Backpacker Transport Routes: From Sihanoukville to Siem Reap & Beyond
Sihanoukville, as it happens, is an incredibly well connected destination.
In this piece, we will be touring you through the best transport options when travelling onwards from Sihanoukville to Siem Reap and to all the other major Cambodian destinations – Phnom Penh, Kampot, Koh Rong, and Koh Rong Samloem
If you back yourself to sprout your own set of dragonfly wings and fly solo around the country, miracles can happen.
Enough of that metamorphosis nonsense…
Best Backpacker Transport Routes: Sihanoukville to Siem Reap
Sihanoukville to Siem Reap. What an adventure you have ahead of you…
This is probably the longest overland journey you’ll undertake between major destinations in Cambodia.
However, when you touch down, the glorious temples of Angkor will be awaiting your backpacker bedazzlements.
There are plenty of different options when it comes to traveling from Sihanoukville to Siem Reap. Expensive. Cheap. Safe. Dangerous. Fast. Slow. They’re all here.
Sihanoukville to Siem Reap: Plane
If you’re missioning overland for the majority of your backpacking adventure, why not treat yourself to a little flight from Sihanoukville to Siem Reap.
Needless to say, this is both the quickest and most expensive of all the options.
Cambodia Angkor Airlines will cruise you over to Siem Reap at 35,000 feet in just one hour. The flight ticket will cost between $100 and $150 depending on the season.
Mile high clubbers get involved…
Sihanoukville to Siem Reap: Direct Bus
This can be one of the most dangerous of the overland journeys you can put yourselves through in Cambodia.
There’s one thing you can count on…
It will be a hell of an experience.
Virak Buntham, Sorya and GST are all companies that typically run this direct route.
To play it safer, we would advise taking the bus which briefly stops in Phnom Penh, which we’ll take you through now.
Sihanoukville to Siem Reap: Bus
Capitol Tours is the bus company that we’ll be calling into action here. It’s a much safer option as either the drivers swap in Phnom Penh, or the driver at least gets a chance to take a quick break.
The journey takes around 12 hours and the ticket should cost around $14.
Be sure to try and sort yourself out with a sleeper bus, so you can get that full recline on and hopefully catch some zzz’s during the trip.
Capitol Tours Sihanoukville to Siem Reap departure timetable:
Sihanoukville to Phnom Penh: 7am, 7:30am, 8am, 9am
Phnom Penh to Siem Reap: 2:30pm, 5:30pm
If you’re looking to kill some time in Phnom Penh, check out our ‘Things to do in Phnom Penh’. It’s a truly riveting city.
Sihanoukville to Siem Reap: Mini Bus & Bus
Buckle up for the extra special combo meal deal, mini bus and bus.
Giant Ibis runs a mini bus shuttle to their main Phnom Penh station. From there you can jump out there and onto one of their lovely fresh buses to take you the rest of the way to Siem Reap.
This journey also takes around 12 hours and will cost about $23.
Giant Ibis departure timetable:
Sihanoukville to Phnom Penh mini-bus: 7:45am
Phnom Penh to Siem Reap: 12:30pm
Get yourself a banging bed sorted before you arrive at Mad Monkey Hostel Siem Reap…
Best Backpacker Transport Routes: Sihanoukville to Phnom Penh
Luckily, the journey from Sihanoukville to Phnom Penh is pretty simple.
A word of advice for you all…
Depart as early as possible, traffic builds up into the afternoon and can ultimately end up doubling your journey time.
The trip will take anywhere between 4 and 6 hours.
Sihanoukville to Phnom Penh: Mini Bus
Luckily, one of the reliable players in the mini-bus game, Giant Ibis, are available on this route.
You know what that means…
Safe drivers, seat belts, WiFi that miraculously works sometimes and maybe even a TV that’s screening a good old English flick for you.
The Giant Ibis mini-buses usually carry up to 17 backpackers and will pick you up from your Sihanoukville hostel. Ticket will be around $10.
Along the journey, you’ll get gifted one quick pit-stop to grab some snacks and pay a visit to the toilette.
Giant Ibis departure timetable:
Sihanoukville to Phnom Penh: 7:30am, 9:30am, 1:30pm, 3:30pm
Sihanoukville to Phnom Penh: Bus
You will save yourself a couple of bucks if you get the bus, but that comes with a whole load of extra hassle.
The buses stop too many times along the way, both to drop off passengers and for numerous toilet breaks. This ultimately means the trip can take up to 6 hours, on a sweaty old bus.
