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Be Careful !!!

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Miami, Florida
posts: 16
reviews: 5
Be Careful !!!

First of all, Mekong Express is not 'luxury' as my guide book stated. My bus was old, the aircon barely worked, and was by say Thai standards third class. Maybe others are worse, but I saw a bus from line called giantibis that seemed better from outside. On plus side, they do check baggage well with ticket and arraneg tuk tuks at fair price upon arrival.

The worse news. Be careful with your belongings. At rest stop they warn you to take all your belongings off bus. A sure sign of problems given they have bot driver and assistant that could lock and watch bus but dont. Upon arrival it seems that my Ipad fell from my lap to the floor when I fell asleep and I forgot it. Realized as soon as I got to hotel and called, but of course they said no ipad on bus. Equally of course it had to have been there. So heed their warnings abbout making sure you have everything, because if you don't, its gone!!

posts: 8,133
1. Re: Be Careful !!!


The drivers, by law, are required to take a break and ME drivers and bus crew do just this, usually combining it with a meal at the point at which the bus stops circa mid point between PNH and REP for the pax comfort and refreshment stop.

It is the passenger's responsibility to look after their personal property, asleep or otherwise, it's your job.

All checked bags etc are well secured and accounted for.

Your personal kit and kaboodle is your job.

Luxury is in the eye of the beholder.

If you want Greyhound or Pulman etc you had better stay at home as most of SE Asia has a long way to go and a lot of catching up to do.

Thailand is a wealthy country relative to Cambodia.

Just one look at its' national infrastructure tells any simpleton this.

For a developing country Mekong Express is pretty good and provides very many daily services over a good route network.

The Giant Ibis bus to which you refer is just a very small number of busses offering a rather limited frequency of services on a single route. No doubt, Mekong Express, the originator of reliable timetable bus travel will now be progressively upgrading its original fleet.

You should count your blessings that you did not travel with some of the other bus operators.

You did, of course, have adequate travel insurance to cover your "loss"?

Regards. Ian

Newcastle, Australia
posts: 994
reviews: 2
2. Re: Be Careful !!!

That's so disappointing for you. Sorry to hear about it and thanks for the warning. We had quite a lot of stuff stolen whilst on a bus in china last year - from the luggage racks right above our heads. It was a really horrible feeling. I sympathise.


posts: 2
3. Re: Be Careful !!!

Ian I think you work for Mekong express, every sentence you seem care about Mekong express reputation, everyone have right to post many time as they want if it is real story

Destination Expert
for Cologne
posts: 2,691
reviews: 22
4. Re: Be Careful !!!

Firstly I think it is a good reminder to watch your belongings when travelling by bus in Cambodia (or anywhere else), and it is annoying if you loose something during your travel.

However, I think you cannot blame Mekong Bus for the loss of your Ipod. You said yourself it fell to the ground, so anyone at the bus could have picked it up (as this could happen anywhere in the world). Also I say it is a good warning to take your belongings with you when leaving the bus for a stop, they even told me that when they locked the bus. It is just to make sure that nothing is stolen while you are away (again I wouldnt leave my wallet or phone in a bus in the Uk or in the US.

And doctor, I think a lot of people on this forum agree with Ian regarding Mekong. I travelled with three different bus companies, and Mekong was the most comfortbale one (though the other two were ok as well). And the above comment was there to put it in perspective and compare it with other bus companies - though it seems to be that Giantibis is offering very good buses, which is a good thing.

posts: 8,133
5. Re: Be Careful !!!


I am, indeed, a very frequent bus traveller within Cambodia and for cross/through border travel and have been ever since the roads and culverts etc were repaired in the mid 1990's. Prior to this I had to travel using either 4 X 4 or a 6 x 6 Truck.In those days, a trip by vehicle from Poi Pet to Siem reap frequently took thirty (30) hours in the wet season. So I've seen bus travel grow from nothing to the many operators we now have to chose from today and who, in their own way, cater for all segments of the travelling public in Cambodia.

As such, I have very real, relevent and recent experience of nearly all of the bus sectors and the operators, including the Vietnamese operators for the only sector on which both KH and VN companies operate, on those sector as my many posting on bus travel over the years on forum will show.

