CAMBODIA: Travelling overland by bus from Phnom Penh-Siem Reap

Overland Bus from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap:
Travelling overland on local transportation is not for everyone I’ll admit, but I’ve always felt it gives you a great opportunity to get a glimpse into people’s everyday lives of the country you are visiting. This is truly something you cannot experience flying into & out of a city and just visiting the city itself. 

So this bus ride was approximately 6 hours (very bearable) from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap. As you can see above there are very clear rules (if you are doing this yourself) as to who to get from Point A to Point B 

As bus travel goes, it was actually great (much better than the bus trip we took in India in 2009!!) Started out with a boxed lunch onboard, pastry with ham and a muffin as well as complimentary water handed out. Onboard were funny ‘black market’ movies that were dubbed so badly in English, they were almost unintelligible and  at times you could see the reflection of the person filming the dubbed movie. Good times!

Loved getting to see many areas of the countryside as we drove from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap province over the course of 6 hours. Seeing people working in their rice fields, walking the water buffalo, or carrying all kinds of EVERYTHING on bikes, donkeys, bicycles – you name it and it carried something on these roads.

Yes, there’s a bike in front of this

Many places the road had been washed out by heavy rains or flooding. It’s truly amazing to see some of these rural areas of Cambodia and previously Vietnam.


Upon arrival in Cambodia we were whisked away to Tonle Sap Lake. Where the homes and storefronts along the Mekong River seemed at times unstable as they stood on stilts in the dank water, the homes on Tonle Sap Lake are entirely built around the boat itself as the main living compartment. This allows the residents of Tonle Sap to move with the dry and rainy seasons, further up and down the lake as the water rises and falls. 


Tonle Sap Lake, Siem Reap

If your life ever presents the opportunity, take advantage of an overland bus trip in ANY country as you get to see SO much more of the local country and people’s customs even from community to community!


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