SAIGON TO SIEM REAP RETURNMy bus journey to Siem Reap was booked in HCMC (Saigon) return with Mailinh Express Bus lines ..They have offices everywhere in the city .I booked mine in the backpack are of Pham Ngu Lao..My ticket was from Saigon to the capital Phnom Penh (Where I stayed four days) then onto Siem Reap and return to HCMC (Saigon)
The different busses were comfortable , rather new and the driver had nerves of steel..they also give you water, bus services either way are frequent..The return ticket was US$30.00..really good value as is a roundtrip of about 1200 klms.
Most intra asia fares used to be that high until Budget Airlines started flying, right now there is a sale going on in Malaysia whereby for 306 usd you could visit two or three countries.
www.airasia.com is the best choice for cheap prices. try also malaysian airlines. you may have to take a budget airline through a third country such as malaysia or singapour to get a cheaper fare..if you are including vietnam on this trip, it would be good to look into fares to vietnam from bangkok.
Either to take a boat from Siem Reap to Phnom Phan or a reversed way is highly recommended as it provides a different way (if you get tired with plane, train and bus) to explore the local life occurred on the bank side and enjoy the beautiful river sceneries.
Every guesthouse sells the boat cruising ticket at $6 only.
As I had only one day to explore Angkor temples, I have decided to rent a motorbike with guide. The driver, Chean, wasn't a tourist guide, but he made a good introduction to the temples. Certainly I had additional information.
I have found this driver a good and honest person, so I recommend him a lot.
Fare for a whole day: 7 USD.
There is an organized taxi service from the Tourist Transport Association (air conditioned cars) to Siem Reap town. They charge 7 US dollars to any hotel.
They of course provide as well transportation for sightseeing around the Angkor area:
30 $ for a whole day (4 people)
35$ for a Minibus (12 seats)
The driver will give you all the information and wants to schedule something.
This service is of course much more expensive than taking a Tuktuk.
We flew from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap with Siem Reap Airways who are owned by Bangkok Airways.
The cost was US$75 one way and takes 50 minutes.
I was a bit wary about this flight as I have never been on a plane like this before.
Well it was probably one of the smoothest flights ever, no problems at all, I actually enjoyed it!
We really enjoyed the bus trip from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh.
Cost then was $9 per ticket.
Mekong Express buses are clean, have a toilet, television set (with Mr Bean playing!) and a guide who points out interesting facts along the way.
You are also supplied with a bottle of water and a snack pak with 3 delicious pastries.
The bus leaves Siem Reap at 8am and arrives in Phnom Penh about 5 hours later.
(Back in 1992 when Gary did this trip he drove there and the drive one way took one and a half days due to the shocking condition of the roads!!).
Apparently Mekong Express drivers have a reputation for being safe and our driver was great, no close calls at all. (Well not close for Cambodia!!).
There is a 30 - 40 minute break at Kompong Thom right opposie Arunas Restaurant.
So go for a walk and stretch your legs, have a look around, buy a drink, or maybe a snack of fried tarantulas.
We have friends who have done this trip before and they suggested we book 2 seats each so we could stretch out a bit.
Great advise, but we sure got some funny looks!! But it was lovely not being squashed up next to someone and because we had paid for 2 seats each we both were given 2 snack pacs and 2 drinks each.
The camera came out a lot on this bus trip as each truck we saw seemed to be loaded higher and higher.
Highly recommend doing the bus trip at least one way!!
Siem Reap Office
14A, St.Siwatha, Phum Mondul 1,
Khum Svay Dangko, Siem Reap, Cambodia
Tel/Fax : (855-63) 963 662
Mobile: (855-12) 315 858
Phnom Penh Office
87 Eoz, Sisowath Quay, Sangkat Wat Phnom,
Khan Daun Penh, Phnom Penh,Cambodia
Tel : (855-23) 427 518 / (855-12) 787 839
Fax : (855-23) 427 168
More photos of the bus trip Here
These tuk-tuks are a lot smaller than the Phnom Penh ones.
They are good for 2 people and are covered which offers some protection from the sun and rain.
