In Transit: Vietnam to Cambodia

When we booked our tickets for our Vietnam – Cambodia trip, we already decided that we were doing a cross-country trip. We booked a ticket from Manila to Ho Chih Minh then Siem Reap to Manila. We had no choice but to do our research on how to get from Ho Chih Minh to Siem Reap. You are probably reading this because you, too, are planning to do a cross-country trip from Vietnam to Cambodia.

It is very easy, actually.

Prior to our trip, we did not book any bus transfers from Ho Chih Minh to Siem Reap. Thinking about it now, we were quite brave then. You know, what if there were no bus from Ho Chi Minh to Siem Reap. But of course, there are! People have done this before, so it is possible it’s just a matter of finding out where and how.

  1. You might want to ask your hotel if they can find you a bus transfer from Ho Chi Minh – Phnom Pehn – Siem Reap.
    • This is what we did. So we did not have to worry about anything. We were only asked what time do we want to leave and when.
    • We opted to do a night transfer because 1) It will save us a night of accommodation 2) We can sleep in the bus.
      • Ho Chi Minh to Phnom Penh – 12 USD
      • Phnom Penh to Siem Reap – 18 USD
  2. You can look for travel agencies around. Our hotel is located in the backpacker’s district, there were 2-3 travel agencies who offer bus transfers from HCMC to Siem Reap.
  3. Book online.

The known bus operators are: Giant Ibis and Mekong Express

The bus picked us up at the hotel around 3PM. The bus that brought us to Phnom Pehn is a Dahn Dahn bus. and the bus from Phnom Pehn to Siem Reap is Giant Ibis sleeper bus.

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We did not pay anything at the border. We were just asked to passed through the immigration and the bus will be meeting us on the other side.

At first, when we boarded the bus, we were advised that we have to pay a certain amount at the immigration. But I checked with our hotel and with my friends who did this before, and they said they did not pay anything. So, it is better if you ask your hotel to confirm.

The trip from Ho Chih Minh to Phnom Penh was 6 hours, with one stopover for dinner.

When we alighted the bus in Phnom Penh, we took a tuktuk for 5 USD to Giant Ibis bus station. We did not have a chance to roam around Phnom Penh because it was almost 10 PM when we got there. Then we waited for  another hour for the Giant Ibis bus.

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It looks like bus from a horror movie

This is the Giant Ibis’ sleeper bus. We were provided pillow and blanket. It also has a toilet at the back. Despite its creepy vibe, I actually had a great sleep. I slept throughout the entire ride, uninterrupted. When I woke up, we were already in Siem Reap bus station.

The entire ride took 6 hours.We arrived at Siem Reap before 6AM. We were picked up by our hotel tuktuk service and because we slept during the trip, we were energized and we were more than ready to start our adventure in Cambodia!

Tune in for my next article, I will share our fun experience in Cambodia. Read it here.

Love, A.

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