Getting from Siem Reap Airport to City and Angkor Wat: Taxi, Tuk Tuk and Motorbike
Siem Reap Tuk Tuk Price
» Tuk Tuk Price from Siem Reap Airport to City
» Tuk Tuk Cost in Siem Reap City
» Tuk Tuk Price to Angkor Wat
Siem Reap Taxi Cost
» Taxi from Siem Reap Airport to Town
» Siem Reap Taxi Cost in City Centre
Motorbike Rental Siem Reap
» Rent a Scooter in Siem Reap
I have given some Cambodia Travel Tips in the previous article before coming to the country. The next useful tip is three modes of Siem Reap Transport – taxi, tuk-tuk and motorbike/scooter rental. You can then make an informed decision about the price and which transport to choose when visiting Siem Reap.
As Cambodia is one of the Least Developed Countries (LDC) in the world, it comes as no surprise that there is no public transport like trains or buses in the country. We had a free airport transfer from the hotel that we booked – Royal Crown Hotel & Spa. The distance from Siem Reap Airport to City is 20 to 30 minutes by car.
Check with your hotel or hostel whether they can arrange free (or paid) airport transport to come and pick you up. Many hotels provide free airport transfer service to encourage you to book from them. If there is no such option, then you can get your own from Siem Reap Airport to the city centre or book one of them online in advance. Many drivers promote their companies or themselves online.
Before driving off, we bought Cambodia SIM cards outside the airport before moving off. You may be interested to find out the cost and comparison between a few mobile operators in Cambodia.
The first and cheapest option among all the transports is Siem Reap tuk tuk, also what the locals call a ‘Remork’ or ‘Remorque’ in French. The tuk tuk motor is an improvised motorised 3-wheeler rickshaw first invented in Thailand more than 50 years ago. However, there is still some dissimilarity between the tuk-tuk in Cambodia and Thailand.
The cabin of the tuk tuk Cambodia is connected to a detachable scooter. Thus, making it a 4-wheeler transport pulled by a motorbike. When it rains, only the passengers have a roof over their head in the tuk-tuk but not for most of the drivers. On the contrast, the tuk-tuk drivers in Thailand sit inside the cabin together with the passengers. Despite any adverse weather conditions, they have the same level of protection as their customers. Tuk tuk in Thailand also has a top marked ‘Taxi’, but I saw none of it in Cambodia so far.
In recent years, the tuk-tuk charges have increased to US$9 per trip from Siem Reap Airport to town to discourage the use of it. You would be better off paying an extra dollar to get a taxi instead so you would not experience dirt and dust on the way to your hotel. Moreover, if you have more than one piece of luggage and not travelling alone, it makes more sense to take a taxi.
Tuk-tuk vehicles cannot enter into the arrival hall in general. You will also get approached by tuk-tuk transport companies or individual selling their services. If you walk towards the carpark, you can find more tuk-tuk drivers with offers way lower than US$9 to go to your hotel. On the other hand, if you take a tuk-tuk from the city centre to Siem Reap airport later, you pay only US$5.
Tuk-tuk Siem Reap fare starts from a minimum of US$2 if the distance is short. We had done it once for a ride less than 1 km. However, I am not sure what is the definition of ‘a short distance’ to a tuk-tuk driver. Therefore, get a quote before hopping into the vehicle as some dishonest drivers may change their fares halfway.
One advice is to get a tuk-tuk driver from your hotel as they know the drivers better and use them regularly. If anything happens, the hotel staffs can contact the driver. The tuk-tuk cost that my hotel quoted me was the same rate as outside. There was no markup of it. I can pay the fare to the driver directly or to the hotel.
The duration of tuk-tuk going to Angkor Wat area from Siem Reap downtown is 20 – 30 minutes. Before that, the driver can bring you to Angkor Wat Ticket Office to buy the entrance tickets first. The price is around US$15 to US$22 per Angkor tour for a small or big circuit. That said, you are likely to pay more if you are visiting two Angkor tour areas on the same day. The quoted prices vary between drivers and also the season. You know if you have been ripped off after receiving quotations way off from the indicative costs.
One Angkor circuit comprising of a few temples visit will take around 3 to 4 hours to complete. The length of time also depends on how long you want to linger in a temple. The tuk-tuk driver will wait for you outside each temple. Taking a tuk-tuk to Angkor Wat is certainly more cost-saving than a taxi if you travel alone. Although tuk-tuk can take up to 4 pax, the space inside the cabin can be cramped for more than two people travelling on a long-distance trip, especially if they are tall and big in size. I would define the tuk-tuk seating capacity meant for ‘Asian size’.
