Siem Reap to Sihanoukville

After 3 days in Siem Reap it was time to leave for Sihanoukville on the Cambodian coast.  I had enjoyed my visit to Siem Reap but the mongering had been a failure, no pussy.  Was looking forward to returning to Sihanoukville after an absence of 10 years.

Coach to Sihanoukville

On my first night in Siem Reap I had booked up a coach from Siem Reap to Sihanoukville for a total of $16. There are plenty of little travel kiosks off pub street.

I was in two minds if to stop off in Phnom Penh first and then head down to Sihanoukville?  What decided it was there was currently no boat trips from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh down the Mekong.  That would have been a cool journey and good photo opportunity.  The other thing,  once in Phnom Penh might get lazy and just stay put.

The plan was to fly back to Bangkok from Phnom Penh.  I not fancy taking the ferry boat from Sihanoukville to Koh Kong and then to Trat in Thailand.  Done that before a long and perilous journey.  Sihanoukville has some type of airport but currently dont think much is flying out of there?

The assistant in the travel kiosk told me the bus would pick me up from the Shadow Angkor villa hotel at 7AM and the latest I would arrive in Sihanoukville was 5pm.  Seemed like a long journey considering its a little over 500 kilometres away?  Oh well this is Cambodia, still a third world country with little infrastructure outside of the main tourists centres.

Journey to Sihanoukville

So I am up early in the Shadow Angkor Villa hotel, 5am to pack my case and for my cooked breakfast.

shadow angkor villa
siem reap dawn

Note a Tuk Tuk driver will take you to Angkor Wat like at 4:30AM in the morning to catch the sun rising over the temples.  Too early for me.

A minibus turns up at 7AM and takes us to the coach station where we then start our journey to Sihanoukville.  Lucky I had my internet radio through my mobile and local sim connection.  You do not want to listen to Cambodian soap operas blasting out all day on the coach journey.

siem reap coach
Coach to Sihanoukville

Out of Siem Reap and the road turns into a dirt track.  Work in progress maybe from all those tourist dollars.  From Siem Reap to Phnom Penh I saw one digger at work.

siem reap to Sihanoukville
dirt road

Every so often we would stop for some fuel and food and a break.  Seems the cows wanted a top up too.

khmer fuel stop
Cambodian cows

Another time we stopped just to clean the coach, yes it was very dirty after a couple of hours driving down a dirt track but we all want to get somewhere.

cambodia coach
Cleaning the coach

Eventually we arrive not in Sihanoukville but Phnom Penh.  Its 4:30pm and we have to wait an hour in the Phnom Penh bus station to change coach.

Phnom Penh Arrival

Now I know it takes 4 hours from Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville in a mini bus. I have done the journey before from Phnom Penh back in 2005.  The assistant tells us we will arrive Sihanoukville around 8pm.


I get chatting to a frenchman on the coach and we buy a couple of warm cans of beer.  He been travelling all his adult years basically, South America and now Asia. A musician, plays the piano in hotels etc, gets work that way and also does online translation from French to English and couple of other languages he knows. Spent 3 months in Siem Reap but prefers Sihanoukville so moving down that way permanently.  Always interesting to learn how one funds a life on the road.

Towards Sihanoukville

Eventually we board a new coach to Sihanoukville. This coach is larger, more leg room.  We crawl out of Phnom Penh, rush hour traffic is pretty bad now in Phnom Penh.  On the outskirts of Phnom Penh I notice some red lights and massage parlours, not geared to tourists.

The coach stops every half hour to drop people off and pick people up.  Its not long and the coach is full.  This is turning into the journey from hell.   Will be lucky to arrive in Sihanoukville before 11pm at this rate.

Im starving now and we stop at a service station.  I feel like something savoury and the frenchmen recommends the Cambodian meat dumplings and they are hot fresh and lovely, they do the trick.

Arrival Sihanoukville Downtown

At last we arrive in downtown Sihanoukville we now have to run the Gauntlet of getting a Tuk Tuk to our hotels.  The frenchman is going in the other direction he has a hut on Otres Beach.

I am staying at the Harbour lights hotel on Victory Hill.  Of course the Tuk Tuk driver not got a clue where the Harbour lights is.  I share a Tuk Tuk with two Polish girls I had got friendly with on the coach and who were also staying on Victory Hill.  We agree a combined price of $9.

Victory Hill

It takes what seems like an age for first to find the Polish girls hotel and then eventually my hotel.  Its near midnight now.  The French owner of Harbour lights is waiting up for me and I briefly check into my room.  Lovely room by the way and I then head up to Victory hill and the aptly named bar street for something to eat and some beers.

