Sihanoukville To Kampot: Best Ways To Travel On A Budget

Come check out how to travel from Sihanoukville to Kampot. I will compare the bus, minivan, train, and plane choices to let you know which exactly is the best option!

Once you are done exploring the incredible islands in Cambodia, it is time to travel inland from Sihanoukville to Kampot. This is a beautiful chill and quaint town that is well worth visiting.

It also perfectly breaks up the journey from Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville or vice versa. I made my way here prior to visiting Phnom Penh and it was the perfect way to reintroduce myself back into the busy city life after living beachside for the past week.

Luckily it is super easy to travel from Sihanoukville to Kampot.

You may be surprised to learn that Kampot has a pretty awesome backpacker scene. Seriously, there is some super awesome hostel here, whether that is luxe amenities, a riverside location, or even a waterpark!

It’s no wonder this is such a popular spot with travelers. You will also be able to find some delicious restaurants, interesting things to do, and no doubt make plenty of memories during your stay.

So now you have been convinced to visit Kampot, let’s talk about how to travel from Sihanoukville to Kampot. You may be surprised to learn about all the different options available!

You will be spoilt for choice, whether that is by plane, train, bus, or minivan I will explain all the details of each option, allowing you to book confidently. Now let’s get into how to travel from Sihanoukville to Kampot.

Train2.5 hoursfrom $25.00Fun and local experience
Private Transfer2 hoursfrom $40.00Super comfortable journey
Bus3 hoursfrom $8.00More comfortable than a minivan

Sihanoukville To Kampot: All Ways To Travel

Sihanoukville To Kampot Distance

You will be happy to learn the distance from Sihanoukville to Kampot is approximately 100 kilometers. This is relatively short compared to the rest of the journeys you are likely going to take while backpacking Cambodia. The roads are also pretty decent, and the majority of the way will be on paved highways.

Though in saying that sometimes the roads are not the safest. Personally, I haven’t had any accidents, but I have heard plenty of stories from other travelers, and when you are on the roads it is easy to see why.

It is a mixture of buses, huge lorry trucks, and families on motorbikes, and everyone is trying to overtake each other. No doubt you will have one ‘what the fuck’ moment.

The deciding factor that will sway you on whether to take a bus, private transfer, plane, or train will depend on your budget and how long you have to complete the journey.

Sihanoukville To Kampot Travel Time

Luckily the travel time from Sihanoukville to Kampot is relatively short, though the type of transport you decide to book will affect how long it takes to travel this route.

Private Transfer: Taking a private transfer will allow you a bit more freedom in terms of stop-offs etc. A private transfer will take you around 2 hours.

Bus: The bus journey from Sihanoukville to Kampot will take approximately 3 hours. This is simply because a bus travels slower than a taxi or minivan.

Train: I love taking trains, and why not take this route it is just two and a half hours. Even though travel by train here is super slow it is a unique experience you may not bother with doing elsewhere in the country. Depending on what type of carriage you book you may find it a more comfortable journey than other options.

Limo Van: The Limo Van is slightly quicker than taking a bus at just 2 and a half hours. This is generally because you are in a smaller vehicle so it is easier to serve in and out of traffic along the highway.

Flight: Unfortunately flying is not an economic option here. Even though there is an airport in Sihanoukville there isn’t one in Kampot.

taking a boat in kampot along the river
taking a boat in kampot along the river

Fly From Sihanoukville To Kampot

Duration: N/A Cost: N/A

Let’s get the easiest one out of the way first, it is not possible to fly from Sihanoukville to Kampot. Actually, the closest airport to Kampot is that of Sihanoukville so you will need to catch some sort of overland transport the remaining distance.

Private Transfer From Sihanoukville To Kampot

Duration: 2 hours

Cost: $40.00 – $60.00 per car

Usually, a private transfer can be quite costly, though since it is only a short 2-hour drive from Sihanoukville to Kampot it is actually a surprisingly affordable way to make this journey.

This becomes even more affordable if you are traveling in a group and have other people you can split the cost with. This is no doubt the fastest way if you are traveling overland, and the highway creates a smooth and relatively straightforward journey.

The exact amount it will cost will depend on whether you need a standard sedan for up to 4 people or a minivan for large groups. Either way, prices begin at around $40.00 and go up from there. Something else that will affect this is your bargaining skills, as you will no doubt be able to negotiate a decent price.

