Getting around the major cities in Cambodia and the country itself is relatively easy. There are plenty of options ranging from cheap to expensive, basic to luxury but the most important thing we can recommend is that you buy a sim card. It will make your life so much easier in so many ways! They are sold at the airport and can cost as little as $5 for unlimited data. To make sure you get exactly the kind of ride you’re looking for, read our article below about transport in Cambodia!
Around The Cities
When it comes to getting around the cities and towns in Cambodia, look no further than PassApp. This application (requiring a simcard!) allows you to order taxis, rickshaws, tuk-tuks and motorbike taxis online with an interactive map. The prices are extremely low and drivers normally arrive in less than 5 minutes. The price is agreed upon beforehand.
The only downside is that although PassApp works in most places, there are some blackspots like when travelling from Sihanoukville to Kampot. Luggage might also be a problem with rickshaws, but just make sure you choose a taxi or a tuk-tuk if you’re going to have suitcases with you (yes, you can fit 2 20kg suitcases and two large people on a tuk-tuk!).
However, if you’re looking to zip around any of the major cities, this is the way to go.
You can hire taxis using the GrabApp. The cars are always new and clean (much nicer than your average car in Australia) and thus the drivers often tend to drive a bit more conservatively than their fellow motorists.
You can also find tuk-tuks on just about every corner, or they will beep you as they drive past asking if you want to travel with them. These guys are usually well-priced and can be found everywhere.
The downside is that you have to agree on the price yourself, explain to the driver where you’re going and hope he understands and then trust him to get you there. We didn’t have any bad experiences using tuktuks in Thailand or Cambodia, but we preferred Grab just for the pure convenience.
Phnom Penh to Siem Reap / Siem Reap to Sihanoukville
These days it’s easy enough to fly to most destinations in the world? But where’s the fun in that? If you want to avoid the airport hassle of checking in, weighing bags, going through security AND enjoy some aesthetically pleasing Cambodian landscapes, then we would very much recommend travelling between major cities in Cambodia by bus. It’s really cheap:
Phnom Penh – Siem Reap = $16
Siem Reap – Sihanoukville = $19
There are various bus companies that do these routes but we suggest Giant Ibis. Their buses have always been clean and comfortable and the staff are friendly and always inform the passengers about what is happening and when (not always the case on buses in Asia).
Although there Wi-Fi does drop out often and they do pick up and drop off locals at non-designated stops, this really isn’t an issue. Sit back, relax and enjoy the gorgeous green fields flying by your window.
NOTE: When travelling from Siem Reap to Sihanoukville, you will most probably change buses in Phnom Penh. We had no wait time here during the night time journey. Straight off one and straight onto the next one with 5 minutes for a toilet stop!
Sihanoukville to Kampot
When we arrived in Sihanoukville, there was a monsoonal rainstorm that had even hardened locals cowering indoors. Therefore, we decided to take a private taxi to Kampot.
We were exhausted after the night bus and didn’t feel like waiting around and then making our way to the bus station as the rain saw no signs of easing at that stage.
Also, buses are notoriously dangerous and we felt safer in a private car given the weather. Our private taxi was booked through a tuk-tuk driver who was waiting at the bus station in Sihanoukville. The trip cost us $50 but if you read HERE, you will find out how you can do it cheaper and easier.
Kampot to Kep
Kampot to Kep can be done in a number of ways. The easiest option is via tuktuk which costs between $12 and $15 depending on where in Kampot you’re staying.
The road is in pretty terrible form until you get to Kep (where the bitumen is wide and smooth, weird!?) so be prepared to have your teeth rattling and your head bouncing up and down for the 30-minute ride.
You could catch a taxi for this ride but it’s really short and if a tuk-tuk can take your luggage, that’s the easiest option.
Tips For Travelling By Land In Cambodia
Bring toilet paper (self-explanatory) and a warm jacket with you on the bus. It can get pretty cold in there!
Don’t assume you will get a food stop. Bring enough snacks to see you through until the end of the journey. Even if you do get a food stop, the cafes know that you are tourists and the prices will often be much more expensive than normal.
You will have to take off your shoes on any sleeper bus so bring some that are light and easy to slip on and off (you’ll be storing them at the foot of your bed).
If travelling by taxi or private car to/from airports or through tunnels, you may have to pay an additional fee to cover the cost.
Your tuk-tuk driver, if pre-booked through your hotel or friend, will often carry water and umbrellas for you. Don’t be afraid to ask for them.
If approached by someone at the airport or train/bus station offering to take you to your hotel, ALWAYS agree on the price first and ALWAYS ask which vehicle they’re using. You don’t want to end up paying $10 for a trip in a brand new Toyota when you just needed a tuk-tuk for $3.