Monday, October 24, 2011

Ho Chi Minh (Vietnam) to Siem Reap (Cambodia) Bus Solo Trip

vietnam, cambodia and laos 11th solo backpacking tour
august 24 - september 1, 2011 wednesday to thursday

objective: to visit the best tourist spot that fits to my budget at limited amount of time.
additional tasks: lost half of my pocket-money in day 1... show must go on for the planned itinerary no matter how it takes

day 0: ho chi minh city arrival at night



ho chi minh city to siem reap province bus travel time took approximately 14 hours including the stop-overs and crossborder checkpoint.

I claimed my passport and had my free breakfast of baguette (a long thin loaf of French bread), a scrambled egg and a tea. I went back to pham ngu lao road where we found the series of travel tours booking office. We have to book siem reap bound bus trip.

bus terminal along pham ngu lao road

most of the siem reap bound was fully booked. the filipino couple I met found a bus fare at $18, no stop-over to phnom penh. for me its a little bit expensive and its ok for me to have a stop-over to phnom penh because it was also included in my planned itinerary. I found one more cheaper, costs $15 but only 1 remaining slot. travel time will took additional minutes for phnom penh stop-over. the bus is a double-decker fully aircon with free water and wet tissue. i bid farewell to this good couple then split-up to our respective bus station. bus departed at 0800H.

moc bai immigration building (vietnam)

bavet immigration building (cambodia)


arrived in moc bai border around 1100H. bus conductor will collect all passengers' passports. he will be the one to transact to immigration officer free of charge. then, entered the immigration building together with our bags and waited for our names to be called. no interviews from IO's.

bavet border will issue an arrival/departure card that will be filled-up completely, arrival card to submit in immigration officer, again, no interview occured, they just stamp it right away. in less than 5 minutes, with no qeueing, i was already inside the cambodia. i left my bag in the bus, and brought a ballpen.

change bus at phnom penh city market bus terminal

food trip stop-over along the roads of cambodia

food trip stop-over along the roads of cambodia

food trip stop-over along the roads of cambodia


after 10mins of travel, lunch stop-over infront of a dry port. i just noticed half-of my pocket money inside my bag was gone. i don't know who made it stole but i'm really sure its lost, $200 in smaller dollar bills, what a silly negligence. fortunately, i scattered my money everywhere within the pockets inside my backpack so the remaining somehow still suffice the itinerary i created for this tour. all of a sudden the budget backpacking becomes super tight budget journey. i have now my second thoughts if to pursue the southern Laos bound, sigh!

siem reap tuktuk at night

$2 meal at siem reap

around 2200H we arrived in siem reap bus terminal. lots of tuktuk drivers struck questions to me. disgusted somehow and i really don't know where to go, i finally entertain them and asked to brought to downtown and nearest guesthouse. i negotiated $1 fare to downtown and the guesthouse was much cheaper more than i expected. i contracted this tuktuk driver also for my next day temple ruins tour. took bath, then went outside for some night stroll.

day 1 expenses: (@ php43/usd)
* hcmc to siem reap bus fare = $15 = php645
* tuktuk to siem reap downtown = $1 = php43
* dinner = $2.75 = php118.25
TOTAL : php806.25

day 2: angkor archaeological park solo day-tour
go back to main post


  1. I am planning a trip to Ho Chi Minh city (HCM) and Siem Reap (REP) and happen to find your blog. It is very informative and useful. I would like to know if there are direct buses from HCM to REP without stopover in Phnom Penh and how long does the travel take. Appreciate your help. Thanks.

    1. @SAS; yes, there is ... the filipino couple I tagged along availed this bus route ... it costs around $18/pax, different bus company (around pham ngu lao also, just ask them), 0700H departure (so booked the night before), and arrives in SR around less at most 1.5 hour than with stop-over. :) tnx for reading!

  2. Hi. I'm arriving in Ho Chi Minh at 1am on Nov 16 and planning to book a bus to siem reap that leaves at 7am that same day. I have no way of booking it in advance. I'm worried that the buses would be fully booked and I have no plan B. Any suggestions?

    1. @EricGregor; nov16(wed) is off-peak day .... its ok to not book in advance ... dont worry because there are lots of providers along pham ngu lao.. earliest departure to SR is 0700H so most probably book as early as 0600H ...

  3. can i ask? if your planning a 3d2n vacation is there any possibility to extend my trip?

  4. Hello,
    Your blog was interested to read, and a few question came into my mind. Perhaps you can answer them. I am going to Cambodia on September this year. Besides Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam are also listed to be visited. But still I have a question about a hotel you might have seen during your visit in Siem Reap. I booked the following hotel: Tara Angkor Hotel. You know if it is a good hotel? I heard good stories about it. What are the best attractions to visit in Siem Reap and in the surrounding?

    1. @ Marith; I have no idea about your hotel as I just walked-in only to all guesthouse I had during this trip, see the link below..

  5. Thank you for responding. I think we will stay around 4/5 days, depending on my friends. I will have a look on your websites, and that is already helpful. During my stay there, i will celebrate my birthday as well. Some friends recommended the following restaurants; Tonle Sap, Tonle Mekong or Tonle Chaktomuk. Do you know them by any chance?

    1. IMHO, I think Siem Reap Archeological Park is enough if you will visit those 3 countries you mentioned in limited time as you an ordinary people might feel temple-out. Just ask the ticketing booth how to manage your itinerary.

  6. The Greenvisa Information systems can guide you throughout the process for both accepted and declined cases. The system can also help you in case your Vietnam Visa is expired and you want to renew the same you get Easily. click here


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