Getting there and away, Phnom Penh
The mini-van from Poipet to Bangkok. The same vehicle also from Phnom Penh to Saigon. The first thing is, you must expect the bus' lousy air-con because they are actually driving on muddy and yellow earth road ful of dust, once the dust filled up the air-con, you better start enjoying bus-sauna. The road condition is just like watching off-road dirt bike racing on tv but hey, that's what we want, enjoy.
From/to Siem Reap by boat. 25 $, 5 hours.
From/to sihanoukville by bus 3 $, 5 hours.
From/to Vietnam by Minibus and Boat, 11 $, 6 hours.
To move around in PP you have to use moto-taxis, Driver have very bad reputation, but they will help you a lot and we haven’t had any problems with them. You would have to bargain hart, they always want 1$.
I have lived in Phnom Penh for over two years now. I have been subjected to every single bus company in this country over this time.
All expatriates here agree that Mekong is by far and away the only service of an international standard, the price is roughly the same as the others.
Mekong will NOT do these things that ALL the rest will:
- Take your passport and then charge an extra $5 for "VIP service" (that is no different to working it out yourself) - Tourist visa is $20. I have seen 90% of unsuspecting tourists on an Angkor bus get scammed this way from Saigon.
- play only Cambodian karaoke for the whole trip (it is the most appalling music in the world)
- stop at every single slum around PP dropping off motos and other little delivery jobs they have picked up on the way, thereby pushing the travel time up by 1-3 hours
- Have 'express' in the title when they regularly do the slum stops
- be unable to speak English
- not serve anything unless you insist loudly and in Khmer
- drive unroadworthy buses
- force handicap people off the bus to do the visa process
GO STRAIGHT TO THEIR OFFICE. THE VIETNAMESE WILL TELL YOU THEY ARE SELLING A SEAT ON MEKONG BUT THE CHANCES ARE THEY ARE CHARGING THE MEKONG PRICE AND GIVING YOU AN INFERIOR SERVICE AND POCKETING THE 1-2$
Taxi fare to city centre is $9. Most of the airport taxi are OK and friendly. It happened to me once I took a taxi in the afternoon at 4pm going to Olympic area. The driver was a young guy. I was with my wife going to Salita Hotel. My wife could not walk distant since she got osteoporosis. On the way to the hotel about 500 meters, the road was full of traffic at 5 pm and the driver persuade us just to walk to the hotel. We managed to reach hotel after 15 mins. I paid $9 to him because this is what has been agreed by the airport kiosk. He asked for a dollar which I refused. He said we were stingy and since my wife cannot walk why we are coming to Phnom Penh. This is the first experience taking a taxi after I have visited 50 countries.
Taxis charge a flat rate of USD 7 (7 EUR)between the airport and the city. If you are around the city you might get it cheaper. A lot of guesthouse offer transport to the airport for around 5 USD (5 EUR)
If you book accommodiation in Phnom Penh, it is wise to ask they to come and fatch you.
I pay for USD 5 for pickup from Airport.
If pickup from peir is free.
To get to Phnom Penh from Siem Reap you can take a boat, it is the most comfotable way to travel that part, 'cause the roads are very bad.
SilkAir operates two flights per day from and to Singapore. Flight Time is only 2 hours and flights cost something around SGD 450 if you book early. Look out for their hot deals as well.
I fly from KLIA (KUL) to Phnom Penh, take about 2 hours.
Ticket from RM 150.00
Budgeted airline - Airasia.
The trip cost $6 each and the bus was big and modern with air conditioning so we settled down to enjoy the ride to Cambodia.