As a developing country Cambodia doesn’t offer much choice for transportation. Flight and vehicle are used most for travelers. Road networks have improved but still need to be upgraded in some areas. It is reasonable to count an average speed of 50 km / hour.
There are two international airports in Cambodia: Phnom Penh International Airport located 20 minutes from the town centre and Siem Reap Airport, 7 km from the heart of the town. There are no direct flights to Cambodia from Europe, North America, Australasia or South Africa, so if you plan to fly into the country you’ll need to get a connecting flight from elsewhere in Southeast or East Asia.
There are direct flights to Phnom Penh from an increasing number of cities in the region including Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Seoul, Bangkok, Vientiane, Ho Chi Minh City, and several cities in China (including frequent connections with Hong Kong). Alternatively, it’s also possible to fly direct to Siem Reap from Singapore, Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Kuala Lumpur and a number of other Asian destinations.
There are numerous land borders into Cambodia open to foreigners from neighbouring Thailand, Vietnam and Laos. Visas at all are issued on arrival.
There are currently six border crossings between Cambodia and Thailand open to foreigners. All are open daily (7am–8pm) with visas being issued on arrival at all points; although e-visas are currently only accepted at Poipet and Koh Kong. Far and away the most popular of the six crossings is the mildly infamous crossing at Poipet, on the main highway between Bangkok and Siem Reap. The Trat/Koh Kong crossing further south is good for Sihanoukville and Phnom Penh. There are two further crossings in the east at Ban Pakard/Pailin (Psar Pruhm), an hour by road to Battambang, and at Ban Leam/Daun Lem (although this crossing is basically a casino development in the middle of nowhere, and of zero practical use unless you’re on a visa run from Bangkok). Finally, there are two remote and little-used (by foreigners at least) crossing points in northern Cambodia at Surin/O’Smach, and Chong Sa Ngam/Anlong Veng – both 150km north of Siem Reap (2hr by taxi). These are not busy crossing points though, so your transport options on the Cambodian side will be limited.
There are currently seven border crossings open to foreigners travelling overland from Vietnam (daily 7am–5pm); Cambodian visas are issued on arrival at all points, although heading into Vietnam you’ll need to have acquired a visa in advance. The busiest crossing is at Moc Bai/Bavet, 200km southeast of Phnom Penh on the main road to Ho Chi Minh City. Also popular is the crossing at Chau Doc/K’am Samnar on the Bassac River. There are two further border crossings in the south at Tinh Bien/Phnom Den near Takeo, and at Hat Tien/Prek Chak east of Kep, plus three little-used crossings in eastern Cambodia (see Border crossings in the east) at Xa Mat/Trapeang Phlong east of Kompong Cham; Loc Ninh/Trapeang Sre, southeast of Snuol, and Le Tanh/O Yadow, east of Banlung.
There’s just one border crossing with Laos, at Nong Nok Khiene/Trapeang Kriel (see To Laos) in the far north of Cambodia, 57km beyond Stung Treng. The border is open daily (7am–5pm) and both Cambodian and Lao visas are available on arrival.
Air: Cambodia Angkor Air and Bassaka Air 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: 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.
Side of road: Right
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.
Getting around towns and cities:
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.
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