Travel to Phnom Penh
Flying to Phnom Penh
There are no direct flights to Phnom Penh from the UK but there are good connections with Thai Airways, Singapore Airlines, Malaysian Airlines and Qatar Airways. The peak travel season is from September to April. You can find cheap flights to Phnom Penh by avoiding school holidays, Christmas and Cambodian New Year in April. If travelling from the USA, you also need to make at least one stopover.
From London - 14 hours (including stopover); New York - 20 hours (including stopover); Los Angeles - 18 hours 40 minutes (including stopover); Toronto - 20 hours (including stopover); Sydney - 11 hours 30 minutes (including stopover).
Travel by road
The roads around Cambodia vary from excellent to very poor tracks but conditions are improving slowly. Traffic drives on the right, but cars are both left-hand and right-hand drive cars, which can account for the rather reckless manner of driving adopted by the Cambodians.
The road system around Phnom Penh is the best in the country with numbered routes leading out of the city. It is not possible to hire cars in Cambodia but it is possible to hire a car with a driver.
Route 1 is the main road to the Vietnamese border at Moc Bai, Route 4 takes you to the only port at Sihanoukville and Route 6 to Siem Reap and the temples of Angkor. The further you travel from the capital, the more the roads deteriorate and land travel becomes a gruelling experience. It is important to remember that during the rainy season, May to October, even major routes can suffer disruption because of serious flooding. Most long-distance taxis leave from the northwest corner of the Central Market.
As the roads leading out of Phnom Penh are good, there is an extensive bus service to places such as Siem Reap, Sihanoukville, Rattanakiri, Battambang, Bangkok and Ho Chi Minh City.
These are operated by the main bus company, Phnom Penh Sorya Transportation (tel: +855 23 210 359; www.ppsoryatransport.com). Buses depart from the southwest corner of the Central Market, at the corner of Street 217 and Street 67.
Time to city
From Battambang - 5 hours 30 minutes; Kampot - 3 hours; Siem Reap - 5 hours 20 minutes; Sihanoukville - 4 hours.
Travel by Rail
There are two lines in Cambodia, from Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville and Battambang. Both lines were suspended due to neglect during the civil war, but as of 2016, freight and a limited passenger service were made available between Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville.
Travel by boat
Express boats service Phnom Penh from Siem Reap. Boats leave from south of the Japanese Bridge on Sisowath Quay at Street 104. You should buy tickets at the dock at least one day in advance.
This is quite an adventurous way to get to Siem Reap. Occasionally these local ferries break down or become grounded if the water is too low or the service is suspended. The best time to travel is during and just after the rainy season between June to November.
There is a regular boat service between Phnom Penh and Chau Doc on the Mekong in Vietnam, with several operators including Blue Cruiser (tel: +855 23 633 3666; www.bluecruiser.com) and Hang Chau Boat Company (tel: +855 12 883 542). Taxis and motodops (motorbike taxis) always meet the boats.
The ferry dock is centrally located so can easily be reached by taxi from local hotels.