Battambang is about 180 miles (290 kilometers) away from Phnom Penh, a distance that can take you anywhere between four to seven hours to travel, depending on traffic, flooding, and how you choose to go. Here are our picks for getting from Phnom Penh to Battambang and vice-versa.
All the bus companies in Battambang are located a few blocks north of Psar Nath, making it easy enough to visit to book yourself, though guesthouses and hotels can book for you as well, although they will often add an extra couple bucks to the price.
Capitol Tours is the best option of the big buses. The ticket costs 24,000 riel ($6) and takes between six and seven hours (don’t be fooled by the website saying it will get you there in five). There will be frequent stops to let people on and off the bus and you’ll be treated to Cambodia karaoke videos for the duration of the ride.
The Battambang bus station was recently moved just outside of town along National Road 5, but if you arrive at the Capitol office twenty minutes before your bus, they’ll take you to the station.
In Phnom Penh, the buses arrive and leave from Capitol Guesthouse near Orussey Market.
Capitol Tours schedule:
Battambang to Phnom Penh: 6:30 a.m., 7 a.m., 7:30 a.m., 8 a.m., 8:30 a.m., 9 a.m., 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 12 p.m., 1 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m., 3:15 p.m. (Friday only), 4:15 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
Phnom Penh to Battambang: 7 a.m., 8 a.m., 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 1 p.m., 2:15 p.m., 2:45 p.m. 4 p.m. 5:30 p.m
Mini-buses offer complimentary pick-up if you book at a guesthouse or a hotel in Battambang. They take between four to five hours to reach Phnom Penh, make one stop for a meal in Pursat, and occasionally another stop for a brief bathroom break or to refuel.
Regardless of which mini-bus you take, book a seat closer to the front of the bus rather than further back, as there are some rough spots on the highway where the ride in the back of the bus is quite bumpy.
As you enter Phnom Penh, there may be a few stops to let some Cambodian people off on the side of the road.
As you enter Battambang, there is usually one stop on the east side of the river before crossing the bridge to the west side, where the bus company offices are.
At $12, Mekong Express is the most expensive but also the most comfortable of the mini-bus options. It offers the most leg space, so tall people should consider Mekong Express if they often feel cramped by other options. Note that they will play karaoke videos for the duration of the trip.
In Phnom Penh, Mekong Express drops you off at its office close to Orussey Market, which is convenient for avoiding the worst of Phnom Penh’s traffic. If your guesthouse is somewhere close to the river, however, it will still be a bit of a tuk tuk ride to get there.
Golden Bayon Express charges $10 per person (sometimes you can go to a travel agent on Riverside in Phnom Penh and get that down to $9, but when booking in Battambang to go to Phnom Penh it always seems to be $10), and usually leaves on time.
Though not as spacious as Mekong Express mini-buses, their buses are clean and relatively comfortable, unless you are squished in the back row with three others (again, ask for a seat closer to the front). It also features free WiFi in their buses that sometimes works, but more often doesn’t.
Their office in Phnom Penh is close to Central Market, a bit more centrally located than Mekong Express’ office.
We’ve received a reader report that Mean Chey Express has recently upgraded to all new 16-seat mini-buses that are “consistently clean, on time efficient, includes cold water and doesn’t blast karaoke.” The trip takes less than 5 hours and costs $8 or $9, depending on how far in advance you book.
Mekong Express schedule:
Battambang to Phnom Penh: 7:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m., 9:30 a.m.,11 a.m. 2:30 p.m., 5 p.m.
Phnom Penh to Battambang: 5:30 a.m., 6:20 a.m., 7:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m.
Golden Bayon schedule:
Battambang to Phnom Penh: 7:00 a.m., 8:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m.
Phnom Penh to Battambang: 7:00 a.m., 8:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m.
Mean Chey Express:
Battambang to Phnom Penh: 7:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m.
Phnom Penh to Battambang: 7:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m.
A private taxi costs around $60 and takes about four hours. You can hire a private taxi through a hotel or guesthouse. Keep in mind the trunk may not be empty, as the driver may be transporting something to Phnom Penh. Taxis are usually Toyota Camrys that can seat four passengers, although it can be a tight squeeze.
Share taxis depart from northwest of Boeung Chhouk market, on National Road 5, and are usually $10 per seat. Note that the front seat beside the driver is considered two seats, so if you want to have that seat to yourself you’ll probably have to pay $20.
Ticket Offices: La Hte Street (at Street 103), Battambang [map]
T:053 953 040; 011 956 105; 012 991
14AEO Street 182, Phnom Penh [map]
T: 023 724 104; 023 217 627
Book Mekong Express tickets online
Ticket offices: Corner of Road 3 and Street 111, just north of Psar Nhat, Battambang
T: 088 576 7668
Booking office outside Orussey Market, Phnom Penh [map]
T: 012 787 839; 098 833 399; 023 427 518
Golden Bayon Express
Book Golden Bayon tickets online
Ticket offices: Street 101, between La He St and Road 3, Battambang [map]
T: 070 968 966; 089 279 909
3Eo Street 51/126, Psar Thmei, Phnom Penh [map]
T: 023 966 968; 089 221 919; 010 968 966
Mean Chey Express
Ticket offices: Street 115, one block west of Psar Nath across from Holiday Hotel, Battambang [map]
T:095 992 111; 098 992 111
48 Street 289, near Psar Toul Kork, Toul Kork, Phnom Penh[map]
T: 011 992 111; 068 992 111
Trains also now running! Current schedule is:
Phnom Penh to Battambang – Saturdays only 07:30 (arr. 15:00)
Battambang to Phnom Penh – Sundays only 09:50 (arr. 17:50)
Not the quickest option but an interesting journey