How to get from Siem Reap to Battambang (and vice-versa)

Battambang and Siem Reap are two of the nicest spots that Northwestern Cambodia has to offer, and each is worth visiting. Battambang and Siem Reap are only 48 miles (77 km) apart, but the trip can take as long as four hours due to the fact that there’s no direct road–all of the buses route through Sisophon and up to eight hours by boat. Here we cover how to get from Siem Reap to Battambang (and vice-versa) in 2020, including boat, taxi, and bus.

Heading to Battambang? Check out our expat guide to Battambang with hotels, activities, transport and more. 

things to do in Battambang

Seen Siem Reap? Now it’s time for Battambang.

Taxis to Battambang

Private taxis cost around $50 to go from Siem Reap to Battambang or vice-versa. As with most taxis in Cambodia, the preferred vehicle is the Toyota Camry which can fit four passengers, but it can be a tight squeeze and the trunk is rarely empty, so if you have more than three people, travel light. You can hire a taxi through any local guesthouse or travel agent, but if you book a taxi online in advance you’ll get an SUV taxi for around the same price. You can also book an 11-seater van for $90. The trip takes two or two-and-a-half hours.

Mekong Express Siem Reap to Battambang

The Mekong Express mini bus, also known as the ‘VIP van’ that goes between Siem Reap and Battambang.

Mini-buses and buses to Battambang

After a hiatus, there are again mini-bus shuttles traveling between Siem Reap and Battambang. Mekong Express are now running two buses every day in either direction at 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. They rotate between 18, 25, and 40 seat vehicles (so mini-buses and full-size buses). Mekong Express is a long-time tourist favorite because they have a good safety record and are relatively reliable. The bus offers the best balance of price and speed, although the roads pretty bumpy at the moment (with promises the road will be sealed at some point in 2019). If you want to know more, we’ve got a full review of the Mekong Express buses between Battambang and Siem Reap.

Mekong Express schedule:
Siem Reap to Battambang: 8 a.m., 9 a.m., 1:35 p.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m.
Battambang to Siem Reap: 8 a.m., 9 a.m., 1:35 p.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m.

Tickets cost $7 for non-Cambodians and can be booked online where you can reserve a seat in advance. The trip takes between three hour and four hours.

boat from Battambang to Siem Reap

This is not the actual boat, but rather Srey Leak, the lovely woman who collects the tickets in Battambang.

Boat to Battambang

Boats between Siem Reap to Battambang leave at 7:30 a.m. each day in either direction. The trip takes between six and eight hours, depending on the season and how high the water level is, and which direction you are going; the trip from Battambang to Siem Reap is shorter than the other way around. The views are gorgeous, passing by many small fishing villages, allowing visitors to get a sense of life on Cambodia’s riverside. If you’re considering taking the boat, know that the wet season is the best time to take it due to higher water levels, but be sure to bring both sunblock and some sort of rain protection (you can get cheap ponchos for 2,000 riel at any small shop). Tickets cost $25 per person and it’s *sometimes* possible to book tickets online in advance.

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43 Responses to How to get from Siem Reap to Battambang (and vice-versa)

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    Daniele says:

    there is a boat from SR to Battambang and viceverea. For some reason, I couldn’t find it online. I had to book through my hotel on SR. I spent 30$ and it included the pickup from the hotel. The arrival in Battambang is 5/6 km out of the center, but you should find someone who takes you.
    Hope this helps.

    Enrique says:

    any news about the boat between Siem Reap and Battambang? Thanks!

    Corinna says:

    Love your article!
    We thinking about traveling by boat to Battambang:) but we just don’t know where to get the tickets ?

      You can try calling one of the numbers on the sign in the photo, but I think they’re probably closed due to lack of tourists. I know the Phnom Penh to Siem Reap boat is closed.

    Russell says:

    Great info to find, please sign me up for the newsletter!

    Steve says:

    Hello. On a Mekong Express van that has 25 seats.. a middle row with two seats on each side.. is there a “best seat” for someone with long legs? Thanks.

      Alan Nicholls says:

      We’ve just done it…Was sat directly behind driver …maybe slightly more leg room if you are on outside seat …air con was shocking either blowing hot air or freezing !

    Carnets de Routards says:

    Hi Lina and everyone,

    Really happy to have found this website with so many useful information!

    I’m trying to decide if yes or no we’re gonna try a boat trip. I read so many different things! It’s not safe, it’s not worth it, then it’s beautiful, a must do… Battambang to SR is better than SR to Battambang, and the previous two are better that SR to PP or the other way around…

    Sooo! Knowing that we’re used to rough backpacking, does someone can advice us on those trip? :)

    Thx for your time and experience!

    Claire and Ronald

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