Traveling around a country like Cambodia seems intimidating when you first broach the subject. However, in reality, the vast majority of speak English, which makes things much easier. There are buses to and from just about everywhere and you can get reasonably priced domestic flights to avoid those 12-hour bus trips.
Check out these tips before you finalize your plans and to give you peace of mind when you’re getting ready for your Cambodian Adventure:
What’s the best option for travel inside Cambodia?
Bus and minivan (small buses) are the most common and cheapest option for travel around Cambodia. However, when a sign says that the travel time is 5-6 hours, expect an 8 hour journey.
Is flying domestically in Cambodia an option?
Absolutely, you can fly from city to city in Cambodia. Flights are not all that cheap ($100 for a 50-minute flight from Siem Reap to Sihanouk). However, this will save you half a day at least so I’d definitely consider it if your budget allows.
Where do you buy bus tickets in Cambodia?
You can purchase bus or mini-bus tickets from most hotel reception desks. This is much easier than trying to purchase at the bus station and they can even reserve seats for you on buses with assigned seating. For many bus lines and minibus services you can also book online.
How much are bus tickets in Cambodia?
From Kratie to Siem Reap, minivan will cost $15 per person. The trip is labeled as 5-6 hours but took me 8 hours. This can also be impacted by crossing the Mekong River. Your minivan waits in line for its turn to get on the tiny ferry. This wait can be up to an hour which impacts the overall travel time.
What is the difference between a Bus and a Minivan?
Buses are traditional, large buses (minus the bathroom) unless otherwise specified. They typically have 2 seats on each side with an aisle down the middle.
A minivan is a smaller bus that will cram you in to the rafters. You’re likely to have more locals on the mini-bus. The big upside is that these minvans go faster than the buses and can take roads that large buses cannot, meaning that your trip may be shorter.
What to expect for a bus trip in Cambodia
Beware that most buses and mini-buses (minivans) don’t have restrooms on board so prepare yourself. They will make occasional (fairly frequent) stops so that you can hop and relieve yourself. This is most likely going to be on the side of the road.
For longer trips, they’ll also stop once or twice, depending on the length for foods breaks at a local restaurant. Luckily, they hop out, eat really quickly and are back in the bus within 20 minutes or less.