Want to know how to get from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh? In this post, we’ll share a summary of the two ways to get there and compare each option on duration, costs and level of comfort. For each option, we go into more detail to help you decide which transport provider to book with and where to buy your tickets.
What to expect when visiting Ho Chi Minh
Ho Chi Minh is Vietnam’s largest and probably busiest metropolis. Formerly called Saigon, the city pulsates with energy and organised chaos. Its streets are packed with motorcycles day in and day out, we absolutely have no idea how everyone manages not to bump into each other!
Don’t miss a visit to the War Remnants Museum and Central Post Office, one of the oldest buildings in Ho Chi Minh. Shop (and prepare to haggle) at Ben Thanh Market, and explore the nearby Cu Chi Tunnels. When its bustling streets become too much, know that you can always find solace in one of its many cosy coffee shops.
2 ways to get from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh
There are two ways to travel the distance of 230 km (143 miles) from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh: by bus (5-7 hours) and flight (2h15m). The journey takes between 2h15m - 7h and the quickest way is by flight. The lowest priced tickets start from 218,000 VND ($9) + 2,706,000 VND ($110.00) for the flight.
Travelling from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh by bus isn’t too difficult. In fact, many travellers prefer this method because it’s cheaper than flying. Another advantage of taking the bus is that it produces fewer emissions and is, therefore, more eco-friendly.
You can choose from a few companies operating on this route. These include Long Phuong Cambodia, Kumho Samco and Giant Ibis.
Long Phuong offers the cheapest fares starting from 660,000 VND ($27.00). However, it gets mixed reviews. Some passengers have praised its helpful staff, while others have complained about poor customer service.
Kumho Samco and Giant Ibis are a bit more expensive, but they also get better reviews — both for their professional staff and comfortable buses. Also, Giant Ibis offers free hotel pick-up in Phnom Penh city centre.
Departure and arrival stations
Long Phuong departs from its headquarters in Phnom Penh city centre, beside the National Olympic Stadium. It arrives at Long Phuong Tours in Ho Chi Minh’s Pham Ngu Lao.
Kumho Samco leaves from its office in Phnom Penh city centre and parks at its terminal in Ho Chi Minh tourist centre.
Giant Ibis picks up passengers from any hotel in the centre of Phnom Penh. It arrives at Giant Ibis Transport, also along Pham Ngu Lao.
Most of the buses from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh cross the border at the Bavet–Moc Bai Checkpoint. The immigration stop at the border isn’t very organised or modern, but the staff of the bus companies will explain to you what to do and how to obtain your entry stamp.
Depending on your nationality, you need to apply for an e-visa to enter Vietnam through the Moc Bai border. Your e-visa should specify “Moc Bai landport” as your port of entry. If you choose the wrong entry port, you will be refused entry at the Moc Bai border.
The bus normally makes one bus stop just before the Vietnamese border. This serves as your last chance to spend your remaining Cambodian Riel!
TIP: Always keep a lookout for the bus personnel or fellow travellers from your bus so you don’t get lost.
Our favourite places to stay in Ho Chi Minh
Ho Chi Minh is home to around 9 million people. To fit that many people, it has got to be a pretty big city, which can make choosing the right area a little overwhelming.
Here is a quick rundown of the best districts for you to stay in:
District 1 is the heart of Ho Chi Minh City and is a popular choice for tourists due to its proximity to major attractions like the Ben Thanh Market, Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon, and the War Remnants Museum.
Pham Ngu Lao is located within District 1 and is popular amongst budget travellers due to its nightlife, street food and cheap accommodations.
District 3 is less touristy but still relatively central and offers a more local experience. It’s known for its beautiful tree-lined streets and French colonial architecture.
District 5 (Chinatown) offers a unique cultural experience with its bustling atmosphere, Chinese temples, and a wide variety of delicious street food.
District 7 is more modern and upscale. There are plenty of international restaurants, shopping centres and green spaces.
Check out our favourite places to stay in these areas:
Vy Khanh Guesthouse may not be the fanciest place in Ho Chi Minh, but what it lacks in glitz and glamour, it makes up with its hospitality. Vy is one of the best hosts that you’ll experience in Vietnam, offering you recommendations for not just the city but the entire country.
She’ll make sure you have the best experience and that starts with the guesthouse’s location. It’s situated in the heart of the city in District 1.
Frequently Asked Questions about Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh
What is the distance from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh?
The distance from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh is 230 km (143 miles).
What is the fastest way to get from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh?
The fastest way to get from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh is by flight and takes 2h15m.
What is the cheapest way to get from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh?
The cheapest way to get from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh is by flight with ticket costs starting from 218,000 VND ($9) + 2,706,000 VND ($110.00).
Rounding it up
We hope this guide was helpful in planning how to get from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh. If there's anything else you're wondering about, drop us a comment and we'll do our best to answer you within a few days.
PS: If you've recently travelled this route, share your experience with fellow travellers and help us improve this post. Thanks for helping out our travel community!
Ela is a storyteller, content producer, solo traveller and a mermaid-in-training. When she’s not in front of her laptop, you will find her barefoot and living her best tan on some island in the Philippines… Or exploring the depths of its seas as a budding freediver. An island girl at heart, she’ll be happy anywhere there is sea, sand, sun and coffee.
Based in Bali, Maarten’s passion for travel is undeniable. In 2016, he decided to quit his job as a stock analyst and started doing what he always dreamed of: travelling through South East Asia and helping other people plan their trips. When he is not working on Gecko Routes, you’ll find him surfing in the ocean or exploring the best gems of Indonesia.