Consistently and for years now, one company has and continues to provide safe, secure, dependable, reliable and pretty much to timetable, bus services on a number, but not all, sectors in Cambodia.

I look forward to reading your postings across the bus operator spectrum on forum.

After two decades now of working in most parts of Cambodia I've learned a thing or two about this Country and draw on this personal experience when posting for the interest and benefit of others.

I am beholden to no one or to any company or to any organization.

All of my travel and work with and for the people of Cambodia is self-funded and largely through an ongoing overdraft with my bank.

Best regards. Ian


siem reap
posts: 417
6. Re: Be Careful !!!

Doctortrave,Ian has proven over a long period of time his commitment and knowagle and his love for cambodia and more importantly the khmer people .

i personnally have learnt so much from Ian and other posters that take there free time to advise others,i am khmer and live here however Ian has taught me so much and i am highly apprecated of his advise.

its easy to accuse someone of something,infact not so long ago i was infact accussed of being Ian:)

But its not about the person is it?

its about what they are saying.

so my question is to you.why are you attacking someone that supports Mekong Express?

I think i know the answer but please enlighten me:)

siem reap
posts: 417
7. Re: Be Careful !!!

so many tourist are not careful with there belongings:(

the reason mekong express and i am guessing other companies warn people of there belongings is cause they them selfs get accussed if you lose something and its not a nice feeling.

take for example if you visit my home and than that night realise your ipod is missing,but you phone me and i say no i cant find it,so you than think bad of me? worse still if i am a company you than bad month my company on the internet.

i am sorry but its your fault not the companies.when you travel there are signs everywhere in hotels,guesthouses,buses,boats about checking your personnal belongings before you alight.that warning is due to many complaints they get from people that cant take responisablity for there own belongings.

my brother is a temple guide he constantly asked if there customers have all there gear.

my sister is a lake guide she constantly asked if her customers have there gear.

the reason is they the guides feel guilty and have to take there spare time to search for your lose belongings.sometimes they find it,on the floor of a mini van,on the boats ect but sometimes they cant find it.

so the message is please ensure you have all your belongings before you leave..its your responabilty:)

posts: 8,133
8. Re: Be Careful !!!

Hello Aju,

Many thaks for your kind words ;)

Pou Ian was happy to read them.

But let readers of this forum never forget that ALL of the bus services in Cambodia exist to service Cambodians.

It is we, the overseas persons in your country, that are, quite unrealistically and most unreasonably, over-demanding of these services, that exist first and foremost to provide affordable transport to the near 13 million Khmers trying to live on circa $2. per day. As Cambodia's per capita disposable income rises then so will the standards of vehicles in use.

It is we, the foreigners, that seem to so arogantly think that the services in Cambodia should be on par with those in the old world, rich and afluent developed countries we come from.

For a country in which the bloodshed and shooting only stopped with the coup in mid 1997,. Cambodia is making very considerable progress on so many fronts and deserves credit for this.

The fact that these advances are very uneven, and far from perfect, and not in the mould/image of our our own country's progress, is not the point.

The point being that Cambodia is progressing to the stage that foreigners now have the luxury to complain about bus services! God help us. Some posters need to get out of their ivory towers and join the real world.

I am shortly about to return to Cambodia and will, once again, be criss-crossing the country, fairly well laden, using a wide variety of buses. Bus travel, on ANY bus in Cambodia is an adventure and a most enjoyable and happy one at that for many travelers who come to this country with a sensible mind-set and realistic expectations. Bus travel anywhere in Cambodia, with any one of the bus companies, is certainly one of the great bargains of the country.

Best regards. Ian.

Destination Expert
for Livigno, Lombardy
posts: 39,239
reviews: 139
9. Re: Be Careful !!!

It's always good to get a reminder about being vigilant as sometimes when you're travelling your so taken up with taking in all the sights and sounds that you let your guard down, not only in Cambodia but everywhere.

posts: 8
10. Re: Be Careful !!!

Hi hrmiami, so sorry to hear that you lost your iPad and hopefully you can file an insurance claim. So just to always a reminder while traveling overseas or at home, to always be careful and keep everything close to you.