Battambang to Siem Reap by boat

There are several ways to travel from Battambang to Siem Reap, by road (bus or taxi), helicopter (just kidding), and by boat. The former is faster, cheaper, and arguably safer; so, you may wonder why I went for the latter, which is longer (about 10 hours), more expensive ($20), and probably less safe.


There are different answers, but overall the main reason is the scenery; even more so if you have already taken the bus while travelling in Cambodia. First and second bus ride is great, but at some point is it the same thing and I thought I might as well try to see something different. It is twice the price of the bus, but then you go through the river, see floating villages, and observe how people live. I think it is a fantastic experience and gives you a chance to see part of Cambodia not many people see.

The journey last for approximately eight hours including a lunch break, the boat was in good condition and had toilets, as well.


The living style on the river depends on the watercourse. On the river course, you’ll see people washing up themselves, for the most part you see kids just relaxing, swimming, and occasionally waving and smiling at you. Fishing is obviously a major activity and I would assume the major revenue resource for folks living along the river.

When you get to a wider part of the river or to the lake you will go through floating villages. The lunch break is at one of the floating village. The food is fantastic as usual, I had rice with pork and dried fish; because I was super cool dude, they even gave me free papaya, and Ice tea.

Contrary to my first thought the boat is not only for tourists, locals use it as well; it means the boat will stop once in a while to pick and drop people.


Although it is a very nice trip, at some point it gets boring, it feels like you’ve seen it all, the forest, the boat, the fisherman; luckily it means you only have few hours left. If you do this trip, it is because you just want to relax and chill. If you are on a rush, or you are the complaining type, it might be wise to take the bus.

Bottom line is I recommend the trip for the adventurer although it is light adventure (like really light); the cool guy or gal who just want to chill on the boat and say hi to kids on the river; for whoever that already took the bus and probably want to see something else.

I arrived in Siem Reap around 3-4pm. At the Siem Reap Ferry/Boat station many tuk tuk, taxi driver will bring you to the city where you most likely booked your hotel, or going to look for one. If you do not have one, just tell the tuk tuk driver your price range, and he will find one for you.