Travel to Siem Reap has never been easier and new flights, new roads and improved infrastructure makes it easier by the day as Siem Reap and the rest of Cambodia continue to develop. After years of waiting, the road from the Thai / Cambodian border crossing at Aranyaprathet / Poipet has finally been paved all the way through to Siem Reap and is in good condition. Epic stories about 18-hour rides on bumpy roads with potholes so big that they could swallow a whole car are therefore, finally, history...
Many direct flights also exist between Siem Reap / Angkor and numerous places around Asia, including Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh City, Danang, Hanoi), Laos (Vientiane, Luang Prabang, Pakse), Thailand (Bangkok), Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur), Singapore, China (Kunming, Guangzhou), Korea (Seoul - Incheon). There are also many daily flight to the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh and regular flights to Sihanoukville.
As from April 2009, the overland ride from Bangkok to Siem Reap is a pretty smooth ride with the whole stretch from Poipet to Siem Reap being paved. Do, however be wary of the 'Bangkok scam buses ' as buses still have breakdowns and prepare yourself for long restaurant stops along the way if you opt for this method of transport.
The area around the border crossing are regulated by the local police and association of taxi drivers, but it is possible to book a hassle-free private taxi from Poipet to Siem Reap.
Siem Reap and the surrounding areas have major road works being carried out in many parts of the town with new roads being built and existing roads being widened. Buses from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh leave and arrive regularly and there are also now a number of buses to other parts of Cambodia from Siem Reap. In the rainy season (May - October) there are normally daily boats to Siem Reap from Phnom Penh and Battambang in both directions as long as the water levels are high enough, but please check and confirm the current schedules closer to your departure date.
Even though a new bus station has been built just over 2 km from the centre of Siem Reap, please note that there are many bus companies and different bus stations in and not all buses terminate in the same place. Therefore, please advise your exact arrival details (including the name of the bus company) at the time of booking if you would like to make use of the free pick-up service offered by many of the hotels and guesthouses in Siem Reap.
In short, there are a lot of different, convenient and exciting ways to get to Siem Reap and travel around Angkor Wat...!!
Below we have listed various transport providers servicing Siem Reap, as well as helpful information about travel to and getting around Siem Reap. For some great ways to see Siem Reap, Angkor Wat and its surrounds, we have many tours and activities on offer. For more general country travel information, check out our Cambodia transportation guide.
Siem Reap Transportation Guide
While many people choose to fly into Siem Reap, Angkor Wat can also be easily reached by bus from Phnom Penh and Battambang as well as international hubs such as Bangkok and Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon).
There are many bus companies that run between Siem Reap and Phnom Penh with the most popular companies being the Paramount Angkor, Mekong Express and Cambodia Angkor bus companies, but there are also a number of others that do the same trip. Prices for a one way trip vary between US$4 and US$12 depending on which bus company you use.
The Mekong Express Bus is generally regarded the most comfortable, but also most expensive, with good air conditioning, a toilet on board and a light lunch or breakfast depending on your departure time. The Mekong Express takes around 6 hours. The Paramount Angkor bus company is, arguably, the best value for money as it offers many of the same services at a slightly lower rate and is very popular with both locals and travellers and takes around 5 - 6 hours.
There might be changes in the bus schedules, so please check the latest departure times with your hotel, guesthouse, or travel agent closer to departure.
During busy holidays such as Khmer New Year (mid April) and Phcum Ben Festival (September / October) there will be more buses running different times, but they tend to fill up rather quickly and the prices also go up so it is advisable to book your tickets in advance.
NOTE: When planning a trip overland with bus from Bangkok to Siem Reap, please be aware of the 'Bangkok bus scams' that still exist - destpite the fact that the roads have been paved and are in fairly good condition all the way from Poipet to Siem Reap.
Prepare yourself for long waits at various restaurants along the way, possible 'break-downs' and let your accommodation provider know about your arrival details so they can come and pick you up at the time of your arrival or, even, pick you up from where you are dropped off..
See also http://www.talesofasia.com/cambodia-overland-bkksr.htm for a fairly up-to-date breakdown of how to travel overland from Bangkok to Siem Reap over the Aranyaprathet / Poipet border crossing and how to avoid the scams.
You can choose to travel to Siem Reap by boat from Phnom Penh and Battambang and especially the boat trip between Siem Reap and Battambang is a beautiful journey. The boat ride takes around 6 hours, but be prepared for some possible delays as they are very common. Doing the boat ride is cheaper than flying but not recommended between February and June when the water depth is too shallow, making for tricky passage and services might also stop running when the water levels are low.
To accommodate their budget clientele, many of the guesthouses in Siem Reap offer free moto or minibus transport from the dock to the guesthouse which is usually about 13km depending on the water levels. Arranging transportation separately will cost around US$2-5 with a bit of haggling for a moto or tuk-tuk into Siem Reap. If anyone offers to take you for free or 1000 riels, you will probably be taken to one of their guesthouses where they recieve quite bit of commission on your stay. If you don't like constant haggeling, it's recommended to arrange transportation beforehand or pay a fair rate as the moto and tuk-tuk drivers also will need to make some money.
For the people who opt to fly into Siem Reap, the airport is about 6km from the town centre and is close enough to the temples to occasionally provide spectacular views of Angkor Wat during landings and take offs. Many of the hotels and guesthouses in Siem Reap offer free airport pickup so please advise your exact arrival details if you should require this service. If you have arranged for this, don't be "hijacked" by another driver who may misrepresent himself and then take you to different hotel where he can get a commission. Look out for someone holding a board with the hotel name on it. Motos (motorbike taxis) or tuk-tuks (moto trailers) are usually about US$ 2 - 5 and air-conditioned car taxis are fixed at US$ 7 for a ride into town.
Please also visit Siem Reap airports new website http://www.cambodia-airports.aero for up-to-date arrival and departure times for Siem Reap International Airport. Some sections are still under construction and pages can, at times, load very slowly but you will find much information.
Visit our partner Air Valid for Airline Reviews and Information about Cambodia.
Flights to Siem Reap
Travel around Siem Reap and Angkor Wat
A car and driver for a day of sightseeing can be found for at about US$20 - 40 per day. You can also hire a moto (a motorbike taxi) for about US$ 8 - 16 per day or a couple of US$ or less for short trips in town. Another convenient option is the remorque-moto, also often referred to as the 'tuk-tuk' - a motorbike attached to a covered carriage large enough for two to four people. It offers protection from the sun and rain and gives you a chance to ride and chat with a companion. They vary between US$1 - 2 for short trips around town (depending on the time of day and number of passengers) and between US$12 - 20 for a whole day around the Angkor temples.
Please note that the below flight and bus schedules to and from Siem Reap are updated on a regular basis, but as bus routes and schedules do change the below list might not always reflect eventual last-minute changes and is not comprehensive, but rather meant as a guideline only. Be extra aware during public holidays such as Khmer New Year and Bon Pchum Ben as buses tend to fill up quickly and contact the airline or bus company for the latest schedules and route information.