You will also want to make sure that the car has air conditioning so it can be a relaxing ride. One thing to be aware of is the amount of room in the trunk and whether that will fit 4 individual suitcases, depending on how much you travel with you may find that it is more suitable to hire a larger vehicle.

If you are looking at a private transfer I recommend booking in advance online with 12.Go Asia.

Bus From Sihanoukville To Kampot

Duration: 3 hours

Cost: $8.00 per person

Often times taking a bus isn’t the most enjoyable journey, though luckily the distance is relatively short and super affordable meaning it shouldn’t be too painful of a ride. This is a common method of transport for travelers making this route, especially backpackers on a budget.

Be aware there are only two operations working the journey from Sihanoukville to Kampot. These are Champa Mekong or CTT Transportation. You need to know that neither of these companies has great reviews.

Though this is often due to issues such as the bus not running to schedule and rude staff. The best way to get around this is to ignore the staff and leave your plans relatively open for the day.

There used to be more companies that operated this route such as Mekong Express and the Giant Ibis, which are well connected domestically in Cambodia and to the neighboring countries of Vietnam and Thailand. Though these were closed down due to decreased visitors in Sihanoukville and Covid.

Out of Champa Mekong and CTT Transportation, the best company to book with is actually Champa Mekong. This is simply due to the fact that their bus station is a relatively easy walk from the Sihanoukville city center and they drop you off right in the center of Kampot.

You will also find plenty of minivan operators servicing this route from Sihanoukville to Kampot. They will charge $5.00 for the journey, though be aware to maximise their profits they will squish everyone onboard like sardines. Therefore don’t expect the most comfortable ride.

Bus Schedule From Sihanoukville To Kampot

Here is the bus schedule departing from Sihanoukville to Kampot. Of course, there are more companies than just those I have listed. Though this is just a selection of the two mains listed above.

BusDeparture TimesLengthPrice
CTT Transportation10:00 & 13:303hfrom $8.00
Champa Mekong08:00, 11:00, 13:30 & 15:30333hfrom $8.00

How To Book Tickets

Booking your travels in Cambodia is super easy, including from Sihanoukville to Kampot. Personally, I have always used 12.Go Asia throughout all my travels in Southeast Asia and never had an issue.

Here you can see what other travelers have said about certain routes with particular companies. Then you can just book your ticket through their website and they will email you a copy. It’s super easy!

The other option is to head to a nearby travel agency or through your hotel once you are in Sihanoukville. Though to be honest you really don’t want to spend any longer than necessary in Sihanoukville, and therefore not want to shop around.

They will just book you on whatever is available and what they make a decent commission on. So not necessarily always the best or most comfortable journey.

Where Does The Bus Pick You Up & Drop You Off

Depending on the bus company you decide to book with it is likely they will drop you off somewhere different. Therefore make sure you find out this information before booking this journey.

CTT Transportation Pick Up: CTT Transport Office In Sihanoukville

Drop Off: Opposite the Kampot New Bus Station in the city centerChampa Mekong: Pick Up: Golden Star Inn, Madux Street, Sihanoukville Drop Up: The Old Market in Kampot

sunset over the river in kampot
sunset over the river in kampot

Train From Sihanoukville To Kampot

Duration: 2.5 hours Cost: $25.00

Even though the trains in Cambodia are notorious for being slow, poorly maintained, and lacking in stops at main destinations, if you were to do any route I recommend this one between Sihanoukville and Kampot. Being only 2 and a half hours the journey is relatively easy and straightforward.

I do love taking trains, and I know I am not the only one in the world who thinks this. Oftentimes it is all about the journey and a local method of transportation like this is a great way to see the country and experience the landscapes.

Honestly, the most difficult part is getting to the train station. It is located about 3 kilometers out of the city so you will need to take a tuk tuk which generally costs $5.00- $10.00 depending on your haggling skills.

Unfortunately, the same goes in Kampot as well where the train station isn’t within walking distance of the tourist center. Instead, you will need to take a taxi or tuk-tuk for ten minutes, which again will set you back another $5.00 to $10.00.

Luckily the train itself is actually pretty decent and operates this route. The carriages are comfortable and have air conditioning, electrical sockets, and TVs playing reruns of old shows. Also if you have a motorbike or bicycle you can bring these as well for $5.00 or $2.00 respectively.

