Travel from Ho Chi Minh to Siem reap

Travel Forums Asia Travel from Ho Chi Minh to Siem reap

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1. Posted by howie (Budding Member 2 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!


I plan to travel alone from Ho Chi Minh to Siemp by bus/boat in Oct. Any comments on the bus and the boat rides and are there any other things i should look out for while travelling alone in Siem Reap?

Thanks in advance :)

2. Posted by ukmassage (Inactive 1052 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

definitely boat - roads in Cambodia are unbelievable bumpy

3. Posted by Tamo (Full Member 40 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

Bus to Phnom Penh, then def get the boat. The roads are likely to be impassable as its rainy season anyway. Its a wicked boat ride! I did it about a month ago. When you get off, be careful - you get mobbed - I'd not even got my stuff together and dot half way down the boat and had about 6 people following me for a taxi - decied where you want to stay before hand otherwise you'll be in nothing short of a nightmare! And be firm about where youre going, coz theyll take you to somewhere else if youre not careful. Avoid eye contact and keep moving is the best advice I can give you! If you're travelling through to Bangkok after... If you want an adventure, get a pick up truck - I had bruises on my bruises, was sooo dusty and disgusting by the end of it (its amazing how many people you can get on those things - we had to bride the driver not to pick up any strays), but it was great fun! Dont get the bus unless you have to, the "main road" into Bangkok is the worst excuse for a main road I've ever seen in my life, and if the bus makes it over those bridges without them collapsing - its doing damn well! I've heard stories about it getting stuck in the mud and people having to walk 10 miles with bags to meet another on the other side... slightly laminated I should imagi though... If youre alone however, Id recommend the flight!

Good luck!

Tams x

4. Posted by areinstein (Travel Guru 2788 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

I did Siem will be going to other way around. From HCMC you can take a bus to the border with Cambodia (I think it is about 2 hours). Then you will go through into Cambodia but I am not sure it you can get a visa at the border, I know you can when you arrive by plane or by bus in Poipet so I suppose you should be able to get one here as well.

Then the bus ride from the border to the speed boat (Lake Tonle Sap) I gotta tell is a bit rough. The roads are pretty bad in Cambodia but it is only for few hours until you catch the boat, it isnt that big of deal (and you will get to see some parts of Cambodia that you wouldnt otherwise).

I am not sure if the bus will stop in Phom Penh but if it isnt, you should make this one of your stops before you head to Siem Reap and visit some of the major sites. You will be fine with 2-3 days here...there are good places to stay along the river.

The speed boat ride from PP to Siem Reap is about 7 hrs (2-3 by bus, the rest by boat, but the time it takes depends on the water level, which in turn depends on the season). Good luck!

5. Posted by vegasmike6 (Travel Guru 3580 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

There are several ways to get from HCMC to PP. Easiest is to book one of the daily buses from the De Tham backpack area. About $6 to PP. Travel times vary due to roads conditions on Cambo side. Another option is a share taxi or mini bus to the border, about $4. Walk across into Cam.and negotiate another share taxi to PP. Price will vary to how many in the taxi, say $8-10. They will drop you at the Central Market. Walk or moto to your GH.

PP-SR; Ask about road conditions at the Capitol GH and decide on bus or boat. Bus is very cheap and OK if the roads are not washed out. Boat is scenic, but a rip off at $25. Depends on your budget. Boat or bus will kill most of the day. By bus; Who you book the bus with will have a SR affiliate GH. Yhey will drop you off at the GH. By boat; where you buy your boat ticket will have a SR affiliate GH and will get you from Lake Tonle Sap to Siem Reap town. If you just hate that GH, get a moto to another GH in SR. Send me a PM if you want more details.

6. Posted by thezenyen (Full Member 88 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

hi howie,

i was in siem reap just last week. It felt safe, and its very tourist friendly. if u have any specific questions on costs etc u can PM me.


7. Posted by daveh (Travel Guru 1027 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

I done the same trip about 3 weeks ago. The bus ride from HCMC to Phnom Penh was $6 US. The roads to the Cambodian border were nice and smooth, but once i was past the border crossing then the roads became bumpy and full of potholes, quite uncomfortable. I then took the boat from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap which costs $25 US i think and was fairly comfortable and quite an interesting experience. The boat trip took me about 5 hours from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap.

8. Posted by xs.if (Full Member 67 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

hey howie, you're a luck dude or dudess?!

alot of good advice from a lot of people that know what they are talking about. there are a lot of options to travelling in this area, like someone suggested a shared taxi, a combination of boats and buses, etc. i would say depending on your budget. the easy way to do the trip is by bus all the way. sai gon to phnom penh via the borders of both countries will take 8 hours and cost no more than 8 american dollars, from phnom penh you might have to spend a night in pp (bus or boat they all leave early doors), then catch another bus from pp to siem reap its about 7 hours cost is about 4 dollars.

the option is yours. the roads in cambodia are bad but not from pp to siem reap its a smooth journey. the journey from the cambodia border to pp is a bit rough, but its bearable. you can get a cambodian visa at the border (but if you were going the other way you couldnt get a vietnamese visa, thats an embassy job.

enjoy, planning the trip....

happy dayz

9. Posted by howie (Budding Member 2 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!


Thanks for giving me such wonderful advice :) I will be leaving for HCM in 2 weeks time. Will update you all on the trip when I am back.


10. Posted by hednorth (Budding Member 31 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

You can get a visa at the border. Don`t know all countries, but most european yes.