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World Travel Guide > Guides > Asia > Cambodia

Getting Around Cambodia

Air

Cambodia Angkor Air (www.cambodiaangkorair.com) and Bassaka Air (www.bassakaair.com) operate internal flights between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap for Angkor (journey time - 45 minutes). Siem Reap Airport, the main gateway for visitors going to see the ancient temples at Angkor, is a 10-minute taxi ride from the city.

Road

Side of the road

Right

Road Quality

Roads vary from excellent to very poor and there are numbered routes from Phnom Penh with Route 1 leading to the Vietnamese border. Take care while driving, as accidents are relatively frequent. You can't always rely on other vehicles to use headlights at night.

Car Hire

It is really only possible to hire a car with a driver. You can arrange car hire by private negotiation with a taxi waiting outside the hotels or through tour operators.

Taxi

You can hire taxis in main cities, although they are not metered so the price has to be fixed in advance. Tips are appreciated.

Bike

Given the predominant use of motorcycles for urban public transportation, you should ensure that any insurance policies provide coverage for riding as a driver or passenger. Cattle often stray onto the roads. In Siem Reap, it's easy to find companies hiring motorbikes, despite a local ban to protect tourists.

Breakdown services

These are few and far between. In most areas, drivers of broken-down vehicles have to take a bus, taxi or moto to the nearest town to hire a tow to a local garage.

Documentation

An International Driving Permit is not recognised in Cambodia, and as car hire does not exist, visitors are advised to hire a car with a driver.

Urban travel

There is a limited public bus service in Phnom Penh, but none in Siem Reap. Taxis wait outside hotels and restaurants but, as they are unmetered, 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 motorised tuk tuks.

In terms of the greatest risks (particularly in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Sihanoukville), the greatest danger faced by visitors is from road-traffic accidents, armed robbery after dark, bag snatching and, in remote areas, landmines.

Rail

Cambodia’s defunct railway system is slowly being rehabilitated, but there are currently no passenger services.

Water

Government-run ferries depart from the Phnom Penh port near Street 104 and go to Siem Reap, a route popular with travellers. You can buy tickets in person at the dock or through a travel agent. Travel can be difficult in the dry season when the water level is very low, and often boat services are suspended.

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