Arriving to Cambodia

Here some of the ways to arrive to Cambodia from any corner of the Planet.

By plain

Cambodia has only three operating airports in its territory that are connected to international destinations. Most Cambodian regions have an older airport that is out of service since war times. With the Cambodian development, it is possible that we will have more operating airports in the future, but as for now, you can arrive to the following ones:

Phnom Penh International Airport

In the past it was called “Pochentong Airport” – now the name remains only for the big Avenue in front. It has direct connections with:

  • Guangzhou (China)
  • Hong Kong
  • Shanghái
  • Osaka (Japan)
  • Tokio
  • Seoul
  • Vientiane (Laos)
  • Kuala Lumpur
  • Singapore
  • Taipei
  • Bangkok
  • Ho Chi Minh City
  • Hanoi.

The distance between the Airport (at the west of the capital) to downtown (Royal Palace) is 11 kilometers through the Russian Federation Boulevard until the riverside. Be aware of heavy traffic at 6:00-8:00, 11:00-13:00 and 17:00-20:00.

Transport recommendation from the Airport to the riverside (downtown):

  • Taxi is the most recommended transport. Use a taximeter. The fair will be around $10 dollars. There are taxi companies at the arrival hall of the airport. Cambodian taxis still innocent from the Thai and Vietnamese scams.
  • Hotel shuttle: This is the best way… when you reserve your hotel, ask the shuttle service. They will wait for you at the airport.
  • Tuk Tuks: No recommended for long distances inside the city. A normal tuk tuk can reach a speed of 20 km/h.  Such speed plus heavy traffic will make that you will spend in a tuk tuk more than one hour to reach the riverside from the airport. Other thing: the driver will try to ask you $10 dollars for the travel, the same as a taxi (!) … Rule: Short distances = Tuk tuk. A short distance could be one kilometer inside Phnom Penh.
  • Moto-taxi: In Cambodia this service is called “Moto-dop“. This is faster than a tuk tuk. If you travel alone and little baggage, it would be a good idea. Fair fee: $4 to the river side.
  • Cycle: This could be exotic, but not practical. Let is for short distance along the riverside. You will reach downtown in 2 hours on a cycle.
  • Walking: The riverside is 9 kilometers from the airport plus we are in a tropical country with temperatures about 30ºC – 40ºC under the sun plus Phnom Penh is famous for its heavy traffic. You will spend about 3 hours to reach the river side along the Russian Federation Boulevard… leave the Airport to the main avenue, look to the east (at your right hand) and walk straight to the river side. Bring cold water with you and be ready to heard along the way hundreds of moto-taxi drivers telling you “sir, sir… I bring you“.

Siem Reap International Airport

Although the Phnom Penh Airport is bigger and more modern, this is an airport with a lot of traffic for being so near to the Angkor Archaeological Park. It is also connected to Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville for domestic flights. The international connections are:

  • Pakse, Laos.
  • Kuala Lumpur.
  • Singapore.
  • Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
  • Taipei.
  • Bangkok.
  • U-Tapao, Thailand.
  • Sattahip / Pattaya, Thailand.
  • Danang, Vietnam.
  • Ho Chi Minh City.

The airport is very beautiful for some photos already with the Angkorian inspiration. It is at the far west of the city. It is also… km at the west of Angkor Wat, but don’t ask to go there immediately. First your hotel. The Siem Reap downtown is at the Old Market Bridge, near the Siem Reap River. It is 12 kilometers to the east of the Airport. Traffic is easier in Siem Reap than in Phnom Penh.

Transport recommendation from the Airport to the Old Market Bridge (downtown):

  • Taxi is the most recommended transport. Use a taximeter. The fair will be around $10 dollars. There are taxi companies at the arrival hall of the airport. Cambodian taxis still innocent from the Thai and Vietnamese scams.
  • Hotel shuttle: This is the best way… when you reserve your hotel, ask the shuttle service. They will wait for you at the airport.
  • Tuk Tuks: No recommended for long distances inside the city. A normal tuk tuk can reach a speed of 20 km/h.  Although the traffic is easier in Siem Reap, it is still a long distance for a tuk tuk. However, it is probably that your hotel is very near to the Airport (please check). Take care of tuk tuk drivers that want to ask you fees as it were a taxi. Normally it might be the half of what a taximeter could points out.
  • Moto-taxi: In Cambodia this service is called “Moto-dop“. This is faster than a tuk tuk. If you travel alone and little baggage, it would be a good idea. Fair fee: $4 to the Old Market Bridge.
  • Walking: The downtown is 12 kilometers from the airport plus we are in a tropical country with temperatures about 30ºC – 40ºC under the sun. You will spend about 3 hours to reach the river side along the National Road 6… leave the Airport to the street in front, look to the south (at your right hand) and walk straight to the National Road 6. Turn to the left (toward east) and walk straight till you reach the Siem Reap river. Turn to your right along the river until the Old Market Bridge. Bring cold water with you and be ready to heard along the way hundreds of moto-taxi drivers telling you “sir, sir… I bring you“.

