A Good Night Bus Experience

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Free Wi-Fi but may not work, don’t forget to buy a local SIM card and buy credits for the Internet. Supplied

When travelling around Cambodia, you will find taking a bus the easiest way to get between destinations. You have the option to sit on a bus’s passenger seat during the day and enjoy the changing landscape on the road or get on a night bus where you can snooze most of the trip and arrive at your destination fresh in the morning. A real traveller at heart may not mind the bumps and hiccups to reach a destination but the notion is to have a comfortable and safe trip. Taing Rinith recommends a ‘Good Night on the Bus’.

Pros and Cons

First of all, on the bright side, travelling on a night bus is economically advantageous. The most convenient way to see it that way is the fact that this kind of transportation combines the costs of your bus ticket and accommodation into one less expensive sum. Meanwhile, it also means more time for you to see the country, and save you from a tedious ride – in case you do not appreciate the process. More importantly, you can lie on your back instead of sitting for hours, which hurts your back and waist.

A Night Bus in Cambodia usually contains two rows of double bunker beds. Supplied

However, without adequate knowledge as well as right choice and preparation, your trip could turn out into a nightmare. If you search online about taking a night bus in Cambodia, you may see people posting about incidents such as: being given a bed which is too small; having to sleep next to a complete stranger; or even meeting a traffic accident. There are also many people who reportedly lose their belongings, were not able to get any sleep or had to deal with rude personnel who did not care a hoot about passengers’ problems. Read until the end to avoid these problems.

Booking, destinations and price

Transportation companies in Cambodia provide night bus services for journeys which can take up to 6-8 hours or more. From Phnom Penh, you can take a night bus to Siem Reap, Battambang, Sihanoukville, Mondulkiri, Ratanakiri, Ho Chi Minh and Bangkok. Ticket prices ranges between $8 and $15, but they could also vary depending on the season.

Avoid buying bus tickets at hotel or guesthouse because it will cost you more. Supplied

A Night Bus in Cambodia usually contains two rows of double bunker beds. The buses are divided in three categories depending on the number of passengers in each side: Sleeping Bus (one bed for two people), hotel bus (one bed for two people on one side and one bed for one person on another side) and VIP bus (one bed for one person on each side).

Undoubtedly, the Sleeping Bus is the cheapest but least comfortable while the VIP Bus is pricey but comfortable. If you are a budget traveller but want to avoid discomfort, the Hotel Bus is recommended. You need to book the ticket through the companies’ websites or third-person platform such as ‘BookMeBus’ as soon as possible to get a single bed if you are travelling alone or a couple bed if you are with a companion. Avoid buying bus tickets at hotel or guesthouse because it will cost you more since part of your payment will go to the sellers.

Travellers have reported inconvenience while travelling on Night Bus, mostly because the companies serving them are managed by unprofessional personnel. Here are several of the highly rated bus companies in the Kingdom:

  • Phnom Penh Sorya Bus
    Website: www.ppsorya transport.com.kh/
    Tel: 012 63 15 45 / 010 63 15 45
  • Giant Ibis
    Website: www.giantibis.com
    Tel: 096 99 93 333
  • Capitol Tour Cambodia
    Website: www.capitol tourscambodia.com Tel: 092 277 311 / 017 582 524

Preparation

Most companies advertise that they have free Wi-Fi on their night buses, but most of the time, it just does not work, so do not forget to buy a local SIM card and buy some credits to stay connected to the Internet. Meanwhile, here are some of the things that you should bring on your overnight trip:

  • A travel pillow
  • Snacks (ones that do not give out an odour)
  • Enough water to stay hydrated
  • Something to keep you warm
  • Earplug or headset
  • A bag where you keep all your belongings, which you should cling onto during the trip
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