One thing to remember is the train doesn’t operate every day. Here is the schedule in the below table:

DaysDeparture TimesLengthPrice
Monday07:002.5hfrom $7.00
Saturday07:002.5hfrom $7.00
Sunday07:00 & 16:002.5hfrom $7.00

FAQ’s About Traveling From Sihanoukville To Kampot

How many days to spend in Kampot? Kampot is a quaint little town and a popular backpacker hang out while exploring the country. There are a few things to do here and some awesome tours in Kampot worth checking out, but it isn’t somewhere you would decide to hunker down for a week.

Personally, I think either 2 or 3 nights is perfect for someone wishing to experience the best Kampot has to offer. As it is also relatively close to the neighboring cities of Sihanoukville or Phnom Penh you can still spend half a day here before catching your onward transportation.

How far in advance do I need to book tickets? It is recommended you book tickets in advance to ensure you can travel with a reputable, clean and safe company. You should try for at least a week in advance to be safe. Though if you are not worried about this then you can probably just book the day before.

Booking through 12.Go Asia is perfect for those busy periods as you can book when you haven’t even arrived in the country yet! This means you can relax knowing all the planning is taken care of.

Where To Stay In Kampot

Kampot is a relatively small chill place, though you will still be spoilt for choice when it comes to accommodation. There are some really cute riverside lodges, backpacker hostels, and modern hotels.

We stayed at a small guesthouse a 10 or so-minute walk away from the action of the city. Though it doesn’t seem to still be open, and that is not the worst thing. Honestly, I wouldn’t have recommended it with barely working air conditioning, even though you pay extra for it, hard as rock beds, and nonexistent wifi.

In all honesty, we spent the majority of our time next door at a hostel called The Magic Sponge. This is a popular backpacker spot that has everything a traveler needs such as a clean place to sleep and freakin delicious huge meals. This spot has a truly homely feel.

I know if I were to visit Kampot again I would definitely spend a night or two in one of the riverside bungalows. Seriously there are some awesome eco-friendly spots here so if you are looking for a unique accommodation experience in Cambodia I definitely recommend trying in out in Kampot.

little friendlys freedom place

The Magic Sponge

A homely backpacker hangout with plenty of onsite activities. Prices start from $20.00 per night.

chill riverside hostel

Karma Traders Kampot

Another awesome hostel for travelers looking to relax. Hang poolside on a budget with dorms starting from $6.00 per night.


Eden Eco Village

Enjoy riverside serenity in this cute spot. With prices starting from $25.00 per night you must check this one out!

villa pumalin

Bamboo Bungalow

Another beautiful riverside spot in unique bamboo cabins. Rooms start from $30.00 per night.


Things To Do In Kampot

Kampot is a cute and quiet little town to hang out in for a few days. Luckily enough there is also an assortment of things to do here for all types of travelers. Here is a quick breakdown of the most popular:

Pepper Farm Visit: I know it does sound a bit random, but you may be surprised to learn Kampot is well known for its pepper. One popular thing to do here in Kampot is visit La Plantation Pepper Farm.

You will be guided through the black pepper forests as you sample and learn all about the produce. You will need to pay for a tuk-tuk there, though the tours are actually free of charge. Even better is that there is a restaurant on site serving up the freshest dishes.

Cruise On The Kampot River: For a chill evening head down to the river by the old colonial bridge and jump on one of the boats to enjoy a cold drink and some epic views. Watch the sunset dip below the jungle as nightfalls and fireflies fill the sky. This is certainly a unique experience and one I recommend doing while in the city.

Arcadia WaterPark: Also a hostel, this is a popular spot with travelers looking to cool off. Grab a cold beer, have a game of beer pong, and be flung off the giant blob. There is even a floating pontoon with a 3-meter diving board.


Come check out how to travel from Sihanoukville to Kampot. I will compare the bus, minivan, train, and plane choices to let you know which exactly is the best option!

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. So, if you click on it and purchase something, I get a small percentage at no extra cost to you. As always all opinions are my own and your support is much appreciated.

Photo credit: “KHV A321-200 At Spot V2” (CC BY 2.0) by Ken H.“Giant Ibis” (CC BY 2.0) by Michael Coghlan. “The elegant PP Train Station” (CC BY 2.0) by Shankar S

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