Tuk-Tuks are great for getting around Siem Reap and most trips around town only cost $1. We booked Marom Hem for our 3 days there at a cost of $10 per day. More info on Marom in my travelogues.
Some would prefer air conditioned cars which are approximately $20 - $30 per day to hire.
We prefered the tuk-tuk, it was not hot in them at all, (and we are no spring chickens and like our comfort) as soon as they start moving the breeze is wonderful, instant cooling effect and also much easier for taking photos!
(Tuk-Tuks are different in Siem Reap to the ones in Phnom Penh. They only seat 2 people comfortably).
Marom's current rates are:
Current rates as of December 2008:
Day Rates for Marom's tuk-tuk which seats 2 comfortably are:
Angkor Archaeological Park $15
Banteay Srey $22
Kbal Spean $30
Beng Mealear $35
($45 To Bantey Srey and Beng Mealear)
Kompong Phluk (wet season only)
1 - 3 people $70
4 - 6 people $90
1 - 3 people $80
4 - 6 people $100
Countryside tours are $25 - $35 depending on the distance traveled.
Phnom Kulen cannot be accessed by tuk-tuk but Marom can take you there on his moto.
Email Marom: firstname.lastname@example.org
His phone number is below.
The Tourist Transport Association runs a taxi service at the airport. To ride in a taxi from the airport to your hotel will cost you $7 US dollars. It's more than you'll pay if you haggle or get some other form of transport, but it is easy and reliable.
I don't recommend signing up with your taxi driver for a trip to the temples though. You can always get a much better price if you ask around a little.
The most comfortable way to go around Siem Reap is to arrange a guide/driver to take you around. An aircon car in this hot country is like a blessing. When you have your guide with you, you can get all the information about temples in Angkor Wat as well as other interesting places around Siem Reap. You avoid a lot of hassle entering Angkor Wat and you don't lose time searching for the right way to reach your destination. The guide/driver will cost you around 25 USD per day including meals and fuel.
Tuk Tuk is a grat way to get around Siem Reap town and beyond. Its basically and motorbike with a covered trailer with seats. Around town you should only pay a dollar. The drivers are very respectful and polite and genrally do not hassle you if you choose to walk. I was fortunate to get a free short trip from one of the drivers on my last day there. Unexpected but left me with a warm feeling towards this form of transport.
For a few dollars a day you can hire a bicycle in Siem Reap and explore the countryside, temples and markets! You can even do the Angkor temples if you have lots of energy!!! There are several bike shops around Siem Reap.
Why not take the bus from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap for great photo opportunities. We had a private bus with our tour group and the journey took around 6 hours. We visited a market selling tarantulas to eat and saw many houses on stilts in the countryside. We also stopped at a lovely restaurant with thatched huts over the water! I believe the regular bus costs around $12 one way and takes between 6-7 hours.
The temples of Angkor are located in such a distance from one another that it is impossible to reach them on foot. Cycling could be a good idea but hot weather makes it an effort that only a few decide on. Definitely, the best way to move around, especially if you travel in a party consisting of two - four people, is tuk-tuk. To find one is no problem - despite the increasing number of visitors, there still seems to be more tuk-tuk drivers offering their services. It is a good idea, though, to decide on one tuk-tuk driver for the whole of your stay.
We met ours on the very first day of our visit to Siem Reap. When we got off the bus he offered to help us find a hotel which would suit our needs (it was to be something decent, but inexpensive). Because it was late in the evening it didn't turn out to be easy. After almost two hours we finally found the accomodation and the driver didn't charge us more than had been fixed. We paid him two dollars (including one dollar tip) and he asked if he could be our driver for the next three days. We agreed and never regretted. He turned out to be a very reliable, punctual and helpful young man. He took us to the temples but also suggested some extra attractions, like Tonle sap lake or apsara dances, but without being pushy. When it was time to say goodbye we paid him the fixed forty dollars plus a well-earned tip.
I loved the easy-ness of the Tuk Tuk. You do have to be a bit loyal to your driver. Once you have eye contact initially and 48 other drivers are trying to snag your business, stay strong and stick to the person you flagged first... even if you have to walk across the street. It's only fair.
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