How to get from Ho Chi Minh to Phnom Penh

What about

Wide leafy boulevards, exquisite Buddhist temples and a beautiful riverside promenade – even if Phnom Penh cannot boast a lot of large-scale tourist attractions, it possesses its own special charm. Easily one of the least developed capitals of South East Asia, Phnom Penh is changing rapidly nowadays; new Western-style shopping malls and high-rises make their way to the city, and there are even air-conditioned public buses cruising its streets. You can have a look at the darkest years of Khmer history in Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum or venture further afield to the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek. But you can choose just to enjoy Phnom Penh’s – alas! – rapidly vanishing French flavour, indulge in world-wide cuisine offered in its fancy restaurants at half the price you pay anywhere else or absorb the local colours visiting markets and people-watching. There is an abundance of worth-seeing places of interest around Phnom Penh, easily explored during a day trip, including Phinom Chisor, a stunning example of the Angkorian period temples, or Koh Dach, the Silk Island, where you can witness the process of silk weaving and buy some of the finest textiles in Cambodia. All in all, architectural wonders, busy nightlife venues and shopping opportunities galore in Phnom Penh. It may not become your favourite city in Asia, but Phnom Penh definitely deserves a closer look.

How to get from Ho Chi Minh to Phnom Penh

Nearly every guesthouse in Ho Chi Minh and all the travel agencies in the city will be ready to sell you a ticket to almost any destination throughout South East Asia; no wonder that Ho Chi Minh–Phnom Penh route is no exception. You can get to the Cambodian capital either by plain or by bus. The former way is considerably more expensive but quicker; the latter is cheaper but takes longer.

From Ho Chi Minh to Phnom Penh to by bus

Giant Ibis Transport is one of the leading operators serving the route between Ho Chi Minh and Phnom Penh. Cambodia-based bus company boasts excellent safety record and provides a level of service you could have hardly expected to get in Cambodia a couple of years ago. They provide complimentary pick-up from their partner accommodation in Ho Chi Minh (require in your hotel or guesthouse), serve snacks and water during the trip and even offer free Wi-Fi and electrical outlets for charging your gadgets on board their buses. For Ho Chi Minh–Phnom Penh route the company uses full-sized comfortable buses; tickets from Ho Chi Minh to Phnom Penh with Giant Ibis cost USD18.

In Ho Chi Minh, Giant Ibis buses depart from their ticket office in Pham Ngu Lao Street in District 1, which lies within walking distance from many budget digs in Pham Ngu Lao–Bu Vien area.

Giant Ibis operates at least one daily bus from Ho Chi Minh to Phnom Penh. It departs at 8.30am and gets to the destination some six hours later. The total distance between the two cities is 240 km. Travel time depends greatly on the time spent at the immigration on the Vietnamese and Cambodian sides and on ferry crossing. In certain periods there is one more bus leaving Ho Chi Minh at 12.30pm.

There is a lunch stop half the way between Ho Chi Minh and Phnom Penh at Banyan Tree Restaurant located in the duty free zone after you have done with immigration formalities on the Vietnamese side. Note that lunch in not included into your ticket price; expect to pay USD3-4 for a dish.

In Phnom Penh buses bring their passengers to Giant Ibis bus station in 106 Street close to the night market and riverfront. You can connect to other Giant Ibis buses there and leave your luggage for a few hours to take a stroll around the city while waiting for your next bus. Tuk-tuk drivers welcome every arrival, so you will not have any problem with getting to any part of the city in case you are planning to spend some time in Phnom Penh.

From Ho Chi Minh to Phnom Penh by air

There are direct flights between Ho Chi Minh and Phnom Penh performed by regular and low-cost airlines. Travel time is about one hour, but it is often impossible to find tickets under USD100 – if only you do not hit a great sale period. Cambodia Angkor, Vietnam Airlines and Qatar Airways all operate direct flights from Phnom Penh to Saigon. If overland travel is not your thing, consider this option, then.

Where and when to obtain your Cambodian visa?

