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Getting to Angkor


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There are a few different ways to get to Angkor for all types of traveller, from the hardcore backpacker to the day tourist and now a days you have many options. The easiest and quickest way is to fly in through Siem Reap’s International airport (the second biggest in Cambodia) however it is also possible by road and even boat from the capital Phnom Penh depending on the season.

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Flying to Angkor

The airport at Siem Reap is relatively small which means it is limited to the size aircraft which can land there and as such you’re very likely to need to go via a larger airport in the nearby vicinity if coming from afar. Currently there are direct flights from:

- China: Guangzhou
- Korea: Seoul
- Laos: Pakse, Vientiane, Luang Prabang
- Malaysia: Kuala Lumpur
- Singapore
- Taiwan: Kaohsiung, Taipei
- Thailand: Bangkok, U-Tapao/Pattaya
- Vietnam: Danang, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City

As such most international travellers from Europe, America or Australia are likely to be coming through Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur or Singapore. Until recently Bangkok airways almost had a complete monopoly on the route from Bangkok however other options are now slowly becoming available.

Siem Reap town centre is less than 15 minutes from the airport and is about $7 by taxi or $4 by moto taxi. Worth noting is that if you already have a pre-booked hotel there is a good chance that they will offer a free collection service from the airport.

Worth also noting is that there is a $25 International departure tax ($13 for children), payable on departure $6 for domestic flights.

To Angkor by road

The main artery roads of Cambodia have improved drastically in recent years and most main routes are now at least paved with a few half decent bridges. There are a few coach companies that offer regular direct services to most main provincial towns within Cambodia and southern Laos including the capital Phnom Penh. Most bookings can be bought through your accommodation or through local travel agents for a small commission.

Cambodian Toyota Camry Taxi

Cambodian Toyota Camry Taxi

For most people, getting to Angkor by road will mean coming from outside of Cambodia – mainly from Thailand. The main and easiest route is via Poipet 2-3 hours to the west of Siem Reap on the border.

As of late 2009 the road from Poipet to Siem Reap is now totally paved and in good condition and should take you around 2-3 hours depending on the type of transport you choose, just a few years prior this journey took potentially a lot longer especially during the rainy season – anywhere from 3-8 hours! More about the original journey-to-siem-reap-by-road can be found here.

Until very recently there were 3 main ways to get from the border town of Poipet to Siem reap transversing along National highway 5 (up to Sisophon) then National highway 6. These were Bus, Taxi and Pick up, however it appears that pickups are generally no longer used as civilian general transport, as road conditions have improved.

From Bangkok, there are several options to get to Aranyaprathet on the Thailand side of the border, with regular coach services going direct.

Although it is possible to buy tickets in Khao San road, all the way to Siem reap, this is generally to be avoided, as when you reach the border, there is a large chance that the journey will turn into a real headache. Once across the border and in Poipet you’ll likely have an overly long, slow onward journey to Siem Reap with the minibus/coach operator dropping you off at the hotel of their choice, late at night – with the hope of earning commission.

One of the best and easiest options is to Taxi share from Poipet for around $25-30, which should get you there within 2-3 hours depending on the season.

To Angkor by Boat

Now that the main artery roads within Cambodia have improved substantially, travel by boat has become less important than it used to be and now offers a scenic but more time consuming alternative to roads. Depending on the season it is possible to get a speedboat from the capital Phnom Penh to Siem Reap for around $35 with the trip taking around 8 hours. It is also possible to come from Battambang, the provincial capital south east of Siem Reap for around $20-25 and will take anywhere between 4-12 hours depending on season and hence water levels.

One thing to bare in mind when travelling by boat in Cambodia is that there are few safety precautions taken like in other countries and the boats used are likely to have a negative effect on the natural environment.