When I was on my backpacking trip to some parts of Southeast Asia four months ago, I was on a limited time and budget so I had to plan it in the most cost-efficient way possible. After spending two days in Kampot, Cambodia, my next destination was Siem Reap. There is no direct transportation from Kampot to Siem Reap. To get to Siem Reap, one must travel to Phnom Penh (PP) first and from there take the bus or fly to Siem Reap. Flying is more expensive so I took the bus from PP to Siem Reap.
There are different bus companies that have trips from PP to Siem Reap. I choose the Giant Ibis bus because I have read from reviews that it is the best bus company in Cambodia. The last trip of Giant Ibis bus to Siem Reap from PP during day time is 12:30 PM. Because I knew that I won’t be able to catch this trip, I decided to take the night bus. This is the best option because I stay for a few hours at PP to do some more sightseeing and then sleep on the bus on my way to Siem Reap. I save time and money for one-night hostel accommodation.
Where to Purchase Bus Ticket
You can check for the schedule of trips of different bus companies as well as flights for the Phnom Penh to Siem Reap route in Baolau and you can also book on their website. Baolau is a ticket booking service for traveling in China, Vietnam, Cambodia
Bus tickets can be purchased online, at the bus station or you can ask the receptionist in your hostel/hotel because most hostels/hotels are affiliated with bus companies. I purchased mine online, at the website of the Giant Ibis Bus. It is super easy. When you go to the website, you select your origin and destination and the date of your travel. Then you will be redirected to a page where you will choose the schedule of your trip. After that, you will be asked to choose your preferred seat.
The night bus is not double-decker. Inside the bus are two rows of bunk beds. One row has two beds next to each other while the other is a row of single bunks with an aisle in the middle of the two rows. If you are traveling solo, I recommend choosing a single bed. I mean you don’t want to sleep beside a stranger right?
After completing your booking, you will receive an e-ticket containing the details of your trip. Bus to Siem Reap costs US$ 15 and a credit card processing fee of US$ 1.
Where is the Giant Ibis Bus Station in Phnom Penh?
Buses leave and depart from the Giant Ibis bus station on Street 90 behind the National Library. This is where you will go if you are taking the night bus. Although Giant Ibis offers complimentary pick-up in their partner hotels/guesthouses, it is not available for night bus departures. Here is the map of the bus station:
Inside the Giant Ibis Night Bus
When you board the bus, you will be asked to take off your footwear and you will be given a plastic bag for it. Inside the bus, you will see the numbers of the bed. The bus was so blue. The light beside the bed is blue and the bedsheet, pillowcase, and blanket are blue.
There’s a toilet inside the bus but I didn’t use it so I have no idea how it looks like. The bus has free wifi and a pillow and blanket are provided. They also give bottled water and wet wipes. There is a socket beside the bed which was perfect because I was able to charge my phone that got drained after taking thousands of photos in PP (just kidding).
The sleeping beds do not completely lie flat, but with the 15-degree angle, I slept comfortably during the trip. It’s so funny because I was asleep the whole time, I only woke up when we reached Siem Reap. I can’t really tell if the bed was that comfortable or I was just really tired that day. It can be both.
Having tried the night bus in Vietnam (you can read about that experience here), I would say that the night bus of Giant Ibis is way better. Their bed is wider than that of the night bus I tried in Vietnam. And the wifi works.
Below are pictures of how the bus looks like inside:
Hope you found this post helpful. If you have questions, feel free to write in the comments section.