Tripadvisor traveler choice Traveler choice

How to get from Ho Chi Minh to Phnom Penh

October 19, 2023 - 2328 views

Ho Chi Minh City to Phnom Penh is a popular route chosen by many people who plan to visit both Vietnam and Cambodia. Let’s make a journey to see how to get to Phnom Penh from Ho Chi Minh. By the way, I would like to recommend some tips to make the best comfort for your trip.

There are great number of ways to travel between Ho Chi Minh and Phnom Penh. You may consider flight, bus or speedboat (through Chau Doc). Detailed information is listed below, together with its pros and cons as my experience. Firstly, let’s see how long to travel from Ho Chi Minh to Phnom Penh.

Ho Chi Minh to Phnom Penh distance & travel time

As far as you know, it is not too far from Ho Chi Minh City (the biggest city of Vietnam, commonly known as Saigon, I will use both of them in my article) to Phnom Penh (the capital city of Cambodia). You will travel a close distance of 225 km. As I mentioned above, your options are various and it depends on your budget and interests to choose which is the best one among the options.

By plane, you will take a plane from Tan Son Nhat International airport (IATA: SGN) in Ho Chi Minh City then fly to Phnom Penh International airport (IATA: PNH). The trip lasts no longer than 50 minutes, therefore, this is the fastest way between 2 places.

Besides, if you would like to travel further and get your experience by “checking out” Vietnam and “checking in” Cambodia, the bus will interest you. The bus from Ho Chi Minh City to Phnom Penh is more or less 6 hours, which depends on the traffic and whether the border is busy or not.

If you do not mind spending your time, there is another choice that is travelling via Chau Doc to Phnom Penh by boat. However, firstly, you have to take the bus from Ho Chi Minh City to Chau Doc then get a boat ticket from there to Phnom Penh. It will take you about 12 hours for the whole trip.

Ho Chi Minh to Phnom Penh

Ho Chi Minh to Phnom Penh route maps

How to Travel from Ho Chi Minh to Phnom Penh

There are 3 main ways to travel from Ho Chi Minh to Phnom Penh:

  • Flight: It is easy to fly directly from Saigon to Phnom Penh. You can use services from Vietnam Airlines, Cambodia Angkor Air, VietJet Air. Facilities are based on your ticket class.
  • Bus (direct bus): there are many buses that run between Vietnam and Cambodia. Saigon to Phnom Penh is a popular route. Normally, they use a seater bus equipped with AC, the legroom is large and there will be an English speaking tour guide who can help you at any time.
  • Boat (Bus and Boat): The bus from Saigon to Chau Doc provides basic facilities such as AC, water. They provide both sleeper bus and seater bus, choose the one that suits your budget. Meanwhile, the speedboat connecting Chau Doc to Phnom Penh is the local one. It is not speedy and you have enough time to enjoy the scenery along riverbanks.

I summarize the information of the time, ticket and travel distance in the table below. Let’s check it out.

Transportation Travel distance  Duration Price
Flight 225 km 1 hour 100 - 200 USD
Bus (direct bus) 250 km 6 hours 8 - 25 USD
Boat (Bus and Boat) ~ 330 km 12 hours 43 - 81 USD


Ho Chi Minh to Phnom Penh by flight

  • Duration: 1 hour
  • Ticket fee: 100 - 200 USD
  • Schedule: direct transport
  • Travel distance: 250 km

In this way, you just book your flight then enjoy a cup of coffee or read a favourite book. After more or less 1 hour, you are able to set your feet on the land of Phnom Penh, Cambodia. It is such a short trip that you take it easy to move on.

You should check the airlines that directly run between Saigon (Vietnam) and Phnom Penh (Cambodia) to save your time instead of costing hours of transit in a third country. Vietnam Airlines, VietJet Air, Cambodia Angkor Air are always available for tickets of flights between Ho Chi Minh and Phnom Penh.

The ticket fares are various among the airline companies and they are also different prices on other days. Normally, it ranges from 100 - 200 USD per ticket. Let’s check their websites for a ticket or contact your travel agency for the help of booking.

