Night bus from Ho Chi Minh to Phnom Penh

I was a bit nervous about taking the night bus from Ho Chi Minh to Phnom Penh, since most people take a 6hr day bus from HCMC to Phnom Phen (170k VND) and I wondered whether there would be any other female travellers on the bus. I didn’t have enough time left to take a day bus and so after 2 Vietnamese women had told me that it was safe, I booked the bus for 270k VND.

night bus from vietnam to phnom penhI had to be at the bus office at 11.30pm to fill in the visa information (they really needed a passport photo but luckily they accepted my printed out one) and a guy collected our passports along with $35. I think 4 years ago it was only $20. None of us liked to have to part with our passports but we just had to have faith.
Anyways, I needn’t have to be worried since the majority of the passengers were females in my age.
We boarded the bus at 00.30. This one had two rows of two seats and since the bus was full, I had to sleep next to a stranger on this tiny amount of space. At least it was a nice Spanish girl and during the night with the AC it was ok but during the day it was just too hot to sit so closely.night bus ho chi minh to phnom penh
We reached the border at about 3am and then just parked in front of the gate for three hours. I actually managed to sleep a little. Shortly before 6, food vendors met around our bus on their motorcycles and as soon as the border opened at 6am they went into the border building.
We were woken up and told to go in there, too. I was glad I had kept 3000 VND to take home as a souvenir because the toilet cost 2000.
A group of Asian people received their passports and our bus still waited, no idea where our passports were and the guy who told us to get off the bus was a different one from the one in the evening. But finally, our passports appeared. We could take it, walk across the border and night bus ho chi minh to phnom penhthen had to hand it in again. So far we only got the Vietnamese exit stamp. We still needed the Cambodian visa. We drove to the next building, got off again and 15min later we officially entered Cambodia and our passports were returned to us for good.
What followed then were 5 straining hours in the heat. We passed lovely fields and stilt housesnight bus from ho chi minh to phnom penh and a very broad Mekong river, but I just wanted to get to Phnom Phen. I had a connection to catch at 1pm. No way that I would have made that one if I had taken the first bus at 6.30 in the morning. Especially, since whole Phnom Phen seems to be under construction and for the last hour we only crept forward like a snail. I thought about asking to get off and taking a moto taxi instead.

In the end, I had to take the last bus to Mondulkiri (Sen Monorum) at 1.30pm but therefore had enough time to have a delicious lunch at the nearby Hummus restaurant.
The mini van ride to Mondulkiri was more comfortable but also took longer than they told us and we eventually got there at 8pm in the dark. But the journey was worth it! You can read more about the elephant trekking I did in Mondulkiri in my next post.


What is your experience with border crossings into Cambodia?

Read more about my experiences in Angkor Wat or on an elephant trekking in the northern province of Mondulkiri in my neext post.

4 Replies to “Night bus from Ho Chi Minh to Phnom Penh”

  1. What is the name of your night bus? Can we book online? I want to take the night bus too, from HCMC to PP. Is it safe?

    1. I just went from travel agency to travel agency until I was satisfied with a bus. It was “Sapaco Tourist”. I don’t know if you can book online. I also heard good things about Mekong Express and Mai Linh Express.

  2. I was really searching and searching if really there’s a night bus from Saigon to Phnom Penh. I was glad I found this one. Very Helpful! God Bless!

    1. I’m glad this could be of use 🙂 It’s quite an experience to ride horizontally on a bus 🙂

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