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Taking Buses from Sihanoukville: Possible Destinations

Sihanoukville lies on a peninsula jutting out off the coast of the Gulf of Thailand. A city known for long, sandy beaches, crystal clear waters, and an affinity with all things overindulgent, many different characters find themselves walking barefoot along Serendipity or one of the nearby beaches like Sohka and Otres.

Many western immigrants call the roaring city by the sea home and the city itself seems to grow as fast as its reputation. The Sihanoukville port acts as a launch point for tourists to explore the many tropical islands sitting off the coast, including Koh Thmei, Koh Ta Kiev, Koh Rong Samloem, and Koh Rong.

After tiring of the sun, sand, and epicurean standards, travelers can take buses from Sihanoukville to many popular spots within the Kingdom of Wonder. The ride to Thailand may not be too long, but to get to Laos or Vietnam will take a little more time and patience.

Buses from Sihanoukville to Destinations Within Cambodia

  • Kampot

The subdued, riverside town of Kampot provides travelers a chance for sand-free rest and relaxation while still being surrounded by fun people, great food, and stunning scenery. The small city center and the adjacent river banks have seen a rise in tourism over the last few years due to the city’s growing reputation.

Khmer and foreign businesses flow as seamlessly as the tranquil Tek Chou River through the Old Market area. The Old Market houses many different bars, restaurants, bakeries, and other businesses in the patchwork of historic French colonial buildings, food carts, and newly renovated shopfronts.

  • Kep

The even smaller, quieter city of Kep lies close to Kampot and along Cambodia’s southern shoreline, so buses from Sihanoukville will take about three hours as well. Kep is an old city with a history of affluent visitors starting in the early 20th century with French vacationers. Several tropical islands sit off its sandy coast and draw tourists looking for a blissful escape.

Kep’s butterfly gardens attract many tourists along with the views found when hiking through Kep National Park and the endless, fresh seafood caught just off the coast. Minimal nightlife means early nights and peaceful sleeps in a natural setting by the sea. Travelers love to photograph the lively crab market and the incredible sunsets.

  • Koh Kong

Tourists taking buses from Sihanoukville to Thailand can quickly and easily the Cham Yeam International Border crossing by going through Koh Kong. The city sits just below where the Koh Pov and Meteuk Rivers meet and on Cambodia’s National Route 48, connecting the city directly to the capital as well.

Many foreign immigrants living in Thailand come to Koh Kong to complete their visa runs so the town’s industries reflect the multitude of frequent visitors and residents of the small border city. Ecotourism is one of these industries created shrewd businesspersons seeking to share Koh Kong’s amazing waterfalls, wild jungles, and sunny beaches.

  • Phnom Penh

Cambodia’s golden capital, Phnom Penh, shines with life, culture, and commerce in the heart of the country. The chaotic city enthralls some and overwhelms others with the resulting jumble of modern and historic, East and West, wealth and poverty, inevitable when housing more than 1.5 million Khmer residents and foreign immigrants.

Tourists can lose themselves amidst elegant cloths and carved trinkets in the Central and Russian Markets. Many wander by the Mekong and Tonlé Sap Rivers to view the impressive Silver Pagoda, the Royal Palace, and the National Museum. Those taking buses from Sihanoukville will find Phnom Penh a common stopover on the many routes into and out of Cambodia.

  • Poipet

The most common border crossing between Cambodia and Thailand takes place at Poipet in the Northwest. Cambodia’s three biggest cities connect directly to Poipet by the national road system, including buses from Sihanoukville. The frequent tourists passing through to cross into Thailand caused the city to grow larger than the provincial capital.

Poipet’s reputation as a tough, unsavory city comes from the many casinos and brothels that serve Western and Asian patrons on a daily basis. A packed strip of hotels and casinos lays between the passport control stations of Thailand and Cambodia to allow Thai tourists to gamble in the casinos without obtaining a Cambodian visa.

  • Siem Reap

The ancient city of Siem Reap draws millions of tourists every year seeking the renowned Angkor temples, including Angkor Wat. Siem Reap’s massive tourism industry benefits from being the doorway to the temples. Tourists recover in one of the many lavish day spas and eat food from around the world at the upscale dining or more budget-friendly restaurants. The city boasts an active nightlife to entertain the thousands of young backpackers who venture there on tours of Southeast Asia. Buses from Sihanoukville run daily.

  • Buses from Sihanoukville to Destinations Outside Cambodia

Taking buses from Sihanoukville to places outside of Cambodia requires up to a day or more, depending on the final destination. For travelers looking to go to Thailand, the Koh Kong border stands much closer than the Poipet and possesses a much friendlier reputation. Those seeking transit to Vietnam or Laos will need to prepare for a slightly longer journey, but with unforgettable views of the Cambodian countryside.

  • Bangkok, Thailand

Thailand’s jeweled capital, Bangkok, lures willing adventurers into its massive clutches with a staggering array of stimulations for every sense. The historic city manages to hold onto its Khmer roots despite the rapid Westernization and modernization of socially and economically. Whether tourists chase absurd luxury or minimal accommodation, the sprawling city provides all for them and the 11 million people who live there.

  • Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

The capital of Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City is the country’s largest and busiest. The seamless blend of West and East propels this city into the modern world and onto the itineraries of many backpackers. The tumultuous energy of the metropolis can be felt while battling thousands of motorbikes to try a traditional bahn mi at one of the local markets or to view one of the remarkable religious sites.

  • Si Phan Don, Laos

Laos’ Four Thousand Islands, or Si Phan Don, are found at the widest part of the Mekong River across the border on the other side of Cambodia. Backpackers traveling to Si Phan Don must first take one of the buses from Sihanoukville to Phnom Penh and then a second bus to the peaceful islands.

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