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  • Konrad Tillman

Driving From Phnom Penh To Siem Reap. What It's Really Like.

Following an outstanding stay at the Anik Palace in Phnom Penh which you can read about here (, it was time to head onto Siem Reap to see Angkor Wat.

I had a couple of options to choose from regarding the mode of transportation. Usually, I would fly (about 100$ dollars) but for just a bit more (150$), I could relax in the car for 6 hours and take in the landscape. Albeit I would be in a 2013 Alphard which is more than comfortable for 1 passenger. The hotel arranged this service which was splendid of them.

The Car:

The car picked me up around 1 pm ready for departure to Siem Reap. It was spacious, clean, and had great AC. I quickly asked if I could connect to Bluetooth and I figured it out myself (when you stay a lot in Jakarta you ride around in Alphards a lot). The driver was super friendly!

A relatively non high dense config

The Toyota Alphard is arranged in a 2-2-3 configuration with reclining seats 😅. Unlike aircraft, the co-pilot seat is open for seating! Okay, jokes aside it was a very comfortable ride!

I placed my bag on the seat next to me and my jacket in the back! There were even these little headrests which were very relaxing to relax on😜.

Giving Delta prem-econ a run for it's money

The seats also recline to be about, let's say, 150 degrees. Miles better than my Garuda business class experience (full review coming soon). Sadly, I wasn't tired at all (excitement filling my veins) but did recline for about 30 ish minutes contemplating life.

A very bloated J2AJ

The Views & Route

The route would take us northwest out of Phnom Penh then a little more to the west before coming onto final approach into Siem Reap. The average altitude tonight was approximately 33ft. No meal service or IFE was offered 😂 ok I'll stop now!

The reason I drove is that I wanted to take in more of Cambodia. However, there wasn't too much to see. We crossed this pretty bridge after about an hour of driving.

Can't lie the architecture is gorgeous

Past some lush greenery in the countryside

Very green here

After that, there wasn't much until about 2 hours before Siem Reap when we passed this beautiful lake. How peaceful life would be to just become a fisherman!

How many snakes do you think are in there?

With overwater villas! Thought about telling the driver to pull over and I'll stay the night. Places to be, things to do people!


At around 6 pm, 5 hours after our scheduled departure time the captain came onto the speaker announcing we would be beginning our approach into Siem Reap town momentarily. He also mentioned the sun was setting on the right.

One of the last Kingdoms remaining

We approached the town but seeing as my hotel, The Lotus Blanc, was on the other side this meant driving through the town. No worries at all with views like these!


After a flight time of 6 hours and 14 minutes, we arrived at the Lotus Blanc resort in Siem Reap.

Final Thoughts: Should You Drive or Fly?

To most solo travellers I would recommend flying since there isn't too much to see as you are driving through the countryside of Cambodia. However, if you are like me, I found this to be very peaceful, just listening to some chill house and taking some time for myself. If you are travelling with a partner I would recommend taking this trip for a few reasons. Number 1 it is cheaper with two or more people. Number 2 you don't lose that much time driving, especially with the new Siem Reap airport being an hour's drive away from town.

Cambodia has a very special energy and it continued during this journey in the car. I'd do it again in a heartbeat.



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