Boat from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh

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Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Boat from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh - Boat from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh
Boat from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh - sitting on the roof of a high-speed boat
Boat from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh - inside it's not much better - and not a life-vest in sight!

Boat from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh Reviews

sarahelaine sarahela…
648 reviews
My boat ride Sep 07, 2009
I took the boat from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh in the rainy season, when there are far fewer tourists around. This might be why I had such a different experience from the other two reviewers. The boat company I took was called Soon Lee and Penh Cheth Speedboat.

I really enjoyed the boat ride down to Phnom Penh, although I was getting a little bored by the time we got there. i can see that the boat is not necessarily going to meet western standards - my rucksack came out very damp - but I had a perfectly pleasant trip.

When I took it, everyone had a seat. the cabin was air conditioned, and for the first part of the journey I had a nap. Once we got out of Tonle Sap and into the river itself, we did sit on the roof, but this was because it was nicer and you had a great view of the countryside. Coming down the river, watching the villages go by and waving to the children, seemed like a much more pleasant way to travel than being stuck in a coach would, and is certainly more pleasant thatn I found the long bus from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh. I enjoyed the chance for some fresh air.

It certainly helped that we made some friends on the way, sitting on the roof, who we stayed with through Phnom Penh and Ho Chi Minh city. Even without that, though, I think I would have enjoyed the journey. I remember it as one of the highlights of my trip and would do it again.
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sarahelaine says:
About half a day. We left about eight in the morning and got there about lunch time.
Posted on: Jan 10, 2011
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edsander edsander
69 reviews
Spare yourself the hassle Nov 03, 2005
There is a speedboat operating between Siem Reap and Phnom Penh on the Tonle Sap lake. This seems like a cool idea but you should spare yourself the hassle. The boat sells more tickets than seats, resulting in arguments between passengers, some of which eventually end up sitting on the roof next to the noisy engine. Since the Tonle Sap lake is very wide there's nothing much to see besides a floating village of Vietnamese refugees. What's more, taking the highway around the lake is actually a lot faster !

Below is part of my travel journal.

Today we took the boat from Siem Reap, across the immense Tonle Sap lake, back to good old Phnom Penh, were we would continue our journey by bus to the coastal town of Sihanoukville. Quite a bit of chaos erupted in the boat since the boat owners had given out double tickets for seat numbers (seemingly this happens every day). Some really nasty discussions with a couple of French followed but eventually we decided to let them have their way (after all those 'sympathetic' people never give in, do they ?). BJ had warned me about the boat, which always sells more tickets than seats so the last passengers have to ride on the boat's roof for several hours. We were lucky though as we all had reserved seat (not counting the French incident) and had a rather comfortable trip to Phnom Penh in the boat's air conditioned front cabin. Strange enough, the trip to Phnom Penh actually takes longer by boat than by bus, as we found out because the busses that had dropped us off at the boat were already waiting for us in Phnom Penh.
Boat from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh
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Biedjee Biedjee
161 reviews
don't take the boat to Phnom Penh Jan 09, 2005
I agree with the review Ed gave, but will give it a different star rating.

When I took the boat it was loaded beyond the point of safety. There are about 100 seats on the boat (inside) but at least 40-50 people had to sit on the roof throughout the journey, without any proper rails to hold on to (and the boat is quite fast). And I for one didn't see any life vests aboard.

People will tell you there is no regular bus service between Siem Reap and Phnom Penh, but there is. People will also tell you a bus will take ages because of the bad roads - it won't.

The new, smooth highway between Siem Reap and Phnom Penh is finished, and taking the bus will not only save you a lot of money ($ 4 vs $ 25) it will save you a lot of time too.
sitting on the roof of a high-spee…
inside it's not much better - and …
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