You may also be treated to some lovely Cambodian Karaoke videos along the way. These can be pretty torturous, so be sure to have your iPods fully charged and a strong set of headphones.
If you are up for running this gauntlet, I would advise going with Capitol Tours. Tickets will be about $6.
You should able to get your tickets at travel agents and your hostel.
Capitol Tours departure timetable:
Sihanoukville to Phnom Penh: 7am, 7:30am, 8am, 9am, 11:30am, 12:30am, 1:30pm, 2:30pm, 5:30pm
Mini bus or bus, it’s up to you. The one thing you don’t need to worry about deciding on is where to stay in Phnom Penh.
We’ve got the red carpet rolled out for you at Mad Monkey Hostel Phnom Penh.
Best Backpacker Transport Routes: Sihanoukville to Kampot
The journey from Sihanoukville to Kampot should only take about 90 minutes and for all of you heading in this direction, it’s a toss up between mini bus and taxi.
We’d recommend hitting up the mini bus, but we’ll talk you through you through both options…
Sihanoukville to Kampot: Mini Bus
There are several mini bus companies that run from Sihanoukville to Kampot. Having experienced a number of them, we must give an extra special shout out to Kampot Tours and Travel.
Exceptional service, very friendly drivers, and air conditioning that works for once. Kampot Tours and Travel also offer free pick up from your Sihanoukville hostel.
Tickets cost $5 as well.
Kampot Tours and Travel departure timetable:
Sihanoukville to Kampot: 7:30am, 11:30am
As with all of these timetables, be sure to check in advance to make sure there haven’t been any slight time shifts.
Sihanoukville to Kampot: Taxi
If you’re a small group and are willing to splash a bit of extra cash, a taxi journey from Sihanoukvile to Kampot should cost about $30.
Taxis will take up to four passengers.
The boot usually only has space for two backpacks, so make sure your laps and crotches aren’t feeling too tender from the night before! You’re be hauling some weight on you.
Looking for a place to stay when you touch down in Kampot…
We’ve got your backpacks at Mad Monkey Hostel Kampot.
Best Backpacker Transport Routes: Sihanoukville to Koh Rong & Koh Rong Samloem
Firstly, if you are thinking of traveling away from Sihanoukville into the mainland without having paid a visit to these two tropical islands…
You’re excused if, like Alice In Wonderland’s ‘Mr Rabbit’ – you’re late, you’re late, for a very important date!
Hold your horses! These two islands are a slice of tropical heaven that should be tasted by all passing through Sihanoukville, and these are the transport routes that can make this dream a reality…
Sihanoukville to Koh Rong
Let’s face it, we’re probably all traveling on a budget here so we won’t bother going into depth about the $1000 helicopter option.
There are two main options for getting from mainland Sihanoukville to Koh Rong, the speed ferry and the slow boat.
Sihanoukville to Koh Rong: Speed Ferry
Island Speed Ferry Cambodia ferry service to Koh Rong only takes around an hour and can transport up to 150 travelers at a time. We like those odds.
Return tickets cost around $20 and the ferry leaves from the main Sihanoukville port. The return ticket must be used within 15 days.
Island Speed Ferry Cambodia departure timetable:
Sihanoukville to Koh Rong: 9am, 12pm, 3pm
Sihanoukville to Koh Rong: Slow Boat
We wouldn’t recommend the slow boat as it can take up to 3 hours and is mainly used by the Koh Rong Dive Centre to transport food and other goods to the island.
The return journey is only $10. So if those purse strings can’t be stretched, all aboard the slow boat! Tickets can be bought at both Koh Rong Dive Centre and Monkey Republic hostel.
Slow Boat departure timetable:
Sihanoukville to Koh Rong: 8:15am, 2pm
Sihanoukville to Koh Rong Samloem
If you want to skip Koh Rong and go straight from Sihanoukville to the tropical paradise that is Koh Rong Samloem, there’s also a separate direct speed ferry that will drop you to paradise.
Sihanoukville to Koh Rong Samloem: Speed Ferry
Speed Ferry Cambodia departs from the Sihanoukville main port and can drop you on the island at either Saracen Bay, Ecosea Resort, or M’Pay Bay. Return tickets cost around $21.
Speed Ferry Cambodia depature timetable:
Sihanoukville to Koh Rong Samloem: 9am, 11am, 3pm
What treasures are in store for you once you’ve touched down on the silky white sands of Koh Rong Samloem?
Come and have a couple beerios with us at Mad Monkey Hostel Koh Rong Samloem to find out…
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