HCMC / Saigon to Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh

Taking the Bus from Ho Chi Minh City to Phnom Penh

“Early the next morning, we hopped on a bus to Phnom Penh at the central bus terminal at Pham Ngu Lao Street.  At 460,000 VND ($20 USD) for 2 people, it was a local commuter bus and we were fully back to the budget travel life again. People were bringing on with them giant bags of produce and other random things stuffing the cargo container to the brim.  The bus was completely filled, and there was only one other foreigner on the bus besides us.

It’s a long bus ride and there are no restrooms on the bus, as we learned from our bus travels in Europe, these transit days are a balance of staying on the brink of dehydration for fear of not knowing when the bus will make the next restroom stop. When boarding the bus, they handed out a bottle of water and hand wipes to each passenger (which is typical of most bus companies). Shortly after taking off, one of the bus stewards came by to collect everyone’s passports.  It felt really weird giving up our passport, but he was collecting both locals’ and foreigners’ passports, so this was completely normal and routine. After about an hour and half, the bus stopped.  There were no announcements of where we were, but everyone on the bus gathered their purses and valuables and hopped off the bus.  We had no idea where we were, but grabbed our backpacks and went the rest of the crowd.”

Two Peas in the Plane | 2017

Crossing the Border – Saigon to Phnom Penh

“The staff from the bus company would consolidate all the passport, fill in the Cambodia Immigration Card for you, and when they reach the Vietnam Immigration Border, they would pass all the passport to the Immigration Officer.

The Vietnam Immigration Officer, would stamp the passport and pass one by one back to the staff from the bus company. The staff from the bus company would shout out your name and you would clear the checkpoint over to the other side, passing through the Vietnam Immigration Officer.

For my instance, instead of calling my name, the staff from the bus company shouted, “Singapore, Singapore!” As I was the only Singaporean in the whole tour bus, it seems obvious that he is calling out for me.”

Bernard the Traveller | 2016

Taking the Bus from Ho Chi Minh City to Phnom Penh

“Those that didn’t pay the $5 had to manage the Cambodian side (which we literally just walked through) theirselves and the bus was long gone when they finally had everything sorted. They were able to hitchhike to the lunch place and join the group again, but it’s definitely not worth the trouble in our opinion. When our bus attendant returned (maybe half an hour later?) we took off again and arrived in Phnom Penh at 16h30, with a delay of an hour and a half. A tuk tuk driver from our guesthouse was waiting to take us to Eighty8 Guesthouse.”

Wandering the World | 2015

Day 32: Sapaco Tourist from Ho Chi Minh City to Phnom Penh

“My bus ready for departure. Luggage is stored in the luggage compartment below. You might be yelled at if you decide to do otherwise. Not me though, I was walking around the middle of the crowd so I just followed suit with what was going on before me.

The interior of the bus with a toilet behind. I was able to use this immediately before the bus even departed. But beware – there are no lights, no ventilation and no water. But I would still rather have used it.”

Rail Travel Station | 2016

Saigon to Phnom Penh by Bus

“The cost of this bus service is a very reasonable $13, and tickets can be booked online at catmekongexpress.com. I would suggest that you don’t get a seat near the back of the bus though, as the suspension isn’t great. Well, at least it wasn’t on our bus. The bus has a toilet on board, and water and snacks are provided free of charge. Once the bus reaches Cambodia, the bus also has free wifi, although coverage was pretty patchy.

The seating on the bus was quite comfortable, although we found the bus to be a little too hot.”

Renegade Travels | 2013

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