It was time to leave Phnom Penh for Sihanoukville. We needed to leave the capital city of Cambodia and head to the small ocean side town near(ish) the border of Vietnam. We were very happy. It had been a long time since we had seen the ocean.
The day before our intended departure, we headed next door from our hotel and purchased bus tickets from Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville. The tickets cost us around $8 USD each and involved a mini van pick up to the bus station and then a VIP Bus all the way Sihanoukville. The bus ride would take a total of about 3 – 5 hours depending on traffic, the weather and the number of stops.
As promised, a fancy mini van picked us up from the travel agent which also happened to be a guest house and a restaurant. We said our good byes and headed to Phnom Penh's very hectic main bus terminal.
On the bus we got. There was just enough room for us and our bags between our legs. We definitely need smaller bags. And off we went. Buses leave Phnom Penh for Sihanoukville every hour from 7:00am to 6:00pm(ish).
The drive was quite pleasant as the roads between Sihanoukville and Phnom Penh are well paved and smooth. This really makes a difference. Our entertainment on the bus consisted of a Bollywood comedy film and karaoke for everyone which was at a reasonable volume too.
There was a toilet available on the bus however unless you are a very small person, around 3 foot tall, you have to crouch to get in there. Andrew managed the toilet. The roof of the cubicle was well below shoulder height for him. Apparently it was a good leg workout.
There was also a cargo area down there filled with boxes, a scooter and all manner of bits and pieces. We didn't find out the price but if you have cargo the bus company seems like they're willing to try and make it work. The handling left something to be desired so I wouldn't trust them with anything fragile.
We stopped half way at a truck / bus stop for just enough time to visit the bathroom and grab a snack before we were off again.
It took close to five hours to reach Sihanoukville from Phnom Penh on the bus. We believe it had a lot to do with the amount of traffic in Phnom Penh itself. It took a good hour and a half just to leave the big city. Once you're out of Phnom Penh the pace picks up a lot.