Cambodia : Getting Around

By Air

There are two airline companies (below) offering daily flights to Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Rattanakiri and Stung Treng. Please note that in Cambodia, you don’t need to dial 855 but do need to dial a 0 before the numbers shown. There are plenty of travel agents in Cambodia who can book you a ticket for the same or next day (remember, this is Asia where things are done at the last minute).

President Airlines

Head Office- Phnom Penh
Tel: (855) 23 993 088-89
Fax: (855) 23 993 098

Siem Reap Airways

Tel: (855) 63 380 330/1
Fax: (855) 63 380 332

By Bus

The bus service in Cambodia is cheap with a number of companies operating along a few routes (the roads are gradually improving but they can still be bad at times). There are many buses each day to and from Phnom Penh to places like Sihanoukville ($4 for the single four hour journey on a very good road), Battambang (six hour $4 journey on reasonable road) and Siem Reap ($4 six hour journey on a good road).

There are also daily buses to and from Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang to the Thai border crossing of Poipet, and the Vietnam border at Moc Bai. From Phnom Penh buses also run to Kampot, Kompong Cham and Kratie.

By Train

Taking a train in Cambodia is, without question, an experience. The train carriages are very old and rusting away, and it really is anyone’s guess as to what time you’ll arrive at your destination. Plus, there are only two train lines in the country - one from Battambang to Phnom Penh, and the second to and from the capital to Sihanoukville. Due to the roads being improved trains run very intermittantly now and dont have a passenger car so you will be on the roof all the way.

Enquire at the train station as to when the next train will be running. Nevertheless, if you have the time, it’s well worth taking the train as they are now safe from bandits, you’re bound to meet some interesting characters along the way, it’s very cheap and the scenery (especially towards the coast) is breathtaking at times.

By Boat

Boats are a popular means of transport on the Mekong and do go as far as Stung Treng, although the most popular ones operate on the Tonlé Sap between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap ($20 -23 a rip-off compared to the bus).

It’s also possible to take a boat to and from Siem Reap to Battambang, but the road is a much better choice. A bus/boat service is also available from Phnom Penh to Saigon via Chao Doc border crossing.

The scenery throughout these journeys can be superb, but it is an expensive means of traveling in comparison to other options while reports of overcrowding and breakdowns on the Tonle Sap lake are common.

Taxis, Pick-ups & Minibuses

There are many share taxis in Cambodia to various destinations most of which leave from central market. You can often hire them individually or pay for a seat and wait for other passengers to turn up. Minibuses cover similar routes.

Pick-ups are used for traveling the truly awful roads in Cambodia to and from places like Koh Kong. Commuters who regularly endure the misery of rush hour on the London Underground in the UK will be well trained for pick-ups as there often ridiculously overcrowded.

Car & Motorcycle Hire

Self-drive car hire is presently not available in Cambodia and considering the state of the roads it is probably just as well. It is possible to hire a car and driver for around US$20 to US$30 per day.

Motorcycles are a good means of transport to visit places outside of Phnom Penh on a day trip, $5-8 a day for 250cc dirtbikes, $3-4 for motos.

Remember to slow down through villages, look out for animals and children, wear a helmet and bear in mind that medical assistance doesn’t really exist in the countryside.

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