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“A great way to travel with plenty to see,”

Angkor Express Boat
Ranked #24 of 56 things to do in Battambang
Attraction details
Reviewed July 29, 2014

We made this trip from Battambang to Siem Reap in January. Our hotel in Battambang booked and collected our tickets the day before we wanted to travel and also provided a tuk tuk transfer to the boat. They made a packed breakfast for us to have on the boat as the boat leaves Battambang at 7am thereabouts.

There appear to be several boats used for the journey depending on the number of people wanting to travel on a given day, there were two used on the day we travelled. The boat we were on was comfortable with two seats either side of the aisle facing forward and it had a toilet at the back. Although only small it was quite roomy as not every seat was taken as a lot of people chose to travel sitting on the roof. It is wise to take some refreshments with you as the boat has no drinks or snacks on board. The boat does stop for a short time at one of the floating villages where you can buy snacks and drinks.

We enjoyed every minute of the eight hours it took. There was always plenty to see as the boat made its way past villages on land, stilts and floating on the water. Boats constantly passed us with people going about their everyday lives and we saw lots of fishermen some using huge nets. There were plenty of birds to see as well.

If you do the journey from Battambang to Siem Reap you need to be aware boats land at different locations depending on the level of the water. We arranged a transfer with our hotel in Siem Reap to pick us up from the lake. The locals know where the boats will be landing each day so there are plenty of tuk tuk drivers touting for business to take people into Siem Reap from wherever the boats land.

3  Thank simply-peregrinating
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"floating village"
in 30 reviews
"boat ride"
in 17 reviews
"siem reap"
in 98 reviews
"tonle sap lake"
in 12 reviews
"on stilts"
in 9 reviews
"low water"
in 8 reviews
"wooden seats"
in 6 reviews
"river life"
in 9 reviews
"long trip"
in 12 reviews
"bring food and water"
in 5 reviews
"boat leaves"
in 5 reviews
"hour trip"
in 11 reviews
"water level"
in 9 reviews
"pickup truck"
in 6 reviews
"tuk tuk"
in 55 reviews
"actual boat"
in 4 reviews
"larger boat"
in 3 reviews
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174 - 178 of 448 reviews

Reviewed July 18, 2014

Reading some of the other higher rated reviews, I agree. This was an interesting trip. It kept things real. It was an uncomfortable 8 hours (with a quick lunch stop), the boat seemed to have flames coming out the back (which was dealt with), the driver was drinking beer (after noon though), we bounced off numerous river banks (it was narrow), one of the guys poured in the diesel whilst smoking a fag (diesel not as flammable as petrol) and there wasn't enough life jackets (but I can swim)..... But we did see some amazing scenery and people. My trip is about these experiences not comfort and luxury so if the latter is you, don't book! Risk the road!

6  Thank norwichfizzy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 12, 2014 via mobile

Luxery travel this is not. True adventure yes it is. The views are grwat and the floating village stop along the way even bettet. A great way also to meet the locals.

3  Thank coolkereen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 10, 2014 via mobile

My boyfriend and I made the journey from Siem Reap to Battambang via longboat yesterday (although not with Angkor Express) and I honestly don't see what all the complaints are about. Given some of the previous reviews, we almost decided against the boat ride, but we're both glad we ultimately decided to go ahead with it.

I will admit that the bus picking us up from our guesthouse was 20 minutes late, and that the boat was an hour late due to waiting on anther bus load of passengers. This was annoying, yes, but from what we've experienced of Asian customer service we weren't exactly surprised. Given that it's the wet season, our boat never ran aground, nor did anything get caught in the propeller. On the contrary, the ride was pretty smooth. The boat itself was basic - no toilet and only had a row of seats along each side (cushioned, thankfully). There were 18 passengers in total, 4 of whom were locals, and it was in no way overcrowded.

According to some of the previous reviews, larger boats seem to create more of a problem for locals as they cause a larger wake, and we were told that had there been more of us they'd have used a larger boat. In this case, I wouldn't really have been surprised if locals threw things at the boat as some other people have reported... The floating villages we passed really are floating and I'm sure large tourist boats are unwelcome due to the disruption they cause. However, the boat we were on was no larger than the motorboats used by some of the local fishermen, so did not seem to cause any problems.

It seems that whether you enjoy this journey or not depends on two factors: your own personality/expectations and luck of the draw in terms of quality of service. I wouldn't suggest bothering with the boat ride if you're particularly antsy or are unaccustomed to Asian safety and customer service 'standards'. No, the boat didn't have many life jackets. Yes, we did leave late. But for us these are par-for-the-course factors that we wouldn't let ruin an otherwise really interesting and enjoyable trip. As some other people have reported, we did stop a few times to let locals on or off the boat, but this really never took long. As for it being a 'tourist-sponsored water taxi for locals', it may very well be that, but the service is obviously essential for the otherwise completely remote village communities along the route and I'm happy to be part of keeping it running.

A few tips to make this ride slightly more enjoyable for yourselves:
- Manage your expectations. If you want a deck with sun loungers and an on-board pool, you're in the wrong place.
- Don't drink a lot of fluids unless you're prepared to hold it or use a squat toilet at the lunch stop. I may have felt thirsty yesterday, but it's better than needing a wee for 8 hours.
- Yes, the ride is 8+ hours long. Don't listen to anyone who says it's only 5 hours. Bring a book or an iPod.
- Our lunch break was a quick stop at a floating version of a corner store. Bring your own food just in case you don't get served a full meal.
- Pre-book your accommodation in Battambang (preferably with free tuk tuk pick-up)!!!! In true Cambodian style, tuk tuk drivers from nearby hotels literally stormed the boat when we docked and shoved brochures for their respective hotels in our faces. Not very pleasant. We'd already sorted our hotel and the driver was there waiting for us, so were able to escape the pirate-style invasion.

The floating villages are beautiful and fascinating, as is the countryside you go through on the boat. Just go in with an open mind.

12  Thank SamanthaFrench
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 4, 2014

Agree with everyone that the views along the river are great. For about an hour. After that we just wanted to throw ourselves overboard. So uncomfortable, and no idea that people would just keep on piling on board as the trip continued - making it slow, even more uncomfortable, and potentially dangerous. We had been sold a dummy at the outset - told the trip this time of year was 5 hours. Found out later this was a common trick, not to put people off at the prospect of 8.5 hours unable to move, looking at the person opposite you, and praying for the end. Definitely loved the scenery though - ideally a quick trip across the lake (currently about 45 minutes) and an hour along the river would be plenty - then back to Siem Reap to jump on bus to Battambang! It pissed down at one point and our packs got pretty wet. I think this trip is for younger people than us! In retrospect quite funny and entertaining, but at the time, hateful. Every other person on the boat with us was delighted to see it come to and end too. Who knew the entrance to Battambang would take another hour - just when we thought we were there!!!! Torture. Wouldn't do it again if you paid me.

Thank MJMCD67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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