How to Travel by Train in Cambodia in 2024!

Traveling by train in Cambodia has been suspended and restarted many times over the past hundred years. As of 2024, there are 3 lines with daily passenger service:

  • Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville
  • Phnom Penh to Battambang
  • Battambang to Poi Pet

Prices are comparable to bus transport. If you have to choose, go by train – it’s the more enjoyable way to travel in Cambodia.

Here’s everything you need to know about the trains in Cambodia!


A map of Cambodian Railways
Trains go to Poi Pet from Battambang. If you come from Phnom Penh you need to wait 3 hours and change trains

There are only 2 railway lines in Cambodia:

  • South Line from Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville stopping at Takeo, Touk Meas, Kep, and Kampot.
  • North Line from Phnom Penh to Battambang stopping at Bat Deng and Pursat.
  • North Line (Continued) from Battambang to Poi Pet stopping at Sisophon

As of July 2024, the North Line service to Poi Pet has been restarted but you cannot take a train directly from Phnom Penh to Poi Pet.

Instead, you need to take the morning train to Battambang (arrive at 13:00), wait 3 hours, and then take the afternoon train to Poi Pet (depart at 16:00).

Prices and Timetables

A timetable of trains in Cambodia

For services from Phnom Penh, there is only 1 train going on each route every day.

  1. Phnom Penh towards Battambang departs at 6:40 AM. Arrives at 13:00 and goes back at 15:00. Arrives back in Phnom Penh at 22:30.
  2. Phnom Penh towards Sihanoukville departs at 7:00 AM. Arrives at 12:40 and goes back at 14:00. Arrives back in Phnom Penh at 20:00.

For service between Battambang and Poi Pet, there are 2 trains daily in each direction:

  • Departs Battambang at 9:40, arrives in Poi Pet at 12:10.
  • Departs Battambang at 16:00, arrives in Poi Pet at 18:30.
  • Departs Poi Pet at 7:00, arrives in Battambang at 9:30.
  • Departs Poi Pet at 12:20, arrives in Battambang at 15:50.
Timetable of trains from Battambang to Poi Pet
That’s the timetable they put at Battambang station when service to Poi Pet was resumed in July 2024.

Prices depend on the route and the distance.

  • Phnom Penh to Battambang costs 8 USD.
  • Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville costs 11 USD.
  • Battambang to Poi Pet costs 7 USD.

I went from Phnom Penh to Kampot by train and it cost 9 USD. But then from Kampot to Sihanoukville, it cost 6 USD (not just 2$ as the difference might suggest).

Check the prices on

How to book tickets for the trains in Cambodia

There are two ways to book train tickets in Cambodia: online or at the train station.

Book Online

By booking online you won’t have to go to the train station but will pay a little bit more as a service fee.

You can book train tickets at:

Book at the train station

A physical ticket of Cambodial Railways
A Cambodian Railways physical ticket

You can book train tickets more than a day in advance but it’s usually not necessary. The previous day is good enough.

Simply go to any train station and ask for a ticket. The employees know basic English which is enough in this case. Payment is in cash only and the rate is 4150 KHR for 1 USD. Read more about the Money in Cambodia (it can be confusing but is actually simpler than it appears at first).

Book at the station the same day

The trains I took weren’t full. They weren’t even close to full. I assume you can easily book a ticket 30 minutes before the scheduled time of departure.

Also, I saw locals pay for their tickets inside the train but you really should just buy a ticket beforehand. The ticket desks are right next to the platforms at all stations.

My experience traveling by train in Cambodia

I traveled by train 3 times: from Phnom Penh to Kampot, then back, and from Phnom Penh to Battambang. Here I will share my experience.

Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville by train

This train departs at 7:00 AM every day and costs 11 USD to Sihanoukville. I booked a ticket to Kampot and paid 9 USD.

The train is a single carriage. It looks kinda funny and is quite wonky. Some may say it’s cute.

A single carriage train in Cambodia
The train from Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville

It’s air-conditioned. Way too air-conditioned – you will need a blouse or you will be cold. On the return trip, I reasoned with the train attendant and she stopped the AC for a while, but you should be prepared for 18-20 degrees in the carriage.

The seats are comfortable and in a 2×2 arrangement with most facing others but some also independent.

Inside a train
Inside the train from Phnom Penh to Kampot

The train stops at the major stations for about 10 minutes. You can buy snacks and drinks from the vendors outside. It’s allowed to eat inside the train, though, of course, don’t be a piglet about it.

a crowd of people and food vendors at a train station
Vendors selling snacks and drinks at Takeo Railway Station

The trains are always late. There is always a reason to be late. We arrived in Kampot 30 minutes late and on the return arrived in Phnom Penh 25 minutes late. Trains in Cambodia are always late.

Phnom Penh to Battambang by train

The train to Battambang leaves Phnom Penh at 6:40 AM. It costs 8 USD.

The train has 2 carriages and is NOT air-conditioned. The windows can be opened and the breeze is enough to make the journey pleasant. There are fans attached to the ceiling that don’t work.

simon on a bench inside a train
Caught off-guard with my mouth open in this picture inside the train from Phnom Penh to Battambang

This train is also quite wonky but the 100+ pages I managed to read are a testament that it’s not too bumpy to read.

The seats are cushioned benches, each seating 2 people. Two benches on each side, facing each other.

Yulli enjoying the breeze

Two stops of about 10 minutes at Bat Deng and Pursat break up the 6-hour journey to Battambang.

This train also arrived 20 minutes late.

tuk-tuks in front of Battambang railway station
Battambang Railway Station

Future Extensions

In the near future, the train won’t terminate at Poi Pet but cross the border and continue inside Thailand instead. You will be able to clear Immigration without changing trains as is the case at the moment.

A train line to the Phnom Penh Airport is also in the making. Soon, soon.

Simon posing in a purple "Backpack Moments" t-shirt in front of the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh
In front of the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh. Send me an email if you want a t-shirt 😉

In the not-so-near future, a train will connect Phnom Penh and Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam and there have also been feasibility studies about a train from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap.

Bamboo Railway

The Bamboo Train near Battambang is mostly a tourist attraction today.

the bamboo trains
It’s definitely bamboo but I am willing to argue about the definition of “railway/train”.

Locals don’t use it to transport freight or passengers anymore. The Bamboo train has a fascinating history starting during French colonial times and restarting after the fall of the Khmer Rouge. If you’re interested, check this History of the Bamboo Train.

The bamboo train around Banan Temple is a cool attraction to visit. You can ride the “train” (really just a few planks of bamboo) for 5$ taking you for 4 km around the Cambodian countryside.

But no, you cannot take a “bamboo train” from Battambang to Poi Pet, as I’ve heard some ask. That’s ridiculous.

A train and a train station in Cambodia - a pinterest pin

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