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3 Ways to Get from Vietnam to Cambodia (2024/2025): By Boat, By Plane, By Road

3 Ways to Get from Vietnam to Cambodia (2024/2025): By Boat, By Plane, By Road

By RitaUpdated Feb. 21, 2024

A trip to Vietnam and Cambodia is one of the popular combos in Southeast Asia. Vietnam and Cambodia are neighboring countries, offering karst seascapes and landscapes, the rustic Mekong Delta, the marvelous Angkor Wat, and much more.

To cross the border from Vietnam to Cambodia, broadly speaking, you can choose from three ways: by boat, by plane, or by road. No international trains are available between these two countries yet.

  • Flying is the most convenient way and takes just 1–2 hours.
  • Travelling by ferry from Chau Doc (3 hours from HCMC) to Phnom Penh is more scenic and interesting. The journey takes only 5 hours, but you have to arrive the day before in Chau Doc. An international Mekong River cruise from 3 nights to 7 nights is a relaxing way to travel between the two countries.
  • If you prefer travelling by road, a 6½-hour HCMC–Phnom-Penh bus journey using the border crossing from Moc Bai (2 hours from Ho Chi Minh City) to Bavet (3½ hours to Phnom Penh) is the most economical way.
transport from vietnam to cambodia Transport from vietnam to cambodia

No matter which way you choose, departing from Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) is the most popular option for time-saving and cost-saving. The most-famous and most-used arrival cities in Cambodia are Siem Reap and Phnom Penh.

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1. Vietnam to Cambodia by Boat

Traveling by boat is another way to unveil the beauty of the Mekong River. You can take a 5-hour ferry or a 3–7-day international cruise.

1) Ferries from Chau Doc to Phnom Penh

Cost: between US$25 and US$65

The 5-hour ferry to Phnom Penh departs from Chau Doc in Vietnam daily at around 7:30 in the morning. From Ho Chi Minh, it takes 5½ hours by road to Chau Doc, so you should stay overnight there ready for the morning ferry.

It takes 3 hours by road from HCMC to Can Tho, the largest floating market in Vietnam. Can Tho to Chau Doc also takes 3 hours by road.

You're suggested to stay overnight in Can Tho (before making the journey to Chau Doc) for appreciating the traditional lifestyle of the Mekong Delta and the authentic floating market's daily trade.

You can check Ho Chi Minh City and Mekong Delta Tours for inspiration or contact us.

2) Vietnam to Cambodia by Mekong Cruise

Cruising the Mekong River could be the icing on the cake for your Vietnam and Cambodia trip. Watch sunrises/sunsets with crafted cocktails, discover local villages and taste fresh fruits in the orchard, board a sampan to explore the fascinating Cai Rang floating market, and enjoy the stunning scenery at a relaxing riverboat pace...

You have two options for the cruise:

  • The 3-night, 4-day trip between Ho Chi Minh and Phnom Penh
  • The 7-night, 8-day trip between Ho Chi Minh and Siem Reap

Which cruise company to choose? The Mekong Princess is strongly recommended. It departs every Thursday from Saigon or Siem Reap alternative.

Mekong River Cruise
Mekong Princess
  • It departs directly from Saigon Port (just about 5 minutes' transfer from the city centre). Most other cruises will depart from My Tho/ Can Tho City, which is about 3 hours' drive from Ho Chi Minh.
  • With just 14 rooms, you could enjoy more private service and stunning views as all rooms have views of the river.
  • It is designed with French Colonial style mixed with Vietnam and Khmer culture to bring you an unforgettable experience.

The price for the route between Ho Chi Minh and Siem Reap is from US$1500 per person based on twin share or from US$2000 based on single occupancy. The cruise between Ho Chi Minh and Phnom Penh costs less by US$200-300 per person for the whole journey. Contact us for the exact schedule and price details.

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2. Vietnam to Cambodia Flights

Flying from Vietnam to Cambodia is the fastest and most convenient way. It takes around 2 hours from Hanoi to Siem Reap or Phnom Penh. Departing from Ho Chi Minh takes less time by around 30 minutes.

The airfare starts from US$90 for an economy-class ticket in the low season (July to September). The price might double in the peak season (October to March).

Confused about choosing the best transportation connections? Just share your interests and requirements with us. Our travel consultant will tailor-make an itinerary for you.

3. Vietnam to Cambodia by Road

The slowest option is to travel overland. Vietnam shares seven border crossings with Cambodia and many provide a Visa on Arrival service.

The most popular crossing is Moc Bai, Vietnam – Bavet, Cambodia. By bus, you need at least 6½ hours by land: from Ho Chi Minh it's 2 hours to Moc Bai and then around 4½ hours on to Phnom Penh including the border crossing (about 1 hour).

Taking a private transfer is the most comfortable and convenient option, costing from US$300 per car, and it's a bit quicker too. Contact us for more info.

Buses are the most affordable, costing US$20–35. When passing through immigration, you'll need to get off the bus (change bus) and carry/wheel all your luggage with you.

Direct Buses/Flights from Ho Chi Minh to Siem Reap

Direct buses are not available from Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap at present. Check with our travel expert if interested, as they may be reopening in time for your trip.

You're suggested to fly to Siem Reap directly. Direct flights from HCMC take around 1½ hours and US$100+ for economy class in low season (May to November).

The blend of alluring café culture, the charming royal palace, and colonial buildings makes a stopover in Phnom Penh worthwhile, however. After 1–2 nights in Phnom Penh, fly to Siem Reap for the "Khmer Smile" in Angkor Wat.

Visa Requirements to Enter Cambodia

A Visa on Arrival is an available option at most border crossings to Cambodia. The cost is around US$35 per person. To get the visa, you should prepare and bring 2 passport-sized photos, or you could pay an additional US$2–5 if you don't have the photos. Based on our experience, some officials might take an additional service charge (US$1–10) when you enter Cambodia using a Visa on Arrival.

If you would like to avoid this hassle, you can apply for an e-visa in advance online (single entry with a maximum stay of 30 days).

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