Ho CHi MInh to Phnom Penh flight with cambodia air

Ho Chi Minh to Phnom Penh flight with Cambodia air


Ho Chi Minh to Phnom Penh by bus

  • Duration: 6 hours
  • Ticket fee: 12 – 18 USD
  • Travel distance: 250 km
  • Schedule: direct transport

Giant Ibis bus, Mekong Express and Sorya are some of the most famous bus companies which run from Ho Chi Minh to Phnom Penh. They all move straightforward so that you do not have to change the bus after crossing the border. Besides, at the border gate, they will help you to finish the “exit” from Vietnam and enter Cambodia. These procedures require a lot of time but it is much easier than doing it by yourself with the help of bus staff.

Ho CHi Minh to Phnom Penh bus

Ho CHi Minh to Phnom Penh bus

Check the list below for the choice of Ho Chi Minh to Phnom Penh bus. Remember to ask the travel agency or bus company whether the bus staff can help you finish the paper at the border gate or not.

Bus company Departure time Duration Ticket fee Pick up point Drop off point
Giant Ibis 8:00, 9:45 6 hours 18 USD Giant Ibis office, Pham Ngu Lao st., Ho Chi Minh city Giant Ibis bus station, Street 90, near Wat Phnom
Sorya 6:30, 7:30, 9:30, 13:30 230 000 VND ~ 10 USD No. 301 Pham Ngu Lao st., Ho Chi Minh city Sorya bus station, Phnom Penh
Long Phuong 6:30, 8:30, 11:30, 15:30 200 000 VND ~ 8.5 USD No. 313 Pham Ngu Lao st., Ho Chi Minh city Olympic stadium, Phom Penh
Mekong Express 6:30, 7:00, 8:30, 13:00 13 USD Mekong Express office, No. 275F, Pham Ngu Lao, Ho Chi Minh City Mekong Express office, Road 5, Phnom Penh
Sapaco 6:30, 8:00, 9:00, 10:00, 11:30, 14:00 10 USD No. 325 Pham Ngu Lao st., Ho Chi Minh city Sapaco bus station, Phnom Penh


Pros and cons

Pros: It is quite a saving – budget option and your experience on entering a new country through the border gate. Moreover, the bus staff can speak English so that you are able to communicate by asking for help.

Cons: It takes your time to travel and sometimes, you will be angry with the attitude of the Cambodian officers at the border gate when they require some “tips”.


Ho Chi Minh to Phnom Penh by boat

It takes 2 steps to go by boat from Ho Chi Minh to Phnom Penh. Firstly, you join a bus from Ho Chi Minh to Chau Doc. Then you take a speedboat from Chau Doc through the river to Phnom Penh.

It requires a lot of time for this option but if you have square time and want to explore the Cuu Long delta and the life of locals, you should proceed to join a tour to visit local destinations then take a bus from Chau Doc to cross the border.

At first, check the schedule for the people who would travel directly. 2 steps with their details are listed below.

Step 1: You take the bus from Ho Chi Minh City to Chau Doc.

  • Travel distance: 200 km
  • Duration: 6.5 hours

Well, it is just very easy, you take a bus from Mien Tay Bus station to Chau Doc. 6 and a half hours for the trip to the border town.

The bus will depart every hour and it is normally a 40 - sleeper bus with AC. Therefore, you will never have a chance to miss the bus. The price is quite good at 150 000 VND. You should consider the time because the first speedboat leaves the dock at 7 am.

Bus mode Pick up point Drop off point Ticket price
Seater bus/ sleeper bus (every hour departure) Mien Tay bus station Chau Doc bus station 150 000 VND - 370 000 VND (7 USD - 16 USD)


If you do not mind spending your money to save time and get a better option, let’s look at the private car option. I must say, it is so expensive that you can consider it if you have a group of people for a faster option.

Type of car 4 seater 7 seater 16 seater
Ticket fee 115 USD 120 USD 140 USD


Step 2: You take the speedboat via the Mekong River.

