As I was sitting on a six hour bus ride the other day with absolutely nothing to do, I began to ponder this terrific waste of time. If you are catching a bus to someplace for the first time, then it's a little interesting, but when you are on a bus trip that you have actually done many times, it's simply dead time unless you have a book to read, some work to do, or you enjoy seeing movies with voice dubbing. I have acquired an in depth understanding about many of the bus services that operate the flat as a pancake run from Phnom Penh to Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) and back.
Airplane or bus?
The air travel is generally around $165USD minimum and takes fifty minutes or so. The bus expenses in between $8 and $12 and takes six hours generally, so you are paying $1.02 for each minute of the one hundred and fifty minutes you are starting saving.
Bus-lines ranked by record
Mekong Express Lmousine Bus (8/10) $12.
Mekong Express were one of the first Cambodian companies to do this run. They have some older Japanese buses (Mitsubishi, Nissan, Hino) that they have actually painted an attractive orange and white color. The buses, while a little old are kept spick-and-span. They have a toilet on board to the back of the bus which is the product that causes them to lose a point in my evaluation. Probably because the buses are a little old, the toilet in some cases releases some nasty odors into the cabin. Asides from this though, they are a smooth operation. They are well arranged when you arrive to examine in. They tag your bag and give you the number to recover it at the other end. They offer seats for waiting. They faithfully examine to make sure that you have a legitimate visa. Then when the bus shows up, the well dressed bus guide, will reveal you to your seat. When you are stopping for a meal break or going through the in some cases complicated border procedure, this guide is normally a good communicator and this is practical. This company is without a doubt the most trustworthy. You can see the staff getting extremely stressed if their departure is delayed by more than 5 minutes where other business generally stretch it to try and get a couple of more clients or await some moron that couldn't arrive on time. The dependability and service might discuss why there are commonly a great deal of Cambodians using this bus to take a trip to Vietnam for medical treatment. The Cambodian crowd that you meet on this bus are typically well mannered and friendly. The bus leaves from O'Russey market in Phnom Penh generally and completes it's trip in Pham Ngu Lao HCMC. Tickets can be brought through hotels and representatives everywhere.
Sapaco Tourist 7/10 $12.
This is the Vietnamese equivelant to the Mekong Express. They have newish Samco/Hino buses that are rather comfy. They have a toilet in the middle of the bus (sunken a little into the floor with steps). These guys do about 7 buses every day in both directions and are the first choice for the Vietnamese travelers (primarily company tourists). These buses are frequently full. Where the Mekong Express personnel are mild and adorably over-polite, the Sapaco personnel are usually gruff, but effective (a cultural thing). There are normally an over-supply of these personnel, dressed in blue employees t-shirts and blue jeans. The English and Khmer language skills aren't great, and they do not tell you a lot about what is happening or exactly what to anticipate next. They just sort of grunt and point. They constantly inspect your passports for a legitimate visa and will mostly leave on time. If they don't then they offset it with the most likely quicker, newer bus. The bus leaves from Olympic Stadium area in Phnom Penh usually and completes it's trip in Pham Ngu Lao HCMC. Tickets can be brought through hotels and representatives everywhere.
Malinh Express/ Malinh Traveler 6.5/ 10 $9-10.
They do everything from micro taxis, to big buses and everything in between. The buses are normally nice new Hyundais without a toilet which means that they stop periodically for a toilet break. The staff don't typically speak much English or Khmer, but they typically attempt to be practical by handing you a fake-silk pillow to rest your head on.
The bus leaves from Olympic Arena area in Phnom Penh usually and finishes it's trip in Pham Ngu Lao HCMC. Tickets can be brought through representatives and hotels all over.
Kumho Samco 6/10 $11.
Odd name, nice bus. I recently found this bus services returning from Saigon. They have newish Samco/Hino buses withe the toilet in the middle of the automobile. They have actually lowered the seating ability to 32people, consequently providing some good extra legroom and seats that recline a long way. The staff were nice enough, however entirely disorganised at the start. They enhanced when we reached the border. The main disadvantages where that they left twenty 5 minutes late since they were waiting for a passenger that was a friend of among the personnel as well as that the volume on the entertainment system was too high. Their taste in voice dubbed films was also terrible, but hey, absolutely nothing new there. The bus leaves from somewhere in Phnom Penh normally and finishes it's trip in Pham Ngu Lao HCMC. Tickets can be brought through agents and hotels in some locations. I think this company is badly managed, however they have good buses:-RRB-.
Phnom Penh Sorya 168 Bus Services 6/10 $6-7.
You get exactly what you pay for. These individuals are OKAY, they are simply a cheapo bus company. Ageing Hyundai buses, sometimes with doors that do not close effectively. The personnel are typically handy, friendly, however very disorganised. They in some cases have a toilet and in some cases don't. departure punctuality isn't bad, but they are not negative to trawling along the way for more clients. The bus leaves from Central market in Phnom Penh normally and finishes it's journey in Pham Ngu Lao HCMC. Tickets can be brought through hotels and agents all over.
Van Rec Co 5/10 $6-7.
Aging buses that they drive like fighter airplanes. If you are in a rush, great. Starts? lands? I flagged it down on the bridge over the Bassac river. It dropped in an area of HCMC that I am not familiar with. I just got onto a motorbike taxi.
Paramount Angkor Express 2/10 $10-12.
These guys draw. I have actually tried them a couple of times since they have double deckers with lots of space for freight (which I often have a little) where they have gotten rid of seats. The first time I tried them, their bus left fifteen minutes ahead of schedule and I had to argue for a refund. The 2nd time, the staff invested the whole time cackling their avoid so you could not hear yourself believe. We arrived at the border and they understood they hadn't checked their travelers visas. 2 girls didn't have them (thought they could get them at the border). So they turfed the girls out and said "find a taxi". My final attempt with Para-pathetic Angkor Express failed at the border. The guide was so helpless at getting the tickets stamped, that I fled the scene. I already had mine and I might hear that he had actually lost a few of the arrival types. After half an hour, I walked and grabbed a public bus on the Vietnam side.
There it is folks. I hope my understanding on this unknown matter will assist somebody in their quest for a smooth bus ride in between these 2 cities.
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If you are catching a bus to someplace for the very first time, then it's a little fascinating, but when you are on a bus ride that you have actually done numerous times, it's just dead time unless you have a book to read, some work to do, or you delight in watching movies with voice dubbing. When the bus shows up, the well dressed bus guide, will show you to your seat. The bus leaves from O'Russey market in Phnom Penh generally and finishes it's trip in Pham Ngu Lao HCMC. The bus leaves from Olympic Arena location in Phnom Penh typically and completes it's trip in Pham Ngu Lao HCMC. The bus leaves from Central market in Phnom Penh generally and finishes it's trip in Pham Ngu Lao HCMC.