Sunset river cruises, Phnom Penh - review by Rusty Compass
Phnom Penh | see and do guide

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Sunset river cruises, Phnom Penh

| 09 Mar 2015
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Price guide: From around $20USD

Our rating
09 Mar 2015

A late afternoon cruise on the Ton Le Sap and Mekong Rivers can be a nice end to a day exploring Phnom Penh.

Note: The information provided in this review was correct at time of publishing but may change. For final clarification please check with the relevant service

Sunset cruises Phnom Penh - Review

A Phnom Penh sunset cruise shouldn’t be on the top of your list of things to do if you’re pressed for time in the city. But If you’re spending a couple of days, it’s nice to get out and experience the confluence of the country's two mighty rivers, the Ton Le Sap and the Mekong. They’ve sustained Cambodian civilisation for centuries.

You can organise your own cruise by wandering along the riverfront and finding a local boat operator for a local experience. A handful of companies offer organised sunset cruises as well. A short list of cruise operators is provided below.

Most cruises depart around 4.30 and return around 6.30pm. The views of the city from the river aren’t especially spectacular but  it’s always nice to be on the water. Getting a first-hand experience of these two amazing rivers is probably all the justification you need to jump aboard. And although it’s not really a visual experience, the annual reversal of the Ton Le Sap’s flow is an extraordinary phenomenon that is worth pondering over an afternoon refreshment.

The Ton Le Sap River runs in front the main town of Phnom Penh around the Royal Palace area. It joins the Mekong further south near the ferry terminal and casino.

Organised cruises pass by the Mekong shore opposite the city where Vietnamese and Cham fishing villages are located.

I travelled on the Butterfly Cruise which was well done and crewed by helpful, bubbly young staff. Butterfly also offer a dinner option at their Mekong Bungalow on the river.  I am also aware of Crocodile and Phocea Mekong cruises though I have not experienced these first hand.

Sunset cruises are around $15 to $20USD per person travelling with a group. Private cruises are also available as are cruises at other times to various other river sights. Organised cruises leave from Sisowath Quay at the Wat Phnom end of town and include hotel transfers.

You can check the cruise websites here -

Butterfly Cruises -
Crocodile Cruise -
Phocea Mekong Cruise -

Rusty Compass reviews are always independent. Rusty Compass travelled as invited guests on the Butterfly. The Butterfly did not seek nor receive any editorial or other influence over this review or any other content on the Rusty Compass website. We have no affiliation with any cruise company and have not experienced the other companies referenced here.

Mark Bowyer
Mark Bowyer is the founder and publisher of Rusty Compass.
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