FLYING TO CAMBODIA
Perhaps you’ve become interested in a tour and decide to search for flights to Cambodia. You go to your favorite travel search engine, type “To: Siem Reap/Phnom Penh” and watch in shock as the engine brings back results that cost thousands of dollars. Don’t despair! Flight ticket searching is like an art form and there are certain tricks to getting to Cambodia that help bring the price down.
TIP #1: Search in and out of hubs
When it comes to long distance flights to remote destinations it is best to search for tickets to a nearby air traffic hub. Cambodia is fortunate to be located in the centre of the core Asian hubs that include Bangkok, Taiwan, Seoul, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Hong Kong.
Each one of these destinations enjoys a healthy number of both small and large international airlines from all parts of the globe so it is easy to fly in and out regardless of your location. What’s more is that most of these hubs offers affordable low-cost flight options into Phnom Penh and/or Siem Reap, which brings us to the next tip.
TIP #2: Search for connections with low-cost carriers
Travel search engines do not typically include the low-cost local carriers in their search. You will need to go the airline’s own website to look for deals from your chosen hub destination to Cambodia. The following is the list of low-cost airlines serving such routes:
Bangkok – Phnom Penh: Air Asia
Bangkok – Siem Reap: Bangkok Airways (this is not a budget airline, but it is the only flight option between Bangkok and Siem Reap); the ultimate budget option for this route, however, is overland by 6-8 hour bus, train, and/or taxi ride
Kuala Lumpur – Phnom Penh/Siem Reap: Air Asia
Singapore – Phnom Penh/Siem Reap: Jet Star
Hong Kong – Phnom Penh: Dragon Air
Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) – Phnom Penh/Siem Reap: Vietnam Airlines; another budget option is to travel overland from HCMC to Phnom Penh by a 4 hour bus.
Note: The majority of travelers who join us in Cambodia buy round trip tickets via Bangkok and then either get low cost flights from there to the starting/ending points of the tour or travel into Cambodia overland.
TIP #3: Don’t forget about going overland!
There are overland options in/out of Siem Reap via Bangkok and in/out of Phnom Penh via HCMC for budget conscious travelers or looking to save on carbon footprints. In addition, if your tour is one that starts in Siem Reap and ends in Phnom Penh (like our annual PEPY Ride cycling tour across Cambodia) remember that you can easily travel overland between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. The bus costs in the range of $5 – $10 between the two cities and takes roughly 6 hours, while a share or private taxi will come to about $55 for the whole car and save you about an hour on the drive. We recommend the bus, but you should note that there are also flights between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap on Bangkok Airways and Angkor Airways, which cost up to $85 each way and only take 35 minutes of air time.
TIP #4: Check with a (specialized) travel agent
If you live in a large urban centre, contact your local travel agent specializing in the region (like Thai or Singaporean agencies) as they might have access to special deals other agents do not know about. Also, check directly with the airline flying the route to see if they have any current or upcoming sales that might not be reflected on consolidators’ websites.
In the US we recommend Anthony Travel for your flight needs. Keep in mind, using a travel agent has a lot of perks. Agents can help you search through flights, book you changeable options, get you extra upgrades, and handle your unplanned flight changes later if you need them. As such, they charge a small fee for this service, usually $30-ish. We think it is unfair to have a travel agent do all of the work in searching out the best flights for you, checking alternatives, and putting many hours into your inquiry and then have you go and buy the exact same flight online for $25 less. We kindly ask that if you call either one of these fabulous travel agents to get a quote and what they come back with gets you interested in the flight enough for you to ask them to spend time to do more research, please value that time and book with them!
Tip #5: Don’t forget to ask our tour coordinator!
Check with the tour coordinator when you book your tour to confirm the start/end locations and to find out what timing makes sense when booking flights or overland transport. Remember, when it comes to Cambodian travel options, your trip coordinator can help book bus tickets, arrange cars, and even book domestic flight travel. Just ask!
You can contact our tour coordinator through the contact us page or at email@example.com.