Day 31: Purchasing Phnom Penh and Siem Reap bus tickets in Ho Chi Minh City

My trip was done at the time when online booking in Vietnam and Cambodia was not so readily available. Now, you can book your tickets from 12Go Asia or Baolau for these journeys and more for a nominal processing fee, which really saves you the hassle of deciding which company to choose, factoring in extra cash to carry with you and currency to pay in.

There are plenty of companies operating the cross-border routes between Vietnam and Cambodia, and domestic routes within Cambodia. Some of these companies overlap, and their booking system allows you to book buses for all of their routes in any of their counters. Here, I’ll be listing the places I bought my bus tickets from and my personal advise.

Ho Chi Minh City to Phnom Penh

Plenty of companies operate this route, but the reliable ones are Sapaco Tourist, Mekong Express and Giant Ibis.Mekong Express and Giant Ibis departure timings did not suit me, so I opted for Sapaco Tourist which had almost hourly departures during the day. It wasn’t the best decision I made though, click here for my trip experience.

NOTE: There is no online booking for Sapaco Tourist.

Sapaco Tourist is located at 325 Pham Ngu Lao, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam, at a junction near the Huyen Sy Church and Pham Ngu Lao bus terminal.

Getting a ticket here was relatively painless as there was a counter staff who could speak English. The whole process is not high-tech – the seat selection was on a co-ordinated piece of paper, but it still works as if it’s computerized as other counters or agents will phone in to this counter to request for empty slots (I’ve witnessed it). I got my ticket for VND 230000 in less than 5 minutes for the next day’s departure.

Sapaco Tourist departs from Pham Ngu Lao bus terminal, but you are required to wait in their office first, where you bought your ticket from, before the bus attendant leads you to your bus across the road.

However, if I have the opportunity to take this trip again, I will go with Giant Ibis, despite the slightly higher fare and departure time difference. More details here.

Phnom Penh to Siem Reap

My trip was done at the time when online booking in Vietnam and Cambodia was not so readily available. Now, you can book your tickets from 12Go Asia or Baolau for these journeys and more for a nominal processing fee, which really saves you the hassle of deciding which company to choose, factoring in extra cash to carry with you and currency to pay in.

Yes, it is possible to purchase a Phnom Penh to Siem Reap bus ticket in Vietnam. Again, plenty of companies operate this route, including the above-mentioned Sapaco Tourist, but I opted to try to Giant Ibis overnight sleeper bus instead.

Giant Ibis is located at 237 Pham Ngu Lao, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam. Giant Ibis’s office in Ho Chi Minh City is a little hard to find at first, since it’s located slightly inside from the main road.

In fact, its sign is almost-completely blocked by the umbrella out in front, and the other bigger, more flashy signs around it.

I can’t remember the exact price I paid in Vietnam Dong, but it was the equivalent of US$15. Giant Ibis accept both USD and VND for payment, on top of credit cards with an additional fee. Their booking system is fully computerised, with the ticket manually written down. Again, the process was painless as the staff spoke English. It took slightly longer as I enquired about the Ho Chi Minh City to Phnom Penh ticket as well, and deciding which night bus I should take.

If you are taking Giant Ibis from Ho Chi Minh City, the bus picks you and drops you off along the main road opposite their office, since the roads in Vietnam are right-hand drive and the office is on the left of the one-way road.

Now, you can book your tickets from 12Go Asia or Baolau for these journeys and more for a nominal processing fee, which really saves you the hassle of deciding which company to choose, factoring in extra cash to carry with you and currency to pay in.

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