Travelling in Cambodia and getting around between towns or from one major temple to another is a lot easier nowadays than it used to be. You can enjoy a trip by boat across lakes or along rivers and enjoy fascinating scenery along the way with floating villages and verdant riverbanks.

    While some rural routes are red soil roads, most of the major links between towns are well-paved, making transfers effortless. Relaxation and lack of hurry are simply 2 key elements for a smooth travelling experience. After all, if everyone else in the country displays an unhurried attitude towards travel, why should you?

    From Phnom Penh

    Siem Reap by Boat - 5 hrs / 308 km
    Fascinating, reliable and comfortable. From April to July (dry season) it takes about 5 to 6 hours, and before reaching the pier in Siem Reap, travellers are transferred to a smaller boat to pass through the floating village, reach the riverbank and walk with their luggage to reach the waiting car. A transfer to Siem Reap town can take up to 45 minutes on a partially rough road.

    Siem Reap by Road - 6 hrs / 308 km
    Most of the road is well-paved and in good condition, though you can expect construction work in small sections.

    Battambang by Road - 4.5 hrs / 291 km
    The road is paved and in good condition.

    Chau Doc by Boat - 4 hrs / 100 km
    Fast, comfortable and fascinating.

    Kampong Cham by Road - 2 hrs / 108 km
    Excellent, tarred road. One of the best accommodations in Kompong Cham is the Mekong Hotel.

    Kratie by Road - 5 hrs / 300 km
    The portion up to Kompong Cham is tarred and in excellent condition. The rest is a laterite road. Adventure trips are not recommended for elderly people with health problems. 

    Preah Vihear Temple by Road - 1 full day / 416 km
    The road from Phnom Penh to Kampong Thom is in good condition, but expect a bumpy red soil road further up north.

    Kampong Thom by Road - 3 hrs / 168 km
    Excellent, paved road. Best available accommodation in Kompong Thom is the Stung Sen Garden Hotel.

    Kampong Som (Sihanoukville) by Road - 3 hrs / 230 km
    Excellent, paved road.

    Kep by Road - 3 hrs / 130 km
    Red soil road but in fair condition.

    Kampot by Road - 3 hrs/ 148 km
    Most parts are paved. A few potholes are expected.

    Koh Kong (Thai border to Trat) by Road - 7 hrs / 281 km
    Excellent road conditions from Phnom Penh to the turn-off to Koh Kong (143 km), followed by a red soil road to Koh Kong (138 km). Remarks: There are 4 tricky ferry-crossings, not suitable during the rainy season. Accommodation: Phou Mint Koh Kong Hotel & Restaurant provides good services and excellent food. Centrally located, next to Koh Kong Bridge.

    Takeo by Road - 2 hrs / 78 km
    Paved road in quite good condition. Last portion after the turn-off to Takeo is full of potholes (5 km).

    Bavet (Vietnam Border) by Road - 4 hrs /167 km
    Paved road. Some portions still a little bit bumpy.

    Sen Monorom by Road - 7 hrs / 370 km
    Good road up to Snuol, then red soil road to Sen Monorom with bumpy parts.

    photo by Dmitry Makeev (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    From Siem Reap

    Koh Ker Temple by Road - 3 hrs / 160 km (via Beng Mealea)
    The red soil road is still under construction and a 4WD drive is absolutely necessary to reach Koh Ker. Adventurous trip and not recommended for elderly people or people with health problems.

    Kbal Spean by Road - 1 h 15 / 55 km
    Paved road to Banteay Srei, then good laterite road. Difficult in the rainy season. 1-hourr climb-up to reach Kbal Spean. Remarks: Adventure trips are not recommended for elderly people or people with health problems.

    Beng Mealea by Road - 1.5 hrs / 60 km
    Red soil road that's in good condition. Bring along good footwear.

    Anlong Veng by Road - 4 hrs / 169 km
    Red soil road in good condition except the last portion is a little bit bumpy. Restaurants and a guesthouse are available.

    Poipet by Road - 3 hrs / 49 km
    Route from Siem Reap to Sisophon is a bumpy red soil road, while onwards to Poipet is in good condition.

    Banteay Chhmar by Road - Siem Reap-Sisophon : 2 hrs / 105 km; Sisophon-Banteay Chhmar : 1 h 30 / 70 km
    From Siem Reap to Sisophon: bumpy red soil road. From Sisophon to Banteay Chmar, the road is fairly good but can become bad after the rainy season.

    Battambang by Road - Siem Reap-Sisophon: 2 hrs / 105 km; Sisophon-Battambang: 1 hrs / 80 km
    From Siem Reap to Sisophon: bumpy red soil road. Further on to Battambang the paved road is in excellent condition.

    Battambang by Boat - 5-6 hrs / 150 km
    Comfortable and interesting way to discover the fragile ecosystem of Tonle Sap Lake. Remarks: The transfer from Siem Reap to Battambang by traditional wooden boat usually lasts about 5 to 6 hours from August to March. During the dry season (April to July), the transfer can last up to 9 hours due to the low level of water in the lake and the Sangker River. It's better to avoid this trip during this season.

    photo by Cam42 (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified
    Paul Smith | Compulsive Traveller

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