Types of Transport in CambodiaKirsty Turner
The poor condition of both roads and vehicles in Cambodia can make it difficult to travel through the country at times, and travellers need to allow plenty of time and apply patience when planning their trip. However, the situation is improving, and major roads such as the road that leads through the countryside from the border with Thailand to Siem Reap has finally been sealed, cutting the journey time dramatically.
Travel by plane
There are two major airports in Cambodia, which connect the major cities of Siem Reap and Phnom Penh with destinations in Thailand, Laos and other neighbouring nations. There are also small domestic airports in places such as Sihanoukville, Stung Treng and Koh Kong. Siem Reap is the country’s main domestic airline, which provides reasonably priced flights between Siem Reap and Phnom Penh
Travel by boat
The Cambodian countryside is full of waterways, and taking a boat is a great way to see the nation’s natural beauty. Although this is by no means the fastest way of getting around, taking a boat between places such as Siem Reap and Battambang offers travellers the chance to watch local life unfold and meet new people along the way. While those who are in a hurry to get to their next destination may be tempted to take one of the new fast boat services, the safety records on these are often poor, while the fee tends to be rather step.
Travel by bus
The buses in Cambodia are reserved for long distance journeys between towns and cities, as there is currently no public bus network here. However, most places are small enough to explore on foot, making this no real hardship. Many of the buses that are used for long distance journeys tend to be rather worn out and often break down mid journey. However, those who spring for a VIP bus ticket will be offered a reasonably comfortable seat in one of Cambodia’s newer buses.
Travel by cyclos and motos
Cyclos and moto are cheap Cambodian forms of taxis and feature open sides that serve as a natural form of air-conditioning. Fares need to be negotiated between the passenger and driver in advance as there is no metre system in Cambodia, and it is a good idea to suss out the going rate in advance.
Hiring a car or a motorcycle
Private vehicle hire is an excellent way to really get to know Cambodia and visitors will be able to travel wherever the mood strikes them. However, driving in Cambodia can be a little bit challenging for those who are unused to the rules of the road, and it is best to hire either a car with a driver or negotiate the fee for daylong moto hire.
Travel by bicycle
For the ultimate sense of freedom, hire a mountain bike and simply cycle away. Although most roads aren’t in great condition, there is a flat trail along the side, which is perfect for bicycles. If you don’t mind getting a little hot a sweaty, this is by far the best way to explore.
Explore by helicopter
Although not really a form of transport, a helicopter ride is an interesting way to see the city of Phnom Penh or the ancient temples near Siem Ream.