How do you get from Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville by train? Quite easily it would appear!
After 14 years of nothing the Royal Cambodian Railways finally reopened the tourist train from PP to Sihanoukville. In tougher times the trains were known to be stopped at gunpoint, but things in Cambodia are better now and the train is quite pleasant!
How do you buy train tickets from in Cambodia?
The Royal Cambodian Railway has its own site which I used to book, although I didn’t receive my tickets by email and had to rely on a photo on my desktop! To be fair it worked. Alternatively buy tickets directly at Phnom Penh Railway Station as they rarely run out (particularly now).
When does the Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville train leave?
At 07.08 on Friday mornings, returning the next day. Tickets are $8 or Rial equivalent. Again check out their site for full schedules.
Leaving Phnom Penh
The railway station is nice enough and in the Center of PP. The waiting area is spacious and there’s old trains you can take pictures of. There’s plenty of shops around to pick up supplies for the journey.
How long does the Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville train take?
It takes a whopping 7 hours! And a good chunk of the journey it’s like being in a car going through downtown Phnom Penh whilst beeping the train horn! A little surreal.
What is the train like to Sihanoukville?
It’s all old French rolling stock and our journey at least only consisted of one carriage (during coronavirus). The driver didn’t even have his door closed. This meant whenever something interesting would happen everyone peering through his door. Relaxing and again unlike your average train trip.
On the way you go through city views, jungles, lakes, beach and lots of other genuinely stunning scenery. The train to Sihanoukville is designed to be enjoyed at leisure, this is no bullet train.
Is there a toilet on the Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville train?
There is! And it’s not a squatty potty! No need to fear knocking bag a few beers on the train. In context much better than on Chinese trains.
Food on the train from Phnom Penh?
There isn’t, but at about 9.50 you stop at Takao Station. Fun fact Takao is the hometown of Ta Mok. There’s lots of vendors here selling eggs and meat on a stick. Takao Street food? Stock up.
The only other stop is Kampot at about 11 am where you can also pick up food. This is a particularly picturesque part of the trip.
Arriving at Sihanoukville Station
You go past some great beach before arriving, but then the reality hits that you’re on a huge Chinese building site! Use PassApp to get to your hotel as the Tuk-Tuk drivers are used to Chinese paying over the odds. Better still get your hotel to pick you up…
Overall I was a fan of the Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville train. It only takes two hours longer than the bus, but with the freedom to move around and truly enjoy amazing Cambodian scenery.