Stop off in a little bar on Victory hill and have a burnt pizza and a few beers.  A fat Cambodian bar girl with acne keeps me company.  What a day!  Never again!

Stop off in Phnom Penh and dont believe a word the travel guide tell you in Siem Reap.  I will complain to the mayor of Siem Reap.

Oh well I had arrived in Sihanoukville at last.  The plan was to spend around 4 nights on Victory Hill and then move hotel and spend the remainder of my time in Sihanoukville on Ocheteaul beach.  I had now lost one night on Victory Hill.

10 thoughts on “Siem Reap to Sihanoukville”

  1. Just a heads up after reading about your nightmare journey from Siem Reap to Sihanoukville.
    Angkor Air fly from REP-KOS (a newish Airbus A320 not a grotty prop job) for about $100 and the flying time is around 45 minutes. It’s then 25 minutes from there to town on a bus. A bit late this time around I know, but reckoned it might be useful info for the future.

    fly from REP-KOS at 1425

    town on a bus which leaves after all passengers have exited the terminal building i.e. little/no hanging around, it’s off the plane and onto the waiting bus.

    Looking forward to your Snooky report as I’m going there myself next week.

    Happy travels……..

    1. Thanks for the Info Tim
      I was aware of flights available, but not look into deeply. I was on a budget and thought the bus journey from siem reap to Sihanoukville would be a good chance to get a look at the country and save some dollars. Which in part is was.

      Just not realise it was going to take 18 hours! They gave me the time it would arrive in Phnom Penh not sihanoukville. If they had told me the truth would have looked for alternative options. The frenchman was telling me the domestic flights in Cambodia are not reliable? You can turn up and cancelled last moment or horrendous delays. But I guess Angkor air is up and coming.

      In hindsight I am kind of glad I took the coach journey. Worth its own story 🙂

      A good way to discover who flies to a given airport is the skyscanner airports pages

  2. I know it is a bit late in the day now but Wow, for comfortable coach travel next time check this one out!!
    (Google) www

    1. travelling from siem reap to Phnom Penh is not too bad. You will always change at Phnom Penh if going all the way to Sihanoukville. So whoever you travel with its going to be a very long day.

  3. $9 for a tuk tuk ride from downtown Sihanoukville to Victory Hill? Tuk Tuk drivers are always ripping off Western Tourists because you guys are used to prices back home, $9 is insane. Thailand’s GDP per capita is nearly 5 times more than Cambodia, that is why the hookers are more expensive there among other things, to make a point I usually pay around $9 to take a 30 minute or more metered Taxi ride from my hotel in Bangkok back to the airport or from Suvarnabhumi International Airport to my hotel in Bangkok, so how the hell could a tuk tuk that is FAR less costly to buy and maintain than a taxi cost $9? How could a maybe 5 or 10 minute tuk tuk ride in Cambodia cost the same as a 30+ minute Taxi Ride in Thailand? If you do the reasoning it just doesn’t make any sense.

    Many times in Cambodia I have walked with loads of heavy suit cases and bags to avoid getting ripped off, these motor bike drivers and tuk tuk drivers would rather try to rip someone off and not make any money than charge a fair price for the ride.

    The main reason for this is because Western Tourists have sky rocketed the prices, they bring their mentality from back home back to Cambodia and to them $9 seems reasonable, but they forget to think and reason that $9 is an exorbitant price for a 5 minute maybe 10 minutes tops tuk tuk ride, it just doesn’t make any sense or add up.

    and when a guy like me offers them (usually a motorbike driver) $2 for the ride they refuse and ride off (looking for another tourist to rip off), while I walk for hours in the baking sun to my hotel carrying 70 pounds of luggage with me.

    in a country where the average person makes $3-$4 a day and getting charged an extra amount here and there X amount of times per day for X amount of weeks adds up to a lot.

    You could take a cab ride here in the United States for 5 – 10 minutes and it’ll cost you the same as it would in Cambodia, how can that possibly be? how could a tuk tuk that maybe cost less than $3000 brand new charge to same price for a ride as a taxi vehicle that costs $25,000+ brand new in the United States?

    All of you tourists accepting these outrageous rip off prices are ruining it for everyone else.

    1. Dont have a cardiac arrest over it! What is wrong with some of you obsessing about how much else someone paid?

      ” while I walk for hours in the baking sun to my hotel carrying 70 pounds of luggage with me.”

      I am just not prepared to do that! It was a one off, been on the road all day and just needed to get to my hotel. Split 3 ways with 2 other girls who he had to drop off first
      I come out of the Golden Sands hotel another day and tuk tuk to Otres beach for $2, so swings and roundabouts. Oh but you chose to ignore that.

