hi all.. i need your help.. im going to cambodia with a friend from saigon.. we'll arrive at the airport at 12.30am from the phillipines.. we plan to go straight to siem reap so we wont rush going back to vietnam.. but the first trip to pnom penh from saigon is 630am right? so what can you suggest? and what bus company should we choose? and where can we buy the ticket if its too early in the morning? can we buy it online? sinh cafe offers $29 SAI GON – MOC BAI – PHNOMPENH – SIEMREAP.. pls help.. thanks guys..
[ Edit: Edited on 28-Jan-2011, at 06:21 by janicesila ]
That is a tough time to arrive in any city. I flew into Tan Son Nhat a few years ago and there really isn't a good place to kill a few hours. I would get a taxi to De Tham St. in the Pham Ngu Lao section of HCMC. I would choose a Vinasun or Mai Linh taxi. They have a better rep than the other companies. De Tham is the Khao San Road area of HCM. Many travel shops and several bus companies do the HCM to Siem Reap run. That $29 quote is a bit high, but not out of line. We went with Sinh Cafe: HCM-PP a few years ago for $12. My blog covers to PP. Most companies are quoting $8-10 for the PP-SR run. Buy your Cam. visa on board the bus. If you choose not to buy online, once on De Tham St. check with the travel shops when they open in the am. I doubt all the seats will be full, but for piece of mind, you might consider reserving online. You can spend the night drinking and partying until your bus leaves! Good luck with your planning.
You should be able to get the bus tickets in the morning. I've never been on a bus between HCMC and PP that was full...
thanks guys for the help.. so what bus company would you recommend to a first timer like us? are you all sure we can just go & buy ticket directly to the bus terminal at 5-6 in the morning? from the airport, how far is the bus terminal? thanks so much..
and you mean to say we need to have a visa to enter cambodia though im from philippines, ASEAN country? thanks..
by the way, capitol bus company offers $4.5 fare from PP to SR.. is that ok?
Visas are delivered at the Cambodian border (20$ + 1 pic)
Capitol buses are cheap but quality is too, more expensive but comfortable is Mekong express (I think they go to VN)
I have been in Siem Reap for a while and I can give you some of my favorite addresses:
Chinese new year is coming and there is a lot of people traveling at the moment, try to book if possible
Guest house - I stayed at a really nice and clean place, only about 5 minutes walk to Pub Street : Angkor Park Guest House. Rooms starts at 6$/night with fan, bathroom and TV.
Restaurant - Difficult choice, there is probably hundred restaurants in town but I went 3 times ( !) to that same place : The Bengal Tiger restaurant on Pub street, serving Indian food (great), pizzas, western and local… Quite a complete menu and delicious! The most difficult was actually to make a choice.
Fun - Except for the local clubs which I didn’t understand (…), there is not a lot of entertainment places but I have found a pretty fun place : The Laundry Bar, late night bar owned by a French man with many patrons expatriates (always interesting to meet)
Relax time - Asia is a great place for SPAs and massage (clean ones) and there is plenty in Siem Reap too. I had some problems to find a good place at affordable price, it was either super cheap (and, well… not great) or quite expensive. But on the second day I discovered the Lotus Dream SPA, which actually was next door to my guest house (I had looked the other way!) and I had a great time there. Good prices, sweet ladies and extremely clean place, also some interesting art on the walls. About 300 m from the old Market going down the river.
Transports – A good bus company to go to the border or to Phnom Penh: Mekong Express or Neak Krohom. They have a nice VIP bus service and the price is right too (only 5/10$ to Phnom Penh, 350 km).
Oh, well, I forgot to mention transportation in town: no too many taxis but a funny system of trailers attached to small motorbikes called Tuktuk (like in Bangkok but not so sophisticated) . They are all over town and ask you non-stop if you need their services. A bit annoying but efficient, 13 to 15$/day to go visit the temples, 1 or 2 $ inside town.
I hope these information can help happy travelers going to Cambodia…
Maybe see you in Siem Reap
thanks Bernard11 for that helpful tips of yours.. so let me clarify things.. at 12.30am we arrive to saigon airport... so we can go directly to the bus company to buy tickets? are they open at that time? is mekong express better than sinh bus going to PP? and from PP we take capitol bus to SR? thanks..
Euh... I am in Siem Reap and I'm not sure exactly how it works in the VN side... I would think that you have to go to town first, find the bus company or an agent to buy the ticket and then go on. Sorry, no idea!