I'm travelling up river from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap on 2nd Jan. Considering i'll have a major hangover i've been warned that the trip isn't what it's made out to be. I've been told the boats are often overbooked (and unsafe), that they travel very fast and it isn't the most comfortable or scenic journey that you would expect. Some friends have advised me to go overland by bus or car.
Any ideas welcome.
Faced the same issue this time last year myself.
After seeing the fast boats from North Thailand into Luang Probang in Laos decided I did not want hours of an engines drone in my ear while attempting to enjoy the scenary. Safety is real issue also. I took a bus for about $6US which took maybe 7 or 8 hours, be prepared for the most amazing scenes when you reach SR where all of the "taxi" drivers fight to grab your attention even before you get off the bus! Make sure you know where you want to go. Some may not take you to your destintion (as there is no commision) if you dont pay them a large fare, others will because it gives the good chance to talk you into their services for Angkor Wat.
Enjoy it, and def get 3 days at Angkor....take a break at midday on day two just so you dont get templed out.
Any other questions feel free to message me.
I wouldn't bother with the boat from PP to SR, it costs around $25, which is highly over priced I think. Apparently the scenery isn't that good. Get the coach, it's a reasonable journey, roads are ok, took me about 6 hours. But as lukeg1980 mentioned, when you arrive in SR, be firm, I have NEVER in my life experienced literally being mobbed. Try & have a guesthouse in mind if not booked otherwise you'll probably be taken to some where you don't want to stay.
If you want to do a boat trip in Cambodia I've heard that the one to do is from SR to Battambang.
Thanks to both of you for your advice. Looks like the bus is the option then. I should be OK with the taxi drivers...seen it quite badly in India in the past and have good experience of Thailand as well so know how to be firm with a smile.
I have a lot of experience with people travelling between PP and SR. I always recommedn to go by road. Either the Mekong Express bus ($9),comfortable (on board facilities, drinks etc) or by private car and driver (if you want to stop wherever you fancy along the way and make the most of the rural scenery and the interesting vilages along the way). Cost of private car is from around $45 up to around $80 but you get what you pay for by and large. If you take this option insist on a driver who speaks at least some english.
Browse the markets in Kompong Thom (main market, fruit market and the fascinating 'Villagers River Market'. Try some deep fried spiders in Skoun for a snack! (quite revolting btw)