Sihanoukville Minibus Services
A travel renaissance has happened in Cambodia this past year. It wasn’t so long ago when the only mode of affordable public transportation between Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Sihanoukville consisted of old, broken-down busses without air conditioning or working shocks. Before route 48 to Koh Kong was paved and bridges built, taxis had to be ferried across rivers on bamboo rafts. While the quality of busses and highways has gone up, a new quality of transportation has recently become available: The Minibus. Less passangers, more direct routes, and pick-ups from your hotel or guesthouse.Travel times have been as good as 3 ½ hours, but never more than four. Thirdly, no blasting Khmer karaoke and/or obnoxious comedies blasting at full volume the entire length of the trip. While the locals love this, we foreigners prefer it not even play. Unless you have a pair of decent noise-cancelling headphones, the repetitiveness of Khmer love songs will surely drive you mad. The mini-busses don’t play any music, and offer a quiet and peaceful ride for just you and your iPod. Lastly, some have free wi-fi service. Granted, the internet connections in Cambodia leave a lot to be desired in the speed category, but the complimentary wi-fi service is good enough for you to check e-mail or catch up with people on Facebook.
Benefits of a MinibusThe benefits of minibus travel outweigh the big bus in many ways. First, smoother and cleaner rides. These busses hold up to 15 people, and employ late model vans with good safety features. Secondly, a much quicker ride to Phnom Penh. While the bus companies average about 4-5 hours because of their route through the constantly-congested industrial wasteland of Street 217, the minibus companies drive past the airport (stopping there to let off those flying away), and continues down Russian Federation Boulevard into the center of the city.
Perhaps the biggest benifit is the price. It will cost a few dollars more, but a few dollars well spent.
Companies and TimesThere are three companies offering higher-standard service to and from Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. Please note that these times are subject to change. Bookings for all can be made at any travel agency. The oldest and most reliable of which is ANA Travel on Serendipity Beach Road.
Golden Bayon ExpressTravel from Sihanoukville to Phnom Penh. Busses depart at 8AM and 1:30PM. Cost for the journey is $10. It's recommended to book at least a day or two in advance. Most hotels, gueshouses and travel agencies can book a ticket for you.
Mey HongTravel from Sihanoukville to Phnom Penh, and from Phnom Penh to Sihnaoukville. Busses depart Sihanoukville for Phnom Penh at 7:30AM, 9AM, 1PM and 3PM, and depart Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville at the same times. Cost is $10. Advance booking recommended. Bookings can ba made from your hotel in Phnom Penh or you can go to the office located at #213, Street 289 (Penn Nouth).
Giant IbisBigger than a minibus, but smaller than a regular bus, Giant Ibis offers quality, western-style service between Sihanoukville, Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. Ticket prices to Phnom Penh from Sihanoukville cost $10 USD.
Visit their website at http://www.giantibis.com/ for more information.