Traveling to Angkor Wat

Bangkok to Siem Reap - by plane, train, bus, taxi, and by boat, are the choices. Although taking this trip by land can be a test of your patience and your love for all mankind, you will eventually get there. The flight out of Bangkok and arrival in Siem Reap is expensive, short, smooth and uneventful.

Phnom Penh to Siem Reap - this trip also has a choice of plane, bus, taxi and boats. The bus is cramped and uncomfortable but it only lasts six hours and is very inexpensive, so it is a popular choice. The boat is either a fairly uncomfortable and crowded water taxi or one of the luxury tour boats, which are probably pretty nice but very expensive. Would love to take one of those luxury boats sometime, so I can write a story about it (if someone from one of the boat companies is reading this, please contact me). The best choice is probably a private taxi if you want to stop and go at your own pace. Share taxis can be worse than taking the bus, I actually had a market vendor with a tub full of fermented fish get on a share taxi with me once.

Koh Kong to Siem Reap - (you could also consider this trip as being from Ko Chang, Thailand), I have done this trip a number of times over the years. It is best to plan a stop in Phnom Penh (and Sihanoukville if you want to go to the beach) on the way, actually not sure if you can go direct. This actually a very interesting trip and if you can afford it, the best way to do it is to hire a van or 4WD with a few other people, so you can make unscheduled stops along the way.

Kuala Lumpur to Siem Reap - cheaper to fly out of here to Siem Reap than Bangkok, so if you are traveling to Malaysia you might want to consider it.

Singapore to Siem Reap - for this distance it obviously makes sense to fly and Singapore has a great airport to fly from and low airfares available. For the adventurous it is of course possible to make a multi-day journey by a combination of trains, buses and even boats. It has been a long time since I traveled through Malaysia by bus, but it was an experience I always enjoyed, even when the bus would break down in some small jungle town.

Seoul, South Korea to Siem Reap - I have only done Seoul to Phnom Penh and it was of course very smooth sailing. I love Inchon Airport so I will take any opportunity to stop their for a few hours, Phnom Penh Airport is not so great, Siem Reap Airport is small but very nice.

Saigon to Siem Reap
- this is a multi-day journey with many interesting stops if you are going by land or water. The flight is fairly short so it is the only way to go if you are in a hurry. If you are not in a hurry this is the other end of the luxury boat trip to Siem Reap, would love to do it some day.

Where to Stay - Siem Reap - Phnom Penh - Battambang - Bangkok

By plane

Siem Reap - Angkor International Airport (IATA: REP | ICAO: VDSR) is the second largest airport in Cambodia.

The following airlines operate service to/from Angkor International Airport:

AirAsia (Kuala Lumpur), Asiana Airlines (Seoul-Incheon), Bangkok Airways (Bangkok), Cambodia Angkor Air (Ho Chi Minh City, Phnom Penh), China Eastern Airlines (Kunming, Nanning), China Southern Airlines (Guangzhou), Jetstar Asia (Singapore), Korean Air (Seoul-Incheon), Lao Airlines (Luang Prabang), Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur), Silk Air (Da Nang, Singapore), and Vietnam Airlines (Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Luang Prabang).

The airport is less than 15 minutes from the town centre by taxi ($7) or motodop ($4). If you have an advance booking in a hotel, ask the hotel for a free airport pickup (in one of their tuk-tuks).

There are separate terminals for international and domestic flights. International departure tax is a steep $25, or $13 for children, payable after check-in and before clearing immigration. Note that usually this must be paid in cash because the credit card facility is unreliable, so have cash with you. Domestic departure tax to Phnom Penh is $6.

By land

Phnom Penh Sorya Transport [3] Capitol Tours, and GST Express operate bus service to/from Siem Reap. Direct buses go to Phnom Penh ($10), Pakse ($30), Don Det in the 4000 Islands region of Laos ($27), Kampong Cham, Soung, Battambang, and Kor Kong. Advance bookings are advisable, and can also be sorted out by most travel agents and guesthouses for a $1-$2 fee. Buses generally leave between 7:00AM and 3:00PM.

From Thailand, the nearest border crossings are at Aranyaprathet/Poipet, 3 hours to the north, and Hat Lek/Koh Kong on the coast. See those articles for information on how to get to and cross the border. As a result of recent road pavings, the roads from these border crossings to Siem Reap are in excellent condition. From Poipet, you can take a taxi (US$25 minimum, 2-3 hours, max 4 passengers) or an overcrowded bus (US$10, 6 hours, leaves when full, not as comfortable).

The best budget option is to catch a Thai government bus to the border at Poi Pet (don't buy from Khao San Road), buy the Cambodian visa directly for $20, then after being stamped into the country find yourself a group of four to catch a reasonably comfortable taxi to Siem Reap ($25-30). This will get you to Siem Reap on time, in comparable comfort without funding scammers.