Cambodia Trains - Popular Routes & How to Buy TicketsIn Cambodia, road travel is the norm. However, the roads in the major cities of the country stay congested at all times of the day. Even when you leave the cities behind, road travel can be exhausting, as most roads within the country are not well-developed. That’s why a lot of tourists and travellers are choosing to boycott the roads altogether, especially if they want to travel to Takeo, Kampot and Sihanoukville. Instead of road transport, they are choosing the recently revived Cambodia train services.
Cambodia train services were suspended from 2002 to 2016. Fourteen years of no train services in the country left a gaping hole in the country’s transportation system. However, developments were made over those fourteen years and now, both locals and tourists visiting the country can opt for limited train services. At present, Royal Railways operates two alternate trains, the Blue Train and the Yellow Train, on the tracks.
How to Book Cambodia Train TicketsThere are no services for online Cambodia train bookings so far, so you need to buy tickets in person. The best place to make enquiries is at the Phnom Penh station. The station has a ticket office that is open throughout the week: 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM on weekdays and 6:00 AM – 12:00 PM on weekends. If you are unable to make it to the station, then you can call 078 888 583 during the aforementioned hours to get information regarding Cambodia train timings and ticket fares.
In case you need to book tickets from Kampot, Sihanoukville or Takeo, you can visit the railway stations there for information. If you want confirmed seats, it’s best to go and reserve seats at least two days before your planned date of journey. Also, keep an eye out for public holidays on the horizon. Not only are bookings made earlier before holidays and festivals, but trains carry only a hundred passengers each during public holidays.
Here’s the regular Cambodia train time-table for trains plying from Phnom Penh. However, you should always call the helpline number or visit the train station to know if any alterations have been made.
• Fridays: 3 PM – Phnom Penh, 4:30 PM – Takeo, 7:40 PM – Kampot, 10 PM – Sihanoukville
• Saturdays: 7 AM – Phnom Penh, 8:30 AM – Takeo, 11:40 AM – Kampot, 2 PM – Sihanoukville
• Sundays: (1st train) – 7 AM – Phnom Penh, 8:30 AM – Takeo, 11:40 AM – Kampot, 2 PM – Sihanoukville(2nd train) – 4 PM – Phnom Penh, 5:30 PM – Takeo, 8:40 PM – Kampot, 11 PM – Sihanoukville
Ticket prices are in the range of $4 – 8. All payments have to be made in the local currency, i.e., riel.
Why Travel in a Cambodia Train?
• Faster Way to Travel:
Travelling on Cambodian roads can be a troublesome experience. Unless you set out for your destination in the early hours of the morning, you are sure to run into a lot of traffic almost everywhere. Cambodia Trains, however, do away totally with the possibility of road traffic. Even though a Cambodia train’s average speeds are generally lower than those of road vehicles, it still makes travel faster as the tracks cut through the suburbs.
• Timely Arrivals and Departures:
Ever since their revival, Cambodia train services have been very prompt and timely, which makes them the best choice if you want to get to your destination on time. In this regard, road travel can be frustrating, especially during the day, as traffic congestions are sure to delay your journey, sometimes by more than an hour.
• Safer Means of Travel:
Road travel may be the most popular means of getting around the country, but it definitely isn’t the safest. There are frequent accidents on the road from Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville due to the carelessness of speeding motorists. However, when you travel on a train, you can be totally safe from such accidents and travel much more comfortably.
• Carry Your Own Vehicles:
If you want, you can also transport your own vehicles like bicycles, motorcycles and cars on the trains. While bicycles and motorbikes can be carried for a fee of $5 on all trains, you can take cars for $14 on the Blue Train.
The Royal Railways run trains have air-conditioning, which is a boon for travellers who visit Cambodia during its incredibly harsh summers. The toilets aboard all the trains are neat and clean and feature paper towels. Karaoke machines are used to make announcements, which are made in both the local language Khmer and English. In-train food includes instant noodles and you can order water bottles at any time.
Overall, the revived Cambodia train services have really helped both locals and tourists travel across the country smoothly and safely. Boarding the Cambodia train at a few stations may be difficult for people with mobility issues as there may be differences in height between the trains and the platforms. Just ask one of the railway attendants to help you out if you are facing any trouble getting aboard a train.
While there is still a long way to go for Cambodia train services, the existing infrastructure is not too bad. The Phnom Penh – Takeo – Kampot – Sihanoukville line and the Phnom Penh International Airport to the Phnom Penh Railway Station line are the only operational railway routes right now. But with the success of the existing services so far, authorities are further developing the system to provide more options to passengers.
Go ahead and experience Cambodia travel at its finest with Cambodia train services!