      I am on a budget, its rare I take a tuk tuk, so it really is just peanuts, overall I work within that budget. In order to save some face I think alot people actually lie online when they talk about how much they paid
      but point taken, should try to haggle price down, we are used to fixed pricing etc back home and extend this trust when in a foreign country
      Your hotelier, locals will usually always tell you how much you should pay locally, but often mean old expats will tell what they wish everyone would pay, somehow hoping they can change things to suit themselves.

  4. they talk about those tuk tuk’s like they’re driving you in a Rolls Royce…the way they talk about them and all of the hyping they do over them you’d think they were.

  5. I think that that crazy girl that I chose at Blue Mountain in 2011 was Vietnamese, she had white skin and looked mostly Chinese with a light mixture of possibly some Khmer type ethnicity, man she was beautiful, she was perfect.

    Back in 2011 I was paying $5 for short time and $20 for long time, I even paid as little as $15 for long time with one of the girls and most of them stayed until 12 noon or later, some even stayed as long at 5 or 6 pm from the night before.

    You guys are getting badly ripped off. How can you pay $30 for short time in Cambodia when in Mexico the fixed price is 200 Mexican pesos or $13-$15 US Dollars depending on the strength of the dollar. The GDP per capita in Mexico is 10 times greater than Cambodia’s yet you’re paying for pussy like Cambodia’s GDP per capita is more than twice that of Mexico’s, that is absolute insanity how much you guys pay and you don’t even bother to haggle it down. How could you possibly pay $50 per night, that is an insane amount, it is difficult for you to fathom, but like I stated before the average person in Cambodia with a good job only makes about $4 a day, that is unfathomable for someone in a western country, but that is how it is over there, $50 to them is an exorbitant amount, but they play it off like it’s nothing.

    I’m really serious when I say this that you older guys are really ruining for guys like me that like to live very well and comfortable in Cambodia for 5 months getting laid every day, by you guys getting ripped off and raising the prices a guy like me that would like to enjoy and stretch out the only time he ever gets laid and has female company to 5 months would probably now turn to only 3 months because of those prices.

    The first time I went to Cambodia I asked this English expatriate working at the Purple Midget in Sihanoukville how much long time costs and he told me $10 and I was in utter shock and disbelief and he reassured me that that is a fair price, I then asked him how long they would stay with me and he said “for as long as you want”, well anyway I told him that I would never pay that little, I would feel terrible, uncomfortable and not enjoy it as much, so I stick by my $5 short $20 long.

    I told you guys that story just to give you an idea of how badly you’re over paying for pussy in Cambodia,a guy like me that is fucking 1 – 3 females per day everyday, paying those prices is unsustainable for a 5 month plan.

    those girls at the Bar None or Kong Bar (I get them confused) were full of shit telling me that none of them are prostitutes for hire, it’s amazing that every single one of them refused to go with me, not only that, but they were very unfriendly, constantly harassing me and indirectly kicking me out with their body language and vibes alone.

    It’s amazing that they told me that none of them were prostitutes when the entire bar consisted of girls and a few guys with tans sipping drinks and smoking cigarettes that were all nearly twice my age or more, guys in their late 50s and 60s.

    but yeah $5 short and $20 long, no more than that.

    and I had some great pussy at the chicken farm, I liked fucking that 30 something year old girl on her firm wooden bed in her wooden and metal shack.

    1. I was mongering in Sihanoukville and Phnom Penh in 2005 6 years before you. Man, nothing good lasts forever. I know you wish Cambodia would stay in time warp like your head stays stuck in the sand
      These girls do it for money. I was recently in Athens where in some brothels its 10 euros for a hottie, now I found that unbelievable.

  6. True Paul Butler, most mongers are in that more mature late 40s + age bracket. But when they were about your age,late 20s early 30s at a guess, am I right? Most people at your age would have gone on normal dates dating normal girls or be in normal relationships or be married with kids. Personally, having to pay for sex never crossed my mind until I was maybe in my mid forties ( a little young I know) having experienced many good healthy relationships in the past. Most mongers I now meet around the world are in their 50s, plus, usually divorced and looking for a bit of spice to enhance and light up their lives.

    So getting back to my experiences in Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Indonesia. Most good looking western foreigners of your age actually don’t need to pay for sex with the local girls as most are actually happy to go on dates with as I say any reasonably presentable looking young western foreigner.

    And also my experiences of Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Hong Kong, Malaysia, The Philippines and Indonesia tell me that for that small pittance amount in $US dollars that you mentioned, any small ugly and fat or small ugly and thin freelancer can be found in anywhere from Bangkok to Jakarta.

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