Sihanoukville International Airport

The newest airport in Cambodia, serving the Sihanoukville Sea Port and beaches at the Gulf of Thailand. We hope it will develop more and more, because it will be very much strategic for the Gulf region. The following are its international connections:

  • Hong Kong.
  • Kunming, China.
  • Singapore.
  • Seoul.
  • Tianjin, China.

The Airport is very far from downtown: 20 kilometers far from Ochheuteal Beach, the main beach. It is located at the Ream National Park – a good place to see, but get first to downtown. In Ream Town there are also some hotels and, right at the south of the Airport, there is a wonderful beach. If you want a quiet place, you can stay near the Airport. Traveling from the Airport to downtown, you take the National Road 4 to the west. It goes along a hilly area.

Transport recommendation from the Airport to the Ochheuteal Beach (downtown):

  • Taxi: Sihanoukville has not yet domestic taxi services. You could leave the airport to the Riem town. You can wait for collective taxis coming from the country into Sihanoukville.
  • Hotel shuttle: This is the best way… when you reserve your hotel, ask the shuttle service. They will wait for you at the airport. There will be vans at the Airport waiting for you. This is the most recommended service.
  • Tuk Tuks: Definitely don’t try it. You will find the offer, anyway. If your final destination is a hotel at the Ream Town, probably it is a good idea. But if it is on Sihanoukville downtown, you will reach Ochheuteal Beach in three hours (!) Plus the driver will charge you as it were a taxi.
  • Moto-taxi: In Cambodia this service is called “Moto-dop“. This is faster than a tuk tuk. If you travel alone and little baggage, it would be a good idea. But the moto-driver will ask you about $10.
  • Walking: The downtown is 20 kilometers far from the airport plus we are in a tropical country with temperatures about 30ºC – 40ºC under the sun. You will spend about 5 hours to reach the Ochheuteal Beach along the National Road 4… leave the Airport to the street in front, look to the north (at your left hand) and walk straight to the National Road 4. Turn to the left (toward west) and walk straight till you reach the city – the road ascends to hills several times. Bring plenty of cold water with you.

By Land

Arriving to Cambodia by land is very easy and cheap. If you are in Laos, Thailand or Vietnam, you can travel to Cambodia by bus, motorbike, bicycle or private car:

  • Roads between the Indochina countries are good.
  • There are enough border points between the countries.
  • Roads are safe.

Check the article for VISAS into Cambodia.

International land gates of Cambodia

Location of International Check Points into Cambodia.

Table of the International Check Points of Cambodia by land. It shows also where it is valid the e-visa.

International Check Point Border E-visa Arriving E-visa Leaving
Phnom Penh International Airport Yes Yes
Siem Reap International Airport Yes Yes
Sihanoukville International Airport Yes Yes
Cham Yeam (Koh Kong) Thailand Yes Yes
Chorm (Oddar Meanchey) Thailand No Yes
Daung (Kamrieng-Battambang) Thailand No Yes
Poi Pet (Banteay Meanchey) Thailand Yes Yes
Prom (Pailin) Thailand No Yes
O Smach (Oddar Meanchey) Thailand No Yes
Bavet (Svay Rieng) Vietnam Yes Yes
Kaoam Samnor (Kandal-Mekong) Vietnam No Yes
Phnom Den (Takeo) Vietnam No Yes
Trapaing Sre (Kratie) Vietnam No Yes
Prek Chak (Kampot) Vietnam No Yes
Dong Kralo (Stung Treng) Laos No Yes
Port of Sihanoukville No Yes

By Ship

Arriving to Cambodia by ship is very much possible. There are two ways:

  • In an international Cruiser to the Sihanoukville Autonomous Port (PAS): There are cruiser from all continents including Sihanoukville as one of the docks.
  • By the Mekong River: It applies especially if you are in Vietnam, at the Mekong Delta. You can find speed (and slow) boats from Can Tho and Chau Doc cities to Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. A speed boat will reach Phnom Penh from Chau Doc in five hours. The fluvial route from Laos to Cambodia is suspended from years ago. Probably you could cross the Laos-Cambodian border by land and look for a private (by sure expensive) boat service from Stung Treng to Kratie province and then from there to Phnom Penh.
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About Albeiro Rodas

Albeiro Rodas (in Cambodia Sky Ly Samnang), is a MA in Digital Communication, independent journalist and a Salesian of Don Bosco from Amalfi, Colombia, based in Cambodia since 1999. He is the creator of the Don Bosco schools of journalism in Sihanoukville and Kep with young people from poor communities and the founder of the Don Bosco Kep Children Fund. Medal for Social Commitment UPB (2010); among the 100 more upstanding Colombians abroad (Marca Colombia, 2012, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X39xwdGtVXI) and among the 12 Colombians that are making this a better world 2013 (http://www.colombia.co/en/culture/colombians-that-are-making-this-a-better-world.html).

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