After visiting Phnom Penh, the next destination in our Southeast Asia trip was Siem Reap, another area in Cambodia where Angkor Wat and other temples are located. To travel from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap, we considered several transportation options. The first option was to fly. This would be the fastest way to get there, but it’s also the most expensive, and there wasn’t much to experience on the way there. The second option was to take a boat. This was an intriguing option to consider, as it would definitely be a new experience for us. You could also see some village life on the river banks along the way. The cost was much cheaper than the airfare. However, some people who had traveled this route said being on the boat for four hours could get boring after a while, and the boats were not necessarily the most comfortable environment to be for that long of period. That brought us to consider the third option, traveling by land. This was the typical option taken by locals as it’s the cheapest and there were many options of operators to consider. Some travelers recommended this option because it also allows the travelers to mingle with locals, and you get to see countryside scenery along the way. There was also a stop in the middle so you could stretch and rest for a little bit before continuing the journey. It took around four hours to drive to Siem Reap, so time-wise it’s roughly the same as taking a boat.
Once we decided to travel overland to Siem Reap, then we had to decide which travel operator to use. We could either hire a private car, ride a passenger van, or ride a bus. The private car option was obviously the most expensive, and you get the whole car for yourself. It’s nice, but we wouldn’t get to mingle with locals as much. So we initially thought we would go by bus, as some of them had pretty extensive schedule, and supposedly they had restrooms on board, and even attendants. In the end, we ended up going with a passenger van as recommended by our tour company. They said the cost of going by bus was roughly the same as going by passenger van. The difference was that passenger vans typically end up traveling faster because they are smaller and nimbler than the buses.
The photo below was taken during our van ride to Siem Reap. You can see in front of us another van / minibus going the same direction — that particular one had full cargo that included two motorbikes.