The boat trip from Battambang to Siem Reap is one of the most scenic you’ll ever make.
Take a slow boat, not the ‘fast boat’, as the latter is very unpopular with the locals earning a living along the river.
And count on about 8-10 hours for the trip. Don’t complain, take it easy, this is relaxing Cambodia!
The Sangkaer River runs from the mountains southwest of Battambang into the Tonle Sap lake. It makes more sense making the boat trip from Battambang to Siem Reap, rather than the other way around.
Why? Because these boats are not really fast and even less so when they have to sail upstream.
You’ll never forget the beautiful journey on this river.
Boat Trip Details
The route through protected wetlands and narrow waterways makes for a lush scenery, where you’ll get overwhelmed by the tranquility and get a glimpse into the lifes of locals, mostly fishermen.
At points the river is so narrow, you can almost shake hands with people on shore.
Later on, when on the lake, you’ll see life in the floating villages, most of them are inhabited by ethnic Vietnamese.
By the way, you don’t have to stock up on food and drinks as at regular intervals along the river, locals are more than happy to sell you a snack or a drink.
The boats for Siem Reap leave from a bridge in the northeast of Battambang opposite the hospital.
Local touts claim the trip will only last about 4 hours, don’t believe them, it’s usually about 8 hours and can take longer in the dry season when water levels are low.
The scene at the Spean Thmei bridge can be a bit chaotic and confusing, but just stay calm, smile and get on board.
The boat leaves at 7am and the cost for foreigners is US$ 15.
Boat tickets can be bought at all guesthouses and travel agencies around Battambang.
What Do You See?
Pictures say more than a thousand words, so here they are:
Do NOT Sit On The Roof!
Though tempting in the hot climate of Cambodia it’s not wise to sit on the roof. Mind you, you’ll be there for 8-10 hours and even with the strongest sunblock you’ll get severe sunburn. Stay inside and just now and then get out of the cabin. Or when you insist on sitting outside wear an oversized hat, but whether your fellow passengers will appreciate that…
Enjoy the most beautiful boat trip in Cambodia!