As we were only in Cambodia for ten days, I decided not to rent a car. I’m not entirely sure why now but at the time it seemed like a good idea.
When we go back we will DEFINITELY hire a car because the roads are in a good condition and the quality of driving is no worse than most European cities AND there’s SO MUCH MORE I want to see. However this left us with a quandary as to how to get down to Battambang (which is pronounced BattamBONG fyi).
Whilst we were in Siem Reap we either walked or got tuk-tuk taxis but Battambang is about three hours south-west of Siem Reap and we definitely couldn’t get a tuk-tuk there!
What did the research tell me?
Research told me that we could hire a taxi (car), get a bus or take a boat across Tonlé Sap. We’d already been on the boat and found Tonlé Sap to be tranquil and pleasant so that seemed like a really good idea.
Why I chose not take the river boat
The reviews of the boat however were horrendous and detailed there being nothing but wooden bench seats to sit on, frequent overloading of the boat resulting in no seats for passengers and forcing them to sit on the roof with no shade, the journey taking at least two hours longer than advertised (six hours) and water coming into the boat because it was too overloaded and soaking luggage. Oh and it was SUPER expensive too, $100 for us all.
The reviews didn’t sell it to me and although the bus is really boring it was clearly going to be quicker, cheaper and probably safer and our luggage would at least get there dry. So we opted for the bus.
Online booking agents
I wanted to compare the price and different means of transport and Book Me Bus provided quotes from multiple agencies and allowed me to book there too.
Total Cost for the Mekong Express?
The cost each way was $28 for four people. The bus ride took about three hours.
What’s the Mekong bus like?
The bus was a bit bigger than a mini-bus but as large as a full 52 seat bus. There were four seats on the back row and two on each side of the aisle after that.
The bus was modern and comfortable and had air-con. Although wi-fi is advertised on some buses it wasn’t working on one day for us. It did however arrive on time, get us there on time and didn’t lose our luggage so from my perspective that’s a win-win!
Take a book, plug up your ears or nap lol.
We had one stop off at a road shop about an hour and half in to the journey. There is a toilet there but you must purchase something. Nothing is priced so expect to haggle!
You can also purchase tickets directly from their offices listed below.
Siem Reap: #14 Siwatha St, Phum Mondul 1.
Battambang: #323 St 3 Mohatep village, Svaypor commune
They also have offices in Phnom Penh, Sihanouk, Ho Chi Minh City and Poipet
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