Travelling From Saigon To Siem Reap

Travelling from Saigon to lớn Siem Reap

Though Saigon và Siem Reap are relatively close (as the plane flies it’s just 400 kilometres), travelling between the two cities can be complicated & time consuming. Here are your options.

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The easiest, most straightforward way lớn travel from Saigon is khổng lồ Siem Reap is by plane. From Saigon’s rã Son Nhat International Airport, it is a 1.5 hour flight to lớn Siem Reap-Angkor International Airport. As of 2017 there are daily flights with Vietnam Airlines và Cambodia Angkor Air. Both airlines are similarly priced, with tickets starting at under 2,000,000 dong each way.

In a hurry? Here is the solution. Photo: Stuart McDonald

At Siem Reap airport, the Cambodia visa process is relatively smooth & hassle free. Getting from the airport into Siem Reap is also painless as town is only seven kilometres away. If the hotel doesn’t provide a free airport pickup, head to lớn the prepaid taxi booth just outside the terminal where a xe taxi ride can be purchased for US$8.

The budget conscious can go from Ho chi Minh thành phố to Siem Reap by bus. Tickets start at 400,000 dong, but the trade off is time as there is the land border crossing, rest stops & almost all require a break/bus change in Phnom Penh. Be wary of any one offering an overnight bus from Saigon lớn Cambodia as it is only three hours to the border, which is closed at night. The time you think you’re saving may actually mean wasting time waiting for the border khổng lồ open.

The best option is usually taking an early morning bus. Even with a two-hour bus change in Phnom Penh, it should put you in Siem Reap by 23:00. However, do check what the journey entails. Some companies have many departures from Ho bỏ ra Minh đô thị throughout the morning but their Phnom Penh to Siem Reap service is an overnight sleeper bus, departing late at night. Kiểm tra on arrival/departure times khổng lồ spare yourself a long layover.

On the positive side, buses to Cambodia depart right from Saigon’s backpacker hub Pham gàn Lao (meaning you don’t need lớn travel lớn the bus station) & the roads on the Cambodian side to both Phnom Penh & Siem Reap have greatly improved in recent years. It’s still a long drive and will likely take longer than companies quote, but the journey is less gruelling than it once was.

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Bus companies lớn Phnom Penh and Siem Reap include Sorya, Giant Ibis Transport & The Sinh Tourist.

Sorya Transport has one direct bus from Saigon to lớn Siem Reap and a few via Phnom Penh. The direct sitting bus departs at 06:45, costs US$25 và takes 13.5 hours, arriving in Siem Reap around 20:00. Via Phnom Penh, a sitting bus departs at 08:00, with a 2 hour layover và bus change in Phnom Penh. It’s then a sleeping bus lớn Siem Reap, arriving at 23:00. This trip costs US$20 and takes 15 hours. Other sitting buses depart at 11:30 & 13:45, with 1-2 hour layover & a bus change in Phnom Penh. It’s then a sleeping bus to lớn Siem Reap, arriving at 06:00. This costs US$22 & takes 18-20 hours.

The Sinh Tourist sitting bus lớn Siem Reap departs at 07:00, costs 598,000 dong & takes 13 hours. There are also frequent departures to lớn Phnom Penh from 06:30-15:30. These cost 230,000 dong và takes 7 hours.

Yes, the buses vì chưng run in both directions. Photo: Stuart McDonald

Giant Ibis Transport offers a sitting bus lớn Phnom Penh departing at 08:30 & 12:30. The sleeping bus from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap then departs at 22:30, 23:00, 23:30. To avoid a six hour layover in Phnom Penh, take the later 12:30 departure. The bus costs US$18.

Several companies also offer services from Ho bỏ ra Minh đô thị (departing from Pham dở hơi Lao St) to Phnom Penh only. The Kumho Samco sitting bus departs at 07:00, 08:00, 09:30, 10:30, 12:00, 13:30 & 15:00, costing 230,000 dong. The Sapaco sitting bus departs at 06:00, 08:00, 10:30, 13:00 và costs 230,000 dong.

Although it isn’t a common way to lớn travel, part of the journey from Saigon to Cambodia can be done by boat. The entire journey does require time and effort to carry out. You’ll have to lớn make your own way to lớn Chau Doc by bus, around six hours from Ho bỏ ra Minh City, then take a boat to lớn Phnom Penh.

A speedboat run by Hang Chau departs at 07:30 and takes 5 hours, arriving to lớn 103 Sisowath xoay in Phnom Penh around 12:30. It is 570,000 dong or US$25 per person, & you need khổng lồ book at least a day in advance. Since the boat departs early in the morning, either overnight in Chau Doc or take an overnight bus with Phuong Trang—not a lot of shut eye but it does save some time. The bus at 23:00 is estimated lớn get you into Chau Doc around 05:15. Phuong Trang usually includes không tính phí shuttle from the station lớn wherever you need to lớn go in the city, otherwise inquire with Hang Chau about pick up from the station.

Moneychangers at the border greet the speedboat lớn Phnom Penh. Photo: Stuart McDonald

Once in Phnom Penh you will need to stay overnight & it is another early departure the following day. There’s sometimes a speedboat from Sisowath cù departing at 07:30, and the remaining 250 kilometres taking six hours (or more depending on lake conditions) to Chong Kneas, a lake port & village about 12 kilometres south of Siem Reap. The boat costs US$35. Buy the ticket in advance và arrive at least an hour before the actual departure time. This boat leg is the trickiest part as the ride can be cancelled due khổng lồ low water levels or lack of customers. Finally, it’s a 30-minute tuk tuk ride lớn Siem Reap.

Tickets can be purchased individually along the way or as a package from one of the many Pham ngốc Lao travel agents. Be aware that this isn’t a common request và the travel agent will likely be blindly throwing something together và padding it with extras lượt thích accommodation. It’s easy enough lớn arrange a Phuong Trang bus khổng lồ Chau Doc and Hang Chau boat to Phnom Penh yourself. Once in Phnom Penh, a travel agent or guesthouse can book the boat to lớn Siem Reap.

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Clearly boat is not the cheapest, efficient or easiest, though certainly a more interesting journey than by bus.

Giant Ibis Transport: 237 Pham lẩn thẩn Lao St; T: (12) 0890 2333; Chau: T: (296) 562 771; Samco: 239 Pham lẩn thẩn Lao St; T: (08) 6291 5389Sapaco: 325 Pham dở người Lao St; T: (08) 3810 1466; Transport: 301 Pham đần độn Lao St; T: (090) 2575 765; Sinh Tourist: 246-248 De Tham St; T: (028) 3838 9597;