The second option, which is slightly more expensive, but still affordable, is what the locals called a Siem Reap taxi. Even so, it is more like a private hire vehicle like Grab or Uber. I tend to connote the word ‘taxi’ with a LED sign lamp at the top where you can recognise from far and hail a cab on the street. The ‘taxi’ driver in Cambodia drives a private car, and you can’t get them on the road by flagging. Moreover, many of them are self-employed or tag team with others.
So, if one is not free, the other partnering drivers can help to accept those last-minute requests. They are usually from passengers who may decide to extend their services for a day or two. That was what happened to us. The driver had to find his friend to replace him for the last minute extended service of an additional day. Taking a taxi is also another popular choice besides tuk-tuk. Considering the hot and humid weather, or otherwise, a rainy season to shield yourself against these harsh elements.
Selecting a taxi from Siem Reap Airport to City will be the best mean of transport if you have luggage. It will be money spent worthwhile, especially with at least 2 people in a group. It will cost US$10 for a taxi that can take a maximum of 4 passengers. Usually, it is a flat rate and non-negotiable. The taxi journey is about 20 to 30 minutes ride from Siem Reap Airport to town.
Our hotel provided us with just a free one-way transfer from the airport. When we booked a taxi from the hotel back to Siem Reap Airport on the last day, we paid US$10 for it. For a larger group of people more than four, the van will cost US$15 for a one-way trip from Siem Reap Airport to city centre and vice versa. You can find the taxi counter after exiting Siem Reap Airport. Alternatively, you can book a private transfer below ⬇︎ from Siem Reap Airport online which has almost the same rate as that of a taxi.
You can find many taxi companies and independent drivers advertising for their services online. You can also book a cab through the travel agency online. The self-advertised rate online is between US$25 to US$30. It includes a few types of package tours to visit the famous UNESCO Angkor Archaeological Park. Alternatively, you can also customise your own and tell them where to go.
There are many places of interests to visit besides Angkor temples. We found one online at a rate of US$30 per day to our disposal and visited the temples and some other Siem Reap attractions. We booked the driver for 2 days at first. Later, we decided to extend one more day from afternoon to watching a concert in the evening.
If you want to visit remote temples or places of interests far out of Siem Reap city, you may have to pay more than the standard taxi booking rate.
Riding a scooter in Siem Reap is not everyone’s cup of tea. Just look at how disorganised the driving is on the road with no proper road markings and beating red lights. Leave that to the more adventurous souls… but sorry, a tourist can’t rent a motorbike, nor a car for himself in Siem Reap legally. As reported in The Phnom Penh Post in October 2017, there was a ban on it due to high traffic accidents and difficulty in claiming insurance if tourists were involved.
Unlike other cities in Cambodia and even in other South East Asia countries, legitimate motorbike rental is such a norm. Though it may not be surprising for seasoned travellers, it is quite an eye-opener to see 3 to 4 people squeezing on a scooter. Some riders looked so young that I wondered if they had reached the age limit for riding. Nevertheless, such speculation was also an entertaining way to discover a country’s culture.
Although the motorbike rental ban in Siem Reap on tourists was introduced around 2002, many businesses ignored the law. Some were even not aware of the ban due to the slack procedure. The enforcement action follow-up by the government was also lax over the years, resulting in the sprouting of motorbike rental business. Therefore, one can see the prominent advertisements for scooter rental in Siem Reap displayed outside the shop openly.
The rate of the scooter rental in Siem Reap is US10/day, US$50/week and up to US$120/month if you are staying a long time in Siem Reap. The deposit required is usually your passport or your driving license provided you can negotiate to that successfully. Do you dare take the risk by leaving your passport with somebody else? On the contrary, offenders caught flouting the law would risk having their business license revoked.
On a positive note, the ban protects the rice bowl of the hardworking Cambodian in Siem Reap from being snatched away. You can then engage their service to bring you around. If you like to be a pillion passenger instead, you can negotiate a comfortable price with the rider. Though it will be fun sitting on a scooter, the road traffic condition in Siem Reap poses a high risk where you could better off taking a tuk-tuk or a taxi.
Furthermore, you do not know the driver’s skill or the condition of the bike. The risk escalated further when a new law passed in 2016 stated that “drivers do not need any license to ride a motorbike below 125cc” (that applies to locals only). Your motorcycle driver could be one of them…
When we revoke [the requirement of] a driver’s license for motorcycle drivers… We are allowing those drivers to be free to drive a motorcycle without the knowledge of how to drive.
There are a few shops selling liquid in whisky bottles and big mineral bottles on the way in Angkor Archaeological Park. At first, I thought it was some home-brewed tea until our driver said that the bottles of liquid were in fact petrol for the motorcycles and tuk-tuk. What a discovery!
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