Giant Ibis Transport
Despite only launching operations in June 2015, Giant Ibis is already one of the best and most modern operators across Cambodia. The operator is widely regarded to be more professional than most others in the country and has more in common with western bus companies than some of its Cambodian rivals.
Routes served by Giant Ibis
Phnom Penh–Siem Reap
The main route that Giant Ibis offers is the Phnom Penh to Siem Reap service. There are six buses per day from the capital to Siem Reap, close to the world-famous site of Angkor Wat. The buses operate throughout the day, from 08.45 to 23.30, with the trip usually taking seven hours in either direction. The overnight journey at 23.30 will arrive in Siem Reap at 06.30 the next morning.
There are also six departures heading from Siem Reap to the capital each day, starting at 07.45. Tickets for either journey are priced at USD15 per person.
From Phnom Penh you can also reach the riverside town of Kampot in less than three hours. There are two buses each day at 08.00 and 14.45, scheduled to arrive at 10.30 and 17.15 respectively. Two buses also head in the opposite direction every day and tickets cost USD9 each way.
For those looking to head to Cambodia’s stunning beaches in the south of the country, you can visit Sihanoukville from Phnom Penh. There are three buses leaving the capital per day between 08 and 12.30. The journey lasts less than five hours so you can even be relaxing on the beach by lunchtime!
There are four daily services from Sihanoukville to Phnom Penh, starting from 07.30, with all departures priced at USD11.
International service: Vietnam
Giant Ibis offers international routes as well. From Phnom Penh you can travel to Vietnam’s southern city of Ho Chi Minh, with two daily departures at 08.00 and 12.30. This trip takes around seven hours so you’ll arrive in the early evening even if you catch the lunchtime departure. Tickets cost around USD18.
International service: Thailand
If you are interested in visiting Thailand then it is possible to use Giant Ibis to travel between Siem Reap and Bangkok. There is one service per day which leaves both cities at 07.45 and is scheduled to arrive at 16.15 (a journey of eight or nine hours), with fares at around USD32.
Giant Ibis is probably the most professional and reliable private operator in Cambodia, the service and quality of vehicles is as close as it gets to the North American and European standards that you may be used to. The website is incredibly detailed and easy to navigate if you need any additional information.
There is a very wide range of departure options on almost all routes that Giant Ibis operate, so there will certainly be a service that suits your schedule.
On several of these routes, passengers have the option of choosing between overnight or day buses, an important choice if you are pushed for time and need to catch a flight.
Giant Ibis is also a very good option for those looking to cross the Cambodian border into Thailand or Vietnam. This process is usually very confusing and can become quite stressful so it is to the operator’s credit that border crossings on these services are as hassle-free as possible.
Buses on these routes have Wi-Fi as well as individual power sockets which is a rarity. As any frequent traveller will know, being able to charge your phone is incredibly useful for when you arrive at an unfamiliar destination and are trying to work out how to get to your hotel.
Flying rather than crossing international borders via bus is a far more preferable option if your budget allows. Crossing the land border from Cambodia into Thailand or Vietnam can be a pain but Giant Ibis do all they can to minimise the stress involved. Flying is the most expensive option and those on a budget may not have this choice. If not, then Giant Ibis is a perfect option.
Another issue is that there are no toilets on board these services. However, there are regular breaks allowing passengers to use the bathroom or to just stretch their legs for a short time.
Keep in mind
Giant Ibis services use either luxury or sleeper buses depending on your departure time. For example, you will be travelling on a sleeper bus on the 23.30 service from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap, but likely to be on a luxury bus with a more standard layout if you make the journey during the day.
Passengers love the standard of the buses on these routes and it is repeatedly claimed to be the most professional operator in the country. As the company is still fairly recently established the vehicles are all much newer than any that you will see on the same routes with different operators.
The wide range of departures is also a bonus that has helped to make Giant Ibis a very popular choice with locals and visitors alike. Most private bus operators do not offer the option of day and overnight services but it is useful to have the choice, especially if you are on a tight schedule.
Crossing the Cambodian border by land is usually a fairly painful experience but, unfortunately, this is the cheapest way to make the trip. If flying between cities is within your budget then you should probably consider this alternative, but if the high cost of flight tickets is an issue, then Giant Ibis is one of your best options.