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Getting from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh

There are three ways to get from Phnom Penh, Cambodia to Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam (formerly Saigon) via air, land and sea. The distance between Phnom Penh and Ho Chi Minh is 213km, but getting from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh is not complex and generally can be arranged as you travel. However, it’s important to remember that Visa’s need may need extra attention and processing.



Before visiting Vietnam it’s important to remember that a visa might be needed, however, here are the countries that do not require a visa to enter Vietnam:

• Singapore (less than 30 days)
• Thailand (less than 30 days)
• Malaysia (less than 30 days)
• Philippines (less than 21 days)
• Laos (less than 30 days)
• Indonesia (less than 30 days)
• Japan (less than 15 days)
• South Korea (less than 15 days)

NORDIC (less than 15 days)
• Sweden
• Finland
• Denmark
• Norway

EUROPE (less than 15 days)
• Germany
• France
• Spain
• Italy
• United Kingdom

Get more info about your Vietnam visa here: Visa Vietnam Online, My Vietnam Visa, Vietnam Visa, Move to Cambodia
Here’s a quick guide to the three modes of transportation from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh City:


1. Flights from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh

This is, of course, the fastest way to travel to Ho Chin Minh City from Phnom Penh where the average flying time is 50 minutes.
There are 7 daily flights from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh City, and according to, the most popular airlines are Qatar ($207), Vietnam ($217), ($467) and China Eastern ($506).
You may apply for a VOA (visa-on-arrival) and get your visa upon arrival at Tân Sơn Nhất International Airport, Ho Chi Minh.


2. Bus from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh

The bus trip from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh City normally takes about six hours. Ticket prices range from $6-$12 and can be purchased at guesthouses, hotels, travel agencies, or directly from the bus company. Guesthouses are usually commissioned by bus companies, so expect your guesthouse to promote specific bus lines.
The Mad Monkey Hostel works with a number of bus companies and can provide both standard and expedited visa processing services.  We provide visa processing services at our Kampot, Phnom Penh and Siem Reap hostels.
Since the travel time is long and you are going to cross a border, you might as well invest on a more expensive bus for comfort and impeccable service. Some buses have Wi-fi, complimentary snacks and a toilet.
Make sure that you have your visa ready, as there is no VOA at the border. You definitely don’t want the bus to leave you at the border.
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3. Boat from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh

If you prefer a more adventurous journey to Ho Chi Minh then we’d recommend you do it by boat. There are slow, fast, express and tourist boats that can range from $19- $50.
The boat will leave Phnom Penh and will dock at Chau Doc, Vietnam, and from there you will have to take the bus to Ho Chi Minh City.
If you prefer a more romantic, scenic trip then spend a little more money on a private boat tour/cruise, which last for 3 days and 2 nights. Tickets range from $250 to $500. Of course this not just about getting you from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh; you will be toured with a guide, complete with hiking, shopping, pagoda-hopping and wildlife tours, among other touristy activities. Viator offers this: Private 3-Day Mekong Delta River Tour from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh City.
Boat trips are organized by Capitol Tours and Guesthouse, Hang Chau Boat Company, Blue Cruiser and Mekong Eyes.
Again, prepare your visa beforehand if you’re traveling by boat—VOAs are not available at the border.
The above information should be enough to get you from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh, but if you need more information check our Ho Chi Minh guide pages for guides on what to do when you’ve reached your destination.

About the Author

Mad Monkey is Southeast Asia’s leading hostel operator — born in Cambodia with more properties in Thailand, Indonesia, Australia, Laos, and the Philippines. We pride ourselves in creating meaningful and sustainable travel experiences for our guests, whilst promoting socially responsible tourism.