Still known to many as Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City is famous for its role in the Vietnam War and has many attractions associated with it, such as the War Museum and the Independence Palace. But it's not just a place for history buffs, Ho Chi Minh City also has beautiful French colonial architecture and a lively atmosphere.
If you plan to see the best of Asia, make Siem Reap your next stop. This Cambodian city also still shows French influence, but is best known for being the site of the amazing Angkor Wat temple complex. Despite the long distance from Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap, this is a popular tourist route, so it will not be difficult for you to find a ticket.
Travel options from Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap
Travel by highway is about 460 kilometers (290 miles) from Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap. This may not seem like much if you're used to the roads and highways of the western world, but here in Asia you should expect a long car or bus ride. This is because the road conditions are not so good and you need to remember that you are crossing the border from Vietnam to Cambodia. However, there are plenty of buses that make this trip every day, so you'll never run out of options.
If a long drive doesn't appeal to you, flying from Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap might be your best bet. The flight takes less than 1.5 hours, so it's a much faster and possibly more convenient way to travel between the two cities. Read more about planes and buses so you can make your decision!
Flight from Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap
Many tourists choose to fly from Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap simply because they don't have time to travel by bus. Flying is significantly more expensive, but if you're on vacation and have a lot to see in a short amount of time, it really is the best way to travel.
There are three airlines that fly from Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap: Vietnam Airlines, Cambodia Angkor Air and Lanmei Airlines. The first two airlines have scheduled flights and therefore can cost more, while Lanmei Airlines is a low-cost carrier. With Lanmei you will most likely get a good price on your ticket, but they don't fly as often as the other two airlines, so that's a downside.
In Ho Chi Minh City, you depart from Tan Son Nhat International Airport, which is the busiest airport in Vietnam. Plan a lot of time for checking in and going through security because the airport is constantly crowded. In Siem Reap you will arrive at Siem reap – Angkor International Airport. It's also the busiest airport in the country - Cambodia - but significantly smaller than Tan Son Nhat Airport, so you shouldn't have the same overcrowding issues.
Even when you add in the extra time it takes you to get through Tan Son Nhat Airport, combined with an airport transfer at either end of your trip, flying from Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap is still the fastest way to travel if you can afford much more. high ticket price.
From Ho Chi Minh to Siem Reap by bus
If you choose to travel by bus from Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap, there are several different tour companies offering this route, giving you the opportunity to choose from at least four different options each day. But as we mentioned, this is a long journey and probably not for someone who doesn't like being confined to a small space for a long time.
The bus trip from Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap takes 13 to 14 hours, including stops and transfers from one bus to another, usually in Phnom Penh. You will also be crossing a border which can add additional waiting time. Getting a visa to enter Cambodia before you travel is best because it's less stressful and avoids additional delays, however if you don't already have a visa to Cambodia for whatever reason you can usually arrange with the bus operator. We recommend arranging all this in advance to be calm.
There are three tour bus companies to choose from: SinhTourist, Mekong Express and Kumho Samco. Of these companies, SinhTourist has a very good reputation, however, they sometimes put passengers on a bus of a partner company, so you may not end up on a SinhTourist bus even when booking on their bus.
Express buses that depart from Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap are usually standard buses with seats rather than sleepers, however when you change buses in Phnom Penh you may end up on a sleeper bus for the rest of the journey to Siem Reap.
If you want to travel at night and try to get some sleep, you should choose one of the evening buses. It will depart from Ho Chi Minh City around 15:00 and arrive in Siem Reap around 05:00. An alternative is a bus that leaves early in the morning around 07:00 and travels all day, arriving between 20:00 and 21:00. The advantage of a day flight is that you can enjoy the scenery. Traveling at night or flying, you will miss this opportunity!