi provides the utmost convenience and flexibility. It allows you to travel at your own pace and make stops as desired. However, this option may come at a higher cost.


Ultimately, the choice of transportation from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap depends on your preferences, budget, and time constraints. Take into account the pros and cons of each option and choose the one that aligns best with your needs.


No matter which mode of transportation you choose, traveling from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap is an opportunity to explore Cambodia’s beauty and immerse yourself in its rich culture. Whether you embark on a short flight, a scenic bus ride, a serene boat journey, or a comfortable car transfer, enjoy the journey and create lasting memories along the way.