Which bus companies should you use when traveling around Cambodia?
Stevo and I have been traveling in Cambodia together since 2012 and have been living in Phnom Penh since 2015. We have traveled extensively throughout the country and we’ve had our fair share of great and terrible bus experiences. That’s why we want to share our advice on which bus companies we use when traveling around Cambodia.
We have based our recommendations on safety, comfort, speed and price. In the past we have taken many cheap, local buses, and we feel that the few extra dollars we now spend with these companies to travel quickly and safely is worth it.
For booking transport around Cambodia we usually use CamboTicket, the easiest, cheapest and most convenient way to book bus tickets online in Cambodia. They also offer Cash On Delivery service since paying with plastic isn’t common or popular in Cambodia. Read our review of CamboTicket’s service here.
If you have a group of 4 or more people, it is sometimes cheaper, and definitely faster and more convenient to book a private taxi or mini van. You can also arrange this through CamboTicket. We often do this for weekend trips from Phnom Penh to Kampot, Kep or Sihanoukville since we like to go straight from work to avoid traffic.
Below are the bus companies we personally use when traveling in Cambodia.
We will add to this list if we try any other bus companies worth recommending.
Where they go: Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Kampot, Sihanoukville, Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam), Bangkok (Thailand)
Giant Ibis is the leading bus company for travelers and expats in Cambodia. Their buses and mini-buses have upped the game in terms of service, safety and amenities. Giant Ibis buses and mini buses have WiFi, snacks, air-conditioning, electrical outlets, and use rest stops with clean bathrooms and restaurants offering both local and international foods. They also have more leg room than most buses. Giant Ibis is a bit more expensive than most other bus companies, however they are also notably nicer than most other companies. A portion of Giant Ibis ticket sales go to BirdLife International toward the preservation of the national bird of Cambodia, the Giant Ibis.
Where they go: Phnom Penh, Kampot, Kep
Kampot Express is a favorite among locals and expats. The journey is made in a air-conditioned minivan and takes 2-3 hours. There is minimal luggage space, enough for one small bag and a carry-on. We recommend booking a seat toward the front of the bus for more comfort. Kampot Express is good value for money. There is one rest stop at the halfway point at a gas station. Be sure to bring your own toilet paper!
Where they go: Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Sihanoukville
PSD Xpress started operating in November 2016. Their quality and pricing is on par with Giant Ibis, and they also sell eco-friendly travel gear inside their bus offices. PSD Xpress buses and mini buses provide air-conditioning, snacks, WiFi, electrical outlets, and they stop at many of the same rest stops as Giant Ibis. There is plenty of space for luggage. Since PSD Xpress is a new company and not very well known yet, buses are very uncrowded. We took a bus with them in April 2017 from Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville and there were only two other passengers on the bus with us!
Where they go: Phnom Penh, Battambang, Sihanoukville, Siem Reap
Golden Bayon Express Golden Bayon Express mini vans are clean, relatively comfortable, and quick. There is minimal luggage space, enough for one small bag and a carry-on. We recently took a mini van with them from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh and arrived in under 5 hours, a journey that typically takes 6+. At the speeds we were going, we found it better to just avoid looking out the front window. That said, we were impressed with their service and punctuality and have taken them again since.
Where they go: Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, HO Chi Minh City (Vietnam)
Mekong Express has air-conditioned mini vans, mostly taken by locals. They give you water and a wet towel. The drivers are safe and the buses are clean. There is minimal luggage space, enough for one small bag and a carry-on. We recommend booking a seat toward the front of the bus for more comfort and space.
Where they go: Anywhere you want to go in Cambodia! CamboTicket also offers service into Laos and Vietnam.
Although we realize it sounds fancy, it’s not much more expensive to take a private taxi or mini van around Cambodia instead of a bus. We often take private taxis or mini vans when traveling around Cambodia with friends. If you have a group of 4 people or more, a private taxi or mini van can even be cheaper than taking the bus. For example, a group of 15 friends went down to Kep for Jen’s 30th birthday and we each only paid $9 one way.
Other pros to taking a private taxi are that you can leave any time you want, drivers are knowledgable about the quickest routes to take, they pick up you up from anywhere in the city, and they can drop you off directly at your accommodation when you arrive. The pick up and drop off service alone makes up for several dollars in tuk tuk expenses!
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Have you traveled by bus or mini van in Cambodia? What was your experience like?
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