Hey, I'm in Saigon and am heading into Cambodia the morning after tomorrow. I'd like to start my Cambodia route in Sihanoukville ideally - does anyone know how I can get there directly from Saigon? LP and travel agents only give me a route to Phnom Penh, so I'll just have to do that if no one can suggest a Saigon-Sihanoukville route. Any (swift!) help would be really appreciated! Thanks a lot in advance...
Hey just came back from Cambodia earlier this year, and as far as i know, your best bet to go from Saigon to Sihanoukville will be via PP. From PP if u are there early chances are you might be able to catch the afternoon bus to Sihanoukville, which i suppose will be the "least time spent in PP" option. Sorry i couldnt be of much help really
I have not done this route, but others have. You can go from HCMC to Kampot in one day. Have your Cambodian visa in hand. You cannot count on 'visa on arrival' at this crossing.
Take the early morning bus to Chau Doc, now you need a car or moto taxi to the border crossing: Ha Tien-Phnom Den. Some travellers paid $10 others paid $5 for a moto to the border, bargain with them. Have a VN map with you as they may not understand your pronunciation of Ha Tien. Check out of VN, go through Cam. IMM. Now you need a share taxi to Kampot. Most pay $10 as a passenger in a share taxi. You will have to pay more if you are the only one going. This section takes two hours. Figure 8-9 hours from HCMC to Kampot. Overnight in Kampot and take a share taxi or minivan in the morning to Sihanoukville: $2-3.
This route is more expensive and about the same in time as going the easier route:
HCMC-PP. Unless you really want to visit Kampot, I would take the bus from HCMC to PP; $6-10. You can do 'visa on arrival' at the Moc Bai/Bavet, $20. Overnight in Phnom Penh and then bus in the morning from either Capitol GH or Central Market, 10,000 riel, 4 hours. I hope this helps in making your decision. Good Luck.
I would agree with Mike- there may be a way to get to Sihanoukville directly from HCMC, but by far the easier way, and one where you definitely will have others going with you, will be via PP.
There are cerainly several site in PP that are worth seeing for a couple days- the national museum, the palace, the killing fileds, the genocide museum, markets... so even if you stay a couple days it will not be wasted time by any means.
I did a similar trip and wanted to go to Sihanoukville, PP and Siem Riep (the 3 that just about everyone goes to ) and then head northward into Laos- It did involve going back and forth through PP a couple times but it wasn't a big deal and in fact if you time buses right you can go from Sihanoukville to SR all in 1 long day.
Enjoy your trip.
Thanks everyone. I was really looking for an easy-ish route to save time vis-a-vis going via PP, so I'm sticking with that I'm afraid. Thanks again, really appreciate the help.