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Inquiry Submission By Chell00

Greetings

Just wanted to quickly share my experience with the Night Bus…. myself, a friend and my three kids (gasp) ages 15, 12 and 8 took the night bus from SR to PP… partially for the experience (I’ve always been one to want to experience the (legal) things that they say “tourists” shouldn’t do and partially to save a few hundred bucks on air fare with a flight that had a much more favorable connection back to Singapore….

Since I’m not completely insane (read many reviews not to take night bus, but my boss who had just returned said you have to do it once in your life… they actually got in an accident in the day, so he said the night bus was better for him… said if you hit someone on a scooter at night (they did), you’re not sitting on the side of the road in the blazing heat for hours like they were… i tried not to think about this part of the advice whenever i got in a vehicle in Cambodia :$ ) so i did some research on the best companies) we went with Giant Ibis (they have a high safety record, have two drivers on all longer haul trips, and limit speeds at which their vehicles can go (supposedly), along with having luxuries like wifi aboard)… the cost was 15US pp and we booked top bunks in advance for the 11:30 bus out of SR…

the terminal is an interesting open air experience with a few bus seats rather than benches for waiting passengers… we arrived before the 11pm bus left… it looked newer/a little nicer… the beds were not fully flat… the 11:30 bus was a bit older, but had lying flat beds…

you remove your shoes before you get in, put them in a bag they provide, and you are not supposed to eat aboard the bus (my kids had already finished a bag of chips before finding this out)…. there’s no storage place for your personal belongings on the 11:30 bus, we put our bags at our feet and slept with valuables near our heads… there’s no divider between the beds, one side has 2 bunk beds side by side/nearly attached, the other side is single bunks… if you book one of the doubles and you are alone, you may end up next to a stranger… (apparently the 11pm bus separates the double beds a little better, but it is still not divided)

the ride was uneventful, any chatter that was happening while we were departing ceased as soon as they turned off the lights about 5 min into the ride… passengers seemed to be essentially all foreigners…. wifi worked on and off… the kids slept solidly thru to the end, I drifted in and out… for whatever reason (guessing cigarette breaks for the drivers?) we made at least 4-5 stops… in the end, we safely arrived at dawn in PP…

the biggest issue for me was thinking that there would be luggage storage at the bus terminal in PP, which is definitely locked at 5:30/6am… we booked a cheap room private room in a hostel ($15US) to shower/rest before our 9pm flight…. but the front desk wasn’t staffed until 7:30 so we had our tuk tuk drivers take us to a Brown’s Coffee to eat and wait… i think, if you do not have a concrete plan for when you arrive, this is the most complicated part… but in the end it all worked out okay… not ideal, but okay…

i know many say not to take the night bus, I won’t say they are 100% safe, there apparently has been some issues… but will say that it was an effective way to get us from point A to point B and a different experience… am glad i have checked it off the list of things that are out there to do…

i know this is a bit of hot topic… will likely not be back to argue, just sharing my experience for those who are interested in what it is like…. all i could find when i searched here on TA was a plethora of warnings…

that said, since the warnings are out there, travel at your own risk!