I read several websites and blogs on how to take a bus from Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam to Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Read my travel guide on Ho Chi Minh if you missed it!
Some websites made it sound like a hassle-filled journey. You can fly, but it was just too expensive for us. Therefore, taking a 6-hour bus was the next best option. Plus, it’s super affordable! You have the option of taking a minivan, but some people said it was cramped and uncomfortable. In the end, I booked with a bus company called Giant Ibis – the most reputable bus company in Cambodia. Book on 12GoAsia!
A Look at Giant Ibis
- Excellent safety record
- Free Wifi
- English-speaking conductor
- Online booking
- Online seat selection
- Seat Belts
- Complimentary snack – a bottle of water, cold towel, and a Blue Pumpkin pastry
- Air Conditioning
- Electrical Outlets
- Uses the ‘cleanest burning diesel fuel available in Cambodia
- A portion of each ticket sold ‘goes toward the preservation of the National Bird of Cambodia.’
A Review/Our Experience
Ticket Price: $21 USD/per person
Journey Time: 6 hours
Departure Time: 8:30 am
Departs From: Pham Ngu Lao Street in District 1, Ho Chi Minh
Our bus ride from Ho Chi Minh to Phnom Penh was one of the smoothest bus experiences we’ve had in Asia.
We had a lovely Vietnamese, English-speaking lady onboard who facilitated the journey. In addition, we were given water, snacks and a cold towel at the beginning of the trip. It left on time without any issues. The bus was air-conditioned, clean, and had surprisingly good WIFI. Once we crossed the border, the wifi stopped working altogether. I personally try not to use the toilets on the bus, so I can’t comment on whether or not they were clean. If you’re looking for an affordable and smooth way of getting from HCM to PP, this is the way to do it!
There are 2 ten-minute rest stops and 1 lunch stop at Banyan Tree Restaurant, located in a small duty-free mall. Lunch isn’t included in the ticket price, so expect to pay around $3-4 USD per dish.
The Border Crossing
I was under the impression that you had to have a Cambodia e-visa ahead of time. I applied through the Kingdom of Cambodia e-Visa website a week ahead of time and they approved the visa quickly. Turns out, you don’t have actually have to do it ahead of time if you forget. We were the only ones that had an-already-printed-out visa ready to go at the border. However, the processing time was exactly the same for all of us.
The whole process at the Vietnam-Cambodia border only took about 5-10 minutes. It was extremely smooth. All the other passengers on the bus just had their passports collected by our conductor. Be prepared to pay a $35 USD processing fee. Once you get off the bus, you line up at Customs to get your passports stamped. Since we were the only travellers passing through at the time, it was all done pretty quick!