On this day of our travels we started off the day with hopping on a bus for a 6 hour journey from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh. This would be the only time we didn’t take a plane between cities on our trip. For some reason the domestic flights in Cambodia were much higher than domestic flights in Thailand, at least they were when we were booking. There are quite a few ways you can travel between the two cities including plane, bus, ferry, taxi and mini bus. After doing some research on the varying methods of travel I decided that the best choice for us would be to take a bus.
After looking up various bus options I decided to go with the Giant Ibis bus company. Although I cannot speak for other bus companies, I can tell you that we were all happy with the Giant Ibis bus company. The bus seats were comfortable and each pair of seats came with plugs to charge your electronics! Josh and I are used to riding in buses in Korea so we weren’t too off put by the bumpy ride, but I know that Natalie was pretty disturbed by the bumpiness of the roads (nothing the buses can do about this aside from driving carefully). The bus guide provided us with water and a snack for the journey (I almost didn’t eat my snack because I thought it was pumpkin flavored…it wasn’t it was chocolate). Like many large buses it had curtains to cover the window if you so choose. There was a movie playing at the front of the bus for the entire journey, the speakers for the tv sound are built in to the bus and scattered throughout the bus, not everyone has control of the sound (this is the same as on Korean buses). Luckily the only audio on was the seat behind us which happened to be empty so I turned it off. Half way through the journey we stopped at a restaurant that had bathrooms and an overpriced selection of crappy food. This seems to be pretty standard for all bus companies but nothing too offensive. All in all the bus ride was comfortable (I would recommend catching the earliest bus and catching up on some sleep), there were enough rest stops to keep us happy and the bus guide was really funny.
Once we arrived in Phnom Penh we hired a tuk tuk driver to take us to our least favorite hotel on our vacation, the Nokorsamreth Hotel. According to our tuk tuk driver this hotel was mostly for locals as it was farther away from many of the more touristy desinations in Phnom Penh. My reasoning for picking this hotel was its relatively close proximity to the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum. In hindsight, this location put us quite far away from stores and restaurants so I would recommend staying more in downtown.
To end our day in Phmom Penh we visited Wat Phnom which was a smaller temple in the heart of Phnom Penh. For this temple you do have to pay an entry fee (I think it was $1-2) and they give you a ticket to give to a guard in front of the temple. Be careful not to leave the temple until you are finished, we made the mistake of accidentally walking around the temple to the back entrance and were hassled about not having our ticket, the guard on the other side of the temple wanted us to pay again but we just argued for a minute until he gave up.
Overall the temple was pretty small and it was easy to see the whole thing in not too much time. Make sure you visit the large clock on the side of the temple grounds…it would be hard to miss!