Night Bus from Siem Reap to Sihanoukville
If you are planning a travel to Cambodia you are probably very familiar with both names. Siem Reap has the stunning Angkor Temples and Sihanoukville is the most popular destination for party travelers or people that just want to chill in a nice Cambodian beach. Sihanoukville is also the port access to amazing Cambodian islands like Ko Rong.
The tickets Odissey
So, we were at Siem Reap and wanted to go to Sihanoukville. We consulted the reception from our hotel for information about the buses and they told us that the travel could take a minimum of 10 hours and they highly recommended the night bus. We asked them to book it to us, but just with the safest company. We already knew about crappy buses so we were really concerned about our safety.
The next morning they just handled us the tickets and only that momento we saw that they have booked us with Olympic Express. We kinda freaked out, because according to our research on this company it was really not recommended for night travels. The stories we read online could be transformed into a horror movie without any effort. We asked the Hotel why they booked us an unsafe bus, but according to them this is the safest line that makes the direct way from Siem Reap to Sihanoukville. Our preferred company, Giant Ibis (click here to read more about them), had a stop by Phnom Penh for two hours before heading to Sihanoukville. But actually we didn’t care too much about stops or waiting hours, our priority was to arrive in one piece to the south coast, so we asked them to change our tickets and they did.
The first part of the travel
The bus was just fine. It was equipped with bunker beds: double beds on the left and single ones on the right. Every bed had a smelly pillow with an as smelly blanket. But it was ok. The space was kinda enough even for the very tall Simon (2,02 m) that even managed to sleep a bit during the travel. Of course that he couldn’t straight his longs legs, but for me – a 1,64 tall woman – was pretty fine. We felt safe and we even slept for few hours in the way. Sometimes we woke up between one bump and another, but we had no clue (so far) how was the roads conditions, so we just relaxed and slept a bit. By the way, click here to read a bit more about the traveling around Cambodia.
We got in Siem Reap at 5 in the morning. We were supposed to arrive at 7, but we arrived even before the bus that left one hour earlier than us. This definitely showed how fast our driver was going and we were happy that we were just relaxing and sleeping without realizing it. Let’s be optimistic: we arrived safe and sound and our luggage was untouched.
Because of the early arrival, instead of waiting 2 hours for the next bus, we had to wait 4. That was pretty bad, specially because no supermarket or bakery opened before 8 in the morning. Also, Phnom Penh has no bus stop, so every company has their own office where the buses stop by. Not even the company was working at 5 in the morning. We were lucky to find some travelers to share a bit of our story and listened to theirs.
The second part of the travel
At 9:20 a minibus that would continue the travel stopped by, we got inside to find out that we got the luckiest sit ever: over the wheels – yes, it was ironic. To be even better my sit was even not properly attached and bumped so much transforming the travel into something really shaky and uncomfortable for me.
The way from Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville was very scary, because I could see how the driver was rushing and overtaking even when the other lane was full of motorcycles or even cars, that were pushed to the side so the minibus could go through. But besides that, we arrived in Sihanoukvillewithout a problem, which made me realize that the Cambodians simply drive this way. It is really their standards.
In Cambodia the traffic is really crazy. No one respects what we call traditional driving rules and everyone tries a piece of space in the streets. Everyone includes the pedestrians, because the sidewalks are completely full of things and most of the time (read: always) you can’t use them to properly walk. So, you can imagine how insane it can become.
The way back from Sihanoukville tô Phnom Penh we decided to escape the crazy drivers and we took the train. To know more about trains and other ways to travel through Cambodia, click here.
Read also our travel from Cambodia to Vietnam by bus and also which bus company we recommend.
If you are like us, traveling from Bangkok to Siem Reap, you need to read this article and get well informed.
Date of our travel from Siem Reap to Sihanoukville: night of 04 to 05.04.2017