Thero Express is a private operator that connects destinations across Cambodia as well as international routes crossing the border before heading to Thailand’s capital city, Bangkok.
Minivans are used on all these routes with a 15-seat capacity, rather than larger buses.
Routes served by Thero Express
Phnom Penh–Siem Reap
There are four departures between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap each day, between 08.00 and 16.00, with a journey time of five or six hours allowing you to reach Siem Reap by the early afternoon. The return journey leaves at the same times, with buses at 08.00, 09.00, 14.30 and 16.00 each day, with tickets priced at USD12.
From Phnom Penh you can travel to Battambang to experience more relaxed and quieter city life. There are four buses per day from Phnom Penh, starting from 05.00, with each trip lasting five hours. From Battambang there are two daily services to Phnom Penh, which depart at 08.00 and 14.30 (scheduled to arrive at 13.00 and 19.30 respectively) and with tickets costing USD12 in either direction.
Any travellers who want to escape hectic Phnom Penh for a more laid-back beach break can travel with Thero Express to Sihanoukville. There are two services from Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville, leaving at 08.00 and 14.30 each day (arriving at 12.30 and 19.00). There are similar departure times from Sihanoukville back to Phnom Penh (leaving at 08.30 and 14.30), with both trips priced at USD12 and a journey time of between four and five hours.
Phnom Penh–Banteay Meanchey
The final domestic route offered by Thero Express connects Phnom Penh with Banteay Meanchey. There are two services each day in either direction, with departures for Phnom Penh at 05.00 and 07.00. The six-hour trip is scheduled to arrive at 11.00 or 13.00 and is priced at USD14. Services leave Banteay Meanchey for Phnom Penh at 05.00 and 06.00 each day, with the same priced tickets.
International service: Phnom Penh–Bangkok
Thero Express also offers an international route from Phnom Penh to Bangkok, across the border in Thailand. There are two buses leaving Phnom Penh each morning at 05.00 and 06.00, with scheduled arrival times of 16.30 and 17.30 respectively. The journey usually lasts 11 or 12 hours with tickets priced at USD26.
Thero Express offers a good range of possible departure times which allow visitors to be more flexible with their travel plans. With four buses per day between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, and vice versa, there is plenty of choice for passengers who need to arrive at their destination for a particular time.
The option of the international route that crosses the border into Thailand is useful for anyone planning a lengthy trip in this region. The prices of these services are very competitive as well; between Phnom Penh and Bangkok, especially, it would be difficult to make this trip for less and it is far more affordable than the cost of a flight along this route.
The biggest issue with traveling with Thero Express is the operator’s use of minivans on all routes. For trips of six hours or more a minivan is far less comfortable than a standard bus and the service between Phnom Penh and Bangkok can become a little unpleasant if you are cramped in a minivan. Unlike on some other long-distance bus trips, the seats do not recline particularly far back which can cause discomfort on a long journey such as the Phnom Penh to Bangkok route.
Another issue with traveling in a vehicle of this size is that there is very limited space for luggage. Just remember, the more you bring, the more uncomfortable your journey is likely to be!
Keep in mind
Although Thero Express services do claim to offer Wi-Fi, there are frequent reports that it is of low quality or non-existent.
Travellers who use Thero Express can raise issues with the comfort of the services. The main thing to do before the trip is to check the travel time and decide for yourself whether you are ready to do it in a van. Travelling by minibus is considered by many quite uncomfortable due to the limited space. The longest trip offered by the company is the international Phnom Penh–Bangkok service which can take up to 12 hours – though the time spent at the border crossing is also included.
Delays can happen, although this is an issue across Cambodia rather than specific to Thero Express.
Those who do choose Thero Express for these trips are pleased with the wide schedule of departures each day which offer a great deal of flexibility. Likewise, the low cost of the services appeals to travellers on a budget and is a huge money-saver when compared to flying between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap or Bangkok.