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Phnom Penh to Siem Reap - best way to get there?

Travel Forums Asia Phnom Penh to Siem Reap - best way to get there?

1. Posted by andy_d (Budding Member 40 posts) 7y

Just take a flight?

2. Posted by bex76 (Moderator 3713 posts) 7y

Bus is the best way - it only takes around 5 hours.

3. Posted by vegasmike6 (Travel Guru 3562 posts) 7y

When I made my 1st trip:PP to SR back in '98, it was no contest. Pay the $23 and take the boat. The road was horrible, ruts and mud, took 10-12 hours. Now that the road is paved, the bus is cheaper and faster than the boat. Many companies now do this route. Take the bus.

4. Posted by stoneman (Respected Member 216 posts) 7y

Take the bus. Mekong Express for me.

Post 5 was removed by a moderator
6. Posted by rosenhung (Budding Member 26 posts) 7y

take the bus is the best one. you can be easy to see all sights on the way

7. Posted by Looosey (Budding Member 34 posts) 7y

If you take the bus, remember to take a cushion........ Ouch!!!

The local busses are always fun and are a cheap way to get about. Ours broke down which was a pain, but we still got to Siem Reap on time bizarrely enough!

Have fun!

8. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 1589 posts) 7y

Quoting andy_d

Just take a flight?

I used the boat on the way up and flew back. The boat was okay, stopped at several villages on the way up. Passed through a lake that had huge catfish the size of sharks. When I used the boat the pier at Siem Reap was a little dodgy, had to walk narrow planks. Okay for 120 pound Asians but big tourists with bags bent those planks pretty good! It has to be better now days then back then.

9. Posted by vegasmike6 (Travel Guru 3562 posts) 7y

[quote=karazyal

I used the boat on the way up and flew back. The boat was okay, stopped at several villages on the way up. Passed through a lake that had huge catfish the size of sharks. When I used the boat the pier at Siem Reap was a little dodgy, had to walk narrow planks. Okay for 120 pound Asians but big tourists with bags bent those planks pretty good! It has to be better now days then back then. [/quote]

Albert,
My '98 trip: PP-SR was via boat during low water. We got stuck several times because the river/lake was simply too shallow for the boat's draft. The captain finally called for another boat and transferred half the passengers off our boat. Both were now light enough to navigate the shallow water. Hardly the 4 hour trip advertised. Once close to SR, we then were transferred to smaller boats, packs and all. Adults or less than agile passengers were in for a difficult time. We also had to walk the planks to avoid the muddy shoreline. I remember thinking, "how do they expect older, heavier adults to visit Angkor"? Taking the bus meant an 8-12 hour ordeal over horrible roads. Not a real option. It was pay the money and fly or literally 'walk the plank' over a sea of mud. Typical of Cambodia back then. Nothing worked in the '90s. The power was off more than on, the roads were mostly dirt, garbage was thrown into the streets and left to rot. Just a basket case of a country.

Albert, I also would like to know how the boats now dock in SR during low water. Anybody that has taken the boat from PP to SR recently, please tell us about your adventure up to SR.

[ Edit: Edited on 13-Aug-2009, at 22:39 by vegasmike6 ]

10. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 1589 posts) 7y

Quoting vegasmike6

[quote=karazyal

I
Albert,
My '98 trip: PP-SR was via boat during low water. We got stuck several times because the river/lake was simply too shallow for the boat's draft. The captain finally called for another boat and transferred half the passengers off our boat. Both were now light enough to navigate the shallow water. Hardly the 4 hour trip advertised. Once close to SR, we then were transferred to smaller boats, packs and all. Adults or less than agile passengers were in for a difficult time. We also had to walk the planks to avoid the muddy shoreline. I remember thinking, "how do they expect older, heavier adults to visit Angkor"? Taking the bus meant an 8-12 hour ordeal over horrible roads. Not a real option. It was pay the money and fly or literally 'walk the plank' over a sea of mud. Typical of Cambodia back then. Nothing worked in the '90s. The power was off more than on, the roads were mostly dirt, garbage was thrown into the streets and left to rot. Just a basket case of a country.

Albert, I also would like to know how the boats now dock in SR during low water. Anybody that has taken the boat from PP to SR recently, please tell us about your adventure up to SR.

I was staying in a hotel called the Singapore Hotel (yeah-in Phnom Penh) and I saw this photo of a ferry that was making runs up to Siem Reap. Hey, I thought, doesn't look too bad! When I got to the dock I found out they were only using the larger boat when water was higher. The boat we used was smaller than advertised and we were sort of cramped a bit. But made some friends, what are you going to do when everyone is knee to knee! Old ladies wanted to share their squid and other smelly stuff with me, I did get some sweet rice in a bamboo tube. All in all I would still do it again.

When we tied up we went from boat to boat and then onto the narrow planks. Like you I was thinking about "really fat old guys with bags" walking those planks. The Singapore Hotel had a second hotel in Siem Reap called the Golden Angkor (older one not the new plush one) it was okay and they had a guy pick me up in a pickup truck. Truck got stuck in the mud and I had to help push it. Restaurant next door to the hotel was pretty good, I didn't know any better back then and agreed to $10 a day for all three meals. After the first day eating cheap stuff I wised up and had big steak dinners every night with ice cream and beer and coffee and bread, everything I could stuff in for that meal just about! Same for lunch time! Bread was pretty good, butter sucked! I don't think you can do the same trip now as cheap as I did back then. Hotel prices were around or under $10 with air and hot water. (I still remember the toilet in the Phnom Penh hotel having a "community" toothbrush in the hotel bathroom!)

Haven't been back in years!

Al