Getting around by air
Internal flights operate between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap (45 minutes flight). The main domestic carriers are Siem Reap Airways International and PMT Air. Battambang, Sihanoukville, Banlung, Sen Monorom and Stung Treng all have airports, but at the time of writing there are only flights to Banlung from Phnom Penh.
Phnom Penh International Airport (PNH) is 10km (6 miles) from Phnom Penh. Taxis and motorbike taxis to the city are available (journey time – 10 minutes). Facilities: Left luggage, bureau de change, shops, duty-free, post office and light refreshments. Siem Reap International Airport (REP) is 8 km (5 miles) from Siem Reap. Taxis and motorbike taxis to Siem Reap are available (journey time – 7 to 10 minutes). Facilities: Left luggage, bureau de change, shops and light refreshments.
Getting around by road
Indonesia’s transport system has been shaped over time by the economic resource base of an archipelago with thousands of islands, and the distribution of its more than 200 million people highly concentrated on a single island which is Java.
Getting around by water
From Phnom Penh there are public ferries going to Siem Reap. Travel can be difficult in the dry season when the water level is very low and often boat services are suspended.
Getting around by train
There are only two lines from Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville and to Battambang. Visitors are not encouraged to use the trains, they take much longer than the buses. Currently, there is only a weekly train from Phnom Penh to Battambang on Saturdays (journey time – 12 hours) and none to Sihanoukville. Tickets can only be bought in person on the day of travel.
Getting around by Road
Traffic drives on the right side and road quality can vary from excellent to very poor. There are numbered routes from Phnom Penh with Route 1 leading to the Vietnamese border. Care should be taken while driving as accidents are relatively frequent. Other vehicles cannot always be relied on to use headlights at night. Given the predominant use of motorcycles for urban public transportation, travellers should ensure that any insurance policies provide coverage for riding as a driver or passenger.
Cattle often stray onto the roads. In Siem Reap, the local police have banned rental outlets from hiring (renting) motorcycles to tourists because of the high number of accidents.
Coach/bus: Long-distance buses travel to destinations such as Kampot, Sihanoukville, Battambang and Siem Reap.
Car hire: It is really only possible to hire a car with a driver. Car hire can be arranged by private negotiation with a taxi waiting outside the hotels or through tour operators.
Taxi: They can be hired in main cities, although they are not metered so the price has to be fixed in advance. Tips are appreciated.
Regulations: The wearing of seat belts is not compulsory.
Documentation: An International Driving Permit is not recognized in Cambodia, and as car hire does not exist, visitors are advised to hire a car with a driver.
Getting around in the City
There are no public buses in Phnom Penh or Siem Reap. Taxis wait outside hotels and restaurants, the fare should be fixed before leaving. Cyclos (tricycles) or motodops (motorcycle taxis) are an efficient and inexpensive way to get around and some of the drivers, especially those found outside main hotels, speak a little French or English. Siem Reap also has motorized tuk tuks.