We recommend to take the bus from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap. The 320km journey to Siem Reap takes 6 hours and costs only $10. You can also book flights from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap starting from $30, but keep in mind that short-haul flights are extremely polluting for the environment.
And at the end you won’t save time as you also need to travel from to the airport. When booking a bus, you can choose between several bus companies with good reputations. If you want, you can even book a night bus so you can save time and sleep throughout the journey. Other options to reach Siem Reap are taking a taxi or ferry.
Taxis are another common method of transport in Cambodia and a taxi ride between the two cities will take approximately 5-6 hours with fares starting at $65-$75. This is a great option when you are travelling with a few people, because you can share the costs.
Flying to Siem Reap is the fastest, but also the most expensive option. An important reason why we rather recommend other means of transport is that short-haul flights are extremely polluting for the environment. Taking a bus is often ten times better for the environment than taking a flight. Especially on short-haul flights.
During the wet season, you can also take a ferry from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap. The ferry crosses Tonle Sap Lake and offers a different experience compared to the other means of travel, although it may not be the most comfortable and can get quite hot.
There are many bus companies operating along this route and we recommend travelling with one of the three well-known companies provided in the table below. These companies have the best reviews and safety records.
Traveling at night is a great option to save time but keep in mind it is safer to travel during the day. The roads in Cambodia can be quite narrow and bumpy, and are not well lit at night.
Departure from the Mekong Express Limousine Bus Office near Chroy Changvar II Bridge, in the city center
Arrival at #14 Siwatha Street, Siem Reap city center
Mey Hong Transport
Departure from Samdach Penn Nouth Street, in front of the National Institute of Public Health, in the city center
Arrival at the Mey Hong Transport Office along National Road 6, near the city center
Giant Ibis Transport
Departure from the Giant Ibis Bus Terminal, near Sisowath Quay, in the city center
Arrival at the Giant Ibis Main Terminal in Siem Reap city center
Virak Buntham Express
Departure from the Virak Buntham Bus Stop, north of Night Market in the city center
Arrival at #249 next to Nakpeoun Old Market roundabout in Siem Reap city center
Phnom Penh to Siem Reap by Mini-bus
While mini-buses don’t provide as much leg space as the buses mentioned above, they are faster and a great way to keep a few extra dollars in your wallet.
We suggest booking with well-known operators such as Angkor E-booking, Bayon VIP, Larryta Express or Mekong Express. Virak Buntham is another option and can take you to Siem Reap about 30 minutes faster, but note that you will still have to take a tuk-tuk to and from its mini-bus stations.
Expect to pay approximately $10-$14 per person for a mini-bus.
The advantage of booking online is that the fare is fixed. You can take your chances by hailing a cab along the road, but you will need to negotiate a good deal with the driver. Expect to pay anywhere from $65 to $130 by taxi hailing.
If you are travelling on a budget or just want to save a few dollars, you can opt for rideshare. You can find rideshares along Psar Thom Thmei near the Central Market in Phnom Penh.
Sharing a ride will cost somewhere between $6 to $12 per person, depending on the price negotiated with the driver.
Keep in mind that the ride may not be as comfortable as the bus or a private taxi. Also, drivers will not leave until the rideshare is completely full, so you might wait a while.
Phnom Penh to Siem Reap by Flight
Duration: 50min Cost: $30
Taking the plane is the fastest option and will get you to Siem Reap in just 50 short minutes. However, as we discussed above, it is not the most sustainable option.
Expect to pay between $40 and $100 for a one-way flight. And if possible, book your flights in advance to avoid higher rates. Lanmei Airlines and Cambodia Angkor Air offer the cheapest rates.
Check available schedules and find the cheapest flights by clicking the button below.
Want to know how to go to the city center from the airport? Have a look at our article on Siem Reap Airport.
Phnom Penh to Siem Reap by Ferry
Duration: 8.5 hours Cost: $40
Taking the ferry is a completely different experience compared to travelling overland. The journey gives you an idea of how locals live along the Tonle Sap Lake. While it will be an interesting journey, it may not offer the spectacular views you were hoping for.
Ferries on this route only operate during the wet season which is from June to November. Bear in mind that the ferries operating along this route may not have the proper safety and cleanliness standards that you’re accustomed to, and the boat ride can get quite hot.
If you’re keen on taking the ferry, you can board at the main ferry port in the center of Phnom Penh.
In Siem Reap, you will arrive at the Phnom Krom Port. From this ferry port, you need to take a tuk-tuk (20min) or a taxi (10-15min) to arrive in the city center of Siem Reap. A tuk-tuk ride usually costs around $5 and a taxi will be approximately $10-$15.
You can book your ferry tickets with Mekong Explore.