  • Travel distance: 130 km
  • Duration: 5 hours
Speedboat brand Departure time Arrival time Ticket fee Pick up point Drop off point
Hang Chau 7:30 12:30 pm 35 USD Con Tien floating restaurant, Zone 5, Tran Hung Dao st., Chau Doc town No. 103, Sisowath st., Phnom Penh
Blue Cruise 7:00 12:00 pm 65 USD Pier Cafe, No. 1, Le Loi st., Chau Doc town


Pros and cons

Pros: you get very nice experiences by joining the speedboat through the river. Also, see and understand the life of locals and get your great chance to try a lot of special dishes and fruit.

Cons: it requires time and money for this option. Also, it costs extra money for room and transport if you would like to stay overnight in Chau Doc.

Ho Chi MInh to Phnom Penh boat

Ho Chi Minh to Phnom Penh boat


Ho Chi Minh to Phnom Penh by train

At present, there is no train connection from Ho Chi Minh City to Phnom Penh. In 2020, Governments of 2 countries discussed opening a train that will run directly and connect Ho Chi Minh and Phnom Penh to promote the development of the economy, tourism and trade of goods. We hope the route will be opened soon.

Recommend Ho Chi Minh to Phnom Penh itinerary

Day 1: Saigon – My Tho – Ben Tre – Can Tho

Let’s say goodbye to Saigon City and head to the area of Cuu Long delta.

About 8:00, our tour guide will pick you up at your hotel.

After a 1.5 hour drive, you arrive in My Tho, where you can visit Vinh Trang Pagoda then take a boat ride along the river to explore the rural life and visit the fruit plantations along the river banks. Then, you will be invited to Tortoise Island. Lunch is served in the orchard garden.

After lunch, you join a local boat to An Khanh (in Ben Tre) and enjoy cruising on a sampan under the shape of coconut trees along natural canals, sit down and relax by trying some seasonal fruit and honey tea and listen to the sound of “Southern Vietnamese folk music”.

You sleep at a hotel in Can Tho and have free time to visit the area by yourself.

You schedule to leave early on the next morning, therefore, you should prepare all your stuff and go to bed as soon as possible.


Day 2: Can Tho – Cai Rang Floating market – Tra Su National Park – Chau Doc town

5:30 you will take a boat trip to visit Cai Rang Floating market, have breakfast and try to bargain for some fruit there. Going ahead, you will visit a local rice noodle village.

Lunch is served at a local restaurant and we drive you to Chau Doc. You continue your trip by visiting Tra Su national park, where you can see the life of local animals (especially, tropical birds).

After finishing the journey, we drive you back to the town and you sleep there. It is the last night in Vietnam before you pass the border to Cambodia.


Day 3: Chau Doc town – Phnom Penh

Breakfast is served at your hotel then the bus picks you up and drives you to the speedboat station.

You will arrive in Sisowath (in Phnom Penh) after 5 hours by speedboat. Tour ends.

Ho Chi MInh to Phom Penh itinerary

Ho Chi MInh to Phom Penh itinerary


Local tips to get from Ho Chi Minh City to Phnom Penh

  • Prepare your visa well

Check what kind of visa you need to have to enter Cambodia carefully. eVisa seems to be a good option that you must look at. It is just like a visa on arrival and costs 36 USD. Besides, by this way, you can avoid being overcharged at the border gate

  • Choose the best option for your budget and interests: flight to save time, bus to save money, explore local with the boat.
  • Stay “dumb”

It is easy and straightforward for the flight option to enter Cambodia but there will be a little complication in the way of crossing the border by bus. They will check your passport and visa carefully and may require some small “tips”. Prepare your exact changes and stay “dumb” if they ask for extra money until they wave and let you go through. Find a good partner

Finding a trusted travel agency will help you a lot in booking your tickets and they are willing to help if any unexpected cases happen. Besides, local travel agencies know well about the bus companies, which is the best or which fits your needs.

Above are some advice for your trip from Ho Chi Minh city to Phnom Penh. I hope they are useful for you on your way. Let’s tell me if you have any questions and do not hesitate to contact BestPrice Travel if you would like to check for a flight, bus ticket or boat at a good price.

You also can look at our Vietnam and Cambodia tour packages which also included 2 destinations in the plan, you don't need to take time to find the transfer, let's do it for you.

Mr River

Image source: Internet

Questions & Answers

Ask a Question