To get from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap, we booked a minivan through our guesthouse. As you might have read in our review about Eighty8 Guesthouse, taking the minibus with City Link was not our first choice. We paid $14 per person, luckily about the same price as we would have paid for our first choice, Giant Ibis.
On the morning of the trip, we were picked up in a minibus at our guesthouse at 7h20, which was included in the price. We were dropped off at the office of City Link Phnom Penh, where we had to wait for about half an hour before we could board the minibus that would take us to Siem Reap.
We were pleasantly surprised with the comfort in the minibus, equipped to seat 12 people (if I remember correctly). The interior looked really nice, we had plenty of leg space, and the chairs were big and comfortable. Just like those times we took a bus in Vietnam, we each got a bottle of water and a wet wipe.
At 9h30 we stopped for 5 minutes for a toilet break and to buy a snack. The friendly man sitting next to us bought a typical Cambodian fruit (don’t remember the name, but it tasted a bit like grapefruit), which he gladly shared with us. In the bus there’s a sign mentioning a speed limit of 75 km/h, but when the road was good, we easily reached 120 km/h. As our neighbour warned, a rather large part of the trip went over a dusty, non-paved road. At times it was so bumpy I almost regretted not wearing a sports bra.
I was joking I hoped the minibus would survive this bumpy trip to Siem Reap. I barely said it when the glass from one of the side windows burst. The driver pulled up at the side of the road and got out of the minibus to take a look at the damage. Our friend translated that this was not the first time this happened. To our surprise, he just pushed all the pieces of the broken window on the ground and took off again.
At 11h20 we stopped for the second time, now 20 minutes for lunch. Suddenly Brecht saw the minibus leave. We saw none of the other passengers around, so we were kind of worried we had missed out on an important piece of information. Maybe we had to take our backpacks out of the minibus, maybe the minibus was being changed for one with all windows intact, maybe this was a scam. All kind of horror stories went through our heads. We were so relieved to see the minibus pulling up again, with a piece of black plastic covering the hole where was once a glass window.
We arrived at 14h at the office of City Link Siem Reap, where a bunch of tuk tuks were waiting to drive the arriving people to their desired destination.
Overall we were satisfied with the City Link minibus that took us from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap. The trip was comfortable, although a bit bumpy at times. According to our Cambodian friend that’s inevitable however, since that’s the only road to Siem Reap. At times the driver drove a bit fast, but we survived. The broken window and the way the driver handled it, is another adventure to add to our list of crazy things we’ve experienced.