How to Travel From Saigon to Cambodia

Mekong river travel
Mekong river travel

Ho Chi Minh City, or Saigon as it was known before the end of the Vietnam War, is bound to Cambodia by their common history as part of the French Indochinese Empire. The Mekong River also binds Cambodia and Saigon together, as the river flows from Cambodia and through southern Vietnam to reach the sea only 25 miles south of the city. For many travelers, Saigon is the starting or ending point of a southeast Asian vacation that includes destinations in Cambodia, and travelers in Saigon have three major choices for making the trip.

Cambodia Angkor
Cambodia Angkor

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Step 1

Book a flight from Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Saigon to either Phnom Penh or Siem Reap in Cambodia. Flights are available with Vietnam Airlines and Cambodia Angkor Air. Including getting in and out of the airports, travel time is about four hours.

Step 2

Alternately, buy a ticket for an express bus either to the Cambodian border station or to Phnom Penh. The air conditioned express bus from Saigon to Phnom Penh takes six to seven hours, and is usually the cheapest option.

Step 3

Explore the Mekong River by making the trip to Cambodia by boat. Check with a travel agency in Saigon about speedboat trips up the Mekong to Phnom Penh. The typical package consists of a bus trip to Chau Doc in the early morning, boarding a boat and spending the rest of the day on the river. Passengers arrive in Phnom Penh in the early evening. A more leisurely option is a riverboat cruise, lasting anywhere from three to eight days.