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Taking Buses from Siem Reap: Possible Destinations

Siem Reap beckons adventurers from all over the world who seek modern passage into the ancient world. The lively city neighbors the entrance to the awe-inspiring Angkor temples that include Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom, made famous in the film Tomb Raider. Millions of tourists contribute to the city’s economy and continue to drive Siem Reap into the modern era while protecting vital parts of Khmer history.

Although many travel guides advise tourist to schedule three days for temple exploration, the city of Siem Reap offers more than they let on. Tourists can indulge with excellent food, lush spa treatments, and party to their heart’s content in one of the many late night venues.

Budget travelers should consider taking buses from Siem Reap to reach the many other memorable destinations both within and outside of Cambodia. Many of the below can be reached in less than a day from Siem Reap.

Buses from Siem Reap to Destinations Within Cambodia

  • Battambang

Battambang ushers in the sense of passing between old and new with the aging French colonial buildings and an interesting collection of locals and expats. The city began as a trading post in the late 1700s and is now the second largest in Cambodia. Tourists flock to see the colorful Buddhist temples and stay because of the easy pace and the numerous quality eateries and coffeehouses.

The surrounding pastoral landscape of tiny villages on rolling hills contributes to the small-town feel still pervading the city. Battambang also has a museum with historic artifacts and the adjacent Phnom Sampeu houses the Killing Caves of the Khmer Rouge and a Buddhist monastery. The well-known Wat Banan is similar to the Angkor temples in both style and disrepair and connects to the cave temple home to hundreds of fruit bats.

  • Poipet

Poipet stands at the border between southeastern Thailand and northwestern Cambodia. The national road system connects Poipet directly to Cambodia’s largest three cities, making it easy to reach for tourists on buses from Siem Reap. The developing border city has a population greater than its provincial capital due to the many numbers of travelers crossing the border there.

The large size may also come from the abundant casinos and brothels catering to their Asian and Western patrons’ questionable appetites. Poipet capitalized on its location by building many casinos and hotels in between the Thai and Cambodian passport stations so rich gamblers from Thailand could go to the casinos without needing a Cambodian visa.

  • Phnom Penh (320 km)

The capital of the Kingdom of Wonder is the animated city, Phnom Penh. A haven of culture and business, tourists mingle with the over 1.5 million residents made up of Cambodians and many foreign expatriates and delegates.

The bustling capital of Cambodia, Phnom Penh, sparkles along the Tonlé Sap and Mekong Rivers. Home to more than 1.5 million people, the busy city can be overwhelming for first-time travelers or those who take things a little more slowly. Others revel in the chaotic energy and endless activities.

Once visitors had their fill of the Russian and Central Markets and viewing the many historical monuments and buildings in the center of the city, including the National Museum, the Silver Pagoda, and the Royal Palace, they can take a bus to many of the other memorable destinations within Cambodia and just across its borders.

  • Pursat

The quaint town of Pursat serves as a crossroads between traffic coming from the East towards Phnom Penh and from the West towards Thailand on National Highway 5. It also serves as the capital of the province whose name Pursat shares. Visitors taking buses from Siem Reap will mostly likely pass through Battambang before arriving on the other side of Tonlé Sap Lake.

The dilapidated train station, currently under construction, harkens back to the French colonial era and visitors can wander through the quiet streets to reach it. Other attractions specific to Pursat include the special Bamboo Train filled with local goods and food and the close day trip to Kampong Luong, the floating village on Tonlé Sap Lake.

  • Sihanoukville

Travelers looking to disconnect from reality for a short time will find Sihanoukville the perfect stopping point. Whether seeking detachment through electronic isolation, physical intimacy, or chemical assistance, it can usually be found somewhere near Serendipity Beach and for a decent price.

Several beaches adjacent to the epicurean city, Ochheuteal, Otres, and Sohka, feature reasonably priced guesthouses and breathtaking sunsets. Tourists can indulge on a variety of delicious cuisines as diverse as the many immigrants who now call Sihanoukville home. For those desperate to leave all modern technology behind, one of the many tropical islands off the coast will do the trick with no wifi and limited electricity.

  • Buses from Siem Reap to Destinations Outside Cambodia

Getting around Cambodia has never been easier with the growing number of quality roads and transportation services offering buses from Siem Reap. Travelers on a tour of South East Asia can easily and quickly reach destinations both inside and outside Cambodia without breaking their budgets.

  • Bangkok, Thailand

Adventurers will find it difficult to travel through South East Asia without passing through the famed capital of Thailand at least once. Since many flights into and out of the area require at least one stop in Bangkok, taking buses from Siem Reap to the electric city requires little forethought or effort. Guesthouses frequently book them for guests, so they tend to have better prices than some of the travel agencies, leaving tourists extra funds to visit the floating markets or an upscale restaurant overlooking the Chao Phraya River.

  • Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Vietnam’s physical and cultural capital, Ho Chi Minh City, previously Saigon, may not be as large or sprawling as Bangkok, but draws just as many tourists every year. Ho Chi Minh City acts as another common entry and exit point for travelers coming to South East Asia. This means visitors should find buses from Siem Reap to the faraway city without much difficulty. Getting around in the giant labyrinth of religious sites, markets, and restaurants proves to be more troublesome than arriving in the first place.

  • Si Phan Don, Laos

The Four Thousand Islands, translated from Si Phan Don, in Laos entices backpackers and vacationers alike to the muddy waters of the Mekong River. Perhaps not actually composed of four thousand islands, Si Phan Don undoubtedly encompasses several thousand sandy islands perfect for those looking to slow their tempo and take a breath.

The most popular islands to visit include Don Khon and Don Det for the financially challenged and Don Khong as the largest of the many islands. Tourists will not find much by way of hiking, but can hire a boat to take a tour of the large area and visit the largest waterfall in South East Asia. Sleeper buses from Siem Reap are available and take around 13 hours.

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