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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - New bus to Siem Reap

New bus to Siem Reap

120517_09

A new Hyundai Universe waiting for passangers near Phnom Penh’s night market. Photograph: Vireak Mai/Phnom Penh Post

A new luxury bus service from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap has arrived in the Kingdom. Giant Ibis, named for the rare national bird of Cambodia, is a US$13 per seat bus service that started operations on May 5.

The cost, which may seem over-priced for Cambodia, is quickly forgotten when you enter the startlingly luxurious bus and stretch your legs in the entire metre of leg room available.

“Fantastic, the service was really wonderful,” said Tony, 48 of the luxury busses, and Virak, 24, said: “It was great. The best bus I have ever been on.”

Currently the service runs twice daily at 8:45am and 12:30pm, but spokesperson Vibol Yoy has said they plan to increase the number of bus services in the near future.

The fully air-conditioned busses offer reclining seats, wi-fi, a large TV with a full selection of movies and a sound system above each seat that can be manually turned on or off.

The bus provides drinks and snacks and will even provide breakfast for the morning service.

The fleet of six luxury Hyundai Universe busses, owned by Royal Cambodian limousine service, is focused on quality to customers.

“We provide extensive road-safety and customer service training to all our staff. Our focus is on allowing people to have a happy and safe time when they use our service,” said Yoy.

The name behind the company comes from the rare, and once thought extinct, giant ibis, known in Khmer as tror yorng and in 2005 was declared as the national bird of Cambodia.

The population of the birds is thought to number only about 100 in the Kingdom, which is the largest population in the world.

The company has stated that it will give three cents of each ticket to help save the endangered bird.

The bus service travels through Kompong Cham province and crosses a small town called Skun, which is famous for fried spider, and they are apparently eaten regularly, indeed every day, by the locals.

The spiders are bred in holes in the ground, and the taste has been described as “interesting” by tourists.

The bus service will offer the opportunity for the more adventurous of it customers to sample the fried spider as the bus passes through the town.

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