Before buying your ticket to Cambodia, check visa requirements for your passport. Though you can apply for VOA right at the border, it is still advisable to arrange for your visa in advance – just to be on the safe side. You can do it directly thought the Cambodian Consulate-General in Ho Chi Minh located in No 41 Phung Khac Khoan. Visas are processes the same day and generally there are no queues. Another option is to obtain your Cambodian visa online as E-Visas are accepted at the Svay Rieng–Bavet border crossing which the buses heading from Ho Chi Minh to Phnom Penh use. Tourist E-Visa cost USD30 plus USD7 for processing.

Note that whatever way for obtaining your Cambodian visa you choose, if travelling with Giant Ibis buses, at the border you will be charged additional USD5 for batch processing of passengers’ passports.

Connecting to other Giant Ibis buses in Phnom Penh

From their bus station in Phnom Penh Giant Ibis Transport operate three more routes: to Sihanoukville, to Kampot and to Siem Reap.

The only destination to which you can connect travelling from Ho Chi Minh the same day is Siem Reap. In this case you need to take either morning or afternoon bus from Ho Chi Ming to Phnom Penh (USD18) and then to hop onto the night bus from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap (USD15). If the amazing Angkor complex is the next entry in your must-visit list, you can buy a joint ticket directly from Ho Chi Minh to Siem Reap. You will have enough time to make a brief tour of Phnom Penh before the departure of your night bus to Siem Reap.

For morning travel to Siem Reap as well as travel to Sihanoukville and Kampot from Ho Chi Minh you need to buy two separate tickets – first from Ho Chi Minh to Phnom Penh and then from Phnom Penh to your destination – and spend a night in Phnom Penh to proceed your journey on the following day after your arrival from Vietnam.

Getting around

If you have traveled at least a bit anywhere in Cambodia, you may have noticed that the Khmers know no modesty as far as the width of their roads is concerned. This local love for expansions makes Phnom Penh tough for covering on foot. Tuk-tuks and motorbike taxis are ubiquitous and plentiful; they are an affordable and easy way to get around the city. Expect to pay from USD1 to USD3 for a tuk-tuk ride, even less for a motorbike taxi.

Renting a scooter is also an option in Phnom Penh. Daily rates are about USD5. Note that helmets are a must, traffic is chaotic and accidents with casualties are not unheard of. Rent only if you are an experienced rider – we mean with some experience in Asian countries.

There are public buses in Phnom Penh. Tickets cost less than USD0.5 per trip. The most useful route is Line 03 which stops at the International Airport, Central Market and Night Market. Line 01 combined with some walking brings you to the Royal Palace and National Museum.

Further afield from Phnom Penh

Located literally in the heart of the country, Phnom Penh has good transport connections with all the other cities and towns around Cambodia and in the neighbouring countries. Apart from the already mentioned Kampot, Sihanoukville and Ho Chi Minh, some of the destinations which you can reach overland from Phnom Penh, include Poi Pet, Battambang, Koh Kong, Preah Vihear and Mondulkiri in Cambodia; Bangkok in Thailand; Vientiane and Pakse in Laos.

Ho Chi Minh to Phnom Penh @ bus, van, flight Sep 28, 2017

20 trips (THB 451 — 4,610)

From Ho Chi Minh Mekong Express to Phnom Penh by van

06:30
Ho Chi Minh Mekong Express
11:25
Phnom Penh Mekong Express
4h 55m
Instant
฿ 562
× 2 = ฿ 1,124
 
15:00
Ho Chi Minh Mekong Express
19:55
Phnom Penh Mekong Express
4h 55m
Instant
฿ 562
× 2 = ฿ 1,124
 

From Ho Chi Minh Kumho 4 to Phnom Penh by bus

07:00
Ho Chi Minh Kumho 4
13:00
Phnom Penh Kumho
6h
฿ 451
× 2 = ฿ 902
 
08:00
Ho Chi Minh Kumho 4
14:00
Phnom Penh Kumho
6h
฿ 451
× 2 = ฿ 902
 
09:30
Ho Chi Minh Kumho 4
15:30
Phnom Penh Kumho
6h
฿ 451
× 2 = ฿ 902
 
10:30
Ho Chi Minh Kumho 4
16:30
Phnom Penh Kumho
6h
฿ 451
× 2 = ฿ 902
 
12:00
Ho Chi Minh Kumho 4
18:00
Phnom Penh Kumho
6h
฿ 451
× 2 = ฿ 902
 
13:30
Ho Chi Minh Kumho 4
19:30
Phnom Penh Kumho
6h
฿ 451
× 2 = ฿ 902
 
15:00
Ho Chi Minh Kumho 4
21:00
Phnom Penh Kumho
6h
฿ 451
× 2 = ฿ 902
 

From Ho Chi Minh to Phnom Penh by bus

07:00
Ho Chi Minh
11:55
Phnom Penh Mekong Express
4h 55m
Instant
฿ 463
× 2 = ฿ 926
 
08:30
Ho Chi Minh
13:25
Phnom Penh Mekong Express
4h 55m
Instant
฿ 463
× 2 = ฿ 926
 
13:00
Ho Chi Minh
17:55
Phnom Penh Mekong Express
4h 55m
Instant
฿ 463
× 2 = ฿ 926
 

From Ho Chi Minh Giant Ibis to Phnom Penh by bus

08:30
Ho Chi Minh Giant Ibis
15:00
Phnom Penh Giant Ibis
6h 30m
Instant
฿ 595
× 2 = ฿ 1,190
 
12:30
Ho Chi Minh Giant Ibis
19:00
Phnom Penh Giant Ibis
6h 30m
Instant
฿ 595
× 2 = ฿ 1,190
 

From Ho Chi Minh City Sinh to Phnom Penh by bus

06:30
Ho Chi Minh City Sinh
12:30
Phnom Penh (SinhTourist)
6h
Refund
฿ 537
× 2 = ฿ 1,074
 
08:30
Ho Chi Minh City Sinh
14:30
Phnom Penh (SinhTourist)
6h
Refund
฿ 537
× 2 = ฿ 1,074
 
11:30
Ho Chi Minh City Sinh
17:30
Phnom Penh (SinhTourist)
6h
Refund
฿ 537
× 2 = ฿ 1,074
 
15:30
Ho Chi Minh City Sinh
21:30
Phnom Penh (SinhTourist)
6h
Refund
฿ 537
× 2 = ฿ 1,074
 

From Ho Chi Minh Airport to Phnom Penh by flight

#QR970
14:55
Ho Chi Minh Airport
15:50
Phnom Penh Airport
55m
Instant
฿ 3,713
× 2 = ฿ 7,426
 
15:55
Ho Chi Minh Airport
16:50
Phnom Penh Airport
55m
Instant
฿ 4,610
× 2 = ฿ 9,220
 

Passenger reviews out of total 1,753 passengers traveled with us on this route

At 12Go our operators offer three types of service:

Cheap, Fast, Good - but you can usually pick only two of them!
Cheap & Fast won’t be Good. (e.g. buses from/to Khao San Road, local buses or 3rd class trains)
Cheap & Good won’t be Fast. (e.g. VIP trains in Thailand)
Fast & Good won’t be Cheap. (e.g. private limousine services, or VIP24 buses vs Express buses)

Make your choice! Please remember that though we are closely monitoring services, we are still an agency marketplace - meaning we focus on ticketing service and route availability / coverage rather than on factual seat recline angle you got today ^_^

★★★★☆ Sep 9, 2017 (bus Express, Mekong Express) :
We arrived in Phnom Penh 1,5 hours to late. It was not because of much traffic, it was the actual planned time of the Mekong Express company.
★★★☆☆ Aug 30, 2017 (bus Universe Luxury, Giant Ibis Transport)
★★★★★ Aug 28, 2017 (bus Universe Luxury, Giant Ibis Transport) :
Friendly guides, speaks good English.
★★★★★ Aug 27, 2017 (van Regional, Mekong Express) :
Good air con, spacious bus and very helpful staff at the Cambodian boarder. Thank you!
★★★☆☆ Aug 9, 2017 (bus Universe Luxury, Giant Ibis Transport) :
Great except wifi didn't work
★★★☆☆ Aug 8, 2017 (bus Express, Mekong Express) :
We booked the tickets and the arrival time would be 5 hours later then departure, but we arrived more than 2,5 hours later. So in total 7,5 hours in stead of 5.
★★★★★ Aug 1, 2017 (bus Universe Noble, Giant Ibis Transport)
★★★★☆ Jul 29, 2017 (bus Express, Mekong Express)
★★★★★ Jul 22, 2017 (bus Universe Luxury, Giant Ibis Transport) :
The bus is on time. Very accommodating staff. Will recommend this to others.
★★★★★ Jul 17, 2017 (bus Universe Luxury, Giant Ibis Transport) :
Excellent service! ????
★★★★★ Jul 14, 2017 (bus Universe Luxury, Giant Ibis Transport) :
As good as any. Staff always great at border crossing. Much easier than doing it yourself. Plenty of stops. Didn't crash. Didn't hit anyone or animals. Annoying Western Gen Y tourists taking photos of themselves all them time, is unavoidable these days. Good job Giant Ibis and 12go.
★★★★☆ Jul 2, 2017 (bus Express, The SinhTourist) :
On time depart. Pretty easy going. No border issues. Arrived tad late. Good trip
★★★★★ Jun 27, 2017 (bus Universe Noble, Giant Ibis Transport) :
Everything at the border is taken care for you
★★★★☆ Jun 26, 2017 (bus Universe Luxury, Giant Ibis Transport) :
Very cold when the AC is blasted which isn't the worst thing, but overall staff were extremely friendly and helpful and well organized. Much better expirience than any other bus company I have been on in Vietnam.
★★★★☆ Jun 25, 2017 (bus Universe Luxury, Giant Ibis Transport) :
The bus ride was nice. I enjoy seeing the country while I travel. The buses are nice and convenient. The wifi works OK. Each pair of seats has a universal outlet to keep your techie equipment charged. This is not a slow Sunday stroll in The US. The drivers drive aggressive, but not crazy. It's not their first rodeo. Hint: Look out the side window, not the windshield. I truly enjoy the bus rides from Giant Ibis. The worst part of this trip is the border crossing, so just be patient. You are checked separately getting out of one country. And checked out again getting into the other country. It is completely separate. This time around it took almost 2 hours. For some reason we had to switch buses. We were held up for about 30 minutes in the duty free. So again be patient. I don't feel this was a typical time limit at the border. Another hint: I thought I was saving myself time by ordering my visa online and printing it from my computer. Wrong!!! I was the last one to cross because I was told to sit and wait at the E-Visa window until someone came to help me. No one ever came, and they were not eager to leave their desks from the regular visa lines, eventhough no one was in them. Just a hint. In conclusion, be patient, enjoy the ride, enjoy the scenery. It's a nice way to travel and see the countries.
★★☆☆☆ May 30, 2017 (bus Express, The SinhTourist)
★★★★☆ May 22, 2017 (bus Universe Luxury, Giant Ibis Transport)
★★★★☆ May 10, 2017 (bus Express, The SinhTourist) :
It's a bit confusing the visa process, but it worked good. They have wifi in the bus ! They stop after getting the visa to have a break. We got to Cambodia a little later tHan expected .
★★★★☆ May 6, 2017 (bus Universe Luxury, Giant Ibis Transport) :
Spot on time. Comfortable, WiFi blocked Wordpress so was limited to what I could see and do on my computer.
★★★★☆ Apr 27, 2017 (bus Express, The SinhTourist) :
It was an convenient journey. The advantage of having bus is free bagage, depart from downtown and you can sleep well.
★★★★★ Apr 22, 2017 (bus Universe Noble, Giant Ibis Transport) :
Everything went fine. Arrived on time and easy border crossing. Nice AC and comfortable.
★★★★☆ Mar 28, 2017 (bus Universe Luxury, Giant Ibis Transport)
★★★★★ Mar 5, 2017 (bus Universe Noble, Giant Ibis Transport) :
Such a smooth journey and border crossing
★★★☆☆ Mar 2, 2017 (bus Express, The SinhTourist)
★★★☆☆ Feb 23, 2017 (bus Express, The SinhTourist) :
The trip took one hour longer more than scheduled. Although they said that they drop you off at your hotel we hadn't the choice.
★★★★☆ Feb 21, 2017 (bus Universe Noble, Giant Ibis Transport) :
Efficient, comfortable service
★★★★☆ Feb 20, 2017 (bus Universe Noble, Giant Ibis Transport) :
It was fine, bus arrived on time, but departed 20min after schedule. Comfortable seats, excellent steward who organised the border crossing. 2 and half hour delay at crossing for uncertain reasons but got into Phnom Penh at 16.45
★★★★☆ Feb 14, 2017 (bus Universe Noble, Giant Ibis Transport) :
Great people. Early pickup and then went around in a circle, ending back at the original pickup 1 hr. later. Could have slept in longer.
★★★★★ Feb 10, 2017 (bus Universe Noble, Giant Ibis Transport) :
Good trip
★★★★☆ Feb 4, 2017 (bus Universe Noble, Giant Ibis Transport) :
The driver made the immigration process on both sides very easy. There are perhaps other companies who offer a cheaper price.
★★★☆☆ Nov 12, 2016 (bus Express, The SinhTourist) :
Seats are broken, the WiFi is 5/10. Journey took a little over 8 hours. the driver stopped 2 times, one for a period of 30 mins, the second time for 5 minutes. No toilet on the bus. Seats are uncomfortable but you get what you paid for. BEFORE crossing the border driver took our passport and money for the visa... which you can pay in dollars or Vietnamese. The drivers speak little English, so when we didn't get our passport back after 30 mind we were worried, overall it wasn't a terrible journey. but snack up, or carry dollars when in cambodia!
★★★★☆ Jun 16, 2016 (bus Universe Noble, Giant Ibis Transport) :
Very polite staff and good English. The wifi is spotty and NOT-existing at times. At other times FaceTime with video was possible. The pasportprocedure on the Vietnam side was a joke. Locals and guides from smaller groups constantly kept jumping the line. Which delayed us at least half an hour. I suggest that other groups man-up and simple physically block the cheaters from jumping the line. At the end we were successful and in the beginning we were way too polite. Man-up is my advise.
★★★★☆ Apr 28, 2016 (bus Universe Noble, Giant Ibis Transport)
★★★★☆ Apr 18, 2016 (bus Universe Noble, Giant Ibis Transport) :
Convenient bus with wifi and power for PC. Some snacks and drinks provided. Travel time rather slow for the distance but the fastes possible due to road conditions. Nice local guide, polite and good english. Ralf Horsch
★★★★★ Jan 1, 2016 (bus Universe Noble, Giant Ibis Transport) :
Excellent service!

News

Thailand Cambodia Vietnam bus service on the cards

The transport ministers of Thailand and Cambodia have proposed the inauguration of a bus route linking the two nations to Vietnam. If the plan comes to fruition, buses will ply a route linking Bangkok, Phnom Penh and Ho Chi Minh City.

22 September 2017

Cambodia Transport Ministry asks bus companies not to increase fares

The Transport Ministry of Cambodia has asked bus companies not to jack up fares during national festival periods. The request from transport-minister Sun Chanthol came ahead of the start of the Pchum Ben Ancestors’ Festival yesterday.

20 September 2017

Thailand and Cambodia agree to speed up international rail connection

The prime-minister of Thailand and his Cambodian counterpart have agreed to speed up the reconnection of a rail link between the two nations. The leaders set a target of 2019 to relaunch the Phnom Penh to Bangkok link at a meeting in Phnom Penh yesterday.

08 September 2017