Phnom Penh and Siem Reap are the two essential places to see in Cambodia. On the one hand, Siem Reap is the most visited destination in the country thanks to the archaeological site of Angkor Wat. And, on the other hand, Phnom Penh is the capital of the country and although many think that it is not a very beautiful capital, a stop in the capital is essential to learn more about the history of the country.
If you are organizing your trip to Cambodia, do not miss the complete travel guide to Cambodia, where you will find what to see and do in each city, essential places, travel tips, visa...
In this post you will find a quick guide on how to go from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap and vice versa.
HOW TO GO FROM PHNOM PENH TO SIEM REAP (and back)
In our case, we arrived in Cambodia from Siem Reap International Airport. Regardless of where you arrive from and where you enter the country, these two cities are essential on your trip.
To visit Siem Reap and the temples of Angkor I recommend a minimum of 4 nights/5 days. In our case we stayed 5 nights in Siem Reap and once there we wish we had had one more day to continue living together and getting to know every corner of the area.
To visit Phnom Penh I recommend 2 nights/3 days. The city has many interesting places to visit and in a single day it is impossible to visit them. In our case we stayed 3 nights and we were also able to enjoy the hotel a bit and relax a bit after many days visiting non-stop.
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1. By bus, the best option to go from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap
From Siem Reap to Phnom Penh it takes about 5.5 hours by road. The road is very long, without curves and you can enjoy a very rural landscape, full of rice fields and small towns built on the banks of the main road.
There are different bus options; minibus, “vip” minibus (a somewhat more comfortable option with large armchairs), sleeper buses…
A very comfortable option is to book the night bus. They leave at 23 or 24 hours at night and you arrive around 5 or 6 am. It is a great option to avoid wasting hours of the day and at the same time "save" a night in a hotel.
In our case we decided to travel in the “vip” mini bus that left at 7am. We were traveling with very young children and the mini bus option had several stops planned. In the end we had a journey of 5:30h including the time of stops.
The bus option (any of its variants) is very cheap. Round between 10 and 12 euros per person and journey. (Rates May 2022).
2. By taxi, a comfortable and personalized option to go from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap
There are several transfer options to make this journey. Some options are mini buses or vans where you will not travel alone, but there will be very few people. Although you can also hire a private taxi for the journey.
The advantage of the taxi is that it picks you up at your hotel in Phnom Penh or Siem Reap and drops you off at the door of the next hotel. No need to go to bus stations, take tuk tuks... In addition, you will travel alone or with your travel companions. And you can ask to stop when you need it.
This option is more expensive. It was one of the options that we considered since it had many advantages and when traveling 4 the cost was not much different from the bus option. The cost is between 90 and 120 euros per car. In case you travel 4, the maximum cost is around 30 euros per person.
3. By plane, a quick option to go from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap
At first glance, the airplane option may seem like a comfortable and fast option. The flight time between both cities is approximately 1 hour. But you must bear in mind that you must be at the airport 90 minutes before the departure of the flight. Even adding this time, if it is true that it is the fastest option, as long as there are no delays.
The option of the flight in our case we discard it completely for the cost. Although we had seen that the flights start from 70 euros per person, we waited too long to book and when we wanted to realize the cost of the flight had risen to 150 euros per person.
If you prefer to travel by plane, I advise you to buy the flight as soon as possible.
4. Organized tour to visit Siem Reap from Phnom Penh
Traveling around Cambodia on your own is easy and safe. So if you are already encouraging yourself to travel to the country, I recommend that you do it on your own. You have a complete guide to travel to Cambodia here and you can organize an incredible trip without having to hire a multi-day tour.
However, if you don't want to complicate your life too much and want to book a tour that includes a stop at several incredible places to see in Cambodia, including Siem Reap, with transportation, accommodation, a guide... There is an option from Phnom Penh that is highly recommended . It is a 5-day tour where you will visit the best places in Cambodia in an express time.
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I hope you enjoy your trip to Cambodia a lot and that this article has been useful to you. You can continue reading many more related articles on the blog.
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A hug and see you soon!