We actually wanted to travel from Kampot to Mondulkiri, but a through minivan wasn’t available and so you have to make a connection in Phnom Penh. So we left Kampot this morning and spent most of the day in a minivan. As well, of course, as waiting around in a bus station office as well. We’re heading to the Mondulkiri Elephant Project and as such need to travel there via Phnom Penh. Options are pretty limited when it comes to going from Phnom Penh to Mondulkiri. It’s all road transport. The train doesn’t come up this far and so you’re limited to either a minivan/bus or a private transfer. Here are the different ways to go from Phnom Penh to Mondulkiri, how long they take, how much they cost, and what your choices are. Here’s our guide on how to get to Mondulkiri from Phnom Penh.
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BEST WAY TO TRAVEL
As we were traveling from Kampot to Mondulkiri we decided to take the minivan service for both legs of this journey with the same company. That’s because with needing to connect in Phnom Penh, we didn’t want to be yomping across the city (which is vast these days) to get to another bus company office. There isn’t the idea of central bus stations in Cambodia, so each bus company has its own offices. And they’re not usually close to their competitors. So our journey from Kampot to Phnom Penh needed to be with the same company that was taking us from Phnom Penh to Mondulkiri.
Where is Mondulkiri?
Mondulkiri is a province of Cambodia, the capital of which is called Sen Monorom, and it’s about 375 kilometers (233 miles) from Phnom Penh. So while, yes technically, we are going from Phnom Penh to Sen Monorom, pretty much everyone we’ve met has called it Mondulkiri. That’s in part because while we might, tonight, be staying in Sen Monorom (at the fabulous Route 76 Guest House), we’re actually coming here to spend time at the Mondulkiri Elephant Project. We’re taking a day here with elephants that have been rescued, spending the night in the jungle, and then taking a day-long jungle hike (you can read about our experiences here).
We stayed at the Route 76 Guesthouse the night before we went to the Elephant Project and left our backpacks there when we headed off for the overnight in the jungle, arriving back and staying another night before we left Mondulkiri to go to Siem Reap.
There’s no airport up here and there’s no train line, so you’ll need to take a minivan to get here. Or a private transfer.
How to Go from Phnom Penh to Mondulkiri – Transport Options
There’s not much to say about the options for going from Phnom Penh to Mondulkiri – you can take a van or a private transfer.
How to get to Mondulkiri from Phnom Penh
Unless you’re traveling by private transfer, then the primary considerations of the company that you pick to go from Phnom Penh to Mondulkiri are the time that you want to leave Phnom Penh and their location in Phnom Penh. Or, as in our case, if you’re actually traveling into Phnom Penh to pick up the van to get to Mondulkiri.
Minivans from Phnom Penh to Mondulkiri
It’s 375 kilometers (233 miles) by road from Phnom Penh to Mondulkiri and taking a minivan from Phnom Penh to Mondulkiri will take from 5 hours and 30 minutes to 6 hours plus.
There are 10 buses aka minivans that go from Phnom Penh to Mondulkiri each day and there are 3 different minivan companies that go to Mondulkiri from Phnom Penh. Each of the different company vans departs from its own offices in Phnom Penh and arrives at its own offices in Mondulkiri. Check the map and the details on 12GoAsia as to their location,
It takes about 6 hours to go from Phnom Penh to Mondulkiri by van, and aside from a private transfer, this is the only way to travel.
You’ll likely see several reviews in favor of, or against the different minivan companies in Cambodia. Much of the review depends on the drivers, some of whom are better than others. I think it’s luck of the draw as to who you get, but all the vans we traveled in were comfortable, with A/C that worked, all had seatbelts that worked and we had no close shaves in terms of accidents.
The first minivan of the day from Phnom Penh to Mondulkiri leaves at 07:00 and the last minivan to Mondulkiri from Phnom Penh leaves at 19:45. Check availability, prices, and book seats on minivans from Phnom Penh to Mondulkiri here.
We took the Kim Seng Express to Mondulkiri from Phnom Penh. We’d arrived in their Phnom Penh office about 2 hours before it departed, as the connecting minibus from Kampot. There’s a small mall nearby where you can get lunch.
It was a reasonably comfortable ride if a long day with both of the journeys combined.
There is a late departure from Phnom Penh that goes in a “hotel bus” – although it arrives in Mondulkiri at 03:00 I’m not sure that you’re going to save on accommodation costs for the night unless you plan to just sit around once you arrive!
Taxi from Phnom Penh to Mondulkiri
Taking a private taxi to Mondulkiri from Phnom Penh is the fastest way to go to Mondulkiri, as you’ll get transported from your hotel in Phnom Penh to your hotel in Mondulkiri. Although once you get on the road there’s not much difference in the time it takes to do this journey. However, this is the most comfortable and convenient way to travel from Phnom Penh to Mondulkiri. You can check prices for Phnom Penh to Mondulkiri taxis here.
The quickest way to get from Phnom Penh to Mondulkiri
The quickest way to get to Mondulkiri from Phnom Penh is to take a private transfer. It takes about 6 hours to go to Mondulkiri from Phnom Penh from door to door and you can book a taxi from Phnom Penh to Mondulkiri here.
The cheapest way to go from Phnom Penh to Mondulkiri
The cheapest way to get to Mondulkiri from Phnom Penh is to take a minivan– reserve your seats here.
The most popular way to go from Phnom Penh to Mondulkiri
The most popular way to get to Mondulkiri from Phnom Penh is to take a minivan.
Popular Routes Around Cambodia
If you’re traveling around Cambodia, then check out these popular routes that we’ve taken and written up. You’ll also want to read our guide to transportation in Cambodia.
- How to Go from Phnom Penh to Chau Doc (Cambodia to Vietnam by Boat)
- Go from Kampot to Phnom Penh
- Going from Phnom Penh to Mondulkiri
- How to Go from Sihanoukville to Kampot
- How to go from Mondulkiri to Siem Reap
- How to Go from Siem Reap to Battambang
- Going from Battambang to Phnom Penh
- How to go from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap
- Here’s how to go from Chau Doc to Phnom Penh – Vietnam to Cambodia
Travel Tips for Exploring Cambodia
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- Download and install a VPN BEFORE you travel to Cambodia > discount coupon here
- Arriving by air? Book your airport transfer with Welcome Pickups here.
- Book the best Cambodia tours and guides on Get Your Guide
- Save money in Cambodia with a Wise debit card
- Read about getting around Cambodia in our guide to Cambodian Transport
- Book Buses in Cambodia with 12goAsia
- Book accommodation in Cambodia with Booking
Final Words on How to Go from Phnom Penh to Mondulkiri
The route from Phnom Penh to Mondulkiri is a pretty straightforward journey. It just takes a while to get there! Most people will take one of the minivans that travel this route and there are about 10 of them that go each day. If you want more comfort then